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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
How to photograph my specimen(s)
  
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Tracy




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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2006 16:58    Post subject: How to photograph my specimen(s)  

Thank you for setting up a feature that allows us to publish photos to the website. I would like to publish some photos of my own pieces to get help ID'ing them. But, I am finding it difficult to take good pictures of them! Problems include: 1) the crystals, which are small, sparkle under light or flash and you don't see them clearly at all in the picture; 2) I do not have sophisticated camera equipment to take a nice photo under magnification; and 3) I don't know what is the best way to position the specimen for the photo. Can you please offer advice? - e.g., best lighting, best background, how to reduce glare/reflection, how much of the specimen to photograph, what to focus on, how to capture the most detail, and any other tips. Thank you.
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2006 04:50    Post subject: Re: How to photograph my specimen(s)  

TAK,

Parés is already writing an answer to your question. As we assisted recently to Munich and Barcelona Shows and the answer is no so easy we had a delay to prepare it, but it will be ready soon.

Jordi


TAK from NJ wrote:
______________________________________________________________________

> Thank you for setting up a feature that allows us to publish photos to the
> website. I would like to publish some photos of my own pieces to get help
> ID'ing them. But, I am finding it difficult to take good pictures of them!
> Problems include: 1) the crystals, which are small, sparkle under light
> or flash and you don't see them clearly at all in the picture; 2) I do not
> have sophisticated camera equipment to take a nice photo under
> magnification; and 3) I don't know what is the best way to position the
> specimen for the photo. Can you please offer advice? - e.g., best
> lighting, best background, how to reduce glare/reflection, how much of the
> specimen to photograph, what to focus on, how to capture the most detail,
> and any other tips. Thank you.
______________________________________________________________________
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Jordi Deusedes
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2006 10:35    Post subject: Re: How to photograph my specimen(s)  

You don't need a very good camera to take photos of mineral specimens, but it helps to have one with a "macro" mode option. If you have it then select it and use the maximum zoom available that is still in focus. The flash tends to overlight the picture, so you should turn it off and use a separate light source. Finally you should open the aperture to get a wide deep field of focus and select a short exposure time to obtain the right light in the picture.
Although this is evident, in fact the best photo is the one that gives the most beautiful view of the mineral while highlighting its features. It is your job to find the best way to do this. The photo should be as lifelike as possible, giving the viewer a good idea of how the mineral appears in person. If you think that a close-up image of the specimen could help, then you can take a second picture showing that detail.

To avoid reflections you can try turning the mineral just a little bit until to find an angle where they are least likely to appear.

The background to choose is the one that contrasts with the mineral. Usually we use a dark background, but with dark specimens a white background might be better. Anyway, I think that when it comes to photography, the best teacher is practice. I encourage you to do this and to have fun.

Parés
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Tracy




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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2006 20:26    Post subject: The best way to photograph (continued)  

Thank you Pares for your suggestions. One additional question I have is about lighting: the two specimens I wish to photograph and post to the Forum both have small and sparkly crystals. There doesn't seem to be lighting that will not cause a lot of glare/reflection. What is the best lighting to use for pieces like these? Sunlight or direct indoor light shows the best color, but also the most reflection. Indirect light reduces glare, but in exchange the colors don't come through as well. What would you recommend? I would appreciate any input.

Also, as I am photographing these specimens to get help ID'ing what they are and/or where they came from, is it helpful to capture some of the matrix as part of the photo I will post?

Thanks!
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Jordi Deusedes
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2006 12:43    Post subject: Re: The best way to photograph (continued)  

I think natural light is best, in order to capture the true color of the specimen. Other light sources can change the color of the minerals that you are trying to photograph. Proper representation of color is an important and difficult feature in digital photography.
To minimize problems caused by strong reflections in crystals you can use a thin translucent paper between the light source and the mineral.
My opinion is that you have to have one photo of the whole specimen and another of its most interesting feature(s) to help identify it.

Parés
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jmtr




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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2006 14:54    Post subject: Need some details how you took pictures  

Hi,
It is always a pleasure visiting your site. The pictures are of great quality. My questions are :
1) What kind of camera do you use?
2) what is the type of lighting ?
3)what are the mark of the bulbs ?
4) I have heard about Solux 4700K ; Do you use them ? If so, where do you buy them ?
5) How do you manage to always have the exact color of minerals (such as the dioptase, the fluorites, ...) ?
Thanks very much and Best Regards
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Dec 11, 2006 06:50    Post subject: Re: Need some details how you took pictures  

1) What kind of camera do you use?: Nikon Coolpix 5400

2) what is the type of lighting?: Standard halogen bulb light, eliminating all other kind of lights (day light or neon light)

3)what are the mark of the bulbs : Standard halogen bulbs

4) I have heard about Solux 4700K ; Do you use them ? If so, where do you buy them?: No idea

5) How do you manage to always have the exact color of minerals (such as
> the dioptase, the fluorites, ...)?: With Photoshop and working hard! ;-)

Hopefully it helps,

Jordi
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Joan R.




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PostPosted: Nov 29, 2007 05:59    Post subject: Re: How to photograph my specimen(s)  

Hi,

In macrophotography I am working with a Reflex OLYMPUS E-330 and macrolenses 50mm. You need enough light to reduce exposure time.
About compact cameras you could find in the market good ones, but if possible, is better to test the macro or supermacro function.
I use three or four CFL fluorescent bulbs daylight on 6400K. This light is good for digital cameras but you can adjust colour temperature from the camera.
Two external flashes are a great idea but it is expensive and you must to calculate flash position to get or not light shadows.

Using microscope is better, from my point of view, halogen bulbs field on 20-30º. You could focus the light and get more contrasted shadows. My camera is a Canon Powershot A-80 with UNILINK adaptor. Few weeks ago I bought a Canon Powershot A-640 but UNILINK is not good because vignetage. I need help on USA adaptors!!!

In order to reduce "burning" areas in the photo you could use opaline plastics or "vegetal" paper (see picture) between light source and specimen. Also you could illuminate some areas with reflectors (aluminium paper...).



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_________________
Joan Rosell
lengenbach(.)com
Grup Mineralògic Català
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