Stephen Sharnoff

This website provides access to over 16,000 photographs, of which about 7,000 are images of lichens and over 6,000 are of wild plants. Except for lichens and wild plants, most photos are presented two ways: in a thumbnail size on index pages and in a larger size with one photo per page. With Lichens and Wild Plants, there are index pages of scientific names that link to the pages with photos, but no thumbnails. There are six major divisions within the site:

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Wild Plants

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Humans and

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You can click on the website links or use the search engine below.
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The divisions shown above contain the complete collection of photos, but you can see an edited selection of nature photographs by clicking on
Natural Patterns
That section also has a collection of nature photos by Sylvia Sharnoff and a few by her father, Victor Duran.

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sand and water thumbnail graphic For a collection of recent photos from the Mendocino coast, click here.

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I'm working on an initiative to create a new national monument that would provide increased protection for old-growth Douglas-fir forests in the Pacific Northwest.

Please go to the Douglas-Fir National Monument website for more information.


A Field Guide to California Lichens, which illustrates and describes approximately 500 species, is available from Yale University Press, or from your local bookstore.

Or you can access the larger book,Lichens of North America,
(Brodo, Sharnoff & Sharnoff, 2001) also available from Yale University Press

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I no longer maintain my old website about lichens,,
but its contents can be found at Lichen Information.

Work is in progress on a new field guide to the wildflowers and flowering shrubs of the Sierra Nevada. For a short preview (formerly on the website go to Sierra wildflowers book.

Go to Vanishing (Portraits) to see my 2008 exhibit at the University of California, Berkeley
with text by Suzanne Guerlac.

I have published a book called, Restless Peace; Images from the
Cemeteries of Paris
. It contains about 185 photos and can be
ordered from
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Use of Images

The photos on this website are copyrighted and available for purchase. The images are presented at a low-resolution for viewing on the site, but each one is backed up by a high-resolution version that I would be pleased to send. Scroll down for more information on pricing and quality specifications.

To order an image, or for comments or questions, please contact me at

Purchasing Images

I charge for photo use on a sliding scale, since every situation is unique.

You can pay with PayPal by clicking on the link below.

Acknowledgements and miscellaneous information

Thanks to Bob Gill for help with designing this website, to Steven Stephenson for some slime mold identifications, and to William Ferguson for a number of insect identifications. A number of the earlier images were taken by my late wife, Sylvia Sharnoff, and are acknowledged on the single-photo pages. See the lichens home page for acknowledgements pertaining to lichen photos.

Out of respect for the privacy of people who are pictured on this site, the usage of those images is restricted to purposes that I feel would not be offensive or exploitative. For example, I would not knowingly allow the image of a person to be used in an advertising commercial without their written permission. A few of the photos of people have signed model releases, and I have indicated that on the single-image pages where appropriate, but the same general considerations about usage apply. Please contact me if you have questions about this.