How to photograph a war memorial

Photographs are an important part of recording a war memorial. They provide a record of the memorial’s condition and help to identify conservation and repair issues. These guidelines will assist you in ensuring that the photographs you take are of a suitable format and quality.

Download our full guide to photographing war memorials.

Quality and resolution 

  • Please use the highest quality setting on your camera or device.
  • Set the image quality to high or fine. The minimum resolution should be 150dpi. 
  • Photos should be in jpeg, png or gif format. 
  • Photos must be less than 8MB but as large and clear as possible. 
  • The image size of photos that you upload should be at least 2 Megapixels in size, or approximately 1600 × 1200 pixels.

Lighting

  • When possible, shoot with your back to the sun, as opposed to facing towards the sun; this will avoid potential overexposure and lens flare.
  • If you are taking a photo of a memorial in a glass cabinet, such as a Roll of Honour, avoid using the camera flash or take the photo from a slight angle in order to minimise reflections.

What to photograph 

Your photographs should show, as a minimum: 

  • Setting: Take a photo of the war memorial in its wider surroundings, including any gardens, trees or plaques nearby. 
  • Front: Take a photo of the front of the memorial, straight on. 
  • Sides: Take a photo of each side of the memorial, clearly showing any details, inscriptions or decorative elements. 
  • Damage: Take close-up photos of any area/s where there is damage or areas of concern. This may include graffiti, cracks, plant growth, unstable stonework, deteriorated mortar joints etc. 
  • Plaques: A photograph should be taken of each plaque, showing as much close-up detail as possible. If there are veterans’ names listed on the war memorial, please take a photo of these plaques, showing as much detail as possible.
  • Anything else you think is important to show about the war memorial.

1.  War memorial in its setting

 

 

 

2.  All sides of the war memorial, taken front on

 

 

 

3.  Close-ups of plaques and inscriptions

 

 

 

4.  Any areas of concern, damage or special interest