manual final (autosaved) (1)

1 CONTENTS: 1. INTRODUCTION 2. IMPORTANCE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHY 3. ARCHAEOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHER 4. PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT Basic tool kit Camera How a camera works? Choosing the right camera Choosing the right film Caring for film Scales and information boards Maintaining your equipment 5. BASIC PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE Use of proper light Getting things in focus Holding the camera When to use a tripod? Tips for taking good archaeological photos

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Basic tool kit


How a camera works?

Choosing the right camera

Choosing the right film

Caring for film

Scales and information boards

Maintaining your equipment


Use of proper light

Getting things in focus

Holding the camera

When to use a tripod?

Tips for taking good archaeological photos


Photo Tips

Digitization process

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Working With Your Photos

Working in Photoshop


Aerial photography

Purposes of photography in the field

Prerequisite knowledge for excavation photography

Excavation photography

Angle of viewpoint




Cleaning up the site




Photographing minor artifacts



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A photograph is a visual recording of a moment in time. Photography is perhaps one of the most important ways in which archaeologists record all aspects of their fieldwork on a daily basis. Because they are seen as objective, photographs have always played an important role in the scientific documentation of sites and excavations, as well as constituting important historical documents in their own right. This visual record can also be used to fill in some of the gaps that every archaeologist occasionally finds in their field notes or to revisit troublesome problems. In the case of contested finds, a detailed photographic record may become the ultimate verification of your field technique. Photography has been the principal medium for the recording of archaeological sites and artifacts since the middle of the nineteenth century. It is of primary importance to all field archaeologists and, consequently, an understanding of the techniques involved in photography is essential tools for any scientific project within archaeological sciences.Archaeological Photography provides hands-on instruction in practical applications of photography for archaeology in the field and in the studio. The goals are to increase knowledge of participants regarding the needs of the archaeologist, to illustrate how to best achieve the results desired both in the field and studio, and to assist participants in the creation of publication-quality images.

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Well-composed photographs are an important record of a site. Photographs can be used to illustrate:

• The layout of a site• Selected features• The general setting

Chapter 3:

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The archaeological photographer is responsible for the photographing of archaeological features, according to the conventions outlined in the relevant chapter of this handbook. As well as this, the photographer may be required to assist the Permanent Archaeologist and Archaeological Assistant in the recording and measurement of excavation areas and trenches. The Archaeological Photographer is also responsible for the maintenance and safekeeping of his/her camera.

The roles and responsibilities of the archaeological photographer are

1. To effectively document the excavation and the objects recovered from the excavation in order to assist the archaeological team with their research

2. To produce publication quality images in both field and lab

3. To keep accurate records of all photographs

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Basic tool kit

1. Digital SLR camera with Manual option (with an extra battery, a memory card and a charger).

2. Camera’s Manuals.

3. Lenses: Wide lens (24mm or less), 50 mm lens, 80-100 mm with Macro, or Zoom lens (as 24-70) + any macro lens.

4. A jump-shot cable to transfer photos to laptop.

5. A tripod.

6. Camera cleaning tools (lens pen, small soft brush and a hand air-blower).

7. A Notebook.

8. A laptop computer with photo processing software (like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements that comes with the camera), ACD See photo manager, Picasa, etc.

The basic photography toolkit

A square of black, non-reflective, cotton material (velvet is ideal) A 10 centimeter IFRAO* color scale for photographing small objects A 1 or 2 meter scale for photographing large objects A three-in-one collapsible gold and silver reflector and diffuser Information board and chalk Lens tissue Lens cleaner Cotton wool buds A small packet of tissues A squeeze bulb, or blower brush Two pieces of chamois, for cleaning the outside surfaces of the camera

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A sable or camel hair brush for cleaning the camera lens Small jeweler’s screwdrive

CameraThere are mainly two categories of cameras, manual and digital.

35 mm cameras:Most archaeological photography is done with 35 millimeter SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras, although digital cameras are becoming more common. All standard manual/automatic cameras are 35 millimeter SLR and usually come with a range of lenses. They use mirrors and prisms to focus the light coming through the lens on to the film. Digital camera: By contrast, do away with film altogether and instead use a light sensor to capture an image. The sharpness of this image is defined according to the number of pixels the camera can create: basically, the more pixels, the higher the quality of the image will be. Point-and-shoot digital cameras are relatively affordable. They work well if you are planning to use the images on an internet site, or on your computer, but do not produce images that are of high enough quality to be published.

35 MM CAMERAS: The simplest classification of camera is by their size of negative, or ‘format’. By far, the commonest and most popular format for still cameras is 35mm, i.e. giving a negative 36mm x 24mm.A compact or Single Lens Reflex 35 mm camera with a zoom lens is ideal for many types of site recording. Such a camera can be light weight, easy to use, and can produce good quality pictures. The zoom lens is versatile and replaces the need to carry a Single Lens Reflex camera with a selection of lenses. It should be noted, however, that there is a trade-off between versatility and quality. If photography is a significant part of a project, however, a compact or Single Lens Reflex camera with a zoom lens will be inadequate and a useful field kit may be a Single LensReflex camera with standard prime lens (f 1.4) plus a prime wide angle (24–28 mm) lens (f 2.8). The latter will allow the user to stand near a site, such as a pit, and view the whole of it, all in focus at infinity.Such cameras have Great advantages in ease of handling and cheapness of film. There is a very wide range of accessories available for them, and the cameras come in a great variety of makes, models and prices. But even the simplest 35mm camera is a complicated mechanism, easy to damage and usually expensive to repair. It is essential to avoid opening the camera in dusty conditions, to handle the film with great care - and as little as possible – and Never to drop or knock the camera, nor force any of its mechanisms. Fortunately, all 35mm cameras have very similar controls and, once they are understood, it is simple enough to use any make or model. However, it is of great advantage to become so familiar with one’s own Camera that its use becomes almost automatic and your attention can then be fixed not on the camera Mechanism, but on the subject of the photograph.

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How to handle 35mm camera?Probably the commonest fault in 35mm

photography is a slightly blurred or double image due to camera Movement. With care, a hand-held camera with standard lens can be used at exposures of 1/60 or even 1/30 sec: longer exposures than this should always be taken with the camera on a tripod or similar support and using a cable release, i.e. A flexible extension which screws into a tapped socket in the release button. However, even at faster speeds it is all too easy to shake the camera during the exposure, and it is therefore Vital to practice holding the camera securely, and to become accustomed to its weight and proportions.

Used horizontally, the camera should rest on the heels of the hands. The forearms should be pulled in, and the hands cradle the camera body in such a way that the focusing and aperture rings can be rotated with the thumb and first finger of the left hand, the wind-on lever worked with the right thumb, and the release button with the right forefinger. At the moment of exposure, the hands should be clamped and the breath held. Ideally, the button should be operated by squeezing the whole hand together.Held vertically the camera body should rest on the heel of one hand. (Most people find the left hand more convenient), the left forearm vertical and the other hand around the top of the camera, again with the right forefinger on the release button. The only exception is

when a long or heavy lens is being used, when the left hand should cradle the lens at the point of balance.

How a camera works?A camera works by capturing the light reflected from an object on film. A camera has; A lens to focus the light, An aperture which allows a fixed amount of light to pass through the lens And a shutter which opens and closes to allow the light in for a specific period of time. All of these mechanisms are designed to control the amount of light reaching the film so that the final picture will be neither under-exposed (as a result of too little light) nor over-exposed (as a result of too much light).• The aperture is literally the ‘iris’ of the camera’s eye: it is the adjustable opening through which light passes in the lens. It is controlled by the aperture ring on the lens barrel and can be opened or closed to allow in more or less light, depending on the situation. The aperture controls the depth of field of a photograph, or the area that will be in focus. Aperture is the size of the lens opening. In cameras, there is a small hole where light enters the lens to create the picture. If the opening is small, it will need more time for light to come through. If the opening is large, it will need less time for light to come through. Aperture settings are marked as “Av” and settings include numbers that refer to the size of the opening: 1.4, 2, 2.8,

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4, 5.6, 6.3, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 22. Aperture settings can be slightly different on every camera. The aperture stop of a photographic lens can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or image sensor. In combination with variation of shutter speed, the aperture size will regulate image sensor's degree of exposure to light. Typically, a fast shutter speed will require a larger aperture to ensure sufficient light exposure, and a slow shutter speed will require a smaller aperture to avoid excessive exposure.• F-stops are the numbers on the aperture ring which describe the size of the aperture.The important thing to remember is that, as the f-stop number increases, the area of the aperture decreases, so that moving one f-stop will either double or halve the amount of light allowed through the lens. Basically, the bigger the f-stop number, the less light will be allowed to reach the film through the iris of the camera.

FIGURE: The relationship between the aperture and the amount of light passing

through the lens. Apertures with smaller f-stops let in more light• ShutterA camera shutter is a device, which controls the length of time for which light is allowed to reach the film. There are two types of shutter in common use: The focal-plane shutter (usually in 35mm cameras) which consists of two fabric or metal blinds immediately in front of the film which cross the film frame with a gap between them at fast speeds, or with an interval between them at slow speeds and the lens shutter in which a diaphragm within the lens opens and closes (each lens has its own shutter). When the film is advanced one frame by means of the wind-on lever, the shutter is automatically cocked ready for the next exposure. (This dual role prevents the possibility of a double exposure, i.e. of taking two photographs on the same frame).

The shutter speed is the amount of time that the shutter remains open to allow light into the camera. The time is marked in fractions of a second. The shutter speed setting is marked as “Tv” and times include: 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/80, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1. This means that 1/60 equals one sixtieth of a second. Shutter speed is closely related to aperture and one of the main rules of photography is to make sure that you have the right balance between them. They have an inverse relationship, which means that whatever you do to one, you will have to do the opposite to the other. In other words, if you are increasing the size of the aperture (i.e. moving down through the f-stop numbers), you will need to decrease the shutter speed to compensate for the greater amount of light being allowed through the iris. Conversely, if you are making the aperture smaller (moving up through the f-stop numbers), you will need to increase the shutter speed to allow the smaller amount of light being let in by the iris to expose the film for a longer period of time.Combinations in the camera can be made automatically by choosing only one setting, Av or Tv. When you choose one, the camera will automatically set the other. For example, if you choose an aperture setting of 8, the camera sensor will determine how much time the light will

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need to pass through the opening of that size in order to create the picture. It might choose 1/125 if there is ample light, or 1/30 if there is not much light. If you choose a shutter speed setting of 1/30, the camera sensor will determine what the aperture size should be so light can pass through the camera at the speed you chose, creating the right exposure. The sensor might select an aperture of 8 if there is a lot of light, or 2.8 if there is not much light. You can use the manual setting on a camera, marked “M”, to create your own combinations. This means you can choose both the aperture and the shutter speed to create the best image. This is a great way to learn about the setting combinations.File Size: This is the first setting to make and is critical. Some cameras are set automatically to take a picture small, medium or large in size. Choose the setting that will give you the largest file. This way, when you want to enlarge the photo on the screen or when printing, it will be clear and not pixilated.

TIP: In archaeological photography, particularly small artifact photography, you should always choose the aperture before you choose the shutter speed, because it is the aperture which controls the depth of field.

• Exposure is the total amount of light which is allowed to reach the film. You can calculate exposure by multiplying the aperture by the shutter speed.• Lenses alter a camera’s field of vision. The main ones used in archaeology are telephoto and wide-angle. A telephoto lens (usually from 85 to 200 millimeters), brings the distance close, magnifying a subject. A wide-angle lens has a focal length below 35 millimeters and is ideal for taking landscape shots.Most 35mm SLR cameras have removable lenses in bayonet mounts so that a range of different lenses may be used. All incorporate two control rings:1. A focusing ring, usually at the front of the lens, and 2. An aperture control (diaphragm) ring.The focusing ring is used to adjust the distance between the lens and the film plane, thus bringing objects nearer or farther away from the camera into sharp focus. The nearest point, which can be focused sharply with a standard lens, lies about 45 cm in front of the camera.The aperture ring adjusts a diaphragm within the lens which controls the amount of light reaching the film. The ring is marked in ‘f-numbers’; a series running from f1.4 or f2 (the largest); f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22 and sometimes f32 (the9 smallest). This also is a halving series – to open or close the ring by one mark is to double or halve the amount of light coming through the lens. Focal length.

