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Final Touches
Photograph by Robert Clark

It takes a steady hand to be both artist and canvas. And in this case, tiny brushes and dental tools as well. Mark Klingler of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh spent three hours painting the skeleton of Hadrocodium wui (a tiny, mouse-like early mammal) on his hand, then affixed the fossil skull with wax (above). He had to go through the whole process twice—once on his palm and once on his finger—to create just the right image for a photograph. How did he feel about doing such ephemeral work? "I knew it was a one-shot deal," he says. "I showed it to my wife, took a picture of it, then washed it off. I had chores to do."

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Cannon EOS 1N
Film Type: Ektachrome 100
Lens: 16-35mm zoom f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/8

Weather Conditions: Inside
Time of Day: Noon
Lighting Techniques: I used an off camera profoto 7 B head with a small grid.

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