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Ideas to capture images of RC cuttings

We at Imago – are always looking for ways to extract value from geoscientific imagery. Historically we have seen a focus on the capture of drill core photographs in the industry. However, very few sites take photos of RC cuttings. Some of our customers have asked us to tackle this challenge and we have come up with some interesting alternatives.

Capture the Piles of the Cuttings In-situ

If you have your drill crew create piles of the washed RC cuttings on the drill pad you can then use a GoPro camera with a macro lens mounted on what is essentially a “can” with a light inside to capture high-resolution images. The benefit of this approach is that you can image a larger more representative sample. Given Imago takes care of the capture and cataloging in the field the process is seamless.


Use Panorama Mode on a Mobile Phone

A simple an inexpensive method to capture images of chip trays is to use a manual slider (example) and an iPhone (or other phone) in panorama mode. This creates an elongated image of the chip tray with good resolution that can be cataloged in Imago as part of the process.


Use an SLR on a Sliding Tray

For one client we built an imaging station on what was essentially a kitchen drawer that stops at fixed positions. The idea is that we limit the field of view of the camera to 5 chip tray compartments per image. Given we are also controlling the light for the images, the resulting pictures are of wonderful quality. Imago catalogs, stitches and crops all the images automatically so there is no post-processing.


Used Motorized Rails

The guys at Macroscopic Solutions ( have some nice motorized rails that can help you automate the capture process.




About the author, Federico

Founder IMAGO