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Lenses are usually described, however, not directly in terms of their angle of view, but by their ‘focal length’ - the factor which governs that angle. This is the distance between a point on the lens and the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity. Thus a standard lens for a 35mm camera is described as a 50 mm lens, and this figure will always be found on the front of the lens. This presents to the film an angle of view of about 45° which is roughly the same as that of a normal, relaxed, human eye, disregarding peripheral vision. • Filters are used to help control contrast and create special effects. Polarizing filters control the effects of reflection, soft-focus filters soften hard edges and UV filters reduce the blue cast that occurs in photographs taken in the shade or on overcast days.In archaeology, filters can be useful for bringing out details on artifacts.• Film speed refers to the film’s sensitivity to light and is expressed in terms of an ISO number. A slow film will have an ISO of 25 or 40, a fast film one of 200 or above.Standard film speed is ISO100. Basically, the faster the film the less time it needs to be exposed to light to produce a suitable image. There is a trade-off to consider here, of course. Fast film allows you to take a good image in poor light, but will also appear much grainier than a slow film. Grains are the tiny, light-sensitive particles of silver which make up the negative, and are much smaller and finer in slower films, giving them higher definition. If you are using a manual camera, make sure you set it to the appropriate film speed.

Choosing the right cameraThe pros and cons of SLR versus digital cameras for archaeological fieldwork

The advantages of SLR The advantages of digital The utility of an SLR camera can be

improved through the use of different lenses and accessories.

The main advantage of an SLR camera in manual mode is that you have complete control over the image. The camera only does what you tell it to do. Therefore, if there are any mistakes, you know that you have made them, and you can work on improving your technique.

When considered in terms of comparable image quality, SLR cameras and their accessories are cheaper than their digital equivalents.

Digital image-making is usually much cheaper than buying and processing film.

Digital cameras allow you the luxury of continuous point-and-shoot in those situations where there is no time to wait for a composed image, such as if a procession is moving by. With digital photography you can also take a series of images without worrying about the cost of film and processing.

Many digital cameras have a direct-to-printer cable which allows you to make prints without needing a computer. This can be useful in the field, especially if you wish to give copies of images to local

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SLR photography requires less skill in composing, as you can draw upon the technology of super-wide angle lenses or extra long telephoto lenses.

Digital cameras are more limited in their format than SLR cameras, as they do not take interchangeable lenses. If you are shooting distant images, an SLR camera fitted with an extreme telephoto lens will produce a much better result than a digital camera. Similarly, it is very difficult to take truly wide-angle views on digital cameras.

SLR cameras are more robust than digital cameras. Digital cameras are more prone to the kinds of damage that occur in the field, such as dampness, dust, heat and cold. Also, many digital cameras have rotating parts, which are more vulnerable than fixed parts and require extra care.

people. Storing digital images is easy and copies

of images can be produced more cheaply. Image data is saved on to removable memory cards, but in the cheaper models these can be limited to as few as fifteen images before they have to be downloaded. Unlike conventional cameras, many

digital cameras allow you to preview the image on a small LCD screen. This means that you can assess immediately whether you have achieved the image you were after. If you are conducting ethnographic research, this also gives you an opportunity to break the ice with the people with whom you are working.

Choosing the right filmThere are three general types of film:Black-and-white; Color negative (print film)Color positive (reversal film), each with its own particular uses. Color negative film is primarily designed to give color prints, but it can also be used to produce black-and-white prints reasonably well. Additionally, color prints can be re-photographed to give color transparencies for projection. Similarly, color positive film is intended to give transparencies by reversal processing, but these can then be used to make color prints by reversal printing. Transparencies can then be copied on to black-and-white film, thus producing black and- white prints. Black-and-white negatives, however, can yield only black-and-white prints or black-and white transparencies.

Black-and-white negative film and the resultant black-and-white prints have in the past been the commonest and most reliable means of recording structures and objects. Advantages include the

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wide exposure latitude, the fact that different types of light-source can be used and mixed without greatly affecting the quality of the result,

the simplicity of processing, Relatively low cost of reproducing black and white plates in publications. Remains the most stable and long-lasting archival document assuming that it has been

properly processed and correctly stored.Disadvantage:

Records colors only as shades of grey, with the consequence that much information can thus be lost. Whether or not this is important depends on the type of artifact being recorded. For example, color would probably be unimportant when photographing a collection of coins, while polychrome pottery could hardly be recorded without it.

A further slight disadvantage might be that in some places it is not easy to find to find a commercial laboratory willing to process black-and-white film. The entire major manufacturers market slow to medium speed black-and-white films, and although there are differences between them, particularly in terms of resolution and exposure latitude, all are capable of yielding good, detailed record photographs.

Color negative filmThis has become the most widely used type of film and is consequently the easiest to obtain and to have processed. Quite apart from simple convenience, this wide availability is important. Because of the film’s popularity, there is usually a rapid turnover of stocks in shops and dealers, and the chance of finding only out-of-date or badly stored material is reduced. Processing and printing are relatively cheap, but care must be taken when choosing processing services. Specialist laboratories catering for professionals are best of all, but the costs are always very much higher than in retail processors.Advantage:

Convenient and reasonably suitable for straightforward record photographs, and is especially useful when prints are needed quickly.

Compared with color positive film it has wider exposure latitude, and there is less need for a correct balance in the color of the light.

There are more than twenty makes and types of color negative films on the market with speeds of between 50 and 1600 ISO. All claim some special quality of accuracy or color rendition, exposure latitude or storage characteristics. It might be possible to recommend and to choose one particular film among them all which would give the most accurate and consistent results under ideal conditions but, in fact, nearly all of them would yield an acceptable record, although differences would certainly be apparent if results were compared. However, the appearance of the print is also dependent on the lighting and on processing. By far the most reliable way of choosing a film for a programmer of recording is to test-expose several types, have them processed by a reliable laboratory and to compare the results with each other and the original.

Color positive filmColor positive film yields transparencies, primarily for projection, although the film has other advantages.

Advantages:The recording of colors is more accurate and possesses greater depth than does color negative film. It is therefore often preferred for publication and scanning.

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Color prints can be taken from it either by copying on to negative film, or by printing on to reversal paper, although this process is more expensive and needs more skill than does printing from color negative film.Disadvantage Although they can be copied without difficulty, since this always involves some loss of quality, it is preferable to take several original exposures if the slides will be so used. The film is not processed with the same chemicals as negative film so it may not be possible to have the work done as cheaply and easily.

TIP: If you’re trying to photograph artifacts outdoors, where high contrast between light and dark areas might be a problem, black-and-white film will be able to capture more detail in both the very dark and very light areas. Color slide film, on the other hand, will probably increase the contrast and make your artifacts highly shadowed. If in doubt, use color print film— ISO100 outdoors and ISO 400 or 800 indoors.

Caring for film• Always check the expiry date on the outside of the film carton. When you purchase film, make certain that it is not near the expiry date.• In the field, store film in an esky, or wrapped in a wet towel, to keep it cool. Remember to keep the film in an airtight container, so it doesn’t become damp and remove it an hour or so before you plan to use it, so it is at room temperature when you load it into the camera.• Load and remove film in the shade, or at least shield it from direct sunlight with your body.• Never leave a loaded camera in the glove-box or boot of your car. The high air temperature in confined spaces such as these can damage the film’s speed and color.• If the air is very humid, do not return exposed film to the canister. Keep it in an airtight bag with a few packets of silica gel to absorb any moisture.• Have exposed film processed as soon as possible, so that if there have been major mistakes or problems you can fix them immediately.

Scales and information boards

FEATURES Scale (checkerboard pattern)

The two-dimensional check boarder pattern of 1 cm squares provides information about a photograph's scale, in two dimensions. The high contrast black-and-white pattern is highly visible and is easily identified by viewers as a reference scale.

color correctionThe 2 cm neutral grey square at the right of the reference scale is intended for making color corrections. If light illuminating the scene (including the reference scale) has a color cast, the neutral grey will pick up that cast; for example, light from a blue sky gives a blue cast to scenes not in direct sunlight. Photo editing tools such as Photoshop can eliminate such color casts by adjusting the color balance of known-neutral objects back to neutral color. In Photoshop, use the middle eyedropper of the Curves tool (see Photoshop Help on Curves for more information).

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Problems sometimes occur when the reference scale is a small part of a photo: Purple fringing, chromatic aberration, and shortcomings of a camera's internal image processing can create color fringes that bleed into the grey patch. In such cases, color-correction based on the grey patch will be wildly and obviously off. The bleeding is usually visible when the image is highly magnification (e.g., in Photoshop). In these situations it is sometimes better to color-correct using the white sections of the reference scale (with the right-most eyedropper of the Photoshop Curves tool).You can control how many pixels Photoshop uses when color sampling by right-clicking when using the eyedropper.The black and white sections of the reference scale can be used to set the high and low points of a photograph, but often the black squares will not be as dark as other parts of the photo (the black of the photographic paper is not an absolute black).Fiducial, and Perspective CorrectionThe circular target with orientation and center point markings can be used as a fiducial and for perspective correction -- because a circle, if photographed obliquely, appears in the image as an ellipse, perhaps tilted, providing enough information to determine the angle between the camera's view and the axis of the circle.Furthermore, if the reference scale is aligned to horizontal, and if the camera is held horizontal (though possibly looking down or up), it's possible to deduce the angles of rotation (horizontal and vertical) of the reference scale in the real world, and the angle by which the camera was pointing down or up -- all that from just the shape of the circular target in your image!The perspective target is most useful when the reference scale was photographed obliquely, but normally one should strive to photograph scenes perpendicularly to minimize distortion.PURPOSE All archaeological photographs for technical purposes should include a scale, irrespective of the subject being photographed. The purpose of a scale is to provide something of known dimensions against which the size of the object can be judged so a clear and readable scale is essential. These are essential to give accurate measurements and a sense of size and depth.AVAILABILITY Generally you will find these in lengths of 2m, marked in 50cm bands ranging in size from 2m, 1m with 50cm and 25cm for smaller features. Smaller ones are available for artifact recording. Ideally, you should have a variety of scales to suit any circumstance, but each one must have the unit of measurement clearly marked on it (e.g. millimeters, centimeters or meters) and, if possible, at least one—if not more—major length divisions (e.g. 10 centimeters, 15 centimeters, 50 centimeters, 1 meter). The standard scale for site photography is a 2 meter range pole, marked in 50 centimeter sections in alternating red and white. If you do not have this, you can make your own scale from a length of timber by simply painting the divisions in either red and white or black and white. The standard scale for object photography is 10 centimeters, marked in 1 centimeter sections in alternating black and white, though a range of smaller scales can be used for some laboratory shots. The International Federation of Rock Art Organizations* produces a free 10 centimeter color scale for use in artifact recording. The advantage of this scale is that it also includes a color reference strip which can be used to assess the degree of color distortion resulting from lighting conditions or the development process. POSITIONING The most important principle when using a scale is that it should not overwhelm, or detract attention from, the object. Never place a scale on top of an artifact, even if you feel that it does not obscure essential information. The scale should be placed to the right or

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left of the object or centered across the bottom or top of the picture. Because distortion is an inherent part of the photographic process, make sure you align the scale parallel to either the horizontal or vertical frame of the photo. This means making sure that the scale is not leaning at an angle or twisted so that it faces away from the camera. If you happen to be caught in a situation without a scale, then it is still essential to include some object in the photograph for the same purpose. A person (of average height) is acceptable for larger features or site photography; for small items or areas, use a relatively common and recognizable object such as a lens cap or pencil, but remember always to include a note of the length of the object in your field notes and figure captions.For sites and large structures the standard scale is either a human figure or a 2m red and white surveying pole. Such scales - whether figures or poles - must be positioned with care, ensuring that they do not obscure important detail. If the picture has any depth, for instance if the view is along the length of a building, there should be scales near both the front and back of the picture.Photographs of all smaller movable or potentially movable objects should also include a scale, preferably of a size similar to the artifact: a one centimeter scale next to a 40 cm high vase, for instance, would not be very informative. The scale should be placed either horizontally or upright close to, but not overlapping, the object. It is important to make sure that the scale is in the same plane as the object, preferably about halfway back in its visible depth. In this position, not only will it give the most accurate indication of the size of the object, but if the scale is focused sharply it will ensure that the object is centered in the depth of field. All scales should include the unit of measurement (e.g., cm, in) and the length of one segment printed on it, since a simple black-and-white stick of unknown length is of little value.

An information board is also useful, as it provides a basic record of the photographic event which can be checked against other records. A small child’s blackboard is not only effective as an information board, but is cheap and can be reused quickly and easily. Information boards should be marked with the location, date and roll number. If photographing an excavation, you should also include information on the unit, square, context or trench. Such photographs are not always attractive, so if your aim is to produce images for publication in articles or reports, it can be an idea to take two photographs: one with and one without the information board.

