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greasy sign [deleted] 3:38am, 12 August 2007
Just curious!!! What brought on your fascination with cemeteries???? Have to admit, the death of a loved one brought mine on.....how about you?
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(101 to 134 of 134 replies)
grandepics 14 years ago
We used to have family "cemetary days" twice a year. I'd go with my mother and her sisters, my aunts, to put flowers on the old graves in the family. Afterwards we went to an aunt's house for dinner and family story telling. When I had children the tradition continued. We used to take extra flowers and send the kids off to put flowers on "lonely" graves. The old lonely ones are fascinating to me. One wonders about their stories. I like cemetaries. They are lovely and peacful and full of interesting tombstones. The sad thing is that modern cemetaries just have plaques in the ground.
jkw_fire_horse Posted 14 years ago. Edited by jkw_fire_horse (member) 14 years ago
At primary school, we did a project on graveyards, where we had to write about one particular stone. I found one belonging to a little girl called Winnie - very sad. I often used to visit it afterwards. The grave yard I visit most often now is next to the site of an abandoned village called Kirkconnel in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. All of the houses have long since disappeared, but the beautiful old gravestones are still there. It's such a lovely moss-covered quiet place, full of wildlife and flowers: I love it.
Jaxita 14 years ago
A former boyfriend of mine was intrigued with photographing cemeteries, so for his birthday one year I planned a visit to a very large cemetery that was in between the two cities we lived in. Five minutes in, I was hooked..the art of older stones as well as how every stone has its own story fascinates me, & I'm addicted now. :)
yewenyi 14 years ago
I started and still do visit cemeteris as part of my ongoing research into the family's history.
taubinphoto 14 years ago
I think mine started at the first funeral I went to. My Grandfather had passed, and I remember going to the large cemetery and being fascinated by all of the headstones. It seemed like wherever I looked, for miles around, there were these decorated stones. As I grew older, I became more interested in the stories behind the stones.

Once I picked up my first "decent" camera, the cemetery was the first place I went with it. I've been hooked since then.
Sylvain Francois 14 years ago
It's hard to say what started it, I don't think there is a single reason, it's more like a combination of interests.

I always enjoyed peace and quietness, and cemeteries are great for that. When I want to spend a few relaxing hours, I usually have two choices: go for a walk in the forest or visit a cemetery. Always with my camera of course!

I also used to go for 1 hour walks during lunchtime in my previous job, sometimes in parks, sometimes in desert streets. It was like exploring the neighborhood. Once I went through what looked like a park from the outside: this is how I discovered the Cimetière Notre-Dame in Luxembourg. You can visit it in my photostream if you like.

There is a lot of mysticism and emotions in and around cemeteries. Although it may be repulsive for many people, this mystery is very attractive to me. And to all of us in this group apparently :-)
*TomCool* 14 years ago
I think it's just about the motives, which can't run away anymore. ;-)
mspurr2008 14 years ago
Hello.. I am a newbie..Just gettin into photography of things other than my children!!
I have always been fascinated with cemeteries. I grew up in New Orleans and never thought anything about the cities of the dead... until I moved away. I find myself drawn to the mystery. There is a fascination with older cemetaries. You have to wonder what the people where like... their lives.. the history they lived thru..It really is intriguing..
ghost_river66 14 years ago
My maternal Grandfather was a sexton for a city cemetery and I'm a history fanatic so....
macfarlane.stuart 14 years ago
hi iwork as a gravedigger so i see hundreds of gravestones every day but no matter how often im in a cemetry i olways find im stopping to read inscriptions on stones,the work thats been done on some of the stones must have took days ,possibly weeks.cheers stuart
One Sweet Peach 14 years ago
Richmond, Va... we have a great cemetery called Hollywood Cemetery... it is everything a old southern cemetery should be... crypts, presidents, soldiers, a river and a haunted house....As a teen we would go there and explore... mostly because it is built like a park you can stroll in.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Cemetery
probable government [deleted] 14 years ago
We used to go to the cemetery every Sunday to water the flowers at family graves.

