Photographic Set-up

Photographic Equipment

STOP PRESS | See my more recent post on rapid, cost-effective lithic photography »


Lithics have been photographed using a Canon EOS 450D digital camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (set to Aperture Priority) with professional photographic lighting (2x 300 Watt opal, filtered white, lateral, no fluorescent overhead). As a matter of expedience, images are captured as JPEG files and not Raw files, although the latter is preferential for maximum flexibility in subsequent adjustment and correction. Depth-of-field is the biggest challenge for larger artefacts. Maintaining a smaller aperture (higher f/ value) provides a marginally greater depth with the macro lens.

Sexy flintPictures are adjusted using Corel® PaintShop Photo Pro X3 against grey and primary colour scales captured during photography. Original photographs also include a millimetre scale that is later cropped and overlain by a graphic scale. The background is generally matt ivory black card (Windsor 6441850) for flint and chert, and neutral grey (Windsor 6450857) for jet. White card proves too great a contrast for effective use.

A significant variance in exposure speed and ISO values was needed for different materials. In general, optimal results were achieved with the following settings, subject to some variation in ambient lighting conditions with best efforts to minimise intrusive ambient light—blackout environment has not been available:

Colour Aperture Exposure Time ISO Value Metering Mode Background
Yellow-Red f/3.5 1/60 to 1/80 200 to 400 Pattern Matt black
Mid Grey f/5 to f/5.5 1/30 to 1/60 600 to 800 Pattern Matt black
Pale Brown-Grey f/10 to f/11 1/20 to 1/30 800 Pattern Matt black
White-Pale Grey f/5.6 1/60 640 Pattern Matt black
Black (Jet) f/9 1/25 800 Pattern Neutral grey1

[1] Background adjusted to 100% black (fill conversion) in PaintShop Photo Pro.

One thought on “Photographic Set-up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s