Reply To: photo tutorial

Jack Kallmeyer


I’m sure your light box will work quite well in providing a flat uniform shadow-less lighting as you have described.  I have used homemade light boxes myself when photographing highly reflective objects for clients.

In my fossil photography I would not use flat lighting like this however.  I need to be able to show texture and surface features, all of which tend to disappear with flat lighting.  A photo of a trace fossil from around here with  flat lighting would end up invisible.  So maybe it depends on the subject as to what lighting technique you use.  I use a single flash as a main light source and a white card reflector as balance/fill.  The card has to be positioned so that it softens the shadows without completely eliminating them.  When photographing trace fossils I sometimes use no fill at all along with very strong side lighting (image of Phycodes flabellum trace attached)

When photographing for publications, the standard accepted lighting technique is a main light coming from the upper left of the specimen.  A flat light set-up will not produce that result.


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