Saturday, June 23, 2012

Photography: Sacramento Cemetery

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Sacramento Cemetery, a set on Flickr.

I have always loved cemeteries. When I was a child in England we used to pretty much live in a cemetery, and that's where I would play with my sister every day. As a teen the village cemeteries used to be our meeting points, the places where we would hang out and smoke,watching the time go by until we could go and have a drink at the pub. In France we lived down the street from the large city cemetery and would go there at night to see if we were scared, and usually end up getting chased away by a guard (or what we imagined to be the guard). Apart from the beauty of many of the tombstones, there is also something so peaceful and restful about a cemetery, somewhere where you can hide from the bustle of the city and where time seems to stop for a while.
I love old cemeteries, where the dates go back to centuries gone by, where moss has grown over the gravestones, and where you can imagine stories of families long gone.

Yesterday I went down to the Old City Cemetery in Sacramento, where the founders of the city as well as the first settlers are laid to rest, and also the governors of the state of California. There is something special about seeing beautiful, well-preserved old tombs amidst large California pine trees and palm trees. What caught my eye the most where the array of statues on the tombs, dotted all around the cemetery, warriors and weeping women, swords and cloaks, standing proud under the California sun. I've been working on getting that same over-exposed, black and white print look on my digital camera that is always much easier to get on my old manual SLR film camera, and it works especially well when the sun is so bright. Perfect for an old cemetery in my opinion, but I think for the rest of my stay here in California I will be going back to colour for a while - I want to make sure I get many shots of the contrasting dried-brown hills and the lush flowers of the oleanders that grow everywhere.

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