On Vacations we used to visit the graves of the local famous.... Calamity Jane comes to mind... I recall having a photo of her clicking her heels on "Wild Bill" Hickcock's grave....

We went to local ones to look around... I just picked up being there. Sort of a not crowded art gallery?

Now I am in The Association for Gravestone Studies and I take my vacations to see cemeteries.
puzzled stitch [deleted] 14 years ago
My mother's family is buried in an old, beautiful cemetery in Urbana, Ohio. I always loved walking around & looking at the unusual & beautiful statues & tombstones. When I moved to Augusta, Georgia, I was within walking distance of another lovely, historic cemetery. I see them as beautiful, peaceful places, and, as in johnmartine63's comment, like art galleries. Some of the memorials are simply beautiful.
parallel example [deleted] 14 years ago
Perspective.
MGdo 14 years ago
I'm from an area of Queens, NY that contains a lot of cemeteries and I lived a block away from one. My brother and I flew kites there as kids, and locals go through it as shortcut because there are few through-roads. Lutheran All Faiths is about 200 years old and has a lot of beautiful old monuments. It always provides a good, peaceful, meditative walk, and I keep finding things there I never noticed before.
I Woke Up Dreaming 14 years ago
Suponho que o silêncio que têm, o passado permanente, a terra molhada, as flores de plástico, a tentativa de agarrar a vida.......sei lá
juliejordanscott 14 years ago
I grew up in a large family and we couldn't afford all the normal "attractions" when we went on family vacation, but we could tour the cemeteries as much as we wanted!

I remember one time we actually went hiking to find a very old gravesite in upstate New York. When we found it, it was like finding gold. My Dad did a... can't remember what they call it, where he took a crayon and a paper and got an image of the gravestone on paper.

I think he framed the darn thing!

So now that I have a camera, shooting at a cemetery, especially creatively, just seems like the thing to do.

I especially love cemeteries with lots of large headstones. Here, in California, we have a lot of cemeteries with the flat headstones so it just looks like a park... I would prefer the huge monuments so everyone knows exactly where you are and what the point of the place is.... (sounds morbid... I know!)
quizzical twist [deleted] 14 years ago
three reasons -

My mum has been studying family history and this requires inevitable visits to graveyards. I tag along and hear all the stories.

I like sculpture & architecture and I guess the combination of ornate headstones in church (architectural interest) graveyards goes together.

I studied History to degree level and the UK has many historic graveyards which make an interesting exercise in social documentary. You see first hand the age people died and the number of children that died at a really early age (at the weekend we saw a grave dated late 1700s which listed 5 dead children of the same family who died between the ages of 2 months and 5 years - presume it was due to small pox or similar infection).

and yes, I too have done grave rubbings in the past!
grvhopr 13 years ago
I've lived in one for about 24 years now. I have always had a fascination with them and about 5 years ago i started my own website annsmemorialgardens.com about them. love reading the epitaphs most of them seem to tell a story about the deceased.
absolutegroovyness 12 years ago
I had a difficult childhood growing up and leaned mostly on my grandparents for love. When they were both taken too young I started visiting them at the cemetery regularly and found such a sense of peace and calm that the outside world can't provide. Now wherever I'm living the first place I look for in the new town is the cemetery. Creepy? Dunno. It works for me.
Sharanjit 12 years ago
I live next to a cemetery, and the dead don't complain when I take their photo.
"Mr. Jeffrey " 12 years ago
As a boy growing up in the great plains cemeteries always had shade and were cooler temp wise.
cemeteries were also rendevous points for meeting up with friends.
my cousin Kim began observing the birth and death dates of people in a large cemetery, we found it fascinating and spent a lot of time visiting the cemetery.
That was before anyone in our family had passed away that we knew.
I have spent many an hour just meditating in cemeteries they are peaceful.
Hallowed Ground 12 years ago
How quiet the place can be. It's probably the most relaxing place because the majority of the public hardly visits the cemetery. Beaches, oceans, lakes, coffee shops, libraries...public places with a large amount of people. It's rare for places like those to have very little or no people at all. Yet for cemeteries, it's completely opposite.

