This procedure was used for all images acquired from 1993 - 1998.
Images used in FDA's Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia were photographed on a modified Polaroid MP4 camera system. The column and lighting support arms were removed from their original base and mounted on a table (30" x 60" surface, 29" height). A 2' x 4' section was removed from the center of the table and a 3/16" thick translucent plastic panel was placed over the opening.
Specimens were illuminated from above by mounting four 250-watt tungsten photofloods (3200°K) on the support arms, which were angled at 45 degrees relative to the table surface. The photofloods were approximately two feet from the center of the table.
Additional toplighting was provided by two 250-watt tungsten photofloods (3200°K) positioned above and behind the table, at an approximate distance of 42" from the table's center. Diffusion material of various thicknesses was employed to soften these additional lights. Not all fish have benefitted from this additional lighting, as this modification to the lighting system was devised well after the project was underway.
Bottom lighting was provided by two free-standing 250-watt tungsten photofloods (3200°K) aimed towards the center of the translucent plastic from below. The photofloods were maintained at an approximate distance of two feet from the table's center. This lighting was incorporated to eliminate shadows.
The Polaroid MP4 was fitted with a Polaroid 545 holder for 4" x 5" film, and a 135 mm lens. Quickload tungsten-balanced ISO 64 E-6 process 4" x 5" transparency film was used to capture the image.
Prior to shooting, fins were carefully spread and unobtrusively pinned on most specimens. A 10 cm scale bar was included in each photograph in order to indicate specimen size and magnification, and a standard Kodak color bar was included in order to assure color accuracy.
Transparencies, once developed, were professionally drum-scanned at a local image-setting facility in order to maintain high resolution as digitized graphic images.