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The Process

There are several steps that lead to a statisfactory image of an insect embedded in amber. 


Acquire Amber Specimen

It all starts with getting an interesting insect in a piece of Amber. Amber is found around the world – Latin America, the Baltics in Europe and Myanmar in Asia. I buy them at mineral shows, jewelry shops and  as gifts from traveling friends. Often insects are found in jewelry. It is important to look carefully for an interesting inclusion, and beware of forgeries.

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Photograph Specimen

After selecting the right specimen it is important that is is optically clear as possible. Often the amber will need to have additional polishing. Then it will need to be lit carefully for the best and most dramatic view. The camera is mounted on a computer controlled step and repeat slide and each photo image will be sent to the computer.   Often there will be hundred of images that will be composited into the final image.

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Digitally Enhance  Image

Then stacking software combines the dozens or hundreds of snapshots into one seamless image. However at that point all the detrius or bubbles around the insect may make the image look terrible. Then either another photo is taken at another angle, or it is "cleaned up" in Photoshop. This can take days or weeks. The final image is often dramatically different from the original composited image.

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