Maintaining your equipmentA daily and weekly routine should be established for checking photographic equipment. Inspect your cameras, lenses and tripods on a daily basis and wipe them clean. Inspect them

closely once a week and clean all their outside surfaces with a clean soft rag, or piece of chamois.

Pay special attention to the interior of the camera case. Blow dust from the interior of a camera body and case using a squeeze bulb, or blower brush, or a can of filtered compressed gas.

Commercial lens tissues are good for lint-free, dry cleaning of lenses and cameras. Tissues and lens cleaner should be used for wet cleaning, with cotton wool buds for cleaning in spots that are difficult to access. When cleaning the lens or filter, remove as much dust as possible with a soft brush and blower, then use lens cleaning fluid and tissues. Never apply lens cleaner directly to the lens, as it may leak through the casing. Instead, apply it to the lens tissue. Rub the dampened lens tissue in a spiral motion outwards from the centre of the lens.

Some basic precautions:

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Make certain that the equipment is operational a week or so before you leave, so that you will have time to fix any faults.

Store all items in dustproof containers. While in the field, inspect and clean cameras and other equipment regularly.


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There are many publications which detail the essence of good photography; however, it is worth pointing out that a ‘good’ archaeological photograph is not the same as a ‘good’ artistic photograph. Because archaeological photography has a particular and quite narrow aim (to document a site or artifact in the necessary technical detail), it is much more analytical and precise than simply snapping shots. For this reason, while you will still need to follow some basic rules of composition and lighting, archaeological photography has its own set of standards. While there is always room for artistic or personal shots on a dig, the three basic elements of archaeological field photography are:• Learn enough basic technical skills to ensure you can take photographs which show sufficient technical detail. Photographs unintelligently taken tell nothing. Use must be made of light and shadow to bring out the required features. Sharp sunlight, preferably with the sun low in the sky, is needed for earthworks while diffuse, flat light is best for photographing stratigraphic sections, rock art, and so on.• Always include a scale, because there is no point in photographing a site or artifact without also indicating how big or small it is-a trowel, a person, etc., depending on the subject of the photograph.• Always record the details of every photograph on a written recording form. Because all photographs will ultimately become part of the permanent site archive written descriptions of each photograph are always noted on recording forms, so that no detail of any photograph is lost.In general, archaeological photographs should be descriptive and realistic, rather than interpretive. Documentation required for photographs will usually involve:• A description of the subject. As soon as the shot is taken, this should be written against the appropriate frame number in a notebook. Film reels should be numbered as they are completed and the appropriate number written in the notebook.• Direction. A description of the subject should always include a note indicating the direction. A description of the sort ‘view towards (direction) from (vantage point)’ is encouraged as it is less ambiguous than alternative forms.• There should be references to photographs in the written description, and in plans and diagrams.• The month and year the photograph was taken, and the negative number, should be written on its back and on the accompanying Site Record Form or Site Description Form.Most photographs are taken for record purposes, not for publication. If a photograph is intended for publication, more attention should be paid to properly composing the shot and ensuring that it illustrates the particular point intended. It may be worthwhile to plan a return visit to a site if light conditions are unsuitable whenit is first visited

Think about the purpose of the photograph—what are you trying to show? What point of the report or article is this photograph intended to illustrate? Are there specific features or elements which you want to emphasize? Always imagine that

someone else will be analyzing your results or re-analyzing your material: will they be able to grasp what you are doing, and understand the point of the photograph? Don’t just snap off photographs, always look critically at what you are recording and assess whether this particular photograph will help you to show it.

Use of proper light:

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The direction and intensity of lighting can make all the difference between a great and a poor photograph. Very directional light, such as through a window, can maximize textures, cast strong shadows and reduce the mid-tones. It can also create shadows, however, and obscure the outlines of objects.Very bright or harsh light can create deep shadows and intense reflection, washing out details and making some parts of the photograph overexposed (very bright) and others under-exposed (very dark). Very dim light will be too dark and will not reveal enough to make the outlines of any object clear. Because of the softer lighting, the best times for taking field photographs are early in the day (preferably just before sunrise), or later in the afternoon at evening or twilight. Obviously you will not always be able to control the lighting conditions or wait until the perfect time to take each photograph. In these cases, you will simply have to make the best of the circumstances you find yourself in, but if you have a basic working knowledge of what is important in taking a good photograph, you should know enough to be able to avoid the worst.Essentially, the main principle in taking a good photograph is to even out the highs and lows so that all the detail of the bright and dim areas can be captured. All good cameras will allow you to regulate the amount of light coming through the lens via combinations of shutter speed and aperture to achieve the correct exposure for the speed of the film. If your camera is set to automatic, these decisions will be made for you, although this does not mean that your photos will always be perfectYou can also try physical solutions to problems of too much light or shadow. One way to remove shadows is to use a reflector to brighten the darker areas. If you don’t have a commercial reflector, you can use almost any bright object which comes to hand, even something as simple as a large sheet of white card, a space blanket or aluminium foil taped to a flat surface. The reflector should be placed on the shadowed side and moved just close enough to lighten the shadow, so that you are able to record detail in those areas. If you are also using artificial light, this should be shone directly at the reflector, which can then be positioned so that it reflects the light on to the precise spot you want illuminated.One way to even out the light is to use a diffuser to spread the light and minimize both shadows and highlights. One of the best commercial diffusers available is a combination gold reflector, silver reflector and diffuser in the one collapsible package. The gold and silver surfaces diffuse different wavelengths of light and so give quite different results. If you are photographing artifacts outdoors, you may have to diffuse the light, as direct sun often is too harsh to give a satisfactory result. Photographs taken without diffusion in direct sunlight will have high contrasts, with the light areas very light and the dark areas very dark, and are unlikely to show details well. This may not be necessary if the day is overcast, or if the light is shadowed or hazy, because cloud cover is actually one of the best light diffusers you can have. If you can’t wait for an overcast day, however, and don’t have a commercial diffuser on hand, try improvising with a large piece of paper, a white cotton shirt or sheet, or the lid of a white plastic container if you are photographing small objects. Experiment with a diffuser to work out the best effect before you take the photograph.

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Getting things in focusThe aperture in a camera controls two things: the exposure (i.e. the amount of light reaching the film) and the depth of field, or the area of the photograph which is in focus.Controlling depth of field is an important way of concentrating attention on particular features in your picture and is also essential for maintaining sharp focus. A shallow depth of field can help soften unwanted or distracting detail, while a greater depth of field will bring into focus objects that are before and behind the main image.The overall depth of field is influenced by three factors:

1. the focal length of the lens (how long or short the lens is)2. the distance the photographer is from the subject3. And the size of the aperture.

For a large depth of field, select a small aperture (a large f-stop number).For a small depth of field, select a large aperture (a small f-stop number).A simple rule to remember is that the smaller the aperture (the larger the f-stop number), the

more narrowly the light coming through the lens will be focused and therefore the greater the depth of field will be.

When you’re photographing artifacts, getting them into sharp focus by maintaining the maximum depth of field is one of the most difficult things to do. A general rule to follow is the one-third rule, which suggests that you focus on a point that is one-third of the way into your composition. The depth of field in a photograph extends from approximately one-third in front of the point of focus to two-thirds behind. If you focus on the background, this will waste the one-third that is behind the point of focus

and give an image that is blurred for one-third in the front.

Remember that you can’t see this zone of sharpness through your camera viewfinder, so you’ll only find out which parts of the object are out of focus when you get your finished prints back. If you’re photographing a ceramic vessel, for instance, and have only focused on the very front of the vessel, you might find that the sides and rear edges are blurred. Using the one-third rule, however, you would focus approximately one-third of the way back from the front edge, bringing both the foreground and the background into sharpness. Some good SLRs may have a depth of field button that will let you see before you shoot.

Holding the CameraThe quality of your image will be enhanced by how well you hold the camera. The stiller it is, the sharper the resulting image will be. How steady the camera needs to be to take a good photograph is directly related to the shutter speed. In other words, if the shutter needs to be held open for a longer period of time to let in more light, then the camera needs to be held steady for a longer period of time. Very few people can hold a camera steady at a shutter speed of 1/60 or lower, so if your exposure time will be long, you’ll need to use a tripod.When taking a hand-held photo:

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• If standing, make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you place your feet slightly apart and tuck in your elbows, this will help distribute your body weight more evenly and provide a secure platform for supporting the camera.• Try bracing your body on a solid object, such as against a tree, table or the side of a building.• If squatting, steady the camera by supporting your elbow on your knee.• If kneeling, distribute your weight evenly.• If lying down, use your camera bag or case to support the camera.• Try holding your breath when you press the shutter release button.• Press the shutter release button softly to avoid sudden movement.

When to Use A TripodA tripod anchors the camera in a way that is impossible for the human hand. A highly flexible tripod, particularly one with individually and highly adjustable legs will be able to cope with just about any fieldwork situation. Remember to use a cable release to take tripod pictures so that you do not have to touch (and thus jar) the camera with your hand. If you don’t have a cable release, or if you lose it, you can also use the self-timer built into the camera to avoid unnecessary camera movement. You will need to use a tripod if you are taking photographs:• With long exposures at night;• In close-up, where any camera movement will have a serious impact upon the quality of the Image;• In rough terrain, where it is hard to maintain a steady stance;• With a very small aperture (a high f-stop) to allow for maximum depth of field.

Tripod tips• If you need to steady the tripod, tie a bottle of water or sand to it to balance the weight of the camera.• In gusty weather, try putting a weight (such as your camera bag) on the tripod to stop it moving.• If you don’t have a tripod with you, a small bean bag placed on a fencepost or similar object can be used to cradle the camera.

Tips for taking good archaeological photographs Always keep the plane of the film (i.e. the back of the camera) in the same plane as the

subject to avoid distortion. Always take light meter readings from your subject and not the background or

foreground. If you can’t get close enough, take a reading on something that’s a similar color or is in similar light.

Try to diffuse the light wherever possible, or use reflection to reduce contrast in dark shadows.

Always include a scale. Always record the details of each photograph in a log or on photographic recording


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Shoot the first frame on a roll of an information board, noting the site, date and location in case your logbook or recording forms are lost.

Make sure there is no extraneous material intruding on your shot (you’d be surprised at how distracting a yellow bucket or a red folder off to one side can be).

Check regularly to make sure your camera is set to the correct film speed and hasn’t been moved inadvertently.

Remember that film is cheap in comparison to the cost of returning to a location. Always take at least twice as much film as you expect to use. It is also a good idea to take more shots that you think you will need, especially if you are planning to include the images in a report or publication.

You can never plan for the weather. Take film in a variety of speed ratings so that you’ll be prepared for a range of lighting conditions.

If you are in doubt that your choice of aperture and shutter speed will actually give you the correct exposure, try bracketing your photographs. This is the photographic equivalent of an insurance policy. Take one shot at the exposure which you think is correct, and then take additional shots either side of this to give more and less exposure. If you took one photograph at 1/125 of a second at f-stop 8, for example, then you would also take one shot at 1/125 at f/5.6 and one at 1/125 at f/11.

Keep it simple. Whereas a painter starts with a blank canvas and builds on it, a photographer starts with a multitude of images and edits them down. For effective composition, especially when photographing small objects, take elements away until images are reduced to their simplest components. One of the most common errors is to try to include too much.

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The digital revolution that has changed the printing industry now has implications within archaeological photography. The use of digital cameras on archaeological sites and the scanning of conventionally taken silver images are now used regularly for published reports. Digital photography had traditional camera optics and mechanisms and replaced film with an electronic light sensor. The nature of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras now are that the camera bodies and lenses have been designed specifically for digital recording. The two current formats are DX (about the size of APS film at 16mm by 24mm) and FX the size of 35mm film (24mm by 36mm). These sensors are either built into removable film backs for use with normal medium format and 5 x 4" cameras or housed in modified 35mm camera bodies which take advantage of automatic focusing and subject-related exposure programmes. Digital camera sensors, CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices), record a fixed number of image details quoted as a number of pixels. Currently a basic cheap amateur use array for a compact would be of the order of 2312 by 1700 pixels giving a total of 4,000,000 pixels. These are generally referred to as megapixel cameras and give a good image quality. Each of the pixels has to record the light falling upon it as unique value. In order to create a digital image the CCD digitizes the light falling on it and digitizes it into a computer readable form.Portable digital cameras have memory cards inserted that allow a number of photographs to be stored within its memory. The number of the images will be directly related to the resolution and any compression of the images. Additional memory cards are often available to increase the number of images stored but are coming down in price regularly. The downloading of these images frees the cameras memory again. With the cost of memory chips falling rapidly we have several 1GB and 2GB card which will record a proportionally larger number of high-resolution pictures. The resolution of a digital image is the number of pixels in the horizontal and vertical directions that have been captured by a scanner or digital camera. Each pixel would contain a unique image detailA guide to megapixels is5 MP = 2592 x 1944 pixelsHigh Quality: 10 x 13 inchesAcceptable Quality: 13 x 19 inches4 MP = 2272 x 1704 pixelsHigh Quality: 8 x 10 inchesAcceptable Quality: 11 x 14 inches3 MP = 2048 x 1536 pixelsHigh Quality: 5 x 7 inchesAcceptable Quality: 8 x 10 inches2 MP = 1600 x 1200 pixelsHigh Quality: 4 x 6 inchesAcceptable Quality: 5 x 7 inchesGreater than 5 megapixelsDigital camera manufacturers would like all customers to believe that higher megapixels is always better, but as you can see from the chart above, unless you have a large format ink jet printer, anything over 3 megapixels is more than most people will ever need.

