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Photo Assignment: Graveyards and cemeteries

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    Photo Assignment: Graveyards and cemeteries

    I’d been rather undecided about where to post some photographs I took a couple of days ago. They are certainly not at all a carefully selected and edited “own portfolio” of images that belong in the photo galleries of Rookie and Pro, yet taken in circumstances too “photograph-y” for a more places kind of thread in The World – Pilot Guides (where I’ve never felt up to starting a This is Edinburgh thread anyway).

    Even when deciding on the Photo Assignments section, I hesitated regarding the Abbey's, Churches, Crosses, Crypts & Monasteries thread. Close, but not exactly… so in the end I’ve started this new assignment thread for Graveyards and cemeteries.

    Actually there is one other thread that might, but not quite, have been a contender for these photos…. iPHONE photography , except that I don’t have anything like so smart a phone that it actually takes photos!!!!!! BUT – and I expect you can now see where all this is going – I have recently become the proud owner of a new (i.e. v3) iPad. “Paddy” to his friends!

    So last Thursday I was at my place in town and went out to vote in the local elections. Strolling back, for the weather had changed to unexpectedly sunny, I was about to continue past the gates of the Dean Cemetery but instead went inside. I did not have my camera with me, but I did have Paddy in my bag and time to spare. Wouldn’t it be interesting to try out the camera facility on the iPad!

    As well as simply seeing what the camera function was capable of doing, finding out what to press, and generally getting used to handling the pad without putting my hand over the actual camera, I decided to approach this photo assignment in a “what if” sort of way. What if I was away somewhere on my travels and just as I’d arrived at a special place my camera had failed? Yes pakarang, even a Nikon! Actually while looking at photos I’d taken in Thailand recently the thought suddenly struck me that I’d had no back up had that happened. (I had in Antarctica back in 2005…and lent it to a fellow passenger who found himself in exactly that situation on his holiday of a lifetime.)

    I’d thought that I would be restricted to a more wide-angle approach than I would have tended to do with my Nikon zoom lens. Not a bad thing at all to be encouraged to take wider shots more often. However, now that I’ve seen the results from the iPad on the computer I realise I could also have taken more shots with the specific intention of enlarging the thing of interest, and I’ll have a go with that in mind next time. There are plenty of megapixels to spare! Otherwise the only things I missed that I'd do with “big camera” would be those unusual angles and depth of field type shots –another thing to do on another occasion.

    So these first photos from Paddy are only slightly cropped or not at all, with the minimum of additional processing, resized as usual for posting here, and in general treated just as I would any set of images from my Nikon.

    I should also add that I have already posted iPad photos of a restaurant meal…and Paddy really is the camera of choice in that situation where one may need to be discreet and not disturbing other diners…I’d have to stand up, move chairs around and generally be far too conspicuous with “big camera”! Exactly like I was in that same restaurant to get the shots you can see in the preceding posts of that thread.

    The Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

    The Dean Cemetery was established in 1846 on the site of a former mansion house and estate, and rapidly became “fashionable” if such a word can be considered at all appropriate. At any rate, there are many famous names and much Scottish and social history here, but I’ll leave the biographical aspects for another time perhaps.


      However I’ve been looking at the images of pakarang’s in his thread A trip to the grave yard at Nidarosdomen. This led me to thinking about the contrasts between the Trondheim graveyard images and those Elizabeth posted in #10 of that thread (as well as outstandingly within her 365/366 projects). Other than as delights to photograph, much of this American funerary sculpture can be a little too sugary-sweet and sentimental for my taste. The Scottish version of Victorian tends to be more rugged, closer to the Norwegian character as seen in the Trondheim photos than the American. I had to search out cherubs and angels in the Dean Cemetery.

      Such statuary as there is also acquires a ruggedness of character from the rock chosen for it, further emphasised in that rock’s subsequent weathering.

      There was this rather extraordinary scene.



        …and this is my favourite of the genre… and could that even be a cloud the cherub is sitting on?!



          There are certainly a lot of obelisks to be seen here…


            …but even more Celtic crosses.


              …and there are a lot of bearded gentlemen.



                This is a strangely hypnotising one…the eyes seem to follow you as you move past.



                  A characterfull carved relief…

                  …and another rather classical countenance.


                    And talking of classicism, there are quite a lot of Grecian-like urns.
                    (I am restraining myself from digressing too completely OT onto differing rock types here, though that is for me also a fascination of this cemetery visit.)


                      Also, in this Athens of the North as Edinburgh has been called, there are classical figures and columns and more elaborate temple-like monuments.



                        This one has a military touch, with a ceremonial helmet within the columns.



                          After those it comes as something of a shock to encounter the most extraordinary tomb – a pyramid. Look how the polished granite reflects the trees and sky! I must return to take more photos here.



                            A final favourite for this time.
                            And as you looked around the Dean Cemetery with me, I wonder if you forgot, even just for a moment, that these were only iPad snapshots?


                              Re: Photo Assignment: Graveyards and cemeteries

                              i had thoughts to start such a thread,but never did it,maybe to afraid for the reactions.
                              but those personal monuments .......
                              well here is the lack of my english language again.
                              best regards Thijs