Boot Hill

Holy Rood Cemetery, Georgetown, DC (altered)

It was 80ºF this afternoon, more than enough impetus to get me out and taking photographs. It was partly cloudy and the afternoon sun (yay, Daylight Savings Time!) was dodging in and out in an especially attractive fashion. My eye was caught once again by the elevated graveyard and raking light.

I shot photos with both my iPhone and the GF-1. I had the Macro-Elmarit on board the Lumix, and it just couldn’t give me the wide angle and depth of field I wanted. The iPhone, on the other hand, did just fine. (I really wish I could show you the full size version of these pictures.)

This is the camera version, with only my typical import adjustments:

Holy Rood Cemetery, Georgetown, DC

It’s obviously too dark, and the salient detail is suppressed. And—especially—it’s missing the feeling of light gilding the foreground grasses, which is what made me want to take the picture in the first place.

So I worked with it awhile in Aperture until I had something that approximated my view of the scene at the time I opened the shutter.

Holy Rood Cemetery, Georgetown, DC

And this is an acceptable result. Except: it didn’t convey the emotional charge I wanted it to have. I wanted something more elegiac, more damaged. I wanted the intimation of mortality in the color and quality of the image, even before the viewer recognizes the crosses and monuments on the horizon line.

So I brought the image into Snapseed and grunged it on up. And the altered version is the one you see at the beginning of this post.

I’d be very curious to hear from my readers—what do you think? Which version do you prefer? What would you have done with this image?


A Year Ago: Twist

Naturally coiled sapling.I took more than a dozen photographs of this coiled sapling…
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One Response to Boot Hill
  1. Greg
    March 14, 2012 | 8:40 pm

    I like the stark grave-yardiness of the first one best. Captures a feeling.

    But I also like the outdoors being-thereness of the third one.