19 November 2007

Watch those toes and shadows

This picture taken by my daughter a few years ago makes two important points. Watch your shadow and avoid getting it on the stone. Of course, photoediting software can help in getting rid of the shadow, but that may take more time than avoiding it in the first place and you don't want your photo to look "doctored."

And watch the feet. There are toes in the bottom of this picture. Those are easily cropped out.

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Get Some Perspective

I've been reviewing several tombstone photographs we took several years ago. There are a few things I would do differently:
  • take a picture of the entryway, sign, or something identifying the name of the cemetery if possible.

  • rename all the pictures so I know whose stone is in the picture and the cemetery it was taken in.

  • take "far off" shots showing relative positions of stones, particularly when there are several family members buried together. I did this in some cases (shown below), but not all.

  • review all the photographs as soon after taking them as possible and add a text file to my folder of pictures containing notes and other information on the cemetery and the pictures.

Pictures taken in this post were taken in Holy Family Cemetery, Davenport, Scott County, Iowa.

Additional suggestions are welcome.

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31 October 2007

Taking Notes When Photographing Stones

I wish I had taken better notes when I was taking photographs of tombstones a few years ago at the Buckeye Cemetery in southern Hancock County, Illinois.
I can read most of the inscription just fine:
daughter of
J. & E.
Aug 24 1855
16 Yrs ?? ds.
Can't read the number of days and think it might be a "9." I probably could have read it at the cemetery when I was there.

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17 September 2007

How Long Does a $50 Tombstone Last?

This entry is from the estate settlement of Mimke Habben, indicating his tombstone cost the estate $50.00. The burial was in 1877 and based upon the estate records, it seems reasonable that the stone was erected within a year or so after his death in Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois on 11 February 1877.

Habben was buried in the Barnes Cemetery, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. This small cemetery hasn't had a burial in decades and is located south of the much larger (and still used) Moss Ridge Cemetery. I was there on Sunday and had not seen the stone in over ten years. It was a good thing I transcribed the stone years ago when I first learned of its existence.

The inscription was very weathered and the stone had fallen off its mounting. It was laying right next to the mounting. The stone of Habben's wife Antje (who died in 1900) had met a similar fate. It too was resting next the mounting.

Transcribe those stones before it is too late. No source lasts forever.

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22 March 2007

At least we didn't get any bones

To view the death date for Lucinda Kile in the Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois, we had to do a little digging. Fortunately the stone is in excellent shape and teh inscription is very legible.
There are a number of tombstone pictures and "how-to" articles on our site for taking pictures, making rubbings, etc. Plan before you go, don't leave a mess, and treat the cemetery and stones with respect.

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20 February 2007

Watch For Your Reflection When Photographing Tombstones

I got to looking at the picture we took of my grandparents' tombstone near West Point, Illinois, today and I realized that someone's reflection is in the picture. I'm not certain if I took it or if my wife took it, but it is just something to think about. Of course, reflections are not a problem with older stones.

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