Tips: Best Practices for taking a cemetery photo

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Best Practices, For Genealogists
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While we take photos in a cemetery during our visitations a few things need to be considered when aiming and actually taking a photo.

Tombstone Photography: A few guidelines

  • Aim straight on for the best focus.  Even if you have to kneel down and take the photo.
  • Digital Photography – Take 2 images at each focus point.  Meaning if you take 2 photos – you have 4 photos on the camera.
  • Print Film – Take 1 of each and have them digitally printed besides prints made.  All backups are important with the print film.
  • Second shots is a great way to make sure your angle is straight too.  And it can help even out color in the background.
  • If you must use a point & shoot film camera from the drugstore with 24 or less pictures – make sure your aim is true on the focus point.  If your pictures come back with strange background color shades – consider upgrading to an inexpensive digital or other print film option.
  • When I mean focus point – it means at the moment you are ready to take a picture.  Remember a camera is not an enemy and you do not have to have most elaborate setup available.  Just one that fits your budget, purpose and gives you the best photos for your needs.
  • For serious photography – consider using a tripod and a zoom lens.  You do not have to kneel and the images maybe even clearer.
  • Black & White versus Color images – Ideally people like color, however, black & white has its fans and purposes too.  Black & white images can be used to help determine hard to read epitaphs on old tombstones on a computer.  Using graphics software you can transpose the image and get another view of the wording on it.   While color can do that – it can also show you the color changes on the tombstone too.

Just a few options to consider – these come from experience not from a class textbook.

Next week: Tips on Cemetery Statuary Photography


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