While today’s light-emitting diode (LED) flashlights seem easy enough to use, there are some lighting techniques pest management professionals (PMPs) can harness with their flashlights to improve their wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspection results. Forensic investigators have been using lighting techniques to enhance their work for decades. It’s time for our industry to start doing the same.

The technique with which most of us probably are familiar is direct reflective lighting. With this method, light is directed toward the subject. This usually will minimize shadows — but at the risk of hiding detail. You may find that the light is too bright for your inspection. Bounce and diffused lighting are useful techniques when photographing insects and other specimens where direct lighting would create too much contrast to view the specimen in proper detail. Both serve to soften the light, reduce excessive light and eliminate glare.

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