December 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm #3133December 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm #3135
The photo attachment function is working OK now so here is one of my “whitened” photos that I took using ammonium chloride. The photo shows two species of edrioasteroids attached to a Rafinesquina ponderosa brachiopod shell. The edrio on the left is a Carneyella pilea while the one on the right is an Isorophus cincinnatiensis.
JackDecember 28, 2015 at 5:53 pm #3137
@tmorgan, Hey Tynessa, good to see you back at the forum and thank you for the pics, I will try to figure out how we can increase the quality a bit more with just a few minor steps. I see that there is lots of potential. I discuss this with Jack and together we will find a way for everybody to get good images. This is definitely a good start. Thanks and greetings from Germany
RonnyDecember 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm #3138
@jkallmeyer, Hey Jack now I see the failure … yes you are absolutely right the distortion at the edge is quite high but the pics from Tynessa are not so bad and give me the feeling that there is a way to make them even better. I know that these set ups will not reach the level of a professional camera with special macro lens but we always have to think about the budget. I will try to make some testings with different models. Maybe I can figure out which one should be recommended and which one we can forget.
RonnyDecember 28, 2015 at 6:01 pm #3139
and Jack, @jkallmeyer, I really like the whitened pic, the surface is perfectly showing every detail! Good job! Excellent example for how a good pic should look like.
Thank you for that one! Can’t wait for more 😉
greets from Germany
RonnyDecember 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm #3140Tynessa MorganParticipant
I honestly wasn’t trying very hard with those first pictures. I can play with it and see what I can do. A friend took me to the Dallas Makerspace last night and I was blown away by the access. There are table mount microscopes in the Creative Arts and Electronics rooms. They also have four 3D printers and a scanner.December 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm #3141Eleanor GardnerModerator
The web developers were able to fix the image upload problem. Yay! Please let me know if anyone finds any other problems in the forum or elsewhere in the site.January 4, 2016 at 5:24 am #3145
Hey Eleanor @egardner, it is always good to hear that problems have been fixed … Hooray!
RonnyJanuary 4, 2016 at 5:30 am #3146
@tmorgan, Thanks Tynessa, I am curious to see the results after playing a bit around with the lens. It is also a very good recommendation to use such community workshops like the Dallas Makerspace, it gives you so many possibilities and new ideas.
all the best
RonnyFebruary 3, 2016 at 11:44 am #3273
Hey everybody, @tmorgan, @jkallmeyer, @lcone, @cferrara. It has been quite a while since I came up with something new at this forum. I am working on some new tutorials and the one about digitization is next. Because it might still take some time to finish it I would like to give you some information about the progress that I don’t wanna withhold to you. I tried to figure out how to create a nice and simple but still very effective setup for the digitizing of your fossils and there is something I need to share. Here at the Museum we work with special light boxes when we take images of our objects, especially when we do that for the iDigBio database. I found an easy solution for all of us how to make a lightbox DIY. Just use a white plastic container and illuminate it with some regular lights from the outside. Then place your fossil at a velvet covered sand bag at the inside and take your shots. That way you will get some well composed images of your objects without any cast shadows. Please try that at home and tell us about your experiences.
RonnyFebruary 3, 2016 at 12:06 pm #3274February 3, 2016 at 4:30 pm #3276
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.
JackFebruary 9, 2016 at 7:55 pm #3293
Just chiming in, I’ve found that white boxes/soft boxes lined with black felt can be an inexpensive way to photograph small-to-medium-sized fossils, without washing them out or causing too much glare. When I was photographing fossil tracks that were far too big for that kind of box, a simple black felt with cardboard and a well-adjusted clamp lamp can be just as good, with a little occasional help from Photoshop to pull out some of the white light.
I like the idea of a DIY lightbox, in the past I’ve just used trial-and-error with black felt or used the aforementioned soft box/white box. Happy to be a part of this discussion!February 10, 2016 at 10:37 am #3294
Hello Taormina @taorminalepore, I am happy to hear that you like it and I also like your recommendations with the black felt. Yes, that is what we need some input on best practices that everybody can use. What kind of trace fossils have you already digitized? Maybe this is something for our fossil gallery???
all the best
RonnyFebruary 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm #3306
Hi Ronny (@rleder), most of what I’ve digitized are either specimens under an NSF grant for CU-Boulder and CU-Denver (all tracks), or specimens I’ve photographed for industry purposes (mostly shells and other non-trace fossils). They aren’t available online, unfortunately, though I thought the grant photos were going to be a part of a website. Haven’t heard any updates on that since 2012, however.February 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm #3309
Hey Tara @taorminalepore,
maybe this is just the right place to upload your findings. Here you don’t have to wait 😉
RonnyFebruary 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm #3311
@rleder Hey Ronny,
Yeah but I don’t have any of them, and the industry photos are business confidential until released in an EIR or other final environmental report.
I did find the website for the tracks, though! I photographed almost all of these specimens.
TaraFebruary 15, 2016 at 10:24 am #3320
@taorminalepore, haaaa, just viewed the track fossil images that you made for Natural History Museum University of Colorado,
these are very nice, exactly what we needed … what a pity!!! Maybe we can post their site? Can you manage to get the permission for that???
RonnyMarch 1, 2016 at 1:54 pm #3365
Hey everybody … the new video tutorial about digitizing your fossil collection is online … just check this link https://youtu.be/3YBUB2Xo63s (correct link) and give me some feedback …
RonnyMarch 1, 2016 at 4:50 pm #3370
Very impressive. It looks like you covered all aspects quite well.
I have a few of comments.
1) You mention using a color checker. That’s a very good idea and I wish I had thought of it. You didn’t show this close up and I would like to get one. Can you tell me more about it?
2) You mention using Play Doh or modelling clay to stabilize the fossil for photography. I know that modelling clay is oil based and can leave an oily residue on the fossil. I don’t know about Play Doh. I use a product that I have heard called Ticky Tack. When I buy it the name is always different. I get it a Hobby Lobby. It looks and works like modelling clay but is stickier. It is not oil based and leaves no residue. It is meant for temporarily holding objects.
3) You indicated that light direction from the upper left was the correct way to light objects but the set-ups you used were not made to do this. They appeared to have even lighting from both sides.
4) Thanks for mentioning the different lighting needed for objects with surface texture.
5) Early in the video you said not to use flash. At the time, you were still talking about cell phone photos so I presumed that is why you said that. Flash was never mentioned again. I hope you didn’t intend to eliminate flash as a viable light source. That is my only lighting unless I’m in the field. The set-up gets more complex though.
As I said earlier this was very well done although I missed Eleanor as your assistant 🙂
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