Main Xplorzine cemetery issue 5
XPLORZINE CEMETERY EDITION XPLORZINE Front cover by:Photographer James Ortiz Back cover by Andrew Alexander of Off The Beaten Path Photography Credits cover by Grebophotos CREDITS: The Bohemian Blog Jeane Trend-Hill CemeTerry photographer Malcolm Alcala Joe Dallmann Andrew Alexander of Off The Beaten Path Photography Places that were Grebo photos Jeremiah Gilbert Tiffany Harned Tonya Doyle Cathy Weaver Carole Tyrrell Dreadful negatives XPLORZINE issue 1 issue 2 issue 3 issue 4 All issues available on Magcloud The Bohemian Blog Tell xplorzine about yourself, I’m originally from Oxford, but I’ve spent the last four years travelling around the world. How did you become interested in exploring cemeteries? I have always been interested in old cemeteries. Even when I was young, I used to enjoy the peace and tranquility of these overgrown spaces. I would spend hours reading the inscriptions on stones, and trying to imagine what these people were like in life. how long have you been photographing cemeteries? It was only recently that I started to photograph my visits to cemeteries – just the last four years or so. Since then I’ve become more interested in photography, and in sharing my photographs from visits to cemeteries located all around the world. Why do you photograph them and what do you get out of it? When I first started to photograph cemeteries, my main goal was to try and capture a sense of atmosphere. As I began exploring more exotic locations though, I also became interested in the behaviour of visitors, or in the cultures that grew up around these places – and at times, my photography would become more journalistic in order to capture that kind of human interaction. what kind of gear do you use/camera/lenses Typically I shoot with a Canon 650D – nothing special, just a reliable DSLR with a basic lens and tripod. I’ve always been more interested in capturing accurate photographs of amazing places, rather than spending too much time thinking about the equipment itself. Any thing that st; ands out in your ventures memories happenings etc… My visit to this cemetery in Haiti was both fascinating, and terrifying. After the earthquake in 2010, hundreds of thousands of people were left without a home. Many of them moved to the cemetery, where the old, colonial-era tombs were built from heavy stone slabs and metal frames. People broke open graves and mausoleums, pulled out the bodies and set up home inside these basic structures. Today, there are countless people living inside the cemetery and many shrines set up for traditional vodou rituals and sacrifice. When I visited, the place was littered with bones and dolls and sacrificial offerings… but at the same time, there was a surprising sense of community within this ‘city of the dead.’ I’m particularly interested in the idea of ‘dark tourism’ – the practice of visiting sites associated with death and suffering. It’s a subject that I write about on The Bohemian Blog [http://www.thebohemianblog.com]; in addition to cemeteries, this topic would also include tourism to sites of natural disaster, massacres, prisons, concentration camps and execution sites. That may all sound rather macabre – but I think there is tremendous value in understanding these places, these events, and the reasons they came to be. As the philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Jeane Trend-Hill Jeane Trend-Hill is a photographer, author and actress from London. In 2005 she set up the Silent Cities project and spends much of her time photographing Victorian cemetery monuments and writing about places of eternal rest for national newspapers and magazines. Jeane advises on grave symbolism and has produced 29 books. She has studied Criminology and Mortuary Science and is involved with monument restoration and preservation. Other photographic subjects include urban, street art and architecture. CemeTerry photographer Eight years ago you wouldn’t catch me dead in a cemetery. Now, you can’t keep me out of them. The tranquility and beauty offsets the sorrow and sadness for me. Even in a century old cemetery there’s always something new to discover and photograph. Malcolm Alcala Self taught photographer born and raised in Los Angeles, and now living in Albuquerque, NM. The world is my prop, as soon as I win the lottery. 500px.com/malcolmalcala 500px.com/malcolmalcala Malcolm Alcala Malcolm Alcala Joe Dallmann I am a San Francisco Bay Area based photographer. Although I’d been dabbling with an old point and shoot before my love for photography began around the same time as my love for cemeteries. A lot of people ask me “Why cemeteries? Isn’t that kind of morbid?” I simply tell them “Cemeteries are not for the dead, they’re for the living.” Cemeteries are full of beauty, love and some amazing art pieces and I’ve visited so many I’ve lost count. It was a great place to start because they’re usually pretty quiet and you can learn with subjects that don’t move so it allows you to play with different angles and settings. I love all types of photography and like to watch others push the boundaries and break the rules. Joe Dallmann Joe Dallmann