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However, there are times when higher megapixels can come in handy. Higher megapixels can give amateur photographers the freedom to crop more aggressively when they can't get as close to a subject as they would like. But the trade-off to higher megapixels is larger files that will require more space in your camera memory and more disk storage space on your computer. The cost of additional storage is more than worthwhile, especially for those times when you capture that priceless photo and may want to print it in a large format for framing. Remember, you can always use an online printing service if your printer can't handle large format.The cost of digital camera has come down with the wider acceptance of the use and utility of this medium.

Memory RestrictionsLaptop computers generally have two slots available for memory modules compared to three or four in desktop systems. This means that they are more limited in the amount of memory that have available. With current memory module technologies, this restriction generally comes to either 1 or 2 Gigabytes of RAM in a laptop system based on either 512 MB or 1024 MB modules. Some ultraportable systems are even fixed with one size of memory that cannot be changed at all. So what is important to know when you look at a laptop?First, find out what the maximum amount of memory is. This is generally listed by most of the manufacturers. This will let you know what upgrade potential the system has.Second, determine how the memory configuration is when you buy the system. For example, a laptop that has 512 MB of memory can be configured as either a single 512 MB module or two 256 MB modules. The single memory module allows for better upgrade potential because by adding another module you are gaining more memory without sacrificing any current memory. Most laptop systems today have a small door on the underside of the system with access to the memory module slots. If it does, then it is possible to just purchase a memory upgrade and install it yourself without much trouble. A system without an external door or panel for memory access will require installation by a service technician. This generally will add additional expense to the memory upgrade in the future or possibly even the requirement that the system is sent in to a service centre that means the lack of a computer until the upgrade is completed.

PHOTO TIPS Study your manual thoroughly and learn to change ISO (light sensitivity), White Balance

(color temperature), Exposure Compensation (brightens or darkens a shot), Flash intensity (adjustable on all DSLRS and many good point and shoot cameras), aperture (depth of focus), shutter speed (at least 1/100 of a sec to eliminate hand shake), and timer.

Type your own 1-2 page guide of the most useful menu options and slip a copy into your camera bag and email it to your smart phone. You can also download a pdf file for the whole manual from the manufacturer’s web site and send that to your phone.

Recharge all batteries before going out to shoot. Always carry an extra charged battery and, if needed, the charger for use whiles you is having lunch.

Check all camera settings before shooting or you may still be on a setting which will wreck all of your shots (like tungsten WB when you are now outdoors). If something is inexplicably wrong with your shots, it’s probably a simple matter of changing a setting.

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Never shoot on AUTO. If you must use something like AUTO, use P instead as this is fully automatic with one big exception. It leaves manual control over all the important features you need to adjust to get good results such as ISO, White Balance, Exposure Compensation, and Flash Adjust.

Turn off your camera off between shots to quadruple the battery time. For the same reason, use the viewfinder, not the power-hungry LCD.

Exposure Compensation Use Exposure Compensation (-+) to add or subtract light from a shot. Since it’s easier to brighten darks later than it is to darken lights, subtract light to avoid over exposed highlights and washed out areas. Exposure Compensation is one basic setting to learn immediately as you’ll be changing it every three or four shots.

White Balance White Balance is another setting to change frequently as you move from tungsten to daylight to fluorescent to mixed lighting, at times. Learn the WB icons so you can quickly change to the best setting. If mixed lighting prevents you from getting the right color, you can either use a white or grey card or set the color temperature manually (which is fast if you do it frequently) or try to fix the color later in Photoshop. The best way to get perfect color is to shoot in RAW and adjust later in Photoshop. Keep the ISO Low, if Possible Always use the lowest ISO possible as this improves the shot by reducing or eliminating noise. In bright daylight, you can shoot at ISO 100-400 and still have fast shutter speeds and wide depth of focus if needed. The most commonly changed setting on your camera should be the ISO. So practice until you know the button by feel. ISO is light sensitivity. The less light you have the higher your ISO must go. But stay within the limit of your camera for high ISO / low noise as going higher will produce grainy shots. Noise is also a product of megapixel setting. Since 10 MP is all you really need to get good results, try setting the picture quality (i.e., megapixels) one notch down if your DSLT goes up to 15 or 20 MP and you find you need more light. (Remember to change it back to the highest MP setting after the shot.)

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Misc. Tips With paintings, on the AV mode (aperture priority) with the aperture set one or two f stops

above the lowest setting to get the sharpest results. The lowest aperture on most lens reduces image sharpness.

When shooting sculpture, remember to select a higher aperture number to provide depth of focus. The closer you are to a 3-D object, the greater depth of field you will need to handle even a few inches of depth.

If available light allows you to lower the ISO while keeping a shutter speed fast enough to avoid blur caused by hand shake, lower the ISO to get even better results. Check each shot afterwards and make sure to zoom in during PLAYBACK to check the focus of tiny cracks and brushstrokes. On most DSLRs, you can move rapidly in Playback from one image to the next while fully zoomed in. This allows you to take 2-3 shots of every image and quickly check to make sure one shot is perfect.

If the image is blurred, raise the ISO and the shutter speed will go up, eliminating most blur which is caused by handshake. This is especially important when shooting very small works or extreme close-ups. If available lighting permits a higher f stop number, give yourself a little extra depth of focus when shooting details as the center of the section photographed will be a little closer than the edges.

Leave your camera on the maximum megapixel setting as this brings in more detail. You can always downsize the shots later for emailing, PowerPoint projecting, and web posting.

DEPTH OF FIELDDepth of Field is one of the most important aspects of digital photography, -- it can be the difference between an ordinary and stunning photograph. However so many photographers have little or no idea of how to set their cameras for a desired Depth of Field effect. A shallow depth of field means that only the subject you are focusing on is in sharp focus – everything in front and back is not. An increased depth of field means that more of the picture in the front and back of the subject appears to be more sharp and clear. This is an “acceptable” sharpness, as it is more clear than a shallow depth of field, but still not as sharp as the subject. Some call this the “circle of confusion” – where the view around the subject is sharp enough, but not crystal clear. Digital Cameras typically have an increased depth of field over the 35mm cameras, and this is good news. The bad news is that it’s not as easy to lose that depth of field when you don’t want it. As each camera make and model is different, so is the depth of field calculation of each. You can control your depth of field with changes to your aperture. The smaller you make your aperture, the wider the depth of field, causing more of the picture to be in focus. The bigger the aperture setting, the more shallow the depth of field, and the more concentrated the focus on the subject only.

Digitization processDigitization means that materials are converted from formats that can be read by people (analog) to a format that can be read only by machines (digital). Flatbed scanners (stationary digital cameras), hand‐held digital cameras, planetary cameras, and a number of other devices can be used in conjunction with computers to digitize cultural heritage materials. Any material

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including stone tablets, parchment manuscripts, books, or paper photographs can be photographed by a digital camera or scanner, storing the resulting image into digital format.

Definitions of TermsArchival Image: An image meant to have lasting utility. An archival digital image is often called the Master image. Generally the Archival image is of higher quality than the digital image delivered to the user.CD ROM:‐ Compact Disc Read‐Only Memory. A form of write‐once, disc‐based, random‐access data storage, usually distributed as a publication which may include sound, image, and text files. At present CD‐ROMs are capable of holding approximately 700 megabytes of data.Digital Camera: An electronic camera that directly captures a digital image without the use of film.Digitization: The process of creating a digital representation or image of an original object through scanning or digital photography.Meta database:‐ A searchable compilation of digital images.Scanner: A device for capturing a digital image.TIFF: Tagged Image File Format is an image file format used for the storage of high quality images.World Wide Web: WWW. An interconnected network of electronic hypermedia documents available on the Internet. WWW documents are marked up in Hypertext Markup Language. Cross references between documents are recorded in the form of URLs (Universal Resource Locator).

What are the basics of digitizing photographs? The digitization staff takes pictures of photographs with a stationary camera called a flatbed scanner. Instead of sending the film out to be developed by professionals, a scanner will be connected to a computer that has image reading software.A simple record book will be used to write down and save the ’names’ of the scanned photographs on a form describing scanned data, much like saving a guest list. And finally the new digital images will be saved on CD‐ROMS. The basics of a digitization project, broken down into categories are:Preparing,Acquiring the necessary equipment,Completing the scanning process,Saving, andStoring.All of the literature recommends saving archive images as uncompressed TIFF images because TIFF is a public domain format which can be used by all common image processors. TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. This is an image file format used extensively for the storage of high‐quality images. Compression means that a certain amount of information needs to be eliminated in order to reduce (compress) the size of the file. The resulting image, upon re‐opening, will not be as detailed as the original digital image and each time the image is ‘saved’ it will be compressed again and lose more detail information. Compression is used to make an image file smaller. Compression is appropriate when size, rather than quality, is of utmost importance.

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The last phase of the save process is recording the ‘name’ of the photograph along with whatever data about the digital copy your institution wants to document in a digitization notebook.

Working With Your PhotosAfter completing the photo shoot you need to move your pictures from the camera to your computer for editing and uploading to Main Memory Network.

MOVING THE PHOTOS ONTO YOUR COMPUTER1. Now you need to move the images from your camera's memory card to your computer. Remove memory card from the camera, and place it in a card reader (unless your camera can plug directly into your computer). Plug the card reader into your computer.2. Make a new folder on your desktop for your new images. Look for the device icon on the screen (on a Mac) or for the card's drive letter in "My Computer" on a Windows computer.Open the device or drive and select all the images. Copy/paste or drag the files into the folder you just created.3. Open the folder to confirm the images are there. Eventually you will want to delete the images from the card. You can do this by manually deleting the images when the card is back in the camera or by loading the card into your computer the same way just described.4. Backup the folder of images onto a disc, external hard drive, flash drive, or server to make sure the images you just photographed are saved in two locations.

EDITING AND CORRECTING THE PHOTOGRAPHEditing a digital file should be limited to making it look like the original. Editing should not include repairing tears, stains, markings, or any other blemishes on the original.NOTE: Never edit your master scan. Make a copy of your master scan and edit the copy.SharpeningDo not sharpen digital images of photographs or paintings.RotatingMake sure that you square your items as best as you can before scanning or photographing. Rotating the image electronically is acceptable, Digital files that are crooked (not aligned square to the edge) will not be accepted in MMN.CroppingIn most instances you may need to crop your digital photograph to isolate the object and minimize the white space around it. Manuscripts should be photographed and cropped to show all edges. Paintings should be cropped so the frame is not included, unless the frame provides historical

information. Oversized photographs can be cropped so borders, matting, and frames are not included,

unless the border, mat, or frame includes historically important information. Ideally you should photograph the image so all edges are showing.

Color adjustmentsThe lights you used and the camera's internal settings may make your image look different than it does in real life. You should change the color to look like the original object and its surroundings. There are usually automatic adjustments in software that can help with this. Auto Contrast, Auto Levels, or Auto Color Correction may work. You may want to adjust the saturation also. This can be done in your color correcting menus.

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File namingWhen you take your photos, your camera will give them a name such as IMG_001.jpg. Change that name to something useful. Use the accession or object identification number, if you have one. Otherwise give the file the name of the object, but do not get too lengthy. 15-20 characters is best. For objects that have detail shots, rename the file with "_detail" as a suffix, for example.It's important to be consistent and to edit your images in a uniform way. All colors should look true to real life and the brightness, color and contrast should all be similar.


