Specimens (not including microfossils) are secured to the mounting board, for photographing with the camera in horizontal position, by attaching one or more small bar magnets at the rear of the sample with a quick drying cement such as Testors extra fast drying Formula A Model cement. The specimen is then placed in any position on a vertical metal mounting board, or a composition board to which small metal plates have been attached. A 50 ml. pyrex distilling flask charged with ammonium chloride, attached to a support stand at an angle approximating 45 degrees from the horizontal, its vapor tube connected to a low-pressure electrically driven air pump, when heated yields a stream of vapor suitable for coating specimens for photography. The apparatus is used under a fume hood.