I am coming at this as without much knowledge or expertise. So if this is a dumb idea, please let me know. I have seen the results of this process and would like to give it a try. My interest is in documenting small items only. Generally less than 5 cm max length and generally consistent is size. In order to make this a valuable comparable tool, I would need to make a large database of objects. The idea of taking manual light distance measurements on hundreds to thousands of items is daunting enough to make this process unworkable. My thought was to literally take a hard plastic bowl of sperical dimentions and cut holes in it at the appropriate light locations (leaving enough structure to make it remain inflexible). I would then mount the camera through a hole at the top of the plastic dome directly over the subject and move the light source from position to position taking photographs without touching the dome. The goal is to find a systematic way to make data collection faster on consistent size objects in controlled environments. I can do this in situations where all other light is off, but I am not sure if there would be interference from reflected light within the dome. Also, for focusing on small items only, can I use a smaller light source (preferably continuous)?
Any thoughts on making the process more systematic in controlled environments would be helpful.