When you take a picture in a jpeg format, the camera does things to it before it's saved. The image sensor converts analog to digital, adds any specifications that were made, like white balance, sharpening, contrast, image effect, digital zoom, etc. After all of that is done, the image is saved to the memory card. In a lot of cases, that is the best way to go, because the camera is very smart about interpreting the surroundings and adding the right specifications. A raw file format is the unprocessed data file that is captured by the camera's image sensor before any specifications are applied. This can be very helpful to have when the camera doesn’t interpret the light or the images the way you want it to. If you don't get the results you want with the settings you've made for a picture, you can take a raw picture and not have anything "added" to the image. The picture can then be edited in your photo editor to get the look that you want, rather than having to adjust from the settings made to a jpeg image. JPEG compresses and processes every photo inside your camera, sacrificing some detail while providing an image which is ready to view and email (after it gets sized down in Photoshop). Most DSLRS allow shooting in RAW mode which preserves more visual information but requires processing the image afterwards in Photoshop or some other program before it can be viewed, projected, or printed. Processing in RAW is not difficult if you have already learned basics Photoshop for jpegs. Indeed, processing RAW images is easier and more user-friendly as the main things you will improve are lighting and color. In any case, post-processing is needed for almost all art images. So you will need to learn basic Photoshop before any of your art photos will look good. If you can bother with basic Photoshop, you might as well spend another hour and learn basic RAW processing. The disadvantage to RAW is that each image will be substantially larger on your memory card and computer. You may need higher capacity cards and a larger hard drive at home.The advantage to shooting RAW is that you can make much more dramatic improvements to flawed photos than you can in Photoshop. RAW processing is far better in three areas:1) Fixing color,2) Recovering areas which are overexposed and blown out (all but impossible to fix with jpegs), and3) Restoring detail to overly dark, murky shadows.When shooting in jpeg mode, some art works will always appear greenish or brown no matter what you do in Photoshop. With RAW images, all color problems can be easily corrected. In jpeg, this photo would have been ruined. In RAW, the photographer is able to restore skin tones. The ability of RAW processing to recover overexposed, blown-out areas while brightening shadows involves what photographers call dynamic range. This is the full spectrum of lights and darks which the eye sees but no camera can capture using jpegs. Although full-frame cameras

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already have better dynamic range, they can only handle so much strong contrast. By shooting in RAW and processing the images later, you can achieve near perfect results. Landscape shots also benefit when shooting in RAW. In jpeg, blue sky often appears white and flat. Taken in RAW, the same shot can be fixed later to recover the sky’s rich, three-dimensional color.

Working in Photoshop

How to make a large picture from 2 overlapping photographs in early versions of Photoshop. Take 2 or more photographs with about 40% overlap in as consistent a method as possible Input the photographs to a computer. Open them in Photoshop. Take the middle photograph and ensure that it is square and level (use the eyedropper palate

‘i’ straight line tool to draw along a straight line and the apply image/rotate/arbitrary and agree to the value

shown by pressing the carriage return control). Make the canvas size lager in the direction that you wish to enlarge the image by using

Image/canvas size Open the next picture and select all (control+A) and v (move) to drag the selection to the first

picture Open the layer palate and select an opacity of 60 % Try to position the new layer on top by using the move tool (v) and the up and down single

pixel move buttons on the keyboard. The level can be resized and rotated by using the transform palate or Control+T Reset the opacity on the layer. Re crop (c) and flatten control+E Save

Photoshop toolbar shortcut keys and options

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AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHYThe purpose of aerial photography is to obtain a bird’s eye view of an archaeological site. This can give you quite a different view to that which you normally take. For example, if you are on the ground you may be able to see a large number of mounds, but it is only from above that it is possible to see the relationships between them. Aerial photography can be undertaken in two ways. Either the archaeologist has to find a way to place themselves above the site, or they have to find a way to elevate their camera. The elevation of the archaeologist can be achieved through the use of a light plane or a hot-air balloon. In some instances, low elevations may be all you need and it may be enough to climb a ladder, a tower, a tree or a rock outcrop. A cherry picker is another possible solution, although they can be quite expensive and are not always easily maneuverable on site. A higher viewpoint will enhance your ability to interpret the site in terms of its surrounding environment, as well as to make sense of the relationship between different parts of the site. In terms of site photography, elevating the photographer or the camera can be a solution to problems of distortion inherent in photographing large areas from ground level. Alternatively, the camera can be elevated independently through a variety of means, such as balloons and bipods.


Aerial photographs are an important tool of archaeology:• Information about sites and their relationships with each other and with the terrain is easily interpreted.• The amount of readily interpreted information they contain about the nature of the terrain usually allows the site locations to be plotted with considerable accuracy.Aerial photographs can have an important role when dealing with large numbers of small sites in a restricted area.• Stereo-pairs provide three-dimensional relief and detailed information on the character of the terrain and on site context.• Fieldwork planned with use of aerial photographs helps save time and effort.

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a. Record progression of excavation from beginning to end b. Provide evidence of information that will be lost through the excavation process c. Document features and artifacts with publishable quality photographs d. Illustrate methods of excavation utilized e. Illustrate artifacts in situ f. Provide a memory of the excavation for team members.


Before photographing trenches and features on site, there are certain issues that need to be considered. Firstly, you will need to think about photographic materials, whether you need good quality archival black and white film or whether you need color (usually slide or transparencies as it is more stable for the archive). It is best to use two cameras loaded with both types of film and some site directors are happy to include digital these days although most County archaeologists still insist upon film for the archive. The difference between an image that ‘will do’ and a professional image is an issue of quality. Quality photographs will result in more archaeological detail; it will be a true record, rather than a poor image that looks something like the original. Do not forget that apart from the paper archive the photographs will be the ONLY pictorial way of capturing the archaeology after it has been destroyed by excavation and the importance of this is often lost in the field.A higher resolution digital camera can be used for publication quality photos. In preparation for these photographs, the Square being photographed should be thoroughly cleaned, swept, and a scale and north arrow included. The smaller digital camera can be used for daily opening and closing shots, as well as for “in progress” photos of various features and loci. Every feature or locus, no matter how small should be photographed. One photograph can literally be worth a thousand words. As digital cameras are used, cost is not an issue, so be liberal when taking photographs. The Square Supervisor in consultation with the Field Supervisor makes the decision of what should be photographed. Photograph all in situ objects, architecture, and installations in ways which enlighten their stratigraphic and functional relationships. Approach every photograph as if it is potentially publishable. Even daily progress photos are sometimes published. That means that the area included in the photograph must be clean! Clean every stone, so that no dirt or dust adheres to them; brush out footprints in Soil Layers and on balk tops; and completely remove every excavator and their tools. Photographs of Squares containing several phases are very difficult to read, so it is important to keep the Square in phase as much as possible. As mud brick has a tendency to dry differentially to its surrounding soils, it will become more visible at different times of the day. It may be necessary to take photos of the Square every morning after it has had the evening to dry out, and at the end of the excavation day after it has been subjected to the heat of the late morning. This might seem redundant, but you will be surprised at what can become visible at different times of the day. Every photo must have a scale stick placed parallel to the baseline of the photo. Include a north arrow, or your trowel, to indicate north. Photo number, date, and description (including loci identifiable in the image) are to be recorded on the Photographic Record Form.

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It is particularly important that you produce an accurate photographic recording of archaeological excavations. When photographing excavations, it is worthwhile taking two types of photographs: accurate recordings of the results of excavation and photographs that record the work in progress. In terms of recording the past, the important point is to make a complete record of the site before, during and after excavation. In more general terms, you need to think of the many purposes to which archaeological photographs can be put.You should take each of the following:• An establishing shot, taken with a wide-angle lens, that shows how the area to be excavated fits into its surroundings;• A ‘before’ series of shots that records the excavation area before it is disturbed;• Overall shots of people in action. This can give a vivid impression of the excavation process;• Full-face portraits of people in action. Try to get candid shots of people performing routine activities, such as trowelling and sieving. The best technique here is to take lots of photographs. While people will be stiff at the beginning, after a while they will become less aware of you, and you will be able to get increasingly natural shots. Don’t direct people too much. Let them be themselves, and try to capture this on film;• Shots of sponsors or visitors to the site, which may be used subsequently for publicity purposes;• Close-ups of special finds, which should be photographed in situ. Bear in mind depth of field and make certain that the entire object is in focus;• Close-ups of individual features as they are exposed;• Individual photographs of the spatial association between artifacts;• Individual photographs of the step-by-step excavation of a significant discovery;• Individual photographs of each context or unit once it has been excavated, recording the particular surface characteristics of each unit. These should include both vertical and horizontal faces (i.e. separate shots of the walls and floor of the trench). They should be taken after the walls have been straightened and the surface tidied and brushed clean;• An ‘after’ series of shots which records the excavation area once work is complete, but before the site is backfilled.When taking shots of successive levels in an excavation unit or trench, make sure that all shots are oriented in the same direction. In other words, if the first photograph of the excavation unit is taken facing north, then all subsequent shots documenting the excavation of that square must also be taken facing north, so that the complete series of photos can easily be compared. Obviously, if you are also taking individual shots of particular features within the unit, these can be taken from any angle. To avoid problems of distortion when photographing whole excavation units, you should try to keep the plane of the film (i.e. the back of the camera) parallel to the ground surface. This may mean elevating the photographer above the site so that the photograph can be taken looking down.

ANGLE OF VIEWPOINT IN TRENCHESThe recording of stratified layers in section faces can prove difficult, as trenches are often narrow. It is desirable to gain as square a shot as possible, that is with the camera vertical and square on to the section face with the lens axis as near as possible to the mid-point of the section rather than looking down at an angle. This prevents spherical distortion to the edges of the frame, which is caused by lens foreshortening or perspective shift if lines are not parallel to the camera viewfinder. From a high viewpoint, the sections nearer to the camera would appear bigger and

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deeper than the sections further away from the camera. Using digital cameras are convenient as you can check instantly to see if you have achieved the desired effect first time. To gain a correct position, place the camera within the trench on a tripod, measure the lens to section distance (with a tape measure if needs be) and accordingly adjust the lenses’ focusing ring (using the feet/meter scale if present) to line up the correct measurement if you cannot see through the viewfinder, which is often the case in narrow trenches. Alternatively put the lens onto auto focus if you have it. If you are unable to get the whole section in one shot you may want to consider the uses of composite ‘joiners’ where you shoot the section in several shots either horizontally or vertically and using software programmers such as Adobe Photoshop you join them together (Fig. below was shot in nine images, raising the camera vertically on a tripod and overlapping each shot to minimize distortion).If you are unable to get the whole section in one shot you may want to consider the uses of composite ‘joiners’ where you shoot the section in several shots either horizontally or vertically and using software programmers such as Adobe Photoshop you join them together (Fig.2. was shot in nine images, raising the camera vertically on a tripod and overlapping each shot to minimize distortion).

Figure on right: Composite ‘joiner’ using nine horizontal and vertically shot images making sure the camera was absolutely level for each shot, scales 2m.

Try to avoid including too much sky or background detail above the top of the section at ground level as this may throw your exposure out and render the section details under-exposed, crop close to the top as in Fig.3. A misting of water will help bring out the texture and detail in the layers.If you cannot fit a tripod into the trench, try hand holding the camera roughly half way up the section and keep it as square as possible.A good compromise can be met by holding the camera in this manner (Fig.6) but you will not be able to look through the viewfinder. A digital camera is ideal for setting up such a shot which you can use to preview the viewpoint and then position your film camera in the same spot. Fig.5 shows such a compromise with the same section shown in Fig.3 shot in one image.

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FigureA true square-on shot of a section taken in three vertical images and joined together ,scales 1m.

Figure above:Section face photographed by holding the camera inside the trench,halfway down the section using a camera level but without looking through the view finder ,scales 1m.

Figure on right:Holding the camera halfway down the section face taking a squareShot.

Trench overview shots

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When photographing a whole trench It may be necessary to use a stepladder (or improvise as in Fig.7) to gain a slightly higher viewpoint, if this is the case ensure for safety reasons that you have someone holding the ladder at the bottom to hold it steady. The extra height gained from using a ladder will enable the photographer to achieve a wider view of both the trench and other trenches or features alongside it. This gives valuable information about the context and relationship of other features on site, as well as considering the important 3-D depth of a single feature. Pictures of isolated trenches with no reference to other surrounding anomalies will have a limited use. It may be better to shoot a few pictures using a ladder as well as a few without, using the four cardinal points as starting points to view the trench from different directions to see which best position to shoot it from.You need to think very carefully about where to place the scales in large areas as one will not be sufficient. Try staggering them in important areas and give a sense of depth as well as width/length in deep trenches. You may need to use both vertically placed and horizontally placed scales in strategic points; think about minimizing coverage of important features but get them close enough to show a true representation of scale. See below for further details on the use of scales.

