Photographing Old Tombstones

Submitted by Curtis A. Hannah

There's a trick to photographing old tombstones by using a mirror that works very well. It requires an assistant or a mirror rigged with a tripod when only one person is available. Holding the mirror at an angle diagonally to the tombstone will brighten it and create shadows in the engravings making it much easier to read. This technique also works well in shaded areas or when shooting into the sun on back lighted tombstones. It can produce dramatic results in some cases and does not harm the monuments in any way. A good size for the mirror is aprox. 16x24 inches, any smaller would not cover most areas and larger ones can be to awkward to handle in the field. It's also a good idea to duck tape the back of the mirror for support and protection against accidental breakage. I found mine at the hardware store for about $13.00.