Andrew Alexander of Off The Beaten Path Photography Originally from Edinburgh, Indiana, which is near the military base Camp Atterbury. I now reside & work on the outskirts of Indianapolis. I started off with my Pentax K1000, which was a Christmas gift from my Mom & Dad when I was roughly 16 or 17. I was a very rebellious teenager & when I discovered photography, it took me to another place. It has continued to do that over the years. Taking me away from the madness, chaos, & routine of everyday life. Slowing down the beauty that usually only swirls around us in our rushed pursuit of our version of the American dream. I shoot almost everything I see. I’ve always been drawn to the peaceful tranquility & beauty found in cemeteries. The stories of those who came before us. The tributes & monuments that were put up to honor them. The craftsmanship in the older stones & statues. The quietness. The landscape, flowers & trees. I also love to explore abandoned houses, businesses, searching out traces of the past. Trying to document these places before they are gone forever. Nature will always be something I photograph. It is where I find my happy place. My peace, my serenity, myself. I occasionally enjoy people watching & shooting urban street photography. I am currently shooting with a Canon 60D with a 24 mm 2.8, which I love playing around with shallow depth of field & getting a beautiful bokah effect. I also use a very versatile 18-200mm for a variety of purposes. My work is always available for purchase & can be found at www.facebook.com/offthebeatenpathphoto & www.flickr.com/photos/andrewalexander Andrew Alexander of Off The Beaten Path Photography www.placesthatwere.com www.placesthatwere.com GREBO I was born in the UK but now reside in Belgrade, Serbia. I spent over twenty years living in Portsmouth on the South coast of the UK by the sea. I originally moved there when aged twenty one to study for my BA in Fine Art Painting and just ended up staying there. I have lived in Belgrade permanently for the last couple of years which has given me a new source of creative inspiration. What is your preference in shooting and where do you find inspiration to create your images? First of all, I am reluctant to call myself a photographer; I have little or no interest in the technical side of photography and have never set out to capture a perfect shot. As mentioned, I studied for a BA in Fine Art Painting, so I also draw and paint and only started to take photos a few years ago as a creative outlet when I had no time to draw and paint. For me, the camera has become my sketchbook and pencil, it is something for me to play with and have fun. I can’t say I have a preference for shooting; everything around me is an inspiration, though I am drawn very much to textures which probably comes from the art background. Sit me in front of an old dirty window with scratches on it and it will keep me occupied for hours! I do, of course, love cemeteries, they have always been an inspiration from a young age and somewhere I like to take photos or just to sit and contemplate l ife and death! If I visit a new town or city, I will always try to get to the cemetery for a look around. At the end of the day I just take shots of what I like, it could be a small detail of something or a landscape; I just try to look at it in an original way. I Do you prefer to work alone or to shoot with others? I prefer to work alone, apart from with my wife who is very patient while I am snapping away! I’m not much of a people person and prefer to be lost in my own little world and to explore what I want to € explore. This extends to the photos, people do not feature in my images that often other than myself, I enjoy the challenge of making interesting self-portraits. How long have you been shooting? I have been using a camera to create images for around seven years. Before that I had a small cheap digital camera, the typical kind that a family would take on holiday, but found I was quite enjoying using it and it offered me a chance to be creative at a time when I wasn’t able to draw and paint. At some point I upgraded and just carried on being creative, but it has only been in the last four years that it became more of an important tool in my creative process. It has provided me with the chance to take part in some photography exhibitions here in Belgrade while some images have been used for the artwork on various record and CD covers. What kind of gear do you use? I use a Nikon D40x and the kit lens that came with it when purchased. As I mentioned, I have no interest in the technical side of things, so the one camera and lens works perfectly for how I work with the idea of it being my sketchbook. I do have one other lens, I have no idea what it is, but a kind Facebook friend sent it to me when they were offloading some gear before emigrating. I am ashamed to say I have only used it once! And where can people find your work? If you are lucky enough to be in Belgrade you may sometimes find photos or artwork that I have left out on the streets for Free Art Friday, other than that you can see some photographic work at facebook.com/grebophotos or check