Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brother, Mother, Father - The Heavy Frost

It was early in the morning last November when I gathered up some of my classes and we went up to the cemetery to catch the sunrise. There had been a heavy frost overnight and it was still cold as the suns rays began to illuminate the horizon. We all circled up on top of a hill and I began my lecture. Most of the 25 students attending had their hands thrust deep into their pockets as the morning chill fought to invade their cores. I spoke quickly, as I didn't want to infringe on the enjoyment of the morning light, and broke the big group into smaller groups. I sent them off in different directions with instructions to take their time while shooting, and really watch how the light affected the appearance of what they were framing. The frost covered leaves rustled underneath their feet as all of the groups made off in different directions.

I grabbed my gear and made the rounds, stopping to visit with each group and see what they were seeing. We talked about the light and how it changed the way things looked as it rose, creating more contrast and darker shadows. Subjects yet to be struck by the rising sun had nice soft shadows that were perfect for getting nice even exposures.

As I crested a hill on my way from one group to the next, I spotted a group of three headstones, simply labeled, Brother, Mother, and Father. A bed of brown maple and oak leaves curled around the monuments bases, and the pine trees in the background offered a great contrast in tone. The granite was weathered, with a plethora of stains and lichen attached. As I set up my equipment, I pondered the anonymity of it all. Three stones, with no names or dates, just the titles. Beautiful, simple, and serene.

©2010 Scott Bulger, All Rights Reserved
ISO 100 ----- 80mm ----- f2.8 ----- 1/10 sec.

How do any of us want to be remembered? What kind of mark do any of us really make on this world? As society becomes more and more divided, the world seems to just keep on chugging, one misguided tradgedy after another, one scandal after the next, one hate filled tirade upon the next. I think that artists have a special opportunity to leave something of themselves behind that can be uplifting for those that follow.


Daniel Fealko said...

Cemeteries are always great places for black and white photography. I happened upon this gravestone nestled in the cool shade of a tree during one hot summer day this year.

Scott Bulger Photography said...

Great image Dan, thanks for sharing.

Kitty said...

wow. This is incredible. I would have jumped up and down if I just happened upon these!

I really love the sentiment of the headstones and have to wonder which of them thought of this unique way of marking. Did they talk about it and make a group decision, I wonder?

This would be a great print, since everyone can relate to it.