@jkallmeyer and @sgalligher –
You are totally right about the cell phone cameras, Jack, but the modern cell phone cameras are getting better and better every day. Furthermore, there are some tricks you can use to make the pictures better. One example: you can use a selfie stick to fix your phone and use it as a stand (just attach it on something solid with duct tape or zip ties), and you can also use the remote at the stick or a timer to snap the photo. That way you avoid touching the trigger at the phone or shaking it. These are just some aspects I would like to present at my first photo tutorial and there are several others that can help people with limited equipment possibilities. I also recommend using a black background (just like you Jack ;-)) — but only for light-colored fossils. I use a light grey background for brown or blackish fossils. I prefer to use velvet because the texture of velvet reduces reflection in the photo. I always use a scale bar like the one I posted yesterday. All users are welcome to use it. After shooting the images, I manipulate the pictures with Photoshop CC, from the professional Adobe Suite, but PS Element is very good too. PS Element allows one to do most of the manipulating processes used to increase the picture quality. In PS I also add a clean scale bar according to the one at the original picture. That way you make sure that the PS scale bar has the correct size.
I feel we are making a quite good progress in this forum and I think the upcoming tutorial will help a lot of people, both the rookies and the more professional photographers as well, to increase their skills. I am looking forward to working together with you guys on that.
all the best,