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Thread: Photographing...Rocks!

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  1. #1
    Jan 2019
    338 times


    I have to say, I never thought I would have to ask this, but what is the best way to photograph a rock? (Besides a pretty girl holding said rock!) LOL

    The other day I had to do some photos, and while they came out okay, I think I made some mistakes. What are some pointers for photographing rocks?

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    N-Lionberger likes this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    Apr 2017
    Fontana, California
    480 times
    when i take photos of items to sell on ebay i use a flat green or felt background it works for me. Example.
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    Last edited by Mine Shaft; Jan 24, 2019 at 12:17 PM.
    gold tramp and tamrock like this.

  3. #3

    Dec 2014
    Bodfish and Marin county CA
    Garrett , Whites keene puffer drywasher , Keene A51 Sluice
    936 times
    Drywashing , Sluicing , Panning
    I have nothing to offer but I do like your idea of a purty girl holding it
    gold tramp, ratled, Bonaro and 2 others like this.
    Stay thirsty my friends

  4. #4
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4374 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Contrast of colors, like a green CLOTH like felt/fur/microfiber or other color that compliments the basic rock colors for a background, remove shadows with fill in lighting (be sure it is a white light as some flashlights are not), sunlight is good IF you put up a white cloth overhead to block the harshness of the light but watch for shadows so use fill in light, using a stand (like a glob of clay) under the rock can minimize shadows by lifting it up off of the background.

    A real camera vs a cell phone camera can improve the quality of the picture (more megapixels improves the clarity of the picture like going from a 4 to 12 megapixel or greater sensor) and of course having the camera on a tripod improves the quality of the photo clarity a great deal especially if the camera has a timer on it as pushing the shutter release button of the camera causes the camera to shake (or use a remote control)!

    Little things make a big difference! If you must use a cell phone or do not have a tripod then brace both arms to eliminate your body movement/shaking (put a chair or small table between you/the camera and the rock and brace your arms on that chair or table, use the zoom feature to obtain a picture of the rock not all of the background and remove shadows). Any movement of the camera will blur the details of the photo, do all you can to eliminate any movement of the camera at the instant the picture is taken!!

    With digital cameras taking lots of pictures is SO easy and then just delete the ones that are not the best. Experiment and have fun improvising!................63bkpkr
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jan 25, 2019 at 09:24 AM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  5. #5
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    1811 times
    Late model cell phones have remarkable cameras and take great pics for having such a small imager. of course a real digital camera will do better. However, the best thing you can do is have good lighting. Non glaring reflected light coming from multiple directions to eliminate shadow is key.
    Make sure the sample is dry, water or wetness will cause reflections.

  6. #6
    Charter Member

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000; Equinox 600 -- Tesoro Mojave -- Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger -- Bunk's Hermit Pick
    21590 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I find that rocks with gold in them photograph much better than others.
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  7. #7
    Gold Tramp

    Dec 2012
    1856 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Soloman View Post
    I find that rocks with gold in them photograph much better than others.
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    Photo courtesy
    You gotta admit these hunks of ore photograph fairly nice.
    Terry Soloman likes this.

  8. #8
    Mine President, XPBC, GIH

    Dec 2013
    Arcata, California
    Fisher 1212-x Fisher Gold Bug 2 Whites 4900/SP3 Rocker boxes, Keene sluices, Bazooka sluice, 2.5", 4" lowbankers, highbankers. Witch Sticks.
    685 times
    Cant be as bad as photographing glass objects.
    63bkpkr and Tpmetal like this.

  9. #9
    Jan 2019
    338 times
    Hey thanks!

    No worries about taking a photo with a cell phone...I don't have one! They say only 7% of the population does not, so I figure I am just 6% away from being a 1%'er! Now I just have to find that Mother Lode and I will get the other 6%! (LOL)

    I do have a tripod and self-timer though, only because I take a lot of medicines that make me tremor. Over the years, despite having a crappy camera, and a $3 tripod bought at a thrift store, I have managed to take some decent photos like my wife's favorite, with us at a train station as if it we were in the 1940's. (You can be the judge on its quality though).

    With the rock above, I think I made the mistake of wetting it down, and on another rock, using a secondary rock to position the main subject rock, which took away from THE rock I wanted to photograph. I loved the green felt, that is an excellent tip, so thank you.

    Edited to say: This is the photo my wife loves, taken with a crappy point-and-shoot camera on a tripod with self-timer.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Charter Member

    Nov 2017
    Smith Mt. Lake Va.
    Teknetics Liberator Falcon MD-20 *********** Blue Bowl Angus MacKirk sluice Miller Table
    8895 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Photo light box easy/cheap to make
    russau and Clay Diggins like this.

  11. #11
    Jan 2017
    Western ny
    equinox 800, Whites mx sport, Garrot carrot, bounty hunter time ranger
    4512 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by N-Lionberger View Post
    Cant be as bad as photographing glass objects.
    black or grey background is easiest with glass i find

  12. #12
    Jan 2013
    Bounty Hunter
    1094 times
    Metal Detecting
    My biggest problem with photographing rocks is getting them to hold still.

  13. #13

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    4365 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Doubter in MD View Post
    My biggest problem with photographing rocks is getting them to hold still.
    And they wont answer my questions or smile for the camara!

  14. #14
    May 2014
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2803 times
    Quote Originally Posted by russau View Post
    And they wont answer my questions or smile for the camara!
    And they will not reveal their secrets until they are beaten (read as crushed) into submission.
    Last edited by arizau; Jan 30, 2019 at 09:18 AM.
    gold tramp likes this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!



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