Pest Control Professionals: 5 Secrets to Taking Quality Diagnostic Photos

Pest Control Professionals: 5 Secrets to Taking Quality Diagnostic Photos

Posted by Stephen M. Vantassel on May 7, 2017 is pleased to introduce guest blogger and Wildlife Control Expert, Stephen M. Vantassel.  Stephen is the author of "The Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook".   This is an invaluable resource to pest control professionals in identifying damage to structures, landscapes, and livestock.

Good photos can be of enormous benefit to the identification of animal or pest sign as you can send them to other experts for confirmation of your diagnosis. But the photos must be of sufficient quality to be useful.

Here are five tips and links to help ensure that the photos you send are suitable for identification.

1. Set camera to take photos at the highest resolution. Digital photos need to be the megabyte range (1000k or more) not the 87k range. Cameras out of the box are ALWAYS set at the lowest resolution. You must manually change it. Most e-mail programs can handle a 10 mg photo. 3-7 mg is more than sufficient size.

2. Ensure a crisp clear image. Frequently people put the camera too close to the object and forget to transition the camera settings to macro mode. Any time you are within 6 inches or so of the object you must transition to macro mode.

3. Check the photo for clarity prior to sending. All images look clear in the view finder. So in order to ensure it is clear on our screen, you must blow it up or zoom in to ensure that the edges remain crisp.

4. Scale. Help your reviewer get a sense of how big the object is by including a standard size object in the close up. Coins, paper money or a ruler will do the trick.

5. Show context. Reviewers need to know where, as in the surrounding area or setting, the photo was taken. Context matters as it helps narrow the list of suspects.

Stephen M. Vantassel is the author of the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3 rd. ed. He also runs