November 7, 2018
Using an automatic photo editor to quickly take care of your fossil photos is great because it means you don’t have to put in much effort and the editor does all the work for you. But sometimes you just have to take the reins and make your editor act the way you want it to. When that happens, you need to be aware of the changes you should be focusing on making to your photos rather than getting confused in the plethora of tools at your disposal.
Why You Need to be Careful
First of all, let’s understand why this is important. Fossils are a physical remnant of nature. They are what help us understand this world and our own lives. To misrepresent them in any way is to misrepresent the history of the world. That is why you need to be very careful when documenting fossils in photographs. You can’t get creative with your photos like you would with other kinds of photography because you’re documenting something and not creating art.
So, with that out of the way, let’s go over some important aspects of your images that you should be focusing on while editing:
Exposure and Contrast
The exposure of such photos has to be spot on for them to provide as much visual detail as possible. The first thing you should look at when opening a fossil image in an editor, therefore, is the exposure. If you shoot in RAW, which you should, you can easily adjust the exposure, brightness, and highlights of your photo without affecting the image quality negatively.
Contrast is also an important factor. The photos have to be accurately portrayed and a balanced contrast is crucial for that. If you have too much contrast, the photo will start looking like a poster and if you have too little contrast then it will look like a vintage photo with soft details.
Color and White Balance
If you are taking your fossil photos in color, then it has to be realistic. You can’t just make the image more saturated because it looks better. Try to bring your photo as close to the real thing as possible. Use a color accurate screen to make your edits on too, because a display with poor color calibration will trick your eyes.
White balance also plays a big role in how images come out. Try to set the white balance for each new space you’re shooting in to have a uniform look overall. Again, if you shoot in RAW, then you can adjust this completely in an editor.
Noise and Sharpness
Noise can creep into your photos at high ISO ranges, but always remember that if you have to choose between a slow shutter speed or a high ISO, go for the high ISO if the shutter speed will make your image go blurry. A noisy photo is always better than a blurry one because noise can be controlled to an extent in an editor. So, if you have ended up with a noisy photo, make sure you use noise reduction but be careful not to overdo it at all. A lot of beginners like to push the noise reduction slider to the extreme but while it does reduce noise, it also makes the fine details disappear.
The same is the case with sharpness. A fossil should look crisp and sharp in your photos so nailing the focus during shooting is important. Don’t over-sharpen your photo later on because that just ends up making it look artificial with artifacts making a mess of your photo.
With these simple suggestions, you can take much better photos of fossils. Image editors are an important part of today’s photography, but while they are amazing at all the control they provide, they can also be trickier to use than you may think. For that reason, you should follow these tips, practice your editing skills, and then apply them to finalize your photos.
March 11, 2018
It might seem like the simplest, most basic part of photography, but it’s shocking how many people don’t give it the attention it deserves. It doesn’t matter how properly you set up your studio to photograph fossils, it doesn’t matter how good the light is, and it doesn’t matter if you use the best HDR software to take photos outdoors.
None of it matters if you miss focus on your subject.
Make Sure You Get Focus
Once you have set up your subject and your shot, you need to make sure that your subject is in tack sharp focus. This matters more in something like fossil photography because you want to capture as much detail and realism as possible in the photo. If you miss focus, the fossil will look more like a piece of rock than anything else.
So in order to make sure you have the focus at the right point, follow these tips:
So the next time you need to document any fossils, either in a studio or outdoors, remember to pay special attention to where your camera focuses.
December 26, 2017
Dinosaurs would have been fascinating animals if they still existed. Although, we probably wouldn’t be able to write this blog if they did. Anyway, the point is that these were massive, powerful, majestic animals that died. All they left were fossils; signs of their existence that we humans have been able to use to build full-scale models in our museums.
If you are as fascinated by dinosaurs as we are, you probably love to take photos of their skeletons at museums. We have some tips to make sure that your photos turn out great.
Dinosaur skeletons are big, museums are small, and people in these museums are aplenty. So you can’t always get the full skeleton in your frame with just any lens. That is why we suggest you use a wide angle lens that ensures you get the whole animal in your shot.
Taking your camera lower to take a shot instead of from eye level will further enhance the scale and height of the dinosaur. Try different angles and perspectives to see what works best. Be creative with your framing and you might end up with a great-looking image.
Use creative effects to make your photograph unique. If the skeleton is placed outdoors, try HDR photography. This will ensure that your photo is well exposed and the sky doesn’t completely take over the photo. To learn more about HDR photography, head on to www.aurorahdr.com.
You can also take monochrome images for that feeling of ‘timelessness’. Taking a long exposure photo can also produce great results where the people moving around can be shown in blurs of color while the majestic skeleton looms over them.
Whatever kind of photograph you take, just make sure you do justice to the presence of these amazing creature that once ruled the earth.
September 10, 2017
What’s better for a photographer who loves history to get their hands on some prehistoric fossils? Fossils are amazing. They hold within themselves stories that are countless years old. They tell us about things we could never otherwise even imagine. So when it comes to taking photos of these prehistoric fossils, it needs to be done right.
You can’t just place a fossil somewhere random and start taking photos. You have to be careful with it. Bring it to your studio, create a black background, and then shoot. A black backdrop is important because it will not affect the actual colors or tones of the fossil and will let the details come through in the photos.
A lot of photographer forget to take care of their camera’s white balance when shooting something like a fossil. In order to record the fossil as close to its actual form as possible, your white balance needs to be very precise. If you don’t know how to set the white balance on your camera, just shoot in RAW (which you should be doing anyway) so you can alter this later on.
Many fossils have colors and minerals in them. A soft flash will go a long way in bringing these details out. Be careful not to use flash directly on the fossil as this will likely wash out all details and ruin the colors. Use a diffuser and make the light softer and experiment with what works best. These kind of little tweaks will help you a lot in taking realistic photos prehistoric fossils.