Saturday, June 21, 2008

Active Memorial Displays - Grave in Avon North Carolina

You really need to see the detail in the image to understand it. Please click on the image above to see it larger.

There seems to be some signs of a change in the way we are inclined to memorialize the departed. The word “shrine” seems appropriate. Perhaps the beginning of this possible trend was the roadside memorial. We’ve all seen them, and there has been at least one photo project to document roadside memorials. I don’t now if it was in Camera Arts or another of the black and white photo magazines.

Contrasted with most graveyards (I’m reminded of my youth, driving by miles and miles of the Forest Lawn graveyard, stretching as far as the eye could see, on the Long Island Expressway) this is a far more vital and active way of memorializing. It also gives the living a means of expression in the present, rather than obsessing just on the past. Generally these memorials have some of the cherished possessions of the departed.

I’ve been following some these memorials in Avon, N.C. for a while, an old fishing community now driven by the Cottage industry : >. Avon lost its share of Watermen to the sea and to the Sound.

The town of Avon, on the Sound side, has an old church (now closed and moved somewhere else) that has a boardwalk to a ship launching pier. Each year a ceremony is held, and an empty skiff is launched to memorialize those who lost lives on the water. That same church has a graveyard that has some active memorial displays. The above image is a recently changed small memorial. The photograph above is a black and white image to which muted color has been added to a few elements. I found this the best way to deal with the somber nature of the subject.


David c.h. Brown said...

Hello Ed,
I came across your blog a couple of nights ago, and I quite enjoy your work. I am in the process of moving right now, and after I get resettled, I intend to get back to my first love, B & W photography. Your work and especially painting light with a flashlight is beautiful to say the least. I will be experimenting with this myself in the near future. Thank you for a sight that is about real photography. Dave

Ed Deasy said...


Thanks for the comments. I’d like to see how your experiments go when you get set up.

Light painting does work out well for night shots, and turns out to be easier to do than it might seem. With any kind of negative film, color or black and white, there’s enough latitude, so most experiments will come out better than you might think. Slide film has no tolerance for overexposure, and generally results in a disaster.

I can’t remember if I posted the method I use for “guessing” the exposure for light painting or not. Anyway, it goes like this;

I use a light meter to measure the flashlight I’m going to use, at approximately the distance from the subject that I plan to use the flashlight. I use the incident light dome and point it at the flashlight, with the time at 1 second, and take a measurement. I set that exposure on the lens (as an example F16, or whatever was read). I open the shutter and move the flashlight slowly enough to get the light to stay about a second on each area I want to come out well lit. If I want an area to come out darker, I move the flashlight faster. I always do a number of frames to increase the chance of getting one good one.

This is one that was done entirely with flashlight.
Both the light on the coffee cup and the reflection came from the flashlight.

Ed Deasy said...

Let's see if I can include the link

David c.h. Brown said...

Hi Ed,
Thank you muchly for the reply. I appreciate the starting reference specs for times and aperatures that you so kindly provided. I am hoping at some point in the future to post B&W Portraiture on my blog,
when the dust settles from my move.
I really appreciate your taking the
time to respond to my comments. It is much appreciated. Thanks, Dave