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Gatorman

Photographing Fossils

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Harry Pristis
... Keep in mind that my six megapixel camera, at its maximum setting, produces an image that is 68 megabytes (that is, 68 thousand kilobytes!) in size. ...

Just so we all understand some of these parameters, here is how my six megapixel Olympus camera produces different size images.

At SHQ (Super High Quality) it produces a 2816 x 2112 image at 144 ppi which is more than 68 Mb.

At HQ (High Quality) it produces a 2816 x 2112 image at 72 ppi which is 17 Mb (39 inches x 29 inches)

At SQ1 (Standard Quality 1) it produces a 1600 x 1200 image at 72 ppi which is 5.5 Mb (22.2 inches x 16.7 inches)

At SQ2 (Standard Quality 2) it produces a 640 x 480 image at 72 ppi which is 900 Kb (8.9 inches x 6.7 inches).

None of these parameters has a thing to do with the resolution setting on anyone's monitor.

If you are using your images on line, and if you are not editing them with image-editing software, it should be easy to see which camera setting (="quality") you should be using.

--------Harry Pristis

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Harry Pristis

No matter how well your lighting is situated, it seems that some minimal shadow will appear. Here's a way to eliminate that annoying shadow at the margin of the fossil you are photographing.

If you elevate the fossil on a small sheet of glass -- a glass stage or pedestal -- you can dissipate or eliminate all the shadow. A few inches elevation is all it takes. I use a piece of window glass that is 4" x 15" supported on each end by a translucent freezer container. For a white background, I lay down a sheet of printer paper between the supporting containers.

The glass is invisible in the image you make. (Sometimes I have to crop or otherwise clean up the edge of the glass or other extraneous lines that intrude on the image.) The larger the piece of glass, the fewer intrusions into the image.

I've been meaning to suggest this to the shark tooth collectors. Try it, you'll like it.

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obsessed1

Harry,

I can't wait to try your way of eliminating shadows as this seems to be a constant problem with my photos. Also as I read this post I thought I might share the way I downsize my photos. No one has ever said they couldn't view my pics so I guess my way works.

1. Rt. click on the image and then open with paint.

2. Click Image at the top.

3. Then choose renew/resize from the drop down menu.

4. Set both the Horizontal and vertical to 30% then apply

5. Then save as you normally would

The photo below was 3648 x 2736 = 2.39MB before I resized it.

I followed the above directions and it is now 1095 x 821 = 126KB.

post-281-1224620210_thumb.jpg

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Harry Pristis
Harry,

I can't wait to try your way of eliminating shadows as this seems to be a constant problem with my photos. Also as I read this post I thought I might share the way I downsize my photos. No one has ever said they couldn't view my pics so I guess my way works.

1. Rt. click on the image and then open with paint.

2. Click Image at the top.

3. Then choose renew/resize from the drop down menu.

4. Set both the Horizontal and vertical to 30% then apply

5. Then save as you normally would

The photo below was 3648 x 2736 = 2.39MB before I resized it.

I followed the above directions and it is now 1095 x 821 = 126Kb

Let us know how this trick works for you . . . rather, show us how it works! LOL

Our images represent us on the forum. They illustrate our ideas. They make our arguments. They are an attempt to share what we as individuals find edifying or worthwhile.

There are lots of reasons to want to produce good images, and I'm pleased that you share that desire.

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Guest bmorefossil
Harry,

I can't wait to try your way of eliminating shadows as this seems to be a constant problem with my photos. Also as I read this post I thought I might share the way I downsize my photos. No one has ever said they couldn't view my pics so I guess my way works.

1. Rt. click on the image and then open with paint.

2. Click Image at the top.

3. Then choose renew/resize from the drop down menu.

4. Set both the Horizontal and vertical to 30% then apply

5. Then save as you normally would

The photo below was 3648 x 2736 = 2.39MB before I resized it.

I followed the above directions and it is now 1095 x 821 = 126KB.

we use a program called image expert, seems to work great to me

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grampa dino

Do any of you have and or tried Photoshop Elements, I find it does everything the average person needs as for as the editing side of fossil photos go.(sizing colour fixing eg:) I still use the three sided cardboard coverered in tinfoil as a ligth refector,with side lighting and a flash for fill in when needed. ( look ma no beer)

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Northern Sharks

I use Photoshop Elements 4.0 for all my pics. Seems to work fine and is reasonably easy to understand

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Wakaritai

Nice picture. Does the change in dpi make a dramatic difference in details in the photo?

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on here about pixel dimensions vs DPI vs physical size vs file size.

1024 x 768 (for example) is the pixel dimensions of the file.

DPI (or PPI, for computers) means Dots (Pixels) per inch. (In other words, Dot/Pixel Density).

Inches (or other length measurement) represents the physical size of the image. This only to print media. Do not adjust this value for images not intended for physical printing.

