Core Photographic Technical Skills

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Digital Gross Photography in an Anatomic Pathology Practice. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Core Photographic Technical Skills

Always have your photo stand, lighting, and camera ready before placing your surgical specimen on the photographic board. When you are adjusting your lighting and camera settings, use a substitute in a similar color and shape as your specimen as a stand-in. Whether you use natural or artificial light, you will need to modify your light source. We would recommend using a ring light with flash.
Many digital cameras come with different modes or preset settings that allow a photographer to adjust for certain lighting and shooting scenarios. The letters used for coding the modes vary between manufacturers.
These modes can range from fully automatic to fully manual with various steps in between. They are controlled by the mode dial. Typically, the mode dial is split into sections: fully automatic (colored icons), scene modes, program modes (P), aperture priority (Av or A), shutter priority (Tv or S), and manual modes. Each mode gives varying degrees of control over photographs.
The main reason we recommend using a fully automatic mode is that it works in most situations. Pathology laboratories generally have different lighting conditions and several users per one camera, so it is best to use the mode that automatically adjusts to lighting changes and keeps photographs consistent across users.
Program mode is good for general use or when you are shooting fast in changing light conditions. Aperture priority is best for landscapes and static subjects. Shutter priority is perfect for action shots and sports.
The experienced photographer can switch to manual mode to set the necessary settings.
Taking photos in automatic mode is great for learning what settings the camera uses to capture photos. For example, a photographer can take a photograph in automatic mode and get a great picture in specific conditions. It is a way to find out the best settings in metadata and to control the parameters of the exposure triangle such as Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO.
According to the exposure triangle definition, all three elements must be in balance in order to get a perfectly exposed photo. In order to learn more about concept of expose triangle see website Capture the atlas.

Basic camera exposure modes