View Full Version : Grave Problem

29-03-11, 17:53
Hi there, Can anyone help me with Photographic Technique on this one? My church needs to relocate 30 graves for some building work to take place. We need to identify who is in them, but several of the grave stones, limestone, are covered with lichen and are badly weathered. You can see that there is carving on them and make out several letters - I have tried oblique flash and Infrared but am struggling, because the church and church yard are listed we are not allowed to clean them. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance - Andy.

graham harcombe
29-03-11, 18:19
It's something that has interested me too Andy. I've been trying for a while to get a good shot of the Viking Cross in St Mary's Gosforth, so far with only average success. I dug up this piece recently, which is very erudite, but I hope it can 'shed some light' (pardon the pun)


29-03-11, 18:37
Oblique lighting will certainly help.
IR is reflected strongly by leaves so is unlikely to help with lichen.
It may be that UV will help but it is apparently difficult to do with modern setups.

I've got a range of specialist filters on order for work, which MIGHT allow me to do UV photography using an ancient Kodak lens I've got (no coatings, & little glass), or with a pin hole (Exceedingly long exposures). If either approach works I'll see if I can try it for seeing through lichen.

When do the graves need to be moved?

29-03-11, 20:01
Lost on this one but I just wondered if oblique lighting coupled with a very high contrast? I think there used to be some specialist technical films for very high contrast shots?

29-03-11, 22:31
Another thing you could try is making a rubbing from it (like a brass rubbing) or using water-based ink/paint to make a print directly of the stone. I'm not sure that either will help with the lichen, but it won't cost much to try!

29-03-11, 23:12
Thanks folks, an interesting article Graham, I'll keep at it.