Our imaging setup is composed of a Bencher Copymate III Fluorescent Tabletop Producer with two cool, full spectrum fluorescent lamps that are daylight balanced at 5200°K for superb color clarity and operate at 12,000 Hz to eliminate flickering. We opted for the fluorescent system because it is cool, and it offers a full spectrum / daylight balanced light. The copystand includes an aluminum column that supports the 35 mm Canon EOS T3i digital camera. We are currently using a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens with autofocus. Additionally, the camera is connected to an AC Canon Adapter kit, in this way we do not depend on the batteries for energy, and we use the batteries as a backup.
The system is connected to the PC computer of the project, and we capture the images using the Canon EOS Utility software coupled with the Imaging Workflow Application provided by on the LBCC – Lichens, Bryophytes and Climate Change Web site.
In order to capture the image, we have found useful small earth magnets (7 mm diameter) to fix the specimens to the copystand. We painted them white with an industrial grade paint marker.
Imaging of bryophyte/lichen packeted specimens averages from 80-100 per hour. Two images are necessary when there are annotations covering portions of the label. If a group has many annotations the imaging process is considerably slower.