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Found 6 results

  1. Sadness

    Someone broke into my jeep last Friday night and stole my small digital camera used on collecting trips, my brand new Estwing rock pick (l3ather wrapped handle -gift from a friend) & my Estwing drilling hammer, chiselsk and some phone/ audio cables. Not enough for an insurance claim and most everyone says I lost just a bunch of hammers.
  2. I recently posted a report here about the finds I made on a trip to the Wutach Valley and promised that the next time I went there, I would finally remember to take my camera along. For those of you who may not be aware, the Wutachtal (in German) is quite a large area and also the name of a municipality in the southeastern Black Forest region. Within this area are a good number of beautiful nature reserves, the best known of which is the Wutachschlucht, or Wutach Gorge in English. It's not quite as huge as the Grand Canyon, but is certainly comparable with the Verdon Gorge, a famous tourist trap in the Provence in France. The Wutach (English: angry brook) has its source in the highest peak of the Black Forest massif, and winds its way eastward through crystalline paleozoic sediments and then more and more rapidly cutting down through first Permian, then Triassic and finally Jurassic and Cenozoic layers. One would think when you move down that the layers would get older, but due to 2 successive tectonic uplifts in the Late Jurassic and late Cretacous periods, the entire southern German tectonic plate is tipped 7° to the east. All of the Cretaceous sediments were also eroded away a long time ago, which is why they can't be found, even underground, in southwestern Germany. The area that has particularly interested me is the one in the municipality of Wutachtal, where a good portion of the Jurassic layers are exposed. It's a classical area for geologists and paleontologists and of course amateur collectors like myself. I've been exploring and looking for exposures for many years, first focussing on the Lower Jurassic, then particularly the Middle Jurassic Aalenian and Bajocian stages and now for going on 2 years, I've been concentrating my efforts on the Callovian Wutach Formation. I've managed to find an area where I've been able to regularly make some finds and recently returned to an exposure which panned out quite well, so I decided I definitely had to get back there again soon. So I was just there yesterday. Here come some pics of it to which I'll first describe the exposure for you. What you see here is a series of mostly soft clay marl layers with the odd hard marly limestone bank in between. Almost all of the sediment is extremely turbidite and full of iron oolites, which accounts for the pronounced red, reddish-brown, yellowy and violet tints. In the middle of the photo is the negative imprint of a large Macrocephalites ammonite which I dug out on the previous excursion. This imprint sits on top of a hard limestone bank. The sediment above it is a much softer clay, which allows mostly for a successful excavation of the fossils in this particular bank. And at this partular small exposure I should add. Conditions can vary when one moves horizontally. Nevertheless, fossils found in this bank here are by far the best preserved. This photo shows the same layers, just a little to the right. And here a little to the left. Note the white limestone sinter, which can be a disturbance to the fossils. The lithological name for this zone is the "Rotes Erlager". As a biozone it's called the herveyi zone. This is about 1 meter thick. This pile which lies between pic 1 & 3 accomodates my scree, broken bits of ammonites, for the moment. I'll be removing it later on, just as I have in the past at the other points, in order to get at the layers. This was my first find of the day. Looks to be a Choffatia sp. Slightly deformed. A couple more. Not easy to see what's in the matrix, is it? Now you know why I use an air abrader You just have to break up some of these big rocks in order to get the little jewels out. Otherwise your knapsack is so heavy by the end of a successful day, that you can't heave it onto your back any more. At this point, I'd dug into the sinter vein. Time to get it out and get around it. I've just run out of pixels. Time to move on to the next post
  3. iPhone Cameras - A Warning

    I recently upgraded from an iPhone 4s to an iPhone SE. After taking a few photos, I am not at all happy with the results. Compare 4s camera (left) with SE (right): Zoom in 100% to get the full result. Note the difference in fine detail, especially the grass. As it turns out (and unfortunately, as you can plainly see), Apple decided that photos look better with aggressive noise reduction (i.e. aggressive detail reduction). I guess the watercolor/Monet-like effect is nice in some cases, but certainly not all the time. After extensive online and on-phone research, this 'feature' cannot be switched off/reversed (how typical). There may be apps that can remedy this problem, but I'm not sure yet. For now, I'll have to use the old phone for photos.... So if you are shopping around for a new phone and have a quality camera in mind, be aware that this phone (and apparently iPhone 6) has this problem (not sure about the iPhone 7).
  4. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with simple video cameras, mag 20 - 800 x for prep work? I was thinking of getting one and putting it in my prep "box". Much cheaper than a microscope and swing arm. I could run the cable out and right to my lap top. The write-up says focal length can be adjusted out to 200 mm. More than enough to work on small fossils. thanks, Tim
  5. microscope for phone

    if you don't want to spend the money for a microscope or microscope camera here is a low budget device that will get acceptable micro pix. For $10. It will also work well on small megafossils. I got this at the mostly defunct Radio Shack, but I am sure it is still around. ( got it last X-mas) It slides on over your phone camera lens, and provides its own illumination. Just move it up or down to focus ( variable X) and take the photo. I have provided both edited and unedited pix to compare. (the only editing was to get them the same size). These specimens are from the U.Ordovician , Grant Lake Formation, Elk Creek , KY 2-3 mm in length. They are on standard 60 grid micro slides, about 3.5 mm on a side for each box.
  6. This is not a review but merely my personal experience with this camera. I borrowed this camera from a colleague and there are several things I like about it. It is tough. The specifications says It's shockproof from heights up to 2.1 metres, waterproof to 15-metre depths, freeze proof to -10°C and also able to withstand 100kg of crushing force. Nice with a camera you don't have to worry about when taking it with you out in the field looking for fossils. No more worries about the camera being crushed in the rucksack because you by mistake have placed a big fossil on top of it. I also like the ide that I can take pictures without first washing the dirty sediments on my hands. I simply wash the camera afterwards if it gets dirty. It is good for macro photos. The camera have several different macros settings fx when the camera setting is turned over to the symbol of a Microscope (Super Macro) it lets you get as close as 0.4-inches from your subject. Very good for taking photos of small fossils. My personal favourite is when the camera is turned over to the symbol of a ladybug. Here the camera have a build in photo stacking function. When pressing the shoot button in this mode, the camera takes a series of photos, at different focus distances and combines them to one sharp image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images. Normally this is a time consuming process, that have to be done on a computer whit a program like Helicon Focus but here it is done in seconds in the camera. Here you can see the diference normal macophoto whit the build in fotostacking function
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