What got me started is actually from movies. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and a whole lot of zombie flicks from the 70s and the 80s got me going. Nothing disrespectful. The place is just very unique. Different grave markers, tombstones and statues. Reading the years also intrigues me. The movies really opened me up to cemeteries and told me it's not a creepy place and it's okay to visit them.
Mauro Luna 12 years ago
a couple of links to explain.

My favorite photographer since I was in middle school.

www.simonmarsden.co.uk

www.marsdenarchive.com/
understood steam [deleted] 9 years ago
As a child I grew up going to cemeteries with my parents to clean up around family stones and leave flower baskets on them. I love paranormal research. Like many others I was at one time also very much involved with doing my family tree...well until my computer crashed and lost all my months of work. This made researching things all over not as much fun and lesson learned about backing up computer files! These days I have been researching the meanings of tombstones and their symbols. Always liked photography too but never was very good at getting awesome shots...the stones dont move and its peaceful. I also have signed up for find a grave website so hopefully I will have some photos to share soon. First I need to get a new camera. Sorry this is a big ramble.
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inetjoker 9 years ago
A fellow photographer and friend of mine turned me on to it. As for spent energy I never thought of a Cemetery as a home for them.
What got me started is the fact many of my relatives are in them.
Pianowerk 9 years ago
I was born in the East End of London and used to be pushed in a pram or walked through Bunhill Fields on a very regular basis as it was outside the flats I lived in then.As I grew up it was some sort of a playground, but only in bright sunlight!

Its quite a small cemetery but packed with history, much of which I was oblivious to when young.

www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Environ...
johnncox 9 years ago
Some years ago, I saw a posting on the Internet giving a listing of all the graves in a small cemetery (Camp Swamp UMC) right on the NC/SC state line. This was the cemetery where my great-great-grandparents were buried. Not listed and presumably among the "Unknowns," was my g-g-grandfather's (with whom I share a name) marker. I was sad the century old inscription on my g-g-grandfather's concrete gravestone had finally faded away. But I was happy I had taken a photograph of it in 1979 when it was still legible. I called up a monument company local to the area and made arrangements for replacement gravestones, with the original inscriptions, for both g-g-grandparents. Once done, I travelled down to this little cemetery and took photos of the new gravestones to share with my family. And while down there, I hit a couple of other small cemeteries where other relatives/ancestors were buried and took more photos. As time past and I started photographing more and more of my ancestors gravestones, I became attuned to the beauty that was all around me in the symbols on and the shapes of the various gravemarkers in the cemeteries I was visiting. From there it was but the slightest of steps to go from ancestors' gravestones to the interesting or famous gravestones of non-ancestors. And the visions of eternal hope, timeless faith, and everlasting love that dominated all these cemeteries spilled over and filled me with hope, faith, and love.
jejger 9 years ago
Years ago a genealogy friend at AOL, who was a guide at Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans asked me to send photos of cemeteries in Europe. So I started taking photos of cemeteries here in Germany, Netherlands and Danmark and discovered more and more different interesting places.
Thanks I have the chance to share them here.
Also thank you for the interesting input of all other interested members!
Bye & best regards,
Jens :-)
Hollygolightly, dear 9 years ago
I felt like I had no choice. Since moving to PA 3 yrs ago it seems that just about everywhere town has 1,2 or 3 if a small town, and at least 4 or 5 if a good size town. Heck the cities have loads more.
baltek 9 years ago
antiquities
monstercard 9 years ago
My wife collects Angels, so one day several years ago I did a Flickr search for Angels. I saw many pictures of different types of Angels. i looked at the tags on the photos and noticed most of them were in cemetaries. I then did a search on Flickr for groups of cemetaries. I was suprised there were over 2000 groups I think. That lead me to this group, and to taking pictures in cemetaries.
Scenista 9 years ago
I used to work in one. I take my dog through my local cemetery every day, on the way to the shops and talk to the spirits. It calms me.
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