Figure above: Figure above: A simple knuckle jointed tripod gives an ideal vertical viewpoint Even the use of a chair can add valuable height to an overview shot An ideal viewpoint for trench shots is the vertical position, however this can be difficult to achieve without expensive equipment such as poles and extending masts. A good investment is a tripod with a ‘boom’ feature which allows the camera to be positioned directly above features. As this does not give a high viewpoint, the images can be shot in sequence and joined together in a similar manner to the section shots discussed above.

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Simple frames can also be made to accommodate the camera in a cradle, using remote control units to fire the camera shutter on automatic mode. The use of such quadripods gives excellent results and the final images are of an extremely high quality, far surpassing the detail in a single shot, due to the amount of high resolution images used in one final composite shot. The results can be seen in Figure below.


It is always a problem achieving correct lighting when photographing features or vertical sections, unless they are deeper ones cut to a batter (at an angle to prevent overhang). It can be difficult to differentiate between layers of different soils, if they are similar colors but different textures. A common problem is shadow, with a trench half in the light and half out of direct light.

Diffused sunlight behind the clouds Direct sunlight without diffusion

It is best to wait for the clouds to diffuse the sunlight if it is a sunny day or to photograph the feature or section on an overcast day. However bright sunlight is not always a bad thing and slight side lighting is good for sections that have clear relief and surface texture, such as wall foundations, which are best shot from slightly above and to one side, showing the junction with the floor. If you find that one side is in shadow, use reflectors made of foil or white cardboard to

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fill-in the darker side. Flat soil sections or features maybe better with more oblique side-lighting in early morning or late afternoon sunlight. The best form of practice is to observe the trench in varying lighting conditions to determine the best results. Alternatively, the use of electronic flash to one side of the camera will enhance texture if used to light the surface at an oblique angle but this is not common practice and should not be attempted unless you are familiar with electronic flash.Alternatively compromises can often be met with a little creative thinking and ‘items’ close to hand can be utilized to cast shadow over trenches! (Fig.13).

Figure above:Use people to cast shadows effectively where needed. Tarpaulins are often to hand and can also be used to good effect.


Any site photograph should include one scale at least, not so much in order to measure exact distances within the picture, as to give the eye a standard whereby sizes and relationships can be judged. Where size allows, the standard scale is a clean, red and white, 2 meters survey pole. If any other scale is used it should always have the length of its graduations marked on one of the divisions. Too often site photographs include scales whose length is impossible to estimate. Scales should either be parallel to one side of the photograph, or lie parallel to the plane of some important feature in the picture, particularly if the feature is running obliquely back. In any case the scale should always lie approximately in the plane of greatest interest. With an area of any size - a building or a whole trench - by far the most informative scale is a human figure, provided it can be placed fairly unobtrusively, and provided that the figure is not more attractive than the archaeology! If the scene is of any depth scales, whether human or survey poles, should be placed both in the foreground and in the background so that perspective can be appreciated. The practice of using trowels, brushes, picks or other implements as scales should be avoided if possible, as they differ in size and tend to confuse the picture. Scales are essential to give accurate measurements and a sense of size and depth. The scales need to be parallel to the edge of the cameras’ viewfinder and square on to the edge of the section or trench and as close to features/artifacts where possible. If the camera is at a slight angle, place the scales at a parallel angle to the camera so that they are square on to the camera. This way, the scales are on the same plane as the lens axis, to minimize perspective distortion.

Figure shows: Scales placed and photographed at odd angles and positioned in the wrong place can give confusing information.

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If the scales are not on the same axis as the lens, distortion will occur between the nearest point of the camera and the furthest point from the camera. However, care needs to be taken if trenches are deep, as scales placed at an acute angle will not give a true indication of depth or angle.With large areas, three or more scales may be used, placed in the foreground, mid-ground and background for definitive reference points in equal proportions. These may be 2m survey poles or even people used as scales. If using people, it is best to have them in contrasting colored clothing to their background so that they are more clearly recorded. It is important to note that scales should have the measurements recorded clearly on their surface, so it is instantly recognizable if the colored sections are measured in 1cm or 10cms bands, for example (Fig.15).In addition to the use of vertical and horizontal scales, you may wish to have a north arrow in position (Fig.16.), alongside a trench information board. If measurements are not included on the scales, remember to make a note of what size they are as it is easy to forget if your scales were 2m or 1m as some look very similar in a final photograph.

Graves and tombs. The chief problem in recording burials lies not in the photography, but in the length of time needed to clean a skeleton properly. To clean and delineate every bone of a skeleton, human or animal, is a matter of days rather than hours, and may prove an unrewarding business as the bones first cleaned may well become dry and dusty before the last are revealed. Their appearance can often be improved by spraying lightly with water and a little glycerin just before photographing. Where there are a large number of skeletons it might be sufficient to clean and photograph properly only a sample, photographing the rest with just the extremities cleared to show size and posture, unless they seem likely to be of particular archaeological or osteological interest.Skeletons in graves are normally photographed from above, from a sufficiently high viewpoint to show the whole of the skeleton and grave goods, and to include the surface from which the grave was dug. Depending on the practice of the excavation, such photographs may include scales (many excavators think these unnecessary with normal adult skeletons), north points, and cards with registration details. There is often a danger of the grave being so cluttered with such things that the burial becomes obscured.Tombs often present considerable problems of space and lighting, and if there has been any preservation of organic materials the time available for working may be very short. Restrictions of space are best dealt with by using a 35mm. camera with a wide-angle lens, either taking a viewpoint to cover all or most of the interior, or taking a series of overlapping vertical photographs and joining the prints to form a mosaic. In either case lighting will probably have to be by electronic flash unless a generator is available. It is better in a restricted space to bounce the electronic flash from the roof or from a white surface; otherwise the effect will be intolerably harsh and contrasting.

It is always good practice to use some kind of photographic recording form in the same way that you would record context details.

10 Photographic field recording notes

Site Name and location:Field director:

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The board may be a small blackboard or a magnetic board which states the trench number and any context information (North arrows can easily be incorporated onto these boards). Consequently the photo can be easily recognized for salient features when writing up site reports. The problems of including such boards means that important details can be obscured and they do look rather cumbersome, so it may be best to take a shot with and without the board unless directed otherwise. Most units will use these boards but research digs often dislike using them, always check with the supervisor/director first.

LensesIt is advisable that the performing qualities of specific lenses are researched and understood before selecting and using. A basic, standard lens would be suitable for most situations, giving a view similar to that which we see with our own eyes. Distortion is minimal and they usually have a minimum aperture (e.g. f22) for maximum depth of field (maximum focusing range). Sometimes wide-angle lenses are useful in tight spots. They will ‘squeeze’ in information giving a wider viewpoint and are therefore good for placing sites in context with their surrounding environment. However, they will give exaggerated edge distortion and enhanced perspective (Fig.17). They also make subjects appear smaller and further away (unless close to the camera) but are good for enhancing the focusing capacity (depth of field).

Figure above: Simple scales and an arrow may be all that is needed (scales 50cm).

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Figure on left: Use of a wide angle lenswill give you a wide perspectivebut may exaggerate scale!

Occasionally a slight telephoto lens may be used. This gives the effect of flattening perspective and is usually employed to photograph objects far away, making them appear bigger and closer. This may be useful when photographing different areas on site and investigating how they relate to each other.

Cleaning up the siteIt is far better to be fully prepared by making the effort to plan the pictures carefully by paying attention to small details. If images are being used for publication, clip the edges of the trenches carefully, also making sure that the baulk edges and profiles of the sections have been thoroughly cleaned back with a good trowelling and sprayed with water if dry (to enhance colors and cuts). The floor of the trench should be cleaned up and brushed and any bags, buckets or mattocks left lying around should be moved out of shot. Once the preliminaries of positioning scales, boards and arrows have been done, viewpoint and lighting can be considered. Finally, don’t forget that it may be worth taking a selection of shots for best effect, from different angles and viewpoints (unless finances dictate this liberal approach with costly film!). In addition, make sure that you really understand how to use the camera exposure controls before using the camera.


Figure on right:Figure on right: A telephoto lens will ‘flatten’ perspective but will give you a narrower range of focus.

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The conventional approach to architectural photography requires a measure of technical skill and a camera or lens that can be adjusted to correct for converging vertical lines. At their best, these pictures convey the proportions, textures and colors of a building. When you are photographing the outside of a building, try to visit it at different times during the day, so that you can view it in different lights. Then choose the lighting angle that best shows the shape and texture of the materials. When photographing the inside of a building, use available light wherever possible, but if this is insufficient, try bouncing a flashlight from a ceiling or wall, or using a reflector.To record perspective accurately, it is necessary to keep the back of the camera parallel with the subject. When you photograph a building from ground level, however, it is usually necessary to tilt the camera back a little so that you can include the top of the building in the frame. This means that the bottom of the building will seem larger than the top, and the sides will appear to converge. The easiest way to deal with this is to stand well back or use a telephoto lens so that you will not have to tilt the camera.When photographing a standing structure: Always take orienting shots which show the building in its context, including the surrounding

landscape and other buildings. Take external shots of the façade with a normal or telephoto lens, and then individual shots

of the details on the façade. If you are taking many shots of the exterior or interior of a building, it is wise to note the

direction and location of each shot on a photographic plan. Draw a sketch map of the building or site and indicate the physical location of each shot tied to the exposure number and the approximate direction you were facing for each shot with an arrow.

Needless to say, you must use a higher aperture when shooting anything three-dimensional or it won’t be fully in focus. While f/5 might be fine for a group shot of friends standing three rows deep at a distance of twenty feet, you will need a higher aperture to capture a 7-inch statue at a distance of 8-12 inches. In general, the closer you are to a small 3D object, the more depth of focus needed. Since 3D objects require a higher aperture number (i.e. a smaller opening letting in less light), you will need either more light or a higher ISO.

With sculpture, it may or may not be helpful to set the camera on spot focusing. In this mode, the camera focuses on a tiny spot which is normally in the center but can be moved using your camera’s buttons. Spot focusing used unknowingly is particularly bad for sculpture because you may end up focusing on the wrong part of the sculpture. If your camera locks the focus after you push the shutter down halfway, you can always select your ideal focal point, depress the shutter halfway, and then recompose the shot before taking the picture. Many DSLRs have a setting placing a red dot on the focal spot which is only visible in the PLAYBACK mode so you can review your focus points and understand your mistakes better.

To get a better angle on a sculpture placed high up, put the camera on LIVE-VIEW mode so you can shoot using the LCD and hold the camera high over your head with a faster shutter speed to prevent blur. Or put the camera on a tripod, use the timer, and raise your camera even higher for the ideal shot.This works best with cameras with a tilting LCD so you can aim properly. If your LCD doesn’t tip back, get a spotter to stand behind you and tell you when the shot is framed.

Architecture is hard to shoot well and requires a separate, wide angle lens which goes down to 12 or 14mm. To reduce perspective distortion, shoot from a greater distance or find an elevated spot such as a 2nd or 3rd story window in a nearby building. Many architectural shots are spoiled by a washed out, bright skies so wait for a cloudy day or shoot at dawn or dusk (and change your White Balance to “shade” or everything will look cold and blue). Or shoot in RAW and recover the original blue sky. Dimmer, indirect light is generally preferable as it brings out the middle

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tones whereas direct sunlight often reduces everything to a harsh, flat pattern of light and dark. Most cameras have a grid option visible through the viewfinder which helps compose architectural scenes, landscapes, and paintings.


