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Thread: Visit to Runnymede - plan of approach

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    Default Visit to Runnymede - plan of approach

    Good morning.

    I'm visiting the Memorial at Runnymede this weekend, shamefully this will be my first visit.

    I have a list of 200 plus names, and I'm wondering about the practicalities of photographing the names on the panels.

    Is it feasible with say a 10 megabyte camera to take an image of the whole panel that then lets me zoom in at home to find a name.

    I'd welcome others experiences.

    I'd like to have a relaxed, reflective, visit as opposed to the "20 names per hour" that sometimes happens.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Hi Jim,

    I suggest to ask Steve Brew here, we were there together in March and also we were looking for the access way:-)

    I am always taking the whole or nearly the whole panel with my 7 MB pixel camere and got good result for particular names.

    But be sure you have sharp photo, there is not so good light in all cases.
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Runnymede Memorial

    Hi Jim

    I hope you have a successful trip.

    Just to echo Pavel's comments, the panels can be a bit tricky to photograph. They are maybe about 6 ft high and start from a couple of feet above ground level so the 'higher-up' names are well above head hight. They are also simply engraved in a pale grey (from memory) stone and the letters aren't picked out in a contrasting colour so you're getting pics of 'grey on grey'. So if you get a dull day too, it might be tricky getting decent pics.

    I'm not sure how much flash helps either. What you could do with is somehow getting the light to strike the panel from one side (rather than full-on), so you get a shadow in the letters, for contrast.

    But good luck anyway. It is a very moving place. And if the weather's right you get a nice view northwards out over the Thames too.

    Ian

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    Jim
    My son & I visited Runnymede with Steve, Pavel & Jeff & used an ordinary "old fashioned" camera, with a zoom plus a digital camera with a zoom .I managed to get all names on a panel of eg RAAF Squadron Leaders as there weren't as many as the RAF Sergeants .The Sergeants I had to take in 2 sections as there is a long list .

    It can be a cold windy place as most of it is open sided. I was surprised at the lack of obvious security men & that record books were available for all to read in a small "warm " room to the right of the entrance.It was a pleasure to visit such a beautiful memorial that visitors obviously respected.

    The Airforces Memorial at Runnymede is in Coopers Hill Lane, Englefield Green but the Memorial takes some finding [as opposed to the Magna Carta Runnymede] There is a car park & toilets nearby.

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 9th April 2009 at 12:57.

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    Jim,

    Sound advises have already been given. Some more ideas, from my own experience after visiting the Memorial four times. Runnymede panels can be tough on photographers.

    - Bright sunlight, shining on half a panel, virtually excludes the possibility to get good exposure on the entire panel.

    - Oblique flash works to heighten the contrast of the engravings on some of the panels that are in need of restauration. This obviously requires a separate flash unit & an extension cord, or infrared triggering of the flash unit.

    - Getting the entire panel in one pic, in the areas where you cannot step back more than 2 meters, requires a wider angle lens than you can buy. There is no choice here but to take 2 or 3 shots. These can be Photoshopped into one pic.

    - In low light conditions, when the camera selects a large diafragma, sharpness becomes an issue, if the film/sensor plane is not parallel to the tables. Under such conditions, go for 800 ISO, which is easy with a digital camera. 1600 ISO may be too grainy for this subject. Alternatively, you would need slow shutter speeds and a tripod, which is clumsy.

    - If the lens is sound, then 10 mB is quite enough to get excellent pics, but, given the special problems encountered here, it would be wise to shoot close-ups of the names you require rather than only full panels. If you have a systematic list, then 200 names should take you less than 3 hours.

    - Some of the names you require can be so high up that you need a serious telelens, and the space to move back. For panels in confined spaces you would have to stand on the stone benches beneath the panels. And even then, these names shall have to be shot at an angle.

    - The digital camera allows you to check results instantly. That takes time, but that's far less time than if you would have to go back because, somehow, some shots were poor.

    Regards,

    Rob

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    Thanks all,

    Some very sensible advice.

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    You might find it useful for the higher shots if you invest in one of those fourish tread aluminium stepladders with a safety handle attached. You'll have to lug all your gear about 100 yards from the car park so consider one of those plastic wheely things to carry all your kit in. Wear a warm jumper and carry a flask of coffee if you're going to be there for hours, it gets very draughty up on that hill.
    Have an enjoyable day.
    Stewart
    Last edited by Stewart McLoughlin; 10th April 2009 at 21:58.

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