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Photograph A Million Dead Plants – How? « Lancalass

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Photograph A Million Dead Plants – How?

This is how you photograph a million dead plants without losing your mind.

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, three young museum scientists have taken on the mind-numbing but important task of the digitizing millions of dried plant specimens. This is what it’s like. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

Rochelle Safo has spent so long at the digitization belt, she hears it in her dreams: The “click” of the camera, the “beep” of the computer, the “whir” of the belt as it conveys the next specimen beneath the camera’s lens.

Click. Beep. Whir. Click. Beep. Whir.

The sounds fill the windowless room deep in the bowels of the National Museum of Natural History where she works. Eight hours a day, five days a week, every week for the past 16 months, Safo has helped operate a huge conveyor belt designed to digitize the museum’s vast botany collection. Deftly, she and her two fellow digitizers place papers bearing>>

CREDIT: SARAH KAPLAN, SPEAKING OF SCIENCE

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