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Tag Archives: Cemetery

halawa cemetery

An old cemetery behind a long-gone church is being taken over by trees and vines.  Few tourists even notice it, and most of those that do are discouraged from exploring it further by clouds of ravenous mosquitos, and huge spider webs–most housing huge but harmless spiders–that seem to have been deliberately constructed across anything remotely resembling a footpath.

How said mosquitos manage to avoid said spider webs is a scientific mystery.

This intrepid photographer managed a few smart phone shots…there’s no way to set a tripod up here!

I love the contrast between the few, massive cement grave markers and the hundreds of slender, delicate tree trunks surrounding them.

I’d love to come back in 50 years to see how the cemetery has changed.  Will it be a forest, or will it be restored?

Only time will tell…



Angel Silhouette

El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Mexico by visiting cemeteries and leaving offerings to the dead souls, including their favorite food and drink.  The entire family comes to keep the deceased person company, and may even have a picnic on the gravesite.  It’s a way of acknowledging and even embracing our own mortality.

floating cross 2

I took this image at the same cemetery where I shot the angel in yesterday’s post (“Evening Angel,” 12.15.12).  When I first looked at this cross from a distance, it appeared to be floating in the air.  When I got closer, it was obvious that it was being held together by a piece of rusty rebar, which had blended into the foliage in the background.  But at first glance, the dull brown rebar looked like a stick or a branch from one of the bushes.

Was it just me, or did you have to do a double-take when you first saw this image as well?

angel silhouette

I was shooting in a cemetery late one afternoon, and found this lovely angel atop a headstone.  Angel statues lend themselves well to silhouettes, since their wings make them easily recognizable.

This particular statue was marble, but was marred by very dark black areas of dirt or mold interspered by very bright white areas where the clean marble showed through.  The blotchiness and degree of contrast in the original image was unbecoming to such a lovely figure.  I like to think that by smoothing out her “complexion,” I made her even more beautiful.

Even in profile, her sweetness, grace and gentleness are evident.  Heavenly, indeed.

As I was chasing some lovely late afternoon light around the Palouse looking for something interesting to shoot, I passed a cemetery.  That is to say, I almost passed a cemetery.  I have a strange compulsion to drive into just about every cemetery I pass.  They’re one of my favorite places to shoot, and most of the time I have the place to myself.

This particular day was no exception.  The entire day was dark and rainy until perhaps an hour or two before sundown.  I was driving around trying to find a cool place to shoot sunset, and nothing was jumping out at me.  All the barns in the area were nondescript.  Same with the houses.  Even the hills in this area weren’t really talking to me.  For three full days I’d been waiting for good light, and shooting lovely things in the rain.  Now the light was right and I was stumped for a subject.

So as I was driving around the cemetery, which was on top of a hill, I came upon this view which (pardon the pun) stopped me dead in my tracks.  The evening light was making all the headstones cast wonderful long shadows.  The clouds were doing some post-storm interesting stuff in the sky.  And the way the road split and wrapped around the top of the hill in sensuous curves, almost as if it was embracing the land…

I normally shoot in cemeteries with a 100-200 mm lens, and don’t really think of them as a location for landscape photography, but I took this image with an 18 mm lens and made a mental note to myself to do more landscape photography in cemeteries in the future.


In a small cemetery in the Palouse, an old grave marker stands tall, on not one but two separate pedestals.  I found the fuzzy orange lichen on the smooth white stone to be a lovely contrast of colors and textures.  Clearly this grave has been here for many decades.  Look at the beautiful weathering on the lamb’s head and body in the image below, polished like a river rock by many years of rain and sleet and snow and wind.

I hope he’s able to keep his silent vigil for many more years before he eventually erodes and crumbles away into an unrecognizable lump of stone.  While some people might find him already too old and weather-worn for their liking, to me he is absolutely perfect just as he is.

Few symbols are as recognizable around the world as the cross.

As many of you know, I enjoy hanging out  and photographing in cemeteries.  They’re pretty, they’re peaceful (I often have the place to myself) and I never know what will catch my interest.

I was driving through a cemetery late one afternoon when I spotted this grouping of crosses.  Since this cemetery is on the side of a hill, I was able to get all but one of the crosses standing out against the hazy sky, which provide a nice, neutral backdrop.

The late afternoon light helped to warm up the scene, particularly the wooden fence in the foreground.  It also helped emphasize the rough texture of most of the stone crosses.  Only two out of seven have a smooth finish.

Often a group of similar objects will have more impact than just one or two.  While we often shoot groups of flowers, trees, people, etc., look for groupings of unexpected objects to add interest to your images.

At the Silverton Hillside Cemetery, I was endlessly fascinated with the different patterns the lichen made on the headstones.  Here are some examples I found particularly pleasing.

I love how the lichen makes the carvings on the headstones stand out.

On this headstone, the lichen pattern is more random, but no less pleasing.

I featured the lamb on the top of this headstone in a post a couple of days ago.  Here’s the remainder of the headstone, marking the grave of a nine year old child that probably died in the flu epidemic of 1918.  Over 150 graves at the cemetery are from October and November of that year alone.  I can’t make out the month or date of this poor child’s death on the headstone, only the year.

The patterns the lichen makes are often beautiful in and of themselves, especially when pleasing combinations of colors and textures make a colorful collage as in the image below.

A few more shots of the interesting embellishments on the headstones at Silverton Hillside Cemetery in Colorado.  Another classic lamb, this one with almost no lichen growth…

this dove looks like it might’ve had its head reset at least once…

the dove above is barely visible after a few generations of erosion…and I’m not sure what the carving in the image below is supposed to represent.  I’m guessing a cherub.  Any ideas?