I am a retired (Sep 2015) public school science teacher by profession, but I started this Flickr page to share some of the thousands of images I've taken over the last 35 years of the vascular plant genus Castilleja or Indian Paintbrush. I've traveled over much of North, Central and South America in search of these plants and have photographed over 95% of the approximately 200 known species and varieties, as well as publishing seven species new to science. I've written or contributed to numerous scientific publications on Castilleja, and (with the assistance of Peter Zika, Barbara Wilson, and the rest of the Carex Working Group, Nick Otting and Dick Brainard) I recently completed work on a manuscript covering this genus for the multi-volume Flora of North America. This volume is scheduled to be published in late 2018 to early 2019.

For my earlier, 35 mm slide-based photos: the coded photo names for Castilleja images on my site match those in my own image collection. Using "egger295_pal_inv_11" as an example, "egger295" is the collection number of the actual specimen voucher collected as a scientific specimen and deposited in a university herbarium. "pal_inv" is a three-letter code for the species and variety, in this case C. pallescens var. inverta. The final number, 11, is the sequential number of my photos for that particular species, in this case my 11th image of this variety of C. pallescens. Other images having the code "egger_n_c" are images for which I did not make a physical specimen voucher collection, usually for reasons of plant conservation, as in a rare species or when few plants were present in the local population. The " n.c." stands for "no collection."

However, in recent years I have adopted a different identifying protocol for my images. These are now collection-based. When I make a physical specimen collection, I record all the usual data, as well as an associated image number specific to that collection site. The original, unprocessed image is labeled for example: Egger_1174_pall_inv_1_1. This original images remain in my personal archives and are never posted. The second, slightly processed and often +/- cropped image is saved as: Egger_1174_pall_inv_1_2. Some images are cropped and adjusted a second time, and these are labeled as: Egger_1174_pall_inv_1_3.

When I have only photographed the plants and not collected specimens (usually the case), I use a different system, listing the Genus, species, and varietal names, an abbreviation of of the location, and the same numbering system as above.

NOTE: I don't have time to adjust the annoying date thingy on Flickr for every photo. Please be aware that the date "tag" on the Flickr interface is NOT accurate, except for the digital photos posted in recent years; iIn all cases, I include a date for each image on the primary written caption for each photo.

I am also happy to try to identify any and all Castilleja photos you might want to call to my attention, e-mail to me, or post on Flickr or other image sites. If you do so, please tell me when and where you took the photo -- that will often help narrow it down.

I intend these photos to be used widely by those interested in the genus, to help in identification, and for plant conservation purposes. I claim full copyright for all my photos, as well as for all texts posted herein, and I hold the original 35 mm transparencies or original, unmodified digital images in my archives. Almost all the older photos I will post were taken with an old Minolta XD-5 35 mm SLR with a MD 50 mm close-up lens, using Kodachrome color slide film (mostly the venerable but painfully slow 64 and later selling out to 200). I never use flash photography (perhaps foolishly), because I hate the "flashy" quality of the resulting photo and probably because I don't know any better. The transparencies were scanned at moderate resolution with one of two Nikon Coolscan scanners I've owned, as well as more recently with a PowerSlide 5000 scanner, since poopie-head Nikon quite supporting scanners for Macintosh computers. Except for cropping, sharpening, and simple "Levels" adjustments to my more recent uploads, I have done little or no digital manipulation with these images, as color fidelity is one of my primary goals in plant photography and because my time to work on such things is limited. Like most folks, I've switched over to digital about 10 years ago, and most images from this time period were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi, with a TamronSP Di90 mm F/2.8 Macro lens. I hate tripods, and, for better or worse, all photos on my site were taken with me holding my camera and snapping the trigger with my own right index finger. Digitally photographed, one might say... (sorry)

It should be noted that some of the photos I will post were taken in very difficult to reach locations under less than optimal conditions (high winds, intense or low light, unhelpful sun angles, etc.) & so may not be of high technical merit. For various reasons, my time in one spot waiting for perfect conditions was often quite limited. However, the photos do serve to illustrate the key characteristics of the native species themselves in their natural habitats. All photos were taken in the field by me, unless otherwise indicated.

If you want to use my images for any purpose, I ask that you contact me for permission first. It will likely be granted for any non-commercial purposes. I especially encourage anyone connected with native plant conservation and habitat preservation to use my images in support of your work. Conversely, developers, corporate resource extractors, Republican conservatives, bigots, imperialists, fundamentalist religious fanatics, and militias of all kinds are expressly excluded.

----///--\\\----put this
---|||----|||---on your
---|||-- -|||---profile if
---|||-- -|||---you know
-----\\\///-----who is living with, survived
------///\-----or has passed away from
----///--\\\---Thank you

Photos of Mark Egger (2)

  • Castilleja nervata (Yellow) by AlvarezRuiz
  • Castilleja nervata (Yellow) by AlvarezRuiz
  • Castilleja aff irazuensis by Daniel Mclaren .:. Naturalist Guide CR
  • Misteriosa Castilleja by AlvarezRuiz
  • Misteriosa Castilleja by AlvarezRuiz
  • Maguey Chato by AlvarezRuiz
  • Campanilla by AlvarezRuiz
  • Castilleja tenuifolia. Orobanchaceae by AlvarezRuiz
  • Castilleja / Indian paintbrush by jjrestrepoa (busy)
  • Castilleja / Indian paintbrush by jjrestrepoa (busy)

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    brewbooks says:

    "Mark has a great collection of photos, especially of Castilleja. His help in identification and confirmation of my photos is alway appreciated. I look forward to his book!"

    October 3rd, 2009

Mark Egger
January 2009
Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
I am:
Male and Taken
Retired Science Teacher, Systematic Botanist
m.egger [at] comcast.net