Photographic recording of the Musawwarat graffiti operates at several levels. It includes overview photos of each wall and of sections of each wall, block-based photography, and photos of individual graffiti and graffiti groups in their block and block group contexts. When and where possible, photography is repeated under different lighting conditions as the visibility of the graffiti changes rapidly when they are lit directly or indirectly, or when light is coming from different angles and directions. Strong side-light is often used in graffiti photography as it creates shadows within the (incised) lines that allow for impressive photos. However, while raking light brings out some of the lines, other lines are being obscured at the same time and false ‘graffiti entities’ may appear in the photographic record. Additionally, information on differences in line colour, which helps in the definition and relative dating of graffiti entities, is usually lost in raking-light photography.
Text: Cornelia Kleinitz (2014)