Boston Cemetery

This is my first post so I'm more than a little nervous. So many great photographers here. I shot this around Halloween with my Nikon D70. Please feel free to critique away.

Posted by BoraBoraJen on Sat, 04/05/08 17:49
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Comments by Rory Hudson on Sat, 04/05/08 19:21

I think youve done well. The autumn leaves help a sense of sadness which comes through. This is assisted by the way the rows of tombstones stretch away into the distance and are blurred as they do so due to the shallow DOF. The walkway at upper left is slightly intrusive, but perhaps there was not much you could do about it.

Comments by Linda Frey on Sat, 04/05/08 19:28

An interesting subject. It's hard to make out the writing on the tombstones. I wonder if another time of day might make the letters stand out better?

Welcome to PC.

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sat, 04/05/08 20:26

I think that Linda's comment is worthy of follow-up in that the writing and carving that one can make out faintly on the grave markers might make for an interesting photographic subject matter. I like the contrast between that of the grave markers and the near golden hue of the leaf covered grass... really works to make the markers stand out strongly in the picture. I think a couple of steps to the left might have taken care of the walkway on the left.

Comments by DebbiK on Sat, 04/05/08 21:38

An interesting scene that you captured here. I have a somewhat sick facination with cemeteries, especially old ones! I think you did well here with exposure and depth of field as I like the way it blurs a little as you go towards the back of the photo. I agree that if you had taken a couple of steps to the left you could have eliminated getting the road in the picture. We have to remember to always check the edges of our frame before clicking. Welcome to PC!

Comments by Dave Geyer on Sat, 04/05/08 21:48

Welcome to PC!

Gravestones are fascinating subjects, aren't they? The point has already been made that it's much more interesting if you can read the inscriptions. Working in flat light this can be a challenge. One approach is to get very tight on a particular stone, and crank up the contrast. A better way is to work in sunlight that is low in the sky, and crosses the surface of the stone, bringing out the writing.

I have a few suggestions regarding this image. The overall composition could be more imaginative. A graveyard is a great place to move all around, get high, get low, get close, just try all kinds of framings with the zoom set from moderate to wide angle, and just shoot a lot and have some fun.

The color is rather on the yellow side. Matter of taste. Some like that, finding it "warm". To me it just looks off.

The missing corner on the right stone bothers me.

I've taken the liberty of trying a couple of alternate framings which seem a bit more dramatic to me. You might not like them as well as the original, but I had some fun playing with the basic image in Photoshop. I did restore the corner to the right hand stone in the first cropping.

Finally, the image seems rather flat tonally. It could use a bit more contrast.

Comments by Dave Geyer on Sat, 04/05/08 21:50

The second cropping I tried is a bit more radical. Not sure if it works or not, but the point is, it was something to try just to see how it would work.

Comments by BoraBoraJen on Sun, 04/06/08 11:59

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. And thank you, Dave, for showing me some more creative ways to play with this shot. :)