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. There are six major divisions within the site:

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Wild Plants

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Humans and

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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 includes a collection of nature photos by Sylvia Sharnoff and a few by her father, Victor Duran.

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Work is nearing completion on two new guidebooks to the wildflowers and flowering shrubs of the Sierra Nevada in California, to be published by Heyday, of Berkeley, CA. The larger, medium format book will have photos and descriptions of about 950 taxa from the entire range, foothills to alpine, to be followed by a smaller guidebook with about 625 taxa. Text is by Joanna Clines, Forest Botanist for Sierra National Forest, photos mostly by Stephen Sharnoff. Tentative publication date is Fall, 2025. Photographs taken for this project are not currently being offered for other uses. helianthus thumbnail graphic

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.


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Two lavishly illustrated books about lichens are available from Yale University Press or from your local bookstore,
Lichens of North America (Brodo, Sharnoff & Sharnoff, 2001) which illustrates and describes over 900 species, and A Field Guide to California Lichens, (Stephen Sharnoff, 2014) which illustrates and describes approximately 500 species.
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I no longer maintain my old website about lichens,,
but its contents can be found at Lichen Information.

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. Images of plants that will be used in the forthcoming guide to the Sierra Nevada are not for sale at this time.

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.