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Photographs of rock art should be taken using an SLR camera, as digital images do not yet provide high enough resolution for high-quality publication and tracing. When photographing rock art, take each of the following:• orienting shots, showing the immediate environmental context;• A close-up of each motif, which can be used as the basis for tracing;• Wide-angle images, which show the motifs in relation to each other;• Close-ups of details, such as superimposition or areas of damage, which can be used in site interpretation.Remember to keep the back of the camera (i.e. the plane of the film) in the same plane as the rock surface as much as possible to avoid distortion.As opposed to rock paintings, rock engravings are often located at open sites and can be difficult to photograph. The best time to photograph a particular engraving site will depend on that site’s orientation and location in the landscape, but as a general rule it is best to take photos in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is at an oblique angle and will reveal the engraved lines more clearly.It is especially important to visit rock art sites at different times of the day to work out which is the best light for photography. Experiment with filters and diffusers to see whether they help bring out different features in the art. If the rock art is in an area of little sun, it may have to be photographed using artificial light. In this case, it is important to make certain that the light spreads evenly across the surface, so that you can record the greatest detail. Sometimes, it can be helpful to photograph rock engravings at night using an artificial light source held very close to the surface of the rock so that the light shines across the art surface rather than straight at it. You can also try holding a hand-held mirror close to the rock surface in daylight to redirect sunlight to the same effect. If you are trying this during the day, it is much more effective to shade the area you are trying to illuminate, so that the light cast from the mirror is not washed out by the brighter sunlight. Using oblique light in this way highlights the relief on the surface and can be very helpful in providing detail for tracings. This technique can also be useful for recording other hard-to-interpret relief surfaces such as weathered gravestones.Never use chalk, paint or any chemical to outline or emphasise rock art motifs, as this can cause permanent damage to the art surface. For the same reason, never remove graffiti, lichen or moss from the art surface so that you can see it better. Removing any such coverings is likely to cause unforeseen damage and you must have permission from the relevant state authority before you can clean up any archaeological site. If you cannot manage to bring out the best in the rock art through the use of filters, oblique light or other lighting conditions, then you will have to rely on tracing or drawing the rock art panels to show their detail



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Artifact photography has retained basic principles over time, but there have been great advancements in its application and potential in archaeology.Artifact photography has the potential to be a very informative and scientific resource for archaeologists. Photographs can be used as a technique for recording and to track changes the artifact has undergone over time. They also provide a way to keep a ‘back-up’ record of the artifact in case of loss or damage. Most importantly, digital photographs can be shared very easily for wide and fast dissemination. But, it is important to remember that an artifact photograph can be useless if the appropriate principles are not followed. The success or failure of a photo rests on a number of different variables, and every photograph requires considerable thought and preparation. It is not as easy as a click of a button!

Background and LightingBackground and lighting should be re-considered before every shot as different arrangements may be necessary depending on the size and shape, material, and color of the artifact.The usual backgrounds used are: black velvet, which prevents shadows and reflections but cannot be used for dark objects; white (such as paper), although shadows are very visible so must be used with correct

lighting; glass, used against an illuminated white surface to reduce shadows; and matte (sacking or canvass), which reduces contrast and hides shadows.The most important aspects of lighting are to reduce the amount of shadow and highlight features. Tungsten lights are most common as they are cheap and convenient. Fluorescent lights are ideal only for black and white work due to color distortion. Flash is very difficult to handle, with an intense localized light that is impossible to predict. Natural light can create less shadow, especially in overcast conditions, but again is limited to black and white due to color distortion. As you can see, lighting and background arrangements can depend on each other, and vary depending on the artifact.

Scale and Identification


Usually a one-centimeter scale is used. When the photograph is taken, the widest plane of the artifact will be seen in profile view. If the scale is not level with this plane then the measurements of the scale to the artifact will be distorted. Hence, the scale should be raised to coincide with the outline of the object. It may be necessary to use multiple scales if a specific feature is also being photographed, or multiple photos should be taken. The scale should be placed near the frame of the photo without touching the artifact, so that it can be cropped out

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later on. Identification is handled with the inclusion of the artifact registration number tag, which is also placed near the frame.

CameraAdvances from the ‘old school’ conventional cameras are phenomenal. Digital cameras are becoming cheaper and much easier to use. Instant review on LCD screens allows the photographer to adjust settings and re-take photographs, and saving onto a memory card enables easy transfer to a computer. Computer software is another major development, essentially making a ‘digital darkroom’ where the photo can be adjusted in a number of ways.

Nikon 35mm SLR Camera

Aperture, Shutter Speed and FocusAperture and shutter speed settings may be unfamiliar to anyone new to artifact photography. The depth in focus is increased by reducing the f-stop number (if it helps, imagine the diameter as a fraction with the diameter divided by the f-stop number [d/f] i.e. ½ for a larger hole and larger depth, or ¼ for a smaller hole and smaller depth). This setting is important when photographing an object with a varying depth, as the whole artifact should be kept in focus. Shutter speed has a combined effect as it controls the length of time that the chip (or, originally film) is exposed to light, controlling the darkness of the picture. If the aperture is adjusted, the lightness of the photograph will be affected; hence the shutter speed also needs adjusting.Lastly is the focus. When adjusting focus, it is important to watch the detail and profile. The outline of the artifact should appear sharp, as if the object is hovering. Focus is not something to be done quickly, and it may take some adjusting of the f-stop to get it right. Always review the photograph and check the focus before moving on. It could also be suggested to take multiple photos at different f-stops and shutter-speeds so that they can be compared.

SavingAll archaeologists know that it is important to catalogue and store data correctly and in an efficient manner, and it is no different with photographs. The photos should be labeled with the registration number of the artifact, and with any other necessary details such as the site name and date. A computer database is the best system for storing, but photos should at least be saved on a disk or external hard drive, which are economical and can be very large. Artifact photography

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has a large potential for the sharing of information. With new technologies, it is becoming an easier, quicker, and more accurate method for recording and as a resource. With more accurate photographs there is less of a need to handle the actual artifacts, and archaeologists far removed from its location are not disadvantaged or restricted by access.

SETUP Set up the studio by first choosing the table to put all the historic materials on. Place items in

the order they will be photographed. Put like items together (books together, small objects together, larger objects together) on the table. Make a list of everything you will photograph.

Choose the surface where you will place the items to be photographed. Place the poster board on the surface, if starting with the 2-D objects. Hang the backdrop/ sheet, if starting with the 3-D objects.

Put the camera on a tripod. Set up two lights, one on either side of the table close to where the object will be. Plug in all the cords (if any) and use duct tape to tape the cords to the floor for safety reasons.

LIGHTSLights can be used in a number of ways based on what you are photographing and where. Block out all natural light from windows, and turn off the room lights. The object needs to be

illuminated by lights you can control. Using two lights at equal distances from the camera is the best method. Put the lights on

either side of the object and tilt them downward to point the light just above the object. If the object still looks too dark, you can use reflectors to increase the amount of light shining

on it. Use white paper, tin foil, or a photographer’s reflector. Place the reflector in front of the object (or on the side between the light and the camera). Clamp it to a stand or have someone hold it steady. Make sure the reflector does not block the camera view or appear in the shot. Using a reflector can help add light to an object by bouncing light from the reflector back to the object.

SETUP FOR 2-D OBJECTS Two-dimensional objects are best photographed when using a copy stand. Adjust the tripod

so the camera is facing down on the object and not straight ahead. If the tripod you are using does not allow this angle, use the straight-on method. Here you would set your camera lens to be parallel to the object.

You’ll need to use a board to tack or fasten the objects. Angle the board so it's vertical or at a slight angle from the table.

SETUP FOR 3-D OBJECTS Three-dimensional objects will need a seamless backdrop. You can use an ironed bed-sheet

or a roll of paper. Tack or tape one end of the roll to a vertical surface (wall, chalkboard) and roll the paper or sheet onto the table, taping the other end on the table’s edge, closest to the camera. The backdrop should be seamless, allowing there to be a smooth curve in the background.

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Place the object on the table near the camera. Set up your lights on either side of the object at the same angles. If a top light can be rigged or clamped, it will provide excellent overhead light. Place the camera and tripod close to the object so the lens and the object are on parallel planes.

Using a flash The internal flash provides more light to the object. Turn off the flash when using external

lights. A flash often gives a harsh, uneven light to your object. Find the flash icon on your camera's controls and turn it off. If you are not using any external lights, flash is acceptable, but be aware that your object may photograph too flat or bright. If there are shiny or light parts of your object, a flash may cause them to look even lighter and brighter, resulting in an undesirable photo.

TAKING THE PHOTOS Begin with a fully charged camera battery and an empty memory card, or one with ample

free space. Set up the camera, tripod, and lights based on the kind of objects you are photographing. Adjust the tripod to keep the camera’s lens angle parallel to the object. Adjust your camera settings and bracket to test the light. This means that you will try one

camera setting combination (aperture and shutter speed), then another, and another without moving the object. Look at the images to find the best setting. Then, use that setting for your series of objects.

Leave space around the object in the viewfinder (the part you look through) but not too much. You may need to crop the image later on.

Focus on the object only, not the backdrop. You can use an Auto-Focus setting on your camera.

Take more than one picture of each object as a rule of thumb. If you wish, place a ruler, coin (such as a quarter), or a crispy dollar bill near the object to

show its scale. Decide if you want to include detail shots. Sometimes when an object is large, you may want

to photograph the entire object, and then choose an interesting part of it to photograph as a close detail shot. An example of this may be a vase: photograph the vase, and then make another picture of the back side and maybe the bottom.

Art and Artifact Photography Tips When handling the objects always wear gloves. The exception to this is for glass or ceramic

objects when extra grip is required. Fill the frame. Always use the tripod. Photograph the object straight on if 2-dimensional, and at a 45° angle if 3-dimensional. Take close-up shots of any significant marks or features. Prop up the object if needed, but the prop should never show in the photograph.

Background Use a contrasting background fabric to highlight the characteristics of the object.

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Make sure that the fabric is smooth and that no creases or wrinkles will be visible in the photos. (Hint: Rolled storage of the fabric will prevent this.)

Between photos remove any dust from the cloth with a lint brush. If you are dealing with shiny or glass-framed objects, you may get some reflection from

lights or windows. Try holding a dark sheet up behind the camera when taking the photograph to block some of the direct glare. Experiment to find the correct height and angle to hold the sheet.

Scale Place the measuring scale next to the object without obscuring any part of the object. This is

not required for close-up shots. Be consistent with the placement of the scale. I.e.: always place it in the lower left corner. Prop up the scale if needed, but never attach the scale to the object.

Lighting & Camera Settings Natural light is best; avoid any lighting that may affect the coloring of the object. Avoid shadows. Lighting should highlight shape & detail without adding glare & reflections. If you don’t have experience with exposure, make sure the camera is on the “Automatic”

setting. This setting should adjust the exposure for you. If the room is dark – let more light into the camera. Try a Plus Exposure of +.07 or +1.0.

If you want to trust the camera and feel the light in the room is a good brightness, try a Balanced Exposure of 0.0 (this is typically the right exposure).

If the room is too bright – let less light into the camera (or if the artwork has really pale colors and is in a bright room). Try a Negative Exposure of -.07 or -1.0.

Set the 2-second timer to reduce any blur caused by shaky hands.

If you’re photographing several artifacts in the one shot (e.g. an assemblage of bone buttons, or stone artifacts), arranging the artifacts in rows and grouping together artifacts of similar size usually works best.

When photographing underwater, remember that the deeper you dive, the less light there will be to take good photographs. You will also lose different wavelengths of light at different depths, which will give a color cast to your photographs.

Also remember that objects underwater will actually be one-third further away than they appear.


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Macrophotography (or photomicrography or macrography, and sometimes macrophotography) is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size (though macro photography technically refers to the art of making very large photographs). By some definitions, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater. However in other uses it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.The ratio of the subject size on the film plane (or sensor plane) to the actual subject size is known as the reproduction ratio. Likewise, a macro lens is classically a lens capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1, although it often refers to any lens with a large reproduction ratio, despite rarely exceeding 1:1.Macro photography is accomplished using compact digital cameras and small-sensor bridge cameras, combined with a high powered zoom lens and (optionally) a close-up diopter lens added to the front of the camera lens. The deep depth of field of these cameras is an advantage for macro work. The high pixel density and resolving power of these cameras' sensors enable them to capture very high levels of detail at a lower reproduction ratio than is needed for film or larger DSLR sensors (often at the cost of greater image noise). Despite the fact that many of these cameras come with a "macro mode" which does not qualify as true macro, some photographers are using the advantages of small sensor cameras to create macro images that rival or even surpass those from DSLRs.

Technical considerations

Depth of field

Limited depth of field is an important consideration in macro photography. Depth of field is extremely small when focusing on close objects. A small aperture (high f-number) is often required to produce acceptable sharpness across a three-dimensional subject. This requires either a slow shutter speed, brilliant lighting, or a high ISO. Auxiliary lighting (such as from a flash unit), preferably a ring flash is often used LightingThe problem of sufficiently and evenly lighting the subject can be difficult to overcome. Some cameras can focus on subjects so close that they touch the front of the lens. It is difficult to place a light between the camera and a subject that close, making extreme close-up photography impractical. A normal-focal-length macro lens (50 mm on a 35 mm camera) can focus so close that lighting remains difficult. To avoid this problem, many photographers use telephoto macro

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lenses, typically with focal lengths from about 100 to 200 mm. These are popular as they permit sufficient distance for lighting between the camera and the subject.Ring flashes, with flash tubes arranged in a circle around the front of the lens, can be helpful in lighting at close distances. Ring lights have emerged, using white to provide a continuous light source for macro photography, however they are not as bright as a ring flash and the white balance is very cool.Good results can also be obtained by using a flash diffuser. Homemade flash diffusers made out of white Styrofoam or plastic attached to a camera's built-in flash can also yield surprisingly good results by diffusing and softening the light, eliminating specular reflections and providing more even lighting.

