Ammonite photography or Views of a Fossil

For the book I´m of course looking for some of the best Yorkshire lias ammonite specimen there are !
Of the approximately 220+ species known (and this is still somewhat of a moving target, i.e. I´m still finding new ones  in literature that I have not considered yet, but I might also have to get rid of some from my list since they’re only synonyms)  I boldly (actually, that´s pretty much verified) estimate that I have about 50 % in my collection (and this in itself is a moving target as well : as I´m looking through my collection and researching the species I regularly find species I never knew I had !) . Now some of these are close to perfect specimen that probably need no other one to complement them for the book. Others are just fragments, badly preserved, too small, too large, you name it,  where I´m looking for other collectors to possibly fill the gap and allow me to photograph their prized specimen.
But this might not always be possible, for example when you don´t trust me to give your ammonite back after borrowing, you might fear it gets lost on the way, you´re living too far away (or I for that matter…), our schedules are impossible to get to overlap, you´re not eager to show me your whole breathtaking collection, you want serious money for allowing me to photograph your specimen or whatever other reason you can think of – but you might yourself be very capable of photographing an ammonite and willing to e-mail me the results.
So what I´m I looking for in terms of photos ?
  •  They should be tack sharp and normally exposed
  •  As many mega pixels as possible, minimum 6
  •  The ammonite should almost fill the frame
  •  Please use a light (preferably white) solid neutral background, no patterns in the background  please
  •  Use smooth even lighting, preferably one light from upper left, another one from lower right to lighten up the shadows
  •  Do not use flash unless with a soft box
  •  Do not use sunlight unless you use a reflector to lighten up the shadows
  • Do not use any software to modify, e.g. filter, sharpen etc the picture, I will do this for you.
  •  I can work with jpeg, tiff, dng, nikon raw (nef) picture formats
  • Do let me know what type of light you used, and which camera/lens combination you used
  • Please do not use anything like ammonium chloride to whiten your fossils, I´m looking for the “natural” look.
What I will do with the picture is this :
  •  Correct any potential color cast, lens distortion
  •  Slightly sharpen the picture
  •  Modify contrast, tone, color as necessary
  •  Isolate the ammonite from the background
  •  Give it a dropshadow to avoid the “cut out” look
What views am I looking for ?
A picture says more than a thousand words, so here it is :
Amaltheus subnodosus : Side view, keel view, aperture view (from left)

Amaltheus subnodosus : Side view, keel view, aperture view (from left)

I realize that depending on how the ammonite is prepped, an aperture view might not always be possible.
Side view and keel view are nevertheless essential : You cannot safely identify an ammonite if you only see the side view.
Other rules ?
  • Yorkshire ammonites only
  • I will accept Holderness coast and Cleveland 🙂
What will you get for your efforts ?
  • If I do use the picture of your ammonite in the book (regardless if I photographed it or you did) you will get a sincere “thankyou” and – of course – your very own copy of the book, with or without my autograph 🙂
  • In the description I will of course mention the collection the ammonite comes from, or not if you prefer.
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