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Photographing minerals / Fotografare i minerali

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In this page I describe my tecnique and the equipment I use to photograph my minerals. I am not a professional photographer but I am just an amator.

First of all, the camera I choose for the macrophotography is a Canon digital reflex EOS 400d (no longer produced, but still working properly). In order to avoid micromovements and out-of-focus images, I decide to use the following.

The tripod (Cullmann mini 50011) and the device described in the picture opposite, tools necessary to keep the pressure off the camera when taking the photograph.

 

Then, the lens: it is a 60 mm (EF-S 60 mm f2.8 Macro USM), which I usually use in autofocus mode.

Additionally, I sometimes use its Tubolar extension EF 25 (Canon) to zooming on small crystals; in this case it is advisable to swith from aoutofocus mode to manual mode, in order to adjust the image to taste.

Now letís go to the photography bench, made up of different parts. 

The frame is made of aluminium bars, bought in a local DiY store, cut by myself, screwed and glued together very easely in a very short time.

The back panel is made of dull white plexiglass. Below it there is a lamp used to contrast the light coming from above to avoid unwanted shadows. The top lamp is mainly used to illuminate the object and its secondary purpose is to create shadow effects on one or more area as it is adjustable.

   

 

The Walimex Daylight 150, with a 6400 K lamp, produces a wide range of soft light, that prevents unexpected shadows. In addition, I use pieces of paper - black or white - to create artificial reflections to enhance some colours, details, etc. of the minerals. I usually download images with any standard software programme. I select images with XnView (a freeware software programme), which is very user friendly; afterwords I switch to TheGimp (another freeware software tool) because it is more powerful and flexible to photoshop images. Finally, the images are published with Share point Designer, which is also a web designer tool.

 




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