Archive for August 12th, 2010

Considering how many photographs I take, I’ve had people look through my cemetery photos and ask why I chose to photograph a particular monument. Well, the reasons vary. For one thing, thanks to the innovations of digital photography, it’s not likely that I will run out of “film.” I have a 1 TB external hard drive to take care of that storage problem. Usually the only limitations on my cemetery photography are my own stamina, the cemetery’s gate hours, and the amount of juice left in my camera batteries.

In a very small cemetery, like West Herrick or Plains Pioneer Cemetery, I will often take the time to meticulously photograph every single inscription. I will do the same in a very old cemetery, for preservation purposes if nothing else. In a larger but not unmanageable cemetery, I often tackle things section by section, carefully walking down the rows (if there are any) and photographing anything that catches my fancy. It could be the shape of the monument, the color of the stone, a funerary symbol or the inscription. I am attuned to unusual names, foreign languages, epitaphs, and significant years in local and national history. Certain kinds of funerary art draw me in: lambs, porcelain portraits, angels, and Celtic crosses. I don’t think a lot, I just push the button and the shutter goes click. I can sort it all out later when I get home.

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