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EarthGrl
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How to take great photos of specimens
Oct 10th, 2017 at 6:38am
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I have never taken shots of my collection, and I would like to do so, so that I have an inventory of all my stones with pictures and info. I tried taking photos yesterday, but they turned out like crap. I had the flash turned on, which seemed to make it so illuminated that I was unable to see all the little details. If the flash is turned off, it's too dark to see much of anything on the stone. I'm wondering how you guys take such excellent photos of your specimens. What can I do?
I have a Kodak pixpro AZ361, 36X IS wide angle. I really don't want to have to get another camera, but could this be the reason my photos are bad? Or maybe it's just me lol  Grin
  

Brittany
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Scott LaBorde
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Re: How to take great photos of specimens
Reply #1 - Oct 10th, 2017 at 7:39am
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Well depending on how much manual control you have of your camera you should be able to take very decent pictures. If you can manipulate the shutter speed you can adjust the exposure such that even a dimly lit room will yield all the light you need.  You should never use flash if at all possible. Experiment with longer and longer exposure times to figure how much you need before specimen gets over exposed (to much light). If you cannot adjust the exposure time you'll need to add more light via desk lamps, over head lighting, LED's, even using sunlight if possible. Some say that light is almost entirely what makes a good picture.  Get your light situation taken care of and I'd say you're more than halfway to a great picture.
  

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EarthGrl
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Re: How to take great photos of specimens
Reply #2 - Oct 10th, 2017 at 12:12pm
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Thanks! I'll attempt to make adjustments.
  

Brittany
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Scott LaBorde
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Re: How to take great photos of specimens
Reply #3 - Oct 11th, 2017 at 8:46am
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Oh and I forgot to mention that if you lengthen your exposure time you'll definitely need to have a tripod.  You can't hold the camera and take good specimen photo's as they will be very blurry and poor quality.
  

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Tim4d
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Re: How to take great photos of specimens
Reply #4 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 8:55am
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Two easy ways to nice lighting:  1) Wait for a day with thin overcast clouds across whole sky.  Take a backdrop like a white sheet outside, clothes-pin it to a couple of lawn chairs and let it drape down and across the ground.  Put your rocks on the sheet, sit down and take the photo.  The thin-overcast sky creates a giant light box with minimum shadows.  2) On a bright sunny day, find "open shade" like where a building casts a large shadow, but you can still see blue sky (the blue sky provides the light without the harsh shadows of direct sunlight).  Do the same makeshift backdrop.
   Often I just find open shade and hold the rock in one hand if I don't care about optimum results.
  
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Re: How to take great photos of specimens
Reply #5 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 9:02am
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Also, catch the light before sunrise, just after sunrise, before sunset, and just after sunset.  The light is more diffuse and approaches from a low angle, so you can play with that as you arrange your shot.  You have to move fast because the ideal light does not last long.  (The overcast and open shade techniques can  be used throughout the day at leisure.)
  
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