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Guest luzer

IR Help in NYC: Identifying a WWII Artifact

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Guest luzer

hi 

 

first time poster, long time reader:

i am an amateur photographer in NYC (D7100) looking for some advice:

 

i recently came in to possession a WWII artifact that belonged to my grandfather, Mordka Topel: after he was liberated from the Flossenburg Concentration Camp in April of 1945- he stayed in a barn in the nearby town- and left a camp-issued vessel (or pot) there. after almost 70 years, we were able to identify and reunite it with my family

 

the problem i have is the 'etching' that he performed has worn off. the bottom sketch below shows how it should look

 

do you believe an IR camera would reveal the actual scratching?

 

thanks

CJ

 

 

 

 

 

14493251300_9afdfa9f26_o.jpgimage by luzer, on Flickr

 

14679619932_401b37dbbd_o.jpgimage (1) by luzer, on Flickr

 

14679662422_9d11b2abc6_o.jpgM_Topel_Gravur by luzer, on Flickr

 

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Guest luzer

email is cjaskoll[a]gmail if you can help

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You would probably need an IR camera to tell.  I would doubt you would see too much more though, as the metal does not seem like there is too much left of the inscription.  I have a IR camera and will visit NYC in the next two months, perhaps I can contact you when I am in town?  Good luck, regardless, seems like a wonderful piece, and piece of history, you have there.

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Would polarising be more effective than IR?  Add polarising filters to both the light and the camera and adjust the relative angles of polarisation.

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Would polarising be more effective than IR?  Add polarising filters to both the light and the camera and adjust the relative angles of polarisation.

 

Agreed.  If that doesn't do it, then try UV which offers more resolution.  IR actually offers less resolution due to its longer wavelengths.  Unfortunately, my UV camera and I are on the other side of the continent, but perhaps somebody else can help.  You might inquire at ultravioletphotography.com if the polarizing approach doesn't work well.

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Guest luzer

thank you all for the help

i have a polarizing filter that i will attempt- and bring back the results here

yunfat - if you would email me when are in NYC i would really appreciate it. can meetup anywhere

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The boiling pot seems to be buckled on the under side. I think this will create some problems when using a polarizer.

On the subject of UV and IR, it is also possible to combine UV, visible and IR light photographs in various layers in Photoshop to create an image with hopefully enhanced contrast to show the etching more clearly.

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Just underlining that a lens polarising filter on its own is no good, the copy lights have to have polarizing film in opposite orientation to the polariser on the lens covering them, and the lights should be at 45° to the object, one on each side, with no extraneous light spilling into shot. This will completely remove all reflections, so only the actual surface detail will be recorded.

 

To reveal detail one can then use the threshold adjustment in Photoshop to accentuate it.

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Here is my initial experiment with photographing some scratched, embossed metal. It might help give you some ideas about which way to go. My subject was not shiny metal which does present certain problems as noted. However, it is a start.

 

Link to UltravioletPhotography page:

http://www.ultravioletphotography.com/content/index.php?/topic/936-experiment-with-photographing-metal-scratches-and-embossed-letters/

 

 

BTW, IR and UV polarizers do exist although I've never owned any.

 

Important fact to note:  Infrared light can penetrate a bit underneath some kinds of surface deteriorations such as rust to better reveal markings. I have no info about what kinds of stuff it can "see through" however. I'm just noting that I was able to see through some rust in my experiment above.

 

Also note this way of revealing markings:  Making a relief using paper and a graphite pencil. That might be an easy way to verify the details on the bottom of your vessel.
See here for details: http://en.wikipedia....i/Stone_rubbing
and also here: http://en.wikipedia....i/Brass_rubbing

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Here's a physical demonstration of where the contra-polarising technique will take you:

 

Copied with single polarisation only:

zy5teAr.jpg

 

Copied with contra-polarisation (both lens & lights polarised in 90° orientation to one another) - so all reflections are removed:

zlsBPRi.jpg

 

Converted to B&W, and with a bit of contrast/levels/curves work in Photoshop on the second shot, mainly concentrating on the coin on left to decipher date:

YEi22KD.jpg

(Click on for a larger 1280 px size)

 

This may, or may not help in your case, but it gives an idea on just how much reflections can shape what we see.

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