Saturday, March 27, 2010

Visiting A Local Cemetery

    I did something a little different that usual today, since I did not want to travel far from home. I went to the oldest cemetery in my community, and I learned something from it, both photographically, and about people. Part of what inspired my trip to the cemetery, is the theme for this months photos for the photography club that I am a part of, while the other was my continuing interest in history. That interest in history, explains why I was quickly drawn to the communities World War 1 and World War 2 memorial.

Nikon 85mm F3.5G Micro, ISO200, 1/160s, @F8

    This part of the memorial stood out to me in the dimming afternoon light, as it highlighted a few of the battles where Canadian troops fought and died during the "Great War." It was on those battles, where Canadian troops took positions that British and French troops had failed, that other nations around the world started to see Canada as being separate from the British Empire. That is meaningful to me on a few levels, first that people were willing to give their lives to maintain the lifestyle that we enjoy today, and secondly, because that definition of Canada, a nation that fights for others, stands to this very day.

    Reading the grave stones of many people this afternoon reminded me the importance of other peoples stories. I wondered what the people I saw did, were they good people, or did the hurt others? Visiting a cemetery and taking time to think about that really helps you think outside of yourself, and see a bigger picture. Of all the photo walks that I have done in recent years, this one is among the most though provoking. There were even times when I thought that I might be being disrespectful by taking photos in such a place. Then I realized, we put up grave markers to remember people, and photography, at the end of the day, is doing the same thing, creating a way to remember a moment that is meaningful to us as photographers.

 Nikon 24-120mm F3.5-5.6 VR, ISO200, 1/160s, @F5.6