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Unreadable gravestone

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  • Unreadable gravestone

    I hope someone could give me some Photoshop Elements advice. I visited an ancestor's grave site in Scotland recently, and took a photo of his gravestone, because I was unable to read all of it. It is from 1799, so severely aged. Some of the outside of the gravestone is readable, but the center portion has smoothed considerably.
    Does anyone have suggestions on how to manipulate the photo on Elements to help read the inscription?

  • #2
    Re: Unreadable gravestone

    Can you share the right out of the camera original image e.g. through a file sharing service. Advice depends on if there is tone vs color contrast and other factors. Also, the best shot at recovery with post processing would be if you took the image in raw format as JPEG files are compressed and less amenable to extreme adjustments that are sometimes required.
    Just a suggestion.


    • #3
      Re: Unreadable gravestone

      Thanks, John,
      I have the original image in RAW. So it is a LARGE file. How would you suggest I share it? Any recommendations?


      • #4
        Re: Unreadable gravestone

        Hi USCRx
        Here is a link to the top file sharing websites:
        I have used DropBox and GoogleDrive and I have received files through MediaFire. They are all free for small amounts of total data.

        Hope that gets you going.

        By the way, I too have done genealogy work with trying to get readings on gravestones. Other popular techniques other than just a picture are
        a) paper over gravestone and a chaulk/charcoal rubbing
        b) there is a totally washable big thick round chalk sticks that can be rubbed on the tombstone that often help reveal the wording with no destruction to the tombstone and can be washed off (just bring extra water bottles).

        I know that does not help you in this situation yet thought that might be of value for future reference in case the need arises again.


        • #5
          Re: Unreadable gravestone

          Thanks, John,
          I just sent you an email with a link to OneDrive, and the RAW photo of the gravestone. Let me know if you think it can be deciphered with Photoshop Elements.


          • #6
            Re: Unreadable gravestone

            You may have this sorted by now, but if not and you need additional images of the gravestone, these people may be able to help

            An international directory of grave monuments photos produced by Gravestone Photographic Resource Project (GPR)

            I came across them a while back when doing a related search. Volunteers take photos of gravestones to help those who cannot travel to the location a grave is in.


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