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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Archaeological site photography
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02/12/2018 11:33:50 AM · #1
Hey all, yeah I know a few weeks ago I was asking about shooting monster trucks. That seems to be up in the air as the show producers that the team is with seems to have a lockdown on any dslrs. Will worry about that in the future.

Anyway this time I'm looking to pick the brains of anyone who's done archaeo site photography. I plan to join a new, local archaeological society starting up in my area and plan to get on board as site photographer.

I am pretty sure that the 35 mm will be getting a workout and probably will also have the wide angle along too. I know items have to be shot in situ and doubtless will be taught site protocol in the future. But if anyone else here has any advice or hints that would be great!
02/12/2018 01:03:26 PM · #2
Everything which you'd want to do for forensic photography (fortunate coincidence, eh?) pretty much applies to archeological photography -- think of it as a very old crime scene.

You'll probably want to include a ruler or other object to provide scale, and I don't think you want to go too wide to avoid any distortion. Presumably the diggers will include any signage/tags to ID the objects.
02/12/2018 05:58:53 PM · #3
You're not far off. I did find a British site (where they're really good at diggin up old things) on archaeological photography, written by Lisa Jayne Fisher. Have found her on FB but her last (public, anyway) post was from 2016. Hope she is indeed still kickin around. And there is also a site supplying archaeologists with special rulers and measures, marked off in varying increments to show scale. Curious to see if I hear back from her.
02/13/2018 11:31:58 AM · #4
Archeology can use photography to record the general site (landscape photography skills, possibly augmented with aerial photography), quantify specifics of a "dig" area or trench (with labels and rulers included in the image), document specific bones/artifacts in situ before removal (labels and rulers included again, lighting to bring out details often important), and details of artifacts after extraction (product photography skills useful, color standardization potentially important, scale markers and labels included typically). Macro photography and photo-microscopy can be part of the toolkit as well. Managing collections of images with consistent metadata/database can be helpful. If your group might publish findings, check the submission guidelines issued by the most likely journals that might accept the paper and illustrations (good guidance even if not expecting to publish). Photogenic artifacts might benefit from artistic photography and creative lighting in images that supplement the straight documentation. Team pictures can be fun and useful. Some projects may benefit from documentary videography in addition to stills. Many online resources seem aimed at rank beginners learning how to select apertures for adequate depth of field. You have skills far above that level and should do well.
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