Someone said 72 PPI is the max for computers... this is not fully correct as it implies that it can change. 72 PPI is the only setting for computers. This is set and cannot be changed (well, for the purposes here, it cannot be changed). So changing the "PPI" of a picture MUST increase total "inches", because PPI is set. Changing inches or DPI/PPI does not increase/Decrease pixel density (in other words, it cannot magically make the pixels on the receiver's computer closer together or farther apart. Pixels are physical and completely immobile on the screen)-- something has to give. If forced (set manually, such as in photoshop, above or below 72 DPI/PPI), the physical size will change (even if PS says it is the same). The reason you can change it is because of the fact that physical printers can actually increase "dot" density for a given physical size. So, PS is assuming that the image is intended for print, and that you know what you're doing. This is also why there is a drop-down choice of "inches" or "pixels" to change the image 'size.' This also means that, in general, 72 DPI/PPI can be translated as "intended for viewing on computers."

There are more implications and the like, but what it all boils down to is this: Don't fiddle with the 'inches' or 'DPI' (PPI) of the images intended for computer display. You'll get confusing results. It'll be a guessing game (or a mathematical game, for those so inclined) to work with this indirect way to eventually get the desired size on screen. The direct way to do it is to re-size by changing the pixel dimensions. Just adjust that X by X value and the (JPEG) compression until you get the desired combination of physical and file size that you want. You can also do it by percentage as someone suggested. This is my preferred way. It is basically the same thing, but with the added benefit that you won't have to do the 4x3 algebra if you aren't going to one of the basic 4x3 formats (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc.).

(It isn't as complicated as it sounds... but it is hard to explain. I hope I typed all that without error lol)

I'll also add that it is generally not good practice to aim for a specific file size. By that I mean, if it must be 2m or less, don't make every one a 2m BMP. Get the pixel dimensions you want, then compress it until you can clearly make out what you want. You should be easily able to get a 1024x768 JPG image clear enough to make out everything using only 200-400 KB. In the vast majority of cases, an 800x600 image of around 100KB should suffice. Well, for fossil identification, anyway. If the purpose of the image is to show a particularly highly detailed, large image, that might not apply.

Also, cropping out parts of the image that aren't needed (background, etc.) keeps file size down without any decrease in image quality. Again, that is for more utilitarian purposes. There would be many exceptions (for artistic purposes, for example).

Anyway, please keep the purpose of the image in mind when posting :)

For those on 56k (which includes myself, atm), it is prohibitive to view pages where full size images are displayed in the thread. Even 640x480 pics take a long time to load, and make a thread impractical to view. When posting images hosted off-site, please post a thumbnail, and link to the image. It is the best of both worlds, and is basically what the site does to locally-hosted images. For those not familiar with BB code, this is the code:

[url=http://link/to/large_file.jpg][img=http://link/to/thumbnail.jpg][/url]

And regarding programs, PhotoShop is widely regarded as the best photoediting suite out there. But, it is (VERY) expensive. I use it at my alma mater's digital studio labs when I'm around campus, but I generally use the GIMP. The GIMP is, by far, the best free image editing software out there. It is very powerful, and truly free (as in freedom and beer). By that I mean it is actual open-source software (not some adware-infested 'freeware,' 'shareware,' or 'demo'). There are WIN, MAC, and Linux versions. Not only that, I much prefer it over every piece of paid software I've ever used (on WIN), other than PS. If you don't have it, get it!

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Auspex

With the proliferation of malware, it has become more important to post pictures directly to the Forum, not through external links, which can contain some pretty nasty stuff!

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Rover

Personally, I use HP Image Zone to edit all of my images, whether taken with a camera or, as I've had to do quite often lately, with a scanner. I do very little to change the actual scanned images besides some heavy cropping, and that is more than enough to get the file within the required file size.

I always save my images as PNGs, which, while it necessitates resizing to get the image within the parameters for easy viewing, also circumvents the problems I've had with image quality with JPGs.

I'm still working on my photography set-up - as I still don't have a camera at my disposal, I've got plenty of time for this.

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Vaniman

Not sure if this has been said yet or not but paint.net is an amazing free photo editor which has photo-shop like capabilities.  You can create the "white background" look pretty easily and there is a ton of online resources for how to use this free tool.  I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a professional level photo editor without wanting to spend money.  Basically, the more time you put into the more you'll get out of it.  Cheers!

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gwestbrook
On 9/20/2007 at 7:30 PM, Gatorman said:

I would like to know how everyone takes pictures of their fossils, some members seem to crop the photo's and label them. What programs do you use? And how do you crop the image so cleanly?

I use the free app Paint.net which you can download here ( https://www.getpaint.net/ ) to adjust color, exposure and contrast and it can also be used to label and add arrows, etc. very simple interface and very intuitive. I also use Adobe Lightroom to do some fine-tuning of photos. 

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Bobby Rico

I am photoshop expert but I just use the tools that are included in an iPad to crop or lighten an image of a fossil. Also there is an option to add text and loom in.  But if I used a camera I would only  use photoshop. The iPad does a very good job and my pictures for TFF are always fine.

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