OHGenWeb Tombstone Photo Project
We need your photographs!
Your donation of the Ohio cemetery photos you have now or take in the future are needed to keep this project growing!
We want all of your Ohio tombstone photographs. It doesn't matter if you took them because they were kin or if the stone simply caught your eye. We do ask that the engraving on the stone be readable in the donated print or image file. The photos must be yours, or written permission from the copyright holder must accompany them, with permission to publish.
What information do you need to provide with your photographs?
The required information is:
We would like to have:
To get the required information to us simply add a note to your email with the attached image files or your US Postal Service letter with the prints along with any other details you want to add.
How do you contribute your photographs?
If you don't have access to a scanner or would rather have someone else do the work, please send an email, I will send my postal address, so copies of your tombstone prints along with the required information can be sent to me. When the scanned images are uploaded, your prints will be returned to you.
I have recently moved my residence and this is a new email address for emails containing attachments.
Contributing Negatives and Slides:
I am now set up to scan your negatives or your slides. Please remember to make note on the package that it contains photo negatives and warn the postal department folks not to xray package. I recently purchased a scanner, to do this for the project. Please ship images to my postal address and I will return them to you, after processing is complete.
Contributing Scanned Images and Digital Photographs
There are several ways to get your image files to us for uploading:
Tips and Frequently Asked Questions:
Please use gmail account:
General Tips for Scanning/Digital Photographs:
Image Size/Format: Remember the target media for your photo is display on a computer monitor. For most visitors, that monitor will have a viewable display area of 600x400 pixels. However the 600x400 pixel image size is only a rule of thumb! Many tombstone images (the flat V.A. markers come to mind) are quite readable in smaller display formats. Large stones with low contrast or small engraving (Woodsman of the World markers come to mind) are not readable on the monitor at twice the size. I have found the most effective way to deal with the large stones is to provide an overall view (with a reasonable display size) and a close-up view (or views) to provide the necessary detail of the engraving.
File Size and Compression: When I process an image file, my target compressed file size is 50kb. Again that is only a rule of thumb. Some tombstone images are quite readable cropped and compressed to 15 kb. Other tombstone images with larger formats and more detail produce files as large as 150 kb after compression. We must also remember that the JPEG compression standard actually throws away photo information in the compression process. Applying too much compression results in an image with fuzzy text and blurred tombstone details. My personal rule of thumb for "normal" JPEG compression is about 15:1 and I change it as necessary.
Scanner vs Display Resolution: This setting is expressed in dot per inch (dpi) for both media. If you accept your scanner software's default 72 dpi scan resolution for a 3.5 x 5 photograph to be displayed on a monitor, you will wind up with an image that is only about 350x240 pixels. On a horizontal image, this may be too small to clearly view, so up your dpi to 100 or 200.If the original photo was a close-up of a tombstone that had large engraving and few other details, that may be all the resolution that is needed. However, I have found that using 150-200 dpi for the scanner resolution usually provides a better starting point (a displayed image 750-1000 pixels wide before cropping). Your scanner software may provide a separate enlargement setting that can be used to adjust display size instead of changing the resolution.
Small Stones: If the headstone image size is only a small part of the overall print size, scan only the immediate area around the headstone in the print and increase the resolution setting to provide the additional pixels needed for the display. If the headstone is only 2x1 inches in the original photograph, we can set the scanner resolution at 300 dpi, scan only the area with the headstone and produce a clear close-up headstone image that will almost fill the standard 640x480 computer display.
Bottom Line: The more detail in the original scan (consistent with a reasonable compressed file size) the better. We can always throw out pixels that aren't needed in the final image. We can't add pixels without producing a fuzzy image.
Digital Camera Tips:
If your camera tends to produce underexposed images, (dark undefined) try using the flat side of white chalk rubbing it along the surface of stones. Blow off the residule chalk and then focus your digital camera. The results should be an improvement in contrast allowing better resolution to minute details of inscription. The chalk can then be removed by using a spay bottle and water, or simply left for the next rain to wash it away. One word of caution: do this only on sound memorials that are not prone to flaking surface issues. Another method that might improve dark underexposed images, commonly caused when phtographing on a shaded side of stone, is to set your camera on flash setting, this will slightly slow down the shutter speed, allowing longer time exposure and brightening up image.
Frequently Asked Questions:
" I would love to donate images, but don't understand the process. Can I just send photos?
I reserve the right to crop, resample and enhance the submitted photographs to help viewers read the inscriptions. Your name may be added to a credit line embedded in the contributed photograph. I do my best to change or improve the images, only to make them easier for researchers to read the inscriptions.
You retain the copyright and publishing rights for your donated photographs except those noted here. This means that anyone viewing and wanting to use your images, for personal family research is permitted, but they must obtain your permission in order to use, including but not limited to use of your photo images for any circumstance, including books or online use. By donating, you grant the Ohio Tombstone Photo Project non-exclusive permanent publishing rights to your photographic work. The USGenWeb notice at the end of this page will be posted on the index page linked to your photographs.
This page is maintained by, Robert M. Sizelove, Sr., your Project Manager.
USGENWEB NOTICE: All documents, including these electronic photographs placed in the USGenWeb Archives remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages, may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the USGenWeb Archives to store the file permanently for free access.
© 2001-2017 Robert M. Sizelove, Sr. © 2001 Mary Ann Hetrick © 2000 Debbie Barrett