Sunday, January 26, 2014

1/26/14 Report - Cameras and Detectors Work Together OR Photography for Dectectorists

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photography is a valuable tool for the detectorist.  The older I get, the more I appreciate and make use of that fact.

Stack of Find Photos From the Past.
The Top Photo On The Stack Shows Finds For One Particular Day.
Almost everyday you see a photograph of something someone found in this blog.  It is easy to share photos these days.  For the detectorist that means sharing finds and thrills.  It also means being able to get the opinions of others about your finds, which is very useful when you don't know exactly what an item is or where it came from.

I often post unidentified finds in my blog hoping to get some information, and I often send photos of finds to experts in different fields.

Beyond the most obvious benefits of sharing photos of finds, there are some other good reasons to photograph finds.  One good reason is to document the item.  That could be done for insurance purposes, for example.

If you take your good finds to a bank safe deposit box, as I always recommend, it is especially helpful to have good photos that you can refer to at home.

I recommend taking photos of finds on a periodic basis.  If you hunt everyday and make frequent finds you might take photos once a week, or example.

Photos aren't enough if you want to really document finds.   Keep additional information: where items were found, when they were found, and any relevant circumstances that might be helpful, such as was the beach eroded, or whatever.

It is probably best to keep photos of individual items or groups in time sequence, or at least make sure the time is marked on the photo.

Sometimes multiple photos are necessary.  You might want close-ups of specific details, such as hallmarks, or various views or sides of an item.

It is good to take before and after photos of items that need to be cleaned and preserved.  Once an item is cleaned, you might want to be able to see what it looked like before it was cleaned.

It can also be helpful to take a photo of the beach where you hunted and found the items.

Just like detectors, different cameras are different, so you might end up getting more than one.

Also like detectors, if you are going to take photos in the field, it can be worth having a water-proof or water-resistant camera, or at least some method of protecting it.

Also a submersible camera can be really useful if you dive.  You can take pictures of things you aren't allowed to remove.

I've enjoyed my new Celestron Microscope camera, and I've shown a number of close-ups that I've taken with it.

There are times when you might notice a mark or something on an item in a good close-up that you never noticed before.  With different editing programs you can change the contrast, sharpness and other details.

I'm not a person that likes to spend a lot of time on equipment, so I like to make sure that whatever I get, it can be used well with very few adjustments.

You might think that you'll remember your finds and all the details surrounding them, but the more you find and the longer you hunt, the easier it is for things to fade out of memory.

When I look at my old photos of finds, it brings a lot of memories back.  Surprisingly often when I look at old finds, there are many that I can remember exactly how I felt as they came out of the sand or  water.  A photo can really help to bring the details back.

A Sample of Photos Showing Groups of Finds

When I looked at the photo shown at the top of this post, I remembered that day.  It was a four-hour hunt.  Two hours followed by a necessary interruption, and then I returned to hunt two more hours at the same location.  I knew there were a lot more items remaining to be dug when I had to leave after the first two hours.  I remember exactly where I was and how the items were in a line.  I remember a lot about that day.  The photo set off that series of memories.

I can go through that stack of photos and remember time after time after time.  You might think your memory is good, but sometimes it might need some help.  Photos can help.

It also can be really helpful to take pictures of your favorite beaches from time to time so you can compare sand levels and different things.  It will help you identify the right times and conditions for finding different items.  You can also mark on the photo where items are found in the past.  One thing GPS won't give you is a picture of the spot where the item was located at the specific time it was dug.

Here is a web site showing photos of unusual things washed up on beaches.  Actually they aren't real unusual, but you might enjoy looking.

I've notices some changes in how people take photos of finds since I started this blog.  Back at the beginning everybody was including a coin for size comparison.  Now it seems that a lot of people are holding the item when they take the photo.  The hand has become the item for size comparison.
Of course, when size is critical a ruler or something is better.

Cameras are different now too.  With so many people using their smart phone or whatever, more people are taking photos in the field and find it easier to hold the item to get it framed well.

On the Treasure Coast, we'll be having an increasing surf for a week or so.  However the surf won't get big enought to cause a real change in beach detecting conditions in that time period unless the current predictions are wrong.

Happy hunting,