Photo Scavenger Hunt

Media types like me often assume Millennials and GenZers have innate social media abilities. But I’ve often found that many of the science geeks in this age group have never Tweeted, blogged – or wondered why they need to.

That’s partly why I developed my Miami University course Environmental Communication for undergrad and grad science students. It’s founding is a story for another day (read Randy Olson’s excellent Don’t Be Such a Scientist if you are too impatient to wait). But click back to the high-ropes training photo from one of my first such classes if you think this  stuff is easy!

Before we deep dive into science social media campaigns in this class, we work on nature essays and visual science stories. And one of my fave exercises on this path is a Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Last week, my Environmental Communication students traveled to Hueston Woods State Park in Ohio to do the Photo Scavenger Hunt. It challenges them to find various photo compositions in nature. Here are my photos, with the composition type listed, but I know my students will find far more interesting imagery that we’ll look at in class this week.

Rule of Thirds

This one I cheated on – it’s from the same exercise in 2014 – as I was distracted waiting for the pizza guy to arrive last week and failed to take this composition!

Shallow depth of field

Foreground in focus, background not

Wider depth of field

Miami University’s rowing team, here coming off Acton Lake, provided some interest for this composition!

Bird’s eye view

Technically, I should have included more grass around this leaf to make it appear farther away.

Ant’s eye view


Yeah, cheated here, too. My ant’s eye photo from Hueston Woods was lame, so this is one from J Term 2016’s Tropical Ecosystems trip to Costa Rica.


Pretty self-explanatory, huh?

Leading lines

Enviro-Comm students photographing Hueston Woods’ raptor rehab fails – the animals that couldn’t be released into the wild.

Fill the frame

Hueston Woods State Park naturalist Shawn Conner with the owl “who hates me. No, she really hates me.”



Fast shutter speed

Miami University’s rowing club on the move.

Slow shutter speed

Acton Lake, Hueston Woods State Park

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