Thursday, 7 September 2017

Wednesday 6th September  

We ventured outside again in order to catch up on some of the missing photos that were needed, and to re-shoot those which needed better photos. It’s surprising over the past two years how much we have learnt about making a photo record and the details we should record – at the beginning of the project two years ago it didn’t really seem that important to photograph close-ups of little details such as motifs, mouldings, de-lamination, etc. Now we are much more aware how important such little details are in analysing the gravestones for their design features, condition monitoring, and stone masons’ idiosyncrasies.

The weather was a little variable but for the most part excellent for RTI purposes – dull, dry and wind-less.
Some stones needed the RTI re-doing, now that we are a little more proficient at the technique than we used to be; and some stones needed new photos as the old ones were not clear or detailed enough.
Example of the kind of detail we missed in the early days - distinctive decorative moulding at the base of a headstone 
We have found that full-scale RTI is not always necessary – the use of a flash light on a single photo shot is sometimes enough to reveal difficult-to-read inscriptions. So we decided we should try some “flashing in the churchyard” today. This rather unfortunate phrasing had us giggling like schoolchildren, but by the end of the day we had come up with a new terminology for the technique – “oblique lighting” – not so much fun, but better for use in polite company....

We had visitors too – a little group of visitors from Germany who were interested in our parish church, and later a passing little group who were walking up Kirk Lane, and stopped out of curiosity, wondering what on earth we were doing in the churchyard. 

It's the snooker ball that always catches the attention & curiosity of passers-by!
We invited them in and explained our project, and showed them some before and after RTI photos – which greatly impressed them. It’s always such a pleasure to share this project – we find most people are surprisingly interested when we explain what we are doing.  

In the afternoon we had to sit down inside the church and have a lengthy discussion on project management – we find ourselves being invited to share our project findings and help several other groups launch their own churchyard surveys. This is though, one of the joys of a project like this, and we really enjoy this aspect. So we discussed various options and plans, and have each come away with lots of preparation to do for presentations, workshops and photo shoots which are coming up over the next few months.

A busy day!

Jane Lunnon

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