Matt Croxton

  • 6 months, 1 week ago

    Could Isaac, Sean, Gary, (others?) post their #2018SVP posters related to GABI RET 6 and NM/FL here? Thank you!

    @imagallanes @smoran @gary-morgan

  • 1 year, 3 months ago

    1. A native Floridian, I trained to be a forester/conservationist (not a teacher!). I am working, in fits and spurts, on an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction at USF. In the past year or so, I have become a bit of a bird nerd in my reading. I don’t mind bird watching, but I find learning about their behavior even more fascinating.

    2. I teach middle and high school project-based learning in science research and imaging at Lakeland Christian School in Lakeland, FL. I grew up in this area and recently moved back to it after living in Fort Myers. I have been an educator for almost 7 years, and like Melissa, I also coordinate my school’s science fair. I designed and maintain the website for my academic unit when I’m not assisting our competitive FTC robotics team.

    3. Patterns of diversification and dispersal are the most fascinating aspects of the GABI. One example I stumbled across recently is the convergence between certain taxa in North and South America: sabre-toothed smilodon in the north and a marsupial sabre-tooth equivalent in the south!

    4. I would love to understand more about the ecosystems and behaviors inferred from the fossil record associated with the GABI. Like Denise, I’m interested in the conservation lessons that can be gleaned from the GABI, as I feel the next generations of conservation scientists we are now teaching must be able to imagine new ecosystems, opportunities, and consequences that will result from accelerating change.

    5. A lesson plan idea I’d love to implement is getting my students into expeditionary learning through collecting fossils at the Peace River in Polk County, Florida. This is a well-known location and student finds here could stimulate lifelong interests in natural history and fieldwork. Because I enjoy seeing students instructing one another, I think there are many chances for students to “digitize and donate”—sharing the thrill of their own discovery with other students by giving away their fossils. They would learn vital museum skills for recording natural history information while experiencing the joys of giving, creating, and sharing.

    • Thanks for joining us Matt! I too find animal behavior to be quite fascinating. My background exposed me to animal observations, but my new challenge is to understand behavior through the fossil record. I think that your interest in digitization will be a great way to get your students involved in learning proper curatorial methods, as well as provide a spring board for them to begin their own experience with community outreach! I know that @bmacfadden will have a lot to say on both of these topics!

  • 1 year, 3 months ago
    Matt Croxton's profile was updated
  • 2 years, 6 months ago
    Lee Cone and Matt Croxton are now friends
  • 2 years, 7 months ago
    Matt Croxton updated their own Fossil #006402

    Classification

    From

    common

    To

    common

    Trilobite

  • 2 years, 7 months ago
    Matt Croxton updated their own Fossil #006813

    Classification

    From

    common

    To

    common

    Trilobite

  • 2 years, 8 months ago

    I’m sorry! I realize this small piece of peacock ore is not a fossil. The reason I chose to use it is because I thought the highly-textured, iridescent surface would show off any focus errors clearly – and it does.

    Here is some technical information on the shot:

    Lens: 200mm macro, f/7.1, 1/4 s exposure for each frame. Once a correct exposure was determined, the camera was set to manual mode to insure that this exposure time and aperture remained constant through the dozen images. The shutter was released by timer for each shot, to minimize camera vibration.

    Lighting: Two color-matched spotlights were used to illuminate ore, one to the left of the camera, and one to the right.

    Staging: I didn’t have a pristine piece of neutral colored fabric available, so I just rested the ore on my leather wallet for the images.

    Processing:

    Images were imported into Adobe Lightroom. An initial color temperature and exposure adjustment was made to one image and then these settings were “synchronized” to all the others. Full size tiff files were exported from Lightroom.
    The tiff image files were imported into Zerene Stacker. A depth map method of stacking was chosen. This method requires the user to manually mask out areas which do not contain image detail using a slider for control. In the case of this image, much of the dark background was mapped out in the creation of the depth map.
    The stacked image that was output from Zerene Stacker was imported to Photoshop.
    In Photoshop, my first step was to tone down the brightness of highlight regions while also bringing up shadow areas ever so slightly. I used a method sometimes called the Picture Postcard Workflow (PPW). If you are serious about good color balance and realistic image enhancement, investing your time learning the resources and using the panel at www.moderncolorworkflow.com is worth the effort.
    My next step in Photoshop was to enhance the color separation in a natural way by using, and then backing off the Modern Man from Mars (MMM) technique. See the link above for explanation on how this approach works. There is also a book if you are interested in learning all the enhancements possible in the PPW. All require a fairly advanced level of comfort at working with layers in Photoshop, but none are gimmicks.
    In my final steps, I corrected a color cast in the shadow tones that was imparted during color enhancement, by using curves and measuring color values to assure that the wallet was the neutral black that I knew it to be. Lastly, I applied a black gradient across the left, right, and top side of the image to darken the background and better focus attention on the subject. A spot or two in the background was retouched.

    I am attaching a single image from Lightroom, as it appeared prior to import into Zerene Stacker. It can serve as a “before” image for comparison to the final result.

  • 2 years, 8 months ago

    Now, here’s the closeup showing blurriness where detail should have been pixel-perfect if I’d moved through the focus range in smaller increments.

  • 2 years, 8 months ago

    Hi All,

    Sorry for my delay in following through on a focus stacking forkflow. I moved and have just started school, so I’ve been very busy!

     

    First, I’ll start with an example image that is a stack made of 12 images. Each image was manually focused using high magnification live view, and I still made mistakes in focusing too far between frames. “Over focusing” results in the strange areas of blurriness that you see when zoomed in to the full resolution. Some are indicated using black arrows, but there are still other areas blurred in just this small crop. So, the lesson to take from this exercise is that you should try and remove human error at every point possible

  • 2 years, 8 months ago
    Matt Croxton and Aaron Currier are now friends
  • 2 years, 8 months ago
    Matt Croxton and Taormina (Tara) Lepore are now friends
  • 2 years, 8 months ago
    Matthew Croxton uploaded a new image to Fossil #006813
  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matt Croxton posted an update

    @jkallmeyer
    Those traces and the crinoid pseudofossil were helpful. Thanks!

  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matthew Croxton uploaded a new image to Fossil #006813
  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matt Croxton posted an update

    @jkallmeyer
    Hi Jack,
    I will post my interpretation of the mud impressions as an additional image with that fossil. As I haven’t seen the literature, I’m relying on memory, and the Ordovician Atlas (http://www.ordovicianatlas.org/atlas/ichnofossils/).

  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matt Croxton updated their own Fossil #006892
  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matt Croxton updated their own Fossil #006892
  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matt Croxton updated their own Fossil #006892
  • 2 years, 9 months ago
    Matthew Croxton uploaded a new image to Fossil #006892
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