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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk 
Thread started 16 Jan 2016 (Saturday) 21:57
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Help with fossils

 
Sailor ­ Larry
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Jan 16, 2016 21:57 |  #1

I hope this is the right forum for this.

I find fossils on my place fairly regularly, some of them are pretty cool like the two I found this evening.

I don't think these are particularly bad shots (not great but not hideous) but I'm looking for suggestions for improvement. I have 3 YN 600rt speed lights and a couple of umbrellas but don't know how or if that much stuff needs to be deployed. I don't have any sort of macro lens just the EF-s 18-135 used on these, a EF-s 55-2250 and the EF 100-400 mkII

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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Jan 17, 2016 09:03 |  #2

Pretty cool finds, Larry.

I can't help you with your question, but the Talk forums aren't the most visited and this particular one (Still Life...) even less so.
Since you ask help with lighting your subjects, I suggest you post this in the Flash and Studio Lighting forum, which is here: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdis​play.php?f=35
or better, ask a mod to move it for you.


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Feb 03, 2016 07:01 |  #3

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Feb 03, 2016 07:25 |  #4

if you place one light at a decent distance and low angle from the fossils, the light will rake across the stone and cause more shadows on the face which will show more definition. It looks like this is what you were going for in the second photo, i think it would help the first if the flash raked across them at the same angle as the long dimension of the rock. I also don't like the position of the first shot in one line.

I would ditch the white paper and go with either black glass or a set up where you could light a translucent material from underneath to eliminate hard shadows.

one umbrella light directly above will provide some fill so the shadows aren't so harsh.


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Sailor ­ Larry
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Feb 03, 2016 23:08 |  #5

Thanks for the tips guys.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Feb 06, 2016 14:50 |  #6

.

I am curious to know what the intended purpose is for the images you wish to take.
Are you wanting to sell the fossils, such as listing them on eBay, and want photos to aide you in your attempt to liquidate the fossils?
Or are you simply looking to create beautiful fine art style images of the fossils?
It is hard to give advice or recommendations as to how to best photograph these items, without knowing the intention or purpose of the photos.

.


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Sailor ­ Larry
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Feb 10, 2016 20:34 |  #7

Reasonable question.
Mostly looking to increase my skills in general and as a practical exercise in lighting. Getting the proper/best lighting for these samples in order to get a quality image while maybe not particularly challenging or difficult for some is something I'm just learning how to do.
I do appreciate the suggestions so far.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 10, 2016 23:21 |  #8

.


Unfortunately, if it's lighting that you want tips on, then I can't be of help, as I know nothing about lighting (other than using ambient).

I was thinking more along the lines of composition and supporting elements. I bet if you take these out into mountainous and/or rocky environments, you could find some great ways to provide some context for the fossils.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
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"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 10, 2016 23:42 |  #9

You basically want two things...


  1. a somewhat weaker 'fill' light (larger diffuse source) from overhead to provide reasonable fundamental illumination of the entire object for basic photo purposes
  2. a somewhat stronger 'main' light (somewhat smaller, specular source) at an angle to the surface to provide contrasting shadows which give a viewer the sense of the object's 'form' and/or 'texture' of the surface


The purpose of the fill is to reduce the shadow contrast, so the eye can see detail in the shadows, but the shadows give a strong sense of the form/texture of the object.

Additional lights (and somewhat more advanced technique) would be used if the form has some 'edges' which you wish to highlight in order to give an even stronger sense of the lines of the object, especially if these are somewhat lost in the complexity of the shape of the obhject.

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Post edited over 2 years ago by Dan Marchant.
     
Jul 15, 2016 02:29 |  #10

1. If you want the white paper look it really needs to be clean. Either wash the fossils to remove any dirt and avoid scuffing the paper or clean up the background in post production.

2. Alternatively put them into context. Either shoot them outdoors or bring some dirt, rocks and geological tools into your home/studio and build a scene.

3. +1 to the comments about lighting. Get a flash low and off to one side to bring out the textures.

4. Go arty - As Brisket suggested try the black reflective base.

5. Go fun. Get an Indiana Jones hat or a Jurassic Park pin or create a fake flyer to a Journey to the Centre of the World talk at the Geographic Society.


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Jul 15, 2016 05:36 |  #11

Great find.

Search this forum for DIY Lightbox and you'll find a great idea for simple and inexpensive lightbox using white foam board. Eliminates the shadows making it a cleaner image.

Jealous that you have these on your property. Lucky guy!


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Jul 17, 2016 08:13 |  #12

I would like to add a suggestion that they might look good on a black background if you have no access to more natural backgrounds.


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Jul 26, 2016 17:00 |  #13

http://www.michaels.co​m/ (external link) sells sand which might make a good background for shells...
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Sailor ­ Larry
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Jul 29, 2016 21:04 |  #14

Thanks for the new suggestions. Haven't had a chance to revisit this one yet but it's still "on the list".




  
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kjonnnn
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Sep 21, 2016 16:56 |  #15

Fossils tend to have a lot texture. I would use more lighting that brings that out, ie, more side direct than diffused soft lighting.




  
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Help with fossils
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