out my artworks at facebook.com/greboclouds www.facebook.com/Grebophotos www.facebook.com/Grebophotos Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery By : Jeremiah Gilbert Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is a colonial-era cemetery located in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and is the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico’s most prominent natives and residents. Construction began in 1863 under the auspices of Ignacio Mascaro. The cemetery is located outside the walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro fortress, one of the island’s most famous landmarks. It’s a dangerous location to explore at night, but we’re here midday surrounded by kite-flying locals. The colonial Spanish government at the time of the construction of the cemetery viewed death with fear because it was a mystery. As a result, they decided to build the cemetery to overlook the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the spirit’s journey to cross over to the afterlife. About Jeremiah Gilbert Jeremiah Gilbert is a college professor, photographer, and avid traveler. So far he has been to over fifty countries spread across five continents. Through his work with models, both in studio and on location, he has been internationally published in both digital and print publications. His blog, photo portfolio, and travel tales can be found at www.jeremiahgilbert.com www.jeremiahgilbert.com www.jeremiahgilbert.com Tiffany Harned “Away to Awaken; A photographic collection of light and color from the road” www.tiffanyharned.com “Away to Awaken; A photographic collection of light and color from the road.” Away to awaken takes you on a compelling photographic journey: a series of photos that Harned took while she was on the road in search of places that would revive her inner passion for photography, and the catharsis she got from immortalizing beautiful places and moments, incorporated with stories and quotes on each page. Having an affinity for art since she was a child, Harned’s father gave her her first camera when she was a child. A Canon A1 that she now has tattooed as a stencil on the back of her leg. It was a simple gesture, but one that would pave her future in art. She started taking photography classes in high school leading her to minor in photography in college. After a series of unfortunate events leading to an existential crisis and disenchantment with life, Tiffany set out on the road with only $3,000, her car, her cat and her camera in search of inspiration; what she would bring back with her both emotionally and artistically was above and beyond anything she could have imagined. Harned started her journey in New Jersey traveling south to Atlanta, New Orleans, over through Texas, along the Mexico border through ghost towns-towns that had populations of no more than 23. Eventually she landed at a small off-the-grid desert community called Slab City in southern California near the Salton Sea. She traipsed over forgotten places and resurrected their beauty, she spun fire in the desert, she captured rarely seen landscapes — she became enchanted with life again. Not long after she returned, Tiffany was devastated when her father unexpectedly passed away. She is honoring the man who encouraged her first artistic moments by dedicating her book to him and holding her book release on his birthday. She did get a chance to tell him about the art show she was planning before he departed. She asked him if she was dreaming, he responded by telling her that sometimes all it takes is one dream to make it into reality. Tonya Doyle www.facebook.com/TawniDollPhotography Cathy Weaver www.facebook.com/cathyweaverphotography Carole Tyrrell shadows fly away My cemetery photography really began with an outing to an area I’d never previously visited on the outskirts of London – we came across a clearing in the middle of nowhere which had stones with names and ages on and a headless child angel in the centre. I have been back there since but not found the clearing again. But I will keep looking. I have been taking photos in cemeteries for over 25 years and have a good assortment of images from the UK and Europe and even Ground Zero just prior to the rebuilding in 2006. I have been involved with a cemetery group the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery – one of London’s Magnificent 7 since 1989 and three years ago I became a tour guide – firstly. leading a general tour about the history of Nunhead Cemetery and the creation of the Magnificent 7 and then onto the more specialised area of symbols which I find fascinating. Currently I am writing a short book on symbols and their background including the Egyptian influence on memorials and monuments I have finally got round to creating my own blog “shadowsflyaway.wordpress.com “ – on which I will be posting an assortment of previously published articles and unpublished photos. The eeriest cemetery I have visited is Calton Hill in Edinburgh and I had a spooky experience in Greyfriars Churchyard also in Edinburgh. Carole Tyrrell Prepared by MagCloud for James Ortiz. Get more at nikonbob1.magcloud.com.