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25 July 2012

Journey to the Past: Lessons Learned About Photographing Grave Stones

I was surprised with all the things I learned while I was at the Green Lawn Cemetery.  I had read a lot of great websites about the act of taking grave stones. I did my best to treat the stones carefully and create a clear historical document for other researchers, and myself. I didn't try to be artistic, as I'm not that skilled with a camera yet. However, I did learn a few things that weren't on any list.

Lessons Learned:

  • I really like taking volunteer photographs of grave stones. I look forward to doing some of this in Iowa when I return.
  • Have clear cemetery maps before embarking on a quest. Get 'orientation' stones in large sections to help establish barrings.
  • It's often easier to just snap a section down the line rather than seeking out individual requests.
  • A painter type brush and scrub brush are helpful in preparing stones for photographing.
  • Use a reflector or light blocker more to create even light on a stone.
  • Check a stone's photo before moving on to ensure you have a clear picture. (Perhaps do this in your car if the sun is too bright to read the LCD monitor on your camera)
  • Take LOTS of water
  • A team can cover more ground efficiently rather than a solo volunteer

    Section 35
    Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio

Items to Learn More About

  • How to pace myself so I don't wear out
  • Take photos of the plots with no stones. That photo is just as valuable as the plot with a stone.
  • Take more whole plot photos to see remember the relationship of stones in addition to the head stones.

This is another installment in a lengthy multi-series post about the fantastic research trip I took to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. If you're just joining the this series, you'll be able to see every post under the label Research Trip.

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