Photographing at cemeteries is my thing. It’s a personal project that has seen years of accumulated photographs of memorialized existences. Yesterday, I took some time from doing work and headed to Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn to make some photos happen. My buddy from 40 Shades Studios came with and we ventured into the autumnal gloomy daze of this cemetery’s offerings.
October 24, 2012
PLEASE NOTE: This post is completely useless if you don’t click on the photo to open the gallery.
Or so it seemed…
I was driving back from a photo shoot on a day when the sky filled with blue and wind blew into the car from highway speed. I made a wrong turn somewhere and lost myself in Queens, enjoying the luxury of loud music and wheels. From the right side of the car I saw a cemetery. The one you can see from the air when flying into Laguardia. From the sky, it looks like dirty snowfall but up close, the vastness of the cemetery was revealed. What lured me most into it was this power plant that was seemingly placed in the middle of the cemetery. I couldn’t resist.
I abandoned cemetery photography a while ago when I started to become confident in my portraiture. Pulling into the entrance, I was reminded of a time, a long time ago, when I was in college taking photography and film classes, visiting local cemeteries and graveyards in South Florida. Sisters of Mercy was making the rounds inside the car. It was too ’80s. It was too college days. It was too perfect. I drove all around the cemetery, snapping several photos here and there in the eerie quiet and sporadic rustling of ninja-like lizards.
There are a lot more photos than the one I’ve placed here, including a fresh pile of dirt where someone had just been interred (I didn’t post it out of respect to the family who will probably never read this blog anyway. Maybe I’ll post it another day).
The binding experience felt like a full circle. The poetry of a power plant rising out of the cemetery (it was an illusion) is obvious.
BTW. This was at Mt. Zion Cemetery.
It’s taken me a few days to get work out of the way so I could post some photos from my recent trip to New Orleans. These are a few from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and probably my first cemetery photos in over a year.
What gets me about this cemetery or any cemetery is the amount of artwork contained within. The eternal marriage of decay and stone is riles my imagination. Pressing my hand against lichen along the cracks and crevices of crypts reminds of thousands of little hands reaching for what lies within. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is rife with religious voodoo markings and offerings, which combined with all of the previously mentioned elements creates an intoxicating harvest of ideas. This cemetery is one of the many, many aspects that make New Orleans a refuge for me. This city awakes my mind.
The snowfall was beautiful and although I had a great time in New Paltz this weekend, it smeared my Halloween mood. These photos, however managed to extract the tiny tincture of spirit I had left. Lesson #1: the spirit of Halloween is ever present. Lesson #2: Don’t let a little cold and snowfall damper Halloween weekend.