Yes, those are real prehistoric bones, and yes, that is a real skull of a saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis.
I took this photo at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California. They have a block of resin with these bones embedded in it to show the average density of bones in the asphalt of the tar pits. FYI, there is no tar in the tar pits, it’s all asphalt.
The resin block is in a glass case. To prevent reflecting yourself in a photo, put the end of your lens directly on the glass. And play around with angles and background light sources to get different lighting effects in the resin. The light coming through windows and glass doors changes throughout the day, so keep checking for interesting lighting.
You are not allowed to use tripods anywhere in the building, so bring a string tripod or monopod. Because of the lighting, you will need to use a high ISO or slow shutter speed. And be sure to check out the atrium. It’s small, but packed with many things to photograph.
If you received cash, or a gift card, over the holidays, and don’t know what to get with it, check out my RedBubble shop. You can get a gift for yourself, or someone else, that’s both functional and attractive.
Many items are available with my photographs on them, including:
This article has been viewed almost 6,000 times. I released it in 2014, but since then some companies have gone away, while new ones have become available.
My favorite new program is ON1 Photo Raw. I’ve been using it for about two years and love it. I use it instead of Lightroom and Photoshop. You can learn more about it, and the free 14-day trial, here https://on1.sjv.io/15Mjdz
Check out my updated article to see which program will work best for you, and some of these programs are free.