Magic Mirror Cemetery Photography


Ancient head­stones can never be replaced. They may be the only his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments remain­ing from that time and place. Many head­stones are so worn as to be com­pletely unread­able — or so they appear to the unaided eye! The “Magic Mir­ror” tech­nique throws the writ­ing into sharp relief. The words quite lit­er­ally jump out at you!

The Magic Mir­ror is a “green” tech­nique. It does not risk any harm to the head­stone. All we do is shine sun light across the face of the inscription!

These two pho­tographs are of the same head­stone! Can you see how the writ­ing appears and dis­ap­pears? This head­stone looked exactly the same to the naked eye. We needed the Magic Mir­ror to read the inscription.

The Blue ital­ics text are the photo descrip­tions. You can skip over the text to con­tinue read­ing this Magic Mir­ror Ceme­tery Pho­tog­ra­phy tuto­r­ial. Click on any of the pho­tographs to see it full size.

Mary F. Herring

Mary F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Left, Mary F. Her­ring: One of two pho­tos of the same head­stone, show­ing the “magic mir­ror” effect. In each photo, the high­lighted inscrip­tion is vis­i­ble and the other inscrip­tion is not. It is the same effect with the naked eye — we had to use the mir­ror to make out the writ­ing at all.

Right, Gideon F. Her­ring: Care­fully com­pare this photo to the “Mary F. Her­ring” photo of the same head­stone, to see the dra­matic dif­fer­ence the “magic mir­ror” makes in read­abil­ity. We use the mir­ror to shine sun­light ACROSS the face of the head­stone, caus­ing shad­ows in the barely-visible inscriptions.

“Both on same head­stone one above the other, Mary F., Born Aug 15 1848, died Aug 28, 1852. Gideon F., Born Dec. 19, 1852, died July 10, 1854. Chil­dren of G.H. and H.A. Her­ring. Brother and sis­ter. Mary F. Her­ring was a daugh­ter of George Wash­ing­ton Her­ring and Hes­ter Ann Kemp, grand­daugh­ter of John Her­ring and Lucy Carver, and, Wal­ter Kemp and Jerusha Key. She was my great grandAunt.”

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Webmaster comes out of Hibernation

Home Sunrise

Return­ing from Hibernation

If you skip a para­graph or three, you’ll move straight to my thoughts on how we can be of greater ser­vice to our new online-connected generations.

The 21st Century

Three years ago I vol­un­teered as Interim Web­mas­ter. That part was easy, thanks to the gra­cious help of our pre­vi­ous web­mas­ter! For the record, I donate to SFAA the cost of domain reg­is­tra­tions, and the cost of commercial-grade server space and band­width. To me it’s all part of the package.

Upon being named per­ma­nent Web­mas­ter, I quickly con­sol­i­dated my empire, declar­ing myself to be the Grand High Hered­i­tary Web­mas­ter of the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. It’s a legit­i­mate title, since most of my best “web­mas­ter­ing” ideas come from our son Jakob Barnard.

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