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February 26, 2018: CalPhotos now has sessions enabled, similar to most other web sites. What this means:

  • Registered photographers can now log in to CalPhotos.
  • Each CalPhotos page has a link in the upper right part of the page, in the blue bar, to log in/out.
  • You can use either your full name or your username to log in.
  • A username has been assigned to each photographer who signed up prior to February 23 2018. Your username will only be visible to you. You will be allowed to change your username ONE TIME using the profile editing form. Whether you change it or not, you can use that username to log in if you prefer that over your full name. (A username may be shorter than your full name.)
  • If you're logged in, the "Contributors" link in the upper right next to "Log In/Out" will take you to a page with links to contributor functions such as the forms to upload photos and edit your profile page.
  • When you're logged in, you will see an edit link on each detail page with your image. Click on the link to go directly to the edit page. (The edit page also allows you to delete the image.) No more need to copy the 16-digit photo ID and type your password to edit each image!
  • You can and are encouraged to set your own password.
  • If you forget your password, you can submit your email address via the "Forgot your password?" form. You will receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.
  • If you forgot your password and no longer have access to the email account you used when you registered with CalPhotos, send us an email and we can reset your password.
  • If you are also a reviewer, the annotation system has not yet moved into the new system; your reviewer password and the annotation system still works the way it previously did. We hope to update the annotation system this year to make it easier to use.


December 2017: Photographers now have the option to store high resolution jpegs in CalPhotos. Previously any images larger than 1200 pixels wide or tall were not kept on the server. Now, after you upload an image, if the image has a width or height larger than 1200 pixels, you will have the option of keeping and displaying it in CalPhotos.

Here are some reasons people have wanted larger files stored in CalPhotos:

  • so that visitors to the site can see additional details in the images that aren't as visible in smaller files
  • to make it easier for people to use their images who want higher resolution files (conversely, some photographers specifically do NOT want to make this easier)
  • in case photographers lose their high resolution files, there will still be a copy of the high resolution jpegs in CalPhotos. (Over the years, a number of photographers have contacted us hoping that we had their higher res files because they could no longer find them on their computers.)
Please also be considerate of CalPhotos' storage and backup costs. Try to upload images that contribute new details, locations, or species given what is already in the database. Especially keep this in mind if you're storing larger files in CalPhotos.


October 2017: TLS/SSL added. CalPhotos is now using https instead of http. Connections are more secure.


October 2017: For security reasons, mod_security has been enabled. If you notice any "forbidden access" messages on CalPhotos pages, please email us to let us know where this is happening.


December 2014: Photographers can now replace an image with a different one while keeping the same data (date, location, taxon). To replace an image, click on the "edit image data" link below the photo on the photo detail page, then look for "Need to replace this photo?" on the resulting page.


June 2014: Taxonomic reference list updated.


May 2014: California plant names in CalPhotos were updated using a list provided by The University and Jepson Herbaria. Older names have been moved to a synonymy field, which is displayed on the photo detail pages along with the current name. Name updates are based on The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition (TJM2) and the Index to California Plant Names (ICPN). Note that some mistakes have been found with these updates. If you find any, please email CalPhotos.


May 2014: A new "external high res image" field has been added for a URL to a higher resolution image on another site.


April 2014: You can now search by search by month, or by date range, on the custom search page.


December 2013: You can link images that are associated with each other, for example two images of the same plant. Look for the "associated image(s)" field on the add or edit forms. Currently you can select "another view," "habitat," or "retake" to describe the association of images. "Retake" is useful for landscape/habitat photos taken in different decades or centuries.

CalPhotos is dedicated to the memory of Brother Eric Vogel

CalPhotos is a project of the Berkeley Natural History Museums  |   University of California Berkeley

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this page last updated: Feb 26, 2018