What’s it like working for FossilPhiles? Part 1 of 5

This is the first in a series of posts by our FossilPhiles students about their experiences working in the lab.

Post from FossilPhiles student Judith,

8th Grade, Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy

There was this one time where there were only four of us left in the PaleoLab when we had to figure out a way to take pictures of one of the fossils, Postosuchus. We had to take pictures of the rib bones and the chunk was pretty heavy and big, too big to fit on our turntable. We could not take regular pictures of this certain type of fossil, so we had to come up with a new idea. Evie had suggested that we put it on a rolling cabinet and we put tape around it on the floor a certain amount of inches away so when we go around with the tripod, the pictures would be evenly spaced. But then we had trouble figuring how to get the backdrop to be black since the fossil was light in color. We also needed a way to get just enough light into the picture. The lab was really bright at the time so we needed a way to block out the unnecessary light to make sure that the photos didn’t looked washed out when we uploaded the photos to the computer. Evie thought of another idea for is all to work together.


Two of us held a big black cloth to act as the “background”, and one of us held the photo reflector above the fossil to block out the light that we didn’t need. So two of us held the black cloth and one of us held the cover.We had to go around about two times because the first time we went around the photos didn’t come out as good as we thought they would.

Lucky for us, the model turned out really good!

After that experience, we never felt so happy to have our hands back by our sides. Our arms were stretched out like an eagle in the sky for a good 20-25 minutes. This was one memory that will stay in my mind for a long time.


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