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"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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How to photograph gravemarkers?

Over the years, I have developed several techniques that work for me and give good quality results. They may not work for your or address your specific situation or problem.

While the following photographs are in COLOR, remember the Texas Historical Commission only accepts BLACK & WHITE photographs with the application for “Texas Historic Cemetery Designation.”

FIRST: I use two (2) yardsticks so as to give a gage on the actual size of the gravemarker. Using the yardsticks gives the viewer of the photograph a better indication of the size and proportion of the gravemarker. Remember, the photograph may become separated from the datasheet information.

I place one yardstick vertical at the left-hand corner of the gravemarker and the second yardstick on the ground horizontal from the left-hand corner of the gravemarker. I always use the left-hand corner as a standard.

See the following example:

SECOND: If the sun is behind me causing a shadow to be cast across the face of the gravemarker, I take an umbrella and hold it behind me to cast a full shadow across the gravemarker.

See the following examples:

THIRD: Center the gravemarker in the camera viewer or else you will have a decapitated gravemarker!

See the following example:

FOURTH: Working with broken gravemarkers calls for extra care to be taken. The following example shows how this gravemarker was broken into two pieces and the hand at the top shows how the pieces are being held together for the benefit of the photograph.

See the following example:

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This webpage was last created on 22 Sept 2000 and was last revised on _____ 2000

Copyright © 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604

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Lynna Kay's Other Websites

"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column by Lynna Kay Shuffield

You can visit my personal genealogy research at My Loose Ends Family Tree Database

San Jacinto County TXGenWeb

Milam County Texas War Dead Project which will document the biographical, genealogy and military history of the 270 men from Milam County who have died in the four-wars (WWI, WWII, Korea & Vietnam)

“Clippings from the Cameron Herald

The Scrapbook of Seaman First Class Guthrie F. Layne, Jr., U.S.N., Compiled Aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) from November 2, 1940 through October 2, 1941.

SS Paul Hamilton Personnel Lost at Sea - 20 Apr 1944 - which will document men lost at sea as result of this Liberty Ship sinking off the coast of Algiers, North Africa


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Links to Lynna Kay's articles published at "Ancestry Daily News"

World War I Burial Case Files and the WWI Document Archive - 25 May 2000

100 Years of Submarine History and the Sailors in Your Family Tree - 1 Jun 2000

A Korean War Story & Wartime Experiences Are Being Collected - 22 Jun 2000