Caves photography continues

The Wemyss Caves
The Wemyss Caves

Thanks to Big Lottery Funding, the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society can continue with its exciting photographic project.

The Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) was awarded £4094 which will enable it to continue with the venture intended to reveal more of the Pictish and Viking symbols inscribed within East Wemyss caves.

In November 2013, a group of specialist digital archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust undertook a data capture exercise at Jonathan’s Cave.

They used a variety of scanning and photographic techniques in order to provide an online visualization of the cave and its Pictish carvings using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).

It was seeing these results that inspired the Society to apply for funding from the Big Lottery for the equipment needed to continue with the project and to use it to capture the carvings in the other caves.

Sue Hamstead, SWACS education officer, explained more about the project.

“You need a good camera but otherwise only a very limited amount of specialist equipment is required,” she said.

“You take multiple photographs of what you want to capture, keeping the camera in the same place but lighting each shot from a different direction.

“The freeware combines the results to give a 3D effect when viewed online. It shows up details that can be very difficult to detect otherwise.

“We are enormously grateful to Awards For All Scotland for supporting this project,”

“Once we have tried and tested the method we will be looking to involve as many local people as possible,” Sue continued.

The photographic work on the caves will be carried out over a period of months with the end results available online so that everyone can study the carvings in incredible detail.

Pam Cranston, SWACS secretary added: “We want to record all the carvings in this way. Not only will it give everyone online access to these fascinating images, but will also provide valuable data on the current condition against which we will be able to measure any future deterioration.”

If you want to get involved, contact or visit