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Dinosaurs at the Houston Museum of Natural History


The Natural History Museum in Houston, Texas, is a great place for a photographer to take their family and their camera.  There are several exhibits a photographer can enjoy with the spouse and/or kids. Highlights include a butterfly house, planetarium, mummy exhibit, Mayan temple exhibit and the dinosaur room. I know I’ll be back next time I’m in Houston. The museum has an entry fee, but it does have days and times that are free. Check their website for free times and special exhibits.

dino claws

The dinosaurs are what I want to focus on for this post. Exhibits like this one are great for new photographers, or not-so-new photographers who want to play with color. Bones are one of the first things an artist is given to draw when they learn color. They can serve the same for a photographer.

The museum has already done most of the lighting for you. The hardest part is isolating your subject. With people everywhere and other exhibits at close intervals, it can be hard to get just the detail and angle you want.

dino bones

Some areas are darker to create a mood, but there’s no flash photography. Other than getting you thrown out, you’ll blind everyone nearby. Areas can be crowded, so consider taking a monopod to steady your camera in darker areas. I took all of these images handheld, so you may not even need that.

Some exhibits are practically set up for photographers. In those cases, you might want to give those images extra love outside of Lightroom to make them unique. All of these images were edited using Topaz Impression or Topaz Texture Effects. Multiple versions of images were then combined in Photoshop for the final look.

dinosaur with skin

Some of the dinosaurs have skin on, with reproductions (educated guesses) of where things should go. You might have fun moving them into a different scene (or your kids might) in Photoshop.

At the end of the Dinosaur exhibit there are some newer specimens, including humans. If you ever wanted to take a picture of someone hanging from the ceiling, this is the spot. Other fun items include a slothzilla (looks like King Kong), mega-armadillo (could take out a car), and woolly mammoths.

human skeleton

Select any image in this post for purchase and download options for that image, or view the full gallery.