Re: Reading old badly weathered memorials (2/19/07)
- When documenting one old cemetery, I had to take photos of one stone at
various times of day and various times of the year before I got it right.
It was medium dark grey marble with very dark zig-zag veining. You could
see absolutely no writing on it. Using black and white film, I did
eventually get it. A relative of the person buried there said she knew he
was in that cemetery but had never been able to find the stone.
Sometimes early in the morning or an hour or so before sunset, the sun is at
an acute angle to give you the contrast you need to capture the engraving on
Incidently, I worked in the Geology dept at a university and asked the
professors what I could use on stones that wouldn't hurt them. Those fellows
know their marbles and granites. They replied that chalk (white not colored)
is inert and has absolutely nothing that would react to harm the stone in
any way. One of the professors was a specialist in marble and helped in
restorations of antiquities by being able to match the marble in the
building with which quarry it came from.
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