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Chapter: Surgical Pathology Dissection : Photography

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Troubleshooting - Photographing Specimens

If you are using a piece of glass to support the specimen, watch out for reflections.

Troubleshooting

Reflection

If you are using a piece of glass to support the specimen, watch out for reflections. A valuable photograph can be ruined when overhead (ceil-ing) lights, the photographer’s hand, or the photographer’s face is seen reflected in the background. Always use a cable release (the ex-tender cable that allows the photographer to trigger the shutter from a distance), not only to keep the camera still but also to avoid reflections in the glass. Fixed specimens reflect much less light than fresh specimens. If the specimen is fresh, reflected light can be reduced by drying the surface of the specimen with a paper towel. Before tripping the shutter, look through the viewfinder and study the field. Make sure that the lighting and arrangement best demonstrate the pathology of interest.

Exposure

Once an exposure test has been made and an exposure chart posted, the camera should consis-tently produce uniform high-quality exposures. A photograph that is too light is likely due to overexposure. The simple solution is to close the aperture. (For example, an f-stop setting of 11 can be changed to a setting of 16 or 22.) If the photograph is too dark, simply open the aperture so that the film receives more light. With a little practice and a standard system, you should be well on the way to top-quality speci-men photographs.


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