This may seem strange to some people, but historic graveyards can be very photogenic locations offering myriad combinations of history and atmosphere. I don’t consider old graveyards to be spooky, haunting or intimidating. I find they stir strong emotions.
Some tombstones are works of art with ornate and lavish sculptures. Or they’re eye-catching due to their design, carvings or lettering. Many older gravestones and statues have a weathered look fashioned by centuries of exposure to the elements.
Show the location the utmost respect – this is someone’s final resting place, somewhere sacred. Graveyards represent lives, history and often sorrow.
It’s not my intention to talk about my photographic techniques in these blog posts. There’s a wealth of information just a few keystrokes away on Google if you want to give it a try yourself.
Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA
The Duck River is named after the tidal stream – known as Duck River – that runs through it, bisecting the burial grounds (the grounds are also bisected by a salt marsh). Established in the 17th century, the cemetery includes some of the oldest gravestones in Old Lyme with the oldest marked grave being dated 1676 – the gravestone of Renold Marvin.
Quite a few notable people from Connecticut’s storied past are buried in the cemetery, including:
- Matthew Griswold – American Patriot, governor of CT from 1784 to 1786
- Ezra Lee – Colonial soldier, best known for commanding theTurtle, the first submarine used during a war
- Thomas R. Ball – Connecticut Congressman
- Elsie Ferguson – Stage and film actress
My stay was only a short one. Within seconds of leaving the car, I became an English “all you can eat” buffet for the local mosquito population. I’ll definitely be back later in the year when the little bloodsucking nuisances are less in number and I can be dressed a little more suitably.
Of the few shots I took, the one below is my favorite. Is this not the most idyllic-looking graveyard? I could sit there for hours working on my latest work in progress.
If you visit Duck River Cemetery or any cemetery for that matter, please show the location the utmost respect – it is someone’s final resting place, somewhere sacred. Graveyards represent lives, history and often sorrow.