Our cemetery mapping trip celebrating Utah’s Pioneer Day was a definite success: American Fork Cemetery is now 2402 images richer. A small group of 15 BillionGraves contributors gathered in the cemetery and in an hour or so had recorded over a third of the grounds. Some people stopped by after a weekend bike ride; others came from the next valley over to help us map the history the cemetery had to offer.
|Our awesome mappers (minus some who had to leave early and me,
because I’m taking the photo and I’m not nearly as
awesome as they are).
|Finn (a transcriber) sweeps a stone before
I take a photo.
|My mother holds up a blanket so I can get a good photo.|
Since we did our mapping in the morning, many of the headstones had ideal light. However, a few of them ended up with partial shadows cast by trees or other less-than-desirable circumstances, so we made our own lighting using some basics that I always keep in my car. (I’ve recommended multiple times that you avoid casting shadows, but that is mostly to avoid partial shadows, which can toy with your photo’s contrast and make it difficult to read. We used a blanket I keep in my car’s back seat to cast complete shadows when a headstone was under a tree or something else immovable.)
The props we found most useful were my blanket and our transcriber friend’s broom, but I would have liked to have a powerful flashlight. Some light-colored stones didn’t have much contrast on the lettering, and a mirror or flashlight could have targeted some light at just the right angle to bring out the words.
517 in Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Gravette, Arkansas, USA)
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