I’ve always been a fan of cemeteries. I find the tranquility there to be quite refreshing. I know it might seem macabre to some, but if you’ll bear with me a moment, I’ll show you why it’s anything but.
First off, most cemeteries are set away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I’m not sure if this is to keep the living residents from being freaked out, or if it’s to make sure that the other “resident’s” final resting place is, in fact, truly restful. You’ll also find lots of trees all around, so there’s plenty of shade, not to mention the birds who build nests in those trees, which adds a nice, soothing sound to the rest of the atmosphere.
Finally, I think being surrounded by people who have left this world puts me in a pensive mood. I don’t always ponder my mortality when I’m in a cemetery, but those thoughts definitely pop in from time to time, and I welcome them, using them as a way to check in with my life, so to speak.
When I lived in Mt. Kisco (an hour north of New York City), I had to walk past a cemetery on my way home from the train station, and I would oftentimes stop in there to rest and take in the beauty of nature before making my way home to deal with dinner and whatever lay ahead of me that evening.
So when I started getting into photography, it seemed only natural that I would want to capture that peaceful quality through my lens. The fact that there are some lovely lines with the tombstones, and amazing light play coming in through the trees just enticed me more.
Through my travels, I’ve come to enjoy the cemeteries in Europe much more than those here in America. The ancient plots and the prevalence of crypts and tombs in older countries just speak to my eye more than the simple gravestones found in most of our cemeteries here. However, there have been a few places in America where I’ve found some lovely gems, like those found in today’s blog.
I lived in Chicago for six years before I finally decided to visit one of its cemeteries. And the only reason I found it was because I’d been taking a glass fusing class at a shop right across the street from it. One wintry day, I brought my camera with me and spent a couple of hours in the cemetery after class. These images were taken back in 2005 with my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC, so many of them weren’t high enough quality to warrant being turned into prints, but I was able to find a handful that I deemed worthy.
I hope you enjoyed these shots. If you’re someone who used to be “creeped out” by cemeteries, hopefully some of my images will help you see the beauty and serenity instead. There will be many more cemetery shots from me over the next few months, so be sure to look for them here, and in our Etsy store.