Photography Uncategorized

First Attempt at Photographing a Fluorescent Specimen

I’ve taken an interest in fluorescent rocks. This is my first attempt at photographing such a specimen. It’s a piece of petrified wood I found at Blue Diamond Nursery in Las Vegas, better known as Cactus Joes. (external link). The mineral in the wood causing the color may be Autunite.

I was actually looking for radioactive rocks, another new and mad hobby of mine. This petrified wood tripped my Geiger counter so I brought it home, not thinking until later about putting it under my UV lamp. Which rewarded me with what you see here.

Any subject is rarely well defined or sharp when there is little light. In this case, the only light is the glow of the mineral infused in the wood. Using a tripod, I first focused on the rock, then turned out the lights. I am working on other techniques to sharpen. Practice, practice, practice.

For you geeks, here’s the EXIF. I did the color correction in post, using Adobe Photoshop CC 2018. The original image was green, but, using the UV lamp, I went back to the rock and Photoshop until I had the yellow in the image that I was seeing in real life. I had a handheld ultraviolet lamp which I moved around for the fifteen seconds of exposure, trying to “wash” all areas of the rock with UV light. I used a tripod. Of, course.

Aperture Value: 4.969
Camera Owner Name: Thomas Farley
Color Space: sRGB
Components Configuration: 1, 2, 3, 0
Compressed Bits Per Pixel: 3
Custom Rendered: Normal process
Date Time Digitized: Jan 29, 2018 at 9:22:23 AM
Date Time Original: Jan 29, 2018 at 9:22:23 AM
Digital Zoom Ratio: 1
Exif Version: 2.3
Exposure Bias Value: 0
Exposure Mode: Manual exposure
Exposure Program: Manual
Exposure Time: 15
File Source: DSC
Flash: Off, did not fire
FlashPix Version: 1.0
FNumber: 5.6
Focal Length: 55
Focal Plane Resolution Unit: inches
Focal Plane X Resolution: 6,825.939
Focal Plane Y Resolution: 6,825.939
Photographic Sensitivity (ISO): 100
Lens Model: EF-M18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Lens Specification: 18, 55, 0, 0
Max Aperture Value: 5.596
Metering Mode: Spot
Pixel X Dimension: 6,000
Pixel Y Dimension: 4,000
RecommendedExposureIndex: 100
Scene Capture Type: Standard
Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor
SensitivityType: Recommended exposure index (REI)
Shutter Speed Value: 14.9933410728824
Sub-second Time: 42
Sub-second Time Digitized: 42
Sub-second Time Original: 42
White Balance: Manual white balance
AFInfo: 0.45, 0.4, 0.1, 0.2, n
Firmware: Firmware Version 1.10
Flash Compensation: 0
Focus Mode: One-shot AF
Image Stabilization: Panning (Tripod)
Lens Info: 18, 55, 0, 0
Lens Model: Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

One reply on “First Attempt at Photographing a Fluorescent Specimen”

Hello Thomas,
Come and join us at “Fluorescent Minerals”, the FB page of the Fluorescent Mineral Society. If you’re still interested or trying to photograph fluorescent minerals, we have all of the answers.


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