How to take great footprint images

For most species we use a specific foot to train our algorithms. For example, for most large cats we use left hind. If you’re not sure which foot is which though, just capture them all 🙂

Imagine a tiger standing with all four feet on the sand. That’s what you’re seeing here. Take a look at the left and right front feet – the two at the top. The front feet for most carnivores (exceptions occur – eg hyena!) tend to be wider than they are tall.  They’re often more symmetrical too. The hind feet (the lower two prints) are longer than they are wide, and there’s a pronounced asymmetry. Hold your hand out, palm down, in front of you. You’ll notice that fingers 3, 4, and 5 (middle, ring and little fingers) on your left hand slope towards the left. On the right hand, they slope towards the right. These are guidlines for recognising left and right, front and back. With experience you’ll find it easy. Sometimes you have to imagine the footprint rotated a little so that the middle ‘finger’ (the highest toe on the carnivore print) is pointing straight up.  The left hind image above is a good example. Then you’ll see the slope more clearly.

If you’re not sure, just image all the good prints you can get and we’ll help you identify them!

No matter which species you work with, it’s easy to get great footprint images. Below are some examples of common problems, as well as great images!

Not taken from directly overhead – compare scale size on bottom and LHS of ruler moving to the top of the image

Comments are closed.