23 May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday : Photos

This post is simply suggestions when taking photos of tombstones. One of the most important factors is the sun. Very often the sun might be too high and the sun's rays can put a glare on a polished granite stone. This will make the stone very hard to read and also make a bad photo. Sometimes early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or even on overcast days can be the best times to get that perfect shot. Below is a photo of a gravestone of one of my great great grandfathers. I took this shot at least a dozen separate times before I finally got it right. All due to too much sunlight and glare.

Wetting the face of a stone can sometimes make it easier to read also. The practice of putting baby powder and shaving cream on a stone should be avoided. Chemicals in these products are not good for porous marble gravestones.

Photo shots that I take always include a direct shot of the front of the stone so that the inscription is clearly visible. See the above photo. Sometimes this shot is taken at an angle. But I always want the inscription in the photo.

One of my pet peeves is I do not like to have my shadow in the photo. I try to avoid this at all costs. It disrupts the image. Most of my photos are taken in color; but sometimes adjusting them in photo editing software to make them black and white can really make the shot pop. Below is an example of a photo taken on black and white film about 25 years ago. Recently my wife thought that it was an "old-time" photo. In reality, I got lucky with this one.

Finally, I take a picture of each individual gravestone and then finish the shoot with a photograph of the whole cemetery lot. Depending on the number of gravestones included and also the size of the lot; this shot will either be from an angle or straight on. It usually depends on which shot looks best.