Coin photography has come a long way in the last few years since the arrival of digital cameras. Digital cameras allow virtually anyone to take good  photographs of the coins in their collection. The available cameras have high resolution, good macro features and can be purchased relatively inexpensively. There is no need for film and you get the instant feedback of having the photo available for immediate viewing.The camera is, rightly so, an important part of coin photography. But, it’s not as important as many think. Good pictures can be had out of a cheap camera given the right lighting and setup. Conversely, an expensive camera can take bad pictures if the setup is not right.Most of the available hand-held digital cameras have a setting for macro photography which allows focus at the close range required for good coin photos. What you really want is a camera that allows you to shoot good macro photographs from a reasonable distance. That can be accomplished by either a longer focal length lens or shorter focal length with some zoom. You just have to make sure that the camera can focus at macro range with zoom. This factor is especially important for small coins, such as Indian cents where the camera’s macro capabilities will be strained. The hardest part to all of this is figuring out which cameras have these specific capabilities. That being said, most mid-priced digital cameras will take fine images you should get one with as high resolution as you can afford, preferably 4 Megapixels or higher. The camera should have macro focus capabilities, as stated above. Aperture priority mode is very helpful. It should have some way of adjusting white balance of the image. Exposure compensation and different exposure modes, such as center-weighted metering, are helpful. A self-timer is also very useful. The use of these features will be discussed further in later sections.The digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) will almost always have the features recommended above and have the added utility of having interchangeable lenses. The longer focal length lenses that are available allow lighting and setup options that most hand-held cameras can’t offer. The problem with these cameras is price.

Camera Settings

ApertureSince the aperture is so important to getting good focus with coins, prefer to shoot most coins from straight-on at middle apertures so that all of the coin is in good focus. If shooting the coinat any angle other than straight-on, the aperture needs to be about as high as you can set it. Even then you may not be able to get all of the coin in focus.

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If your camera has an aperture priority mode, use it. It is commonly marked on the camera dial as “A”. This allows you to set the aperture where you want it while the camera decides on the best shutter speed to get the correct exposure.

ShutterIf shooting in “A” mode, the shutter is automatically set by the camera. Otherwise, you want the fastest shutter you can pull off given your lighting. To get really sharp pictures, a fast shutter is helpful. You’ll get a faster shutter with low-number apertures and more lighting. Try to keep the shutter speed faster than 1/100 sec. Your pictures will be sharper.

MeteringMany cameras have options as to how the camera decides on the exposure. Prefer to use center-weighted metering. It allows the camera to get the exposure off of the coin rather than the surrounding material. This is useful for slabs where you may have glare or white plastic that will cause the camera to underexpose the picture.

Exposure compensationMany cameras have a method of over or under-exposing the image depending on the situation. In most situations in macro photography, the camera will tend to underexpose the image somewhat. This adjustment is generally measured in F-stops (aperture settings). Generally shoot most coins between +0.7 and +1.0, a bit of overexposure.

FocusMost hand held cameras have pretty good auto focus features. The main problem with shooting through plastic is that sometimes the camera will want to focus on the plastic and not the coin. With an SLR, getting a good focus is easier because of the through the lens viewfinder. You see exactly what you are shooting. I prefer to use manual focus with my SLR as it sometimes has trouble with auto focus at close range. Most non-SLR digital cameras have either very limited manual focus ability or none at all.

White BalanceWhite balance is one of the most important settings to get right. Most lights have a color to them. Incandescent bulbs have a yellow tinge to them. Reveal bulbs have a red tinge. White balance corrects for this color and makes whites look white. Colors will look natural in almost any light if you have a good white balance setting. If your camera has a “preset” or “custom” mode, it will allow you to measure the white balance of your current setup. I do this by putting a piece of white paper under the camera with the lights on that you are shooting with and telling the camera to take the measurement. This probably should be done with an 18% gray card to be done properly, but white paper seems to work fine.If you don’t have a preset or custom mode, set the white balance to the setting that matches your lighting, such as “incandescent” for a normal light bulb. If all else fails, the white balance of a picture can be corrected in your photo-editing software to make the color more natural.

ISOISO (International Organization for Standardization, the order is correct) is not as big of a deal with digital cameras as with film cameras, but it can be optimized to produce better pictures.

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ISO settings were more important with film cameras because the ISO setting of the camera had to be set to the speed of the film being used. Most digital cameras retain this setting. Setting the ISO to the lowest number will help reduce noise in the images, but will necessitate longer exposures. Conversely, a higher ISO setting will allow faster exposures, but will give noisier pictures. Use the lowest ISO setting available as it produces the least noisy pictures.The figures below show the effect of changing the ISO. Where the ISO 200 and 400 pictures show a fairly homogeneous dark field, the higher ISO pictures, the 800 and 1600, show more mottled color through the field. This is indicative of noise. If you stick with ISO 400 or less you'll be fine. If you use lower wattage lights, you may benefit from bumping the ISO up a notch or two to help keep shutter speeds faster.

ISO 200 ISO 400

ISO 800 ISO 1600ResolutionUse all of the resolution that the camera provides and shoot at the highest available. Rather start out with a really big high-resolution image and then resize it to whatever size you want to work with. keep the original images so if you want to go back and redo something or make a bigger or smaller image, you have the original image to work with.


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The self-timer is a very useful feature in a digital camera, especially if you use a tripod or copy stand. The action of pushing the button to take the picture can cause motion problems on the images obtained. The self-timer allows you to disconnect the act of pushing the button from the release of the shutter. Use this feature on all coin images.

Shooting Pictures

Camera DistanceGet the camera as far away from the coin as you can. The camera should be as far as you can get it while maintaining good focus and having the coin fill up as much space in the viewfinder as you can. The detector on your camera has a lot of resolution, but if you don’t fill the screen with coin, you’re not using it.You want the camera to occupy as little of the sky over the coin as is possible. This allows better lighting and helps prevent reflections of your camera from getting into your picture (worst with modern proofs). On preventing reflections: 1) buy a black camera and use a permanent marker to black out the white lettering on the front of the lens, 2) a black sock or black construction paper over the front of the camera can also help. More distance from the coin to the camera allows better lighting, color, and luster.Many point and shoot cameras have the capability of using add-on macro lenses. These will connect to the filter threads on the end of the lens. These do a good job of pushing the camera farther away from the coin.

Camera angleAny angle of the coin can cause focus problems because of the extremely narrow depth of focus at macro distances. If you look closely at many slabs, the coin is tilted within the slab. This too can cause problems with focus and sharpness of the resulting picture. If the coin is tilted significantly in the slab, the slab can be tilted to make up for this problem. This does seem a bit picky but it can help if you want extremely sharp pictures.The time to tilt the camera or the coin is when you want to capture color on proof and proof-like coins. Getting color out of coins when shooting at an angle can be difficult, especially with a slabbed coin because of glare from the plastic.

Lighting AngleHigh-angle improves the overall lighting of the coin, helping to prevent dark spots. Color and luster on coins tends to be better with higher angle lighting. Proof-like and proof coins require a completely different technique to show the color on the fields.

The following figures 3-5 show the difference in lighting between high-angle lighting and lowerangle lighting. They show the camera and lighting setup and a photo from each setup. All three images were shot with the same technique and camera settings. The highest angle lighting shows the best overall lighting of the relief and fields. It shows details of the coin better and also shows better luster. Notice the width of the luster cartwheel between the three samples; it gets progressively wider as the light gets higher. Color also improves with the higher angle lighting.

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High angle  lighting

Medium angle lighting

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Low angle lighting

To get lighting at the highest angle, put your lights as close to the camera lens as is possible. When shooting through plastic, you want the reflection of the light just off of the edge of the coin, close to the coin but not causing glare. The angle of lighting you can get is directly related to several factors.

Lighting AmountGood lighting is as important if not more important than the camera for taking good pictures. Get as much lighting as you can. More watts translate into faster shutter speed which makes for sharper pictures. More wattage does have a drawback – more heat. Things tend to melt if left around or under high-wattage lamps for too long. Leave your lamps on only when shooting.

Slab PreparationSlab preparation is often overlooked. A scratched up slab will produced scratched up pictures. Most scratches can be rubbed off of a slab with a little work. The shinier the slab, the less glare you’ll get on your images.When polishing slabs you need to be careful of the direction in which you polish. Polishes will leave very fine hairlines on the plastic that will not normally be visible when shooting images except when your light is at 90 degrees to the hairlines. I alleviate this problem by polishing in one direction. Always polish toward the anticipated light source.

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Gemstones And Jewelry PhotographyFirst, you’ll need to use the macro setting on your camera for a good close-up shot. Soft, diffused lighting is essential – no direct light on the jewelry itself, and no flash. If your indoor lighting is difficult to adjust, you may want to take a raw picture so that the camera won’t add any of it’s own effects. You may also have good luck in outdoor lighting. Try different colored backgrounds to see which shows up better. Take several shots of the jewelry so that you can compare the quality and color for the best results. There is no one way that will always work, so experimentation is necessary. Example 1: The picture below was taken with a macro setting, close indirect fluorescent lighting, and no flash.

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Given the enormous cost of getting into the field, it is absolutely essential that you make certain the information relating to your photographs is not lost. Some form of record keeping in the field is essential if the images are to remain meaningful for archaeological purposes. Precise information on when, where and why a photograph was taken can be permanently lost if photographs are not securely correlated to good records.• Number each roll of each type of film in sequence (color slide film 1-X, black-and white 1-X, and so on). When you take the first shot on each roll, make certain that it includes either an information board or a piece of paper with the roll number, date and location. This means that at least one frame within each roll will have basic identifying information. This can be especially important if the photographic recording sheets are ever lost, not filled in, misplaced or filed separately from the images.• Basic information, such as date, time, location, subject, frame number and roll number should always be included on a photographic recording form, which should also include specific remarks. It is also a good idea to carry a small notebook and jot down basic information, or record this in your field diary.• Never succumb to the temptation to write up your photographic records later. Record the information after each photograph is taken, and updates remarks and general information throughout the day. While it can be tempting to wait until evening, by then the nuances will be lost, and if you put it off until morning or for a few days, you can easily omit important details.• If several sites are involved, you should record the photography on a site-by-site basis, making especially certain to enter information on the first frame used on a new site on the recording form.• Another way of protecting information is to take photographs using a Polaroid camera. When setting up to take a series of photographs, take a couple of Polaroid images first and mount them directly into your field notebook. Record the roll and frame numbers alongside the appropriate Polaroid print. If other records get lost or misplaced, you can locate where the main prints were taken by comparing them to the Polaroid scenes in your field notebook. Note that Polaroid prints are unstable and will become darker with time. For this reason, they are not suitable for archival purposes.

STORING PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONSOnce you have completed a project, you have an ethical responsibility to store the complete archive of your fieldwork properly. Photographs and illustrations need special handling:• Film negatives should be archived in a dark, cool place, such as a filing cabinet.• Always store negatives in acid-free negative strip holders, not mylar, polyester or polyethylene plastic.• Never store prints in commercial ‘sticky backed’ photograph albums. The adhesives will disintegrate over time, but probably not before they have damaged your photos.Ideally you should store your photographs in mylar envelopes or stacked, but separated, with acid-free tissue paper.

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• When you get your film back from the processor, put your rolls in chronological order and compare the frame numbers on the negatives with the numbers recorded in the log or on the recording sheets. Adjust the numbers in the log or recording sheets if necessary to make sure everything matches up.• Make sure that you label every photograph individually on the back of the otherwise they lose their value as an archival recording. Imagine if your photographs became separated both from each other and from the photographic recording forms—would anyone else ever be able to identify whose photographs they were or what they were of? A minimum of information to include is the roll number, the negative number, the place, the date and the subject.• CCD images from digital cameras can be stored by direct connection to your computer’s hard drive, or through removable PC cards that are slotted into the camera and then into the computer.• CD-ROMS can be used to archive both digital and scans of hard-copy film images.• Remember that archiving images on CD-ROMS is not foolproof. In northern Australia, for example, CDs are only guaranteed for five years and you will have to be careful of fungal growth as well as scratches.• When archiving digital images, use the smallest possible file-size. One way to save space is to compress your image files. The JPEG format can compress a file to more than 75 times smaller than the original, and can compress it to 25 per cent of the original image, with very little loss of quality. TIFF files are also common and do not lose any data through compression, though they are not as small as JPEGs.