Rest in peace?

A recent walk along the Thames brought me to the quiet, somewhat hidden cemetery of the old Chiswick parish church. It’s a beautiful place, and I took my first graveyard shots.

A cluster of older tombstones are adjacent to the church, including that of 18th century artist and social commentator William Hogarth.

Weathered by time, these stones are full of character and beauty and can be captured in numerous ways. Taking pictures of the inscriptions, I wondered what stories lay behind these long-gone names and lives.

As you move deeper into the cemetery, the tombstones become more recent. They look perhaps less romantic and photogenic, while it seemed inappropriate to take shots of gravestones of the more recently departed.

Another project I have in mind is to capture a graveyard in various states of light, including the long shadows of sunset and dusk – even some night photography.

Many would say this is too creepy, but they are places of rest and peace that are frozen in time. On the one hand, this atmosphere can be captured on a single frame.


But does anyone think that graveyards are sacred places and shouldn’t be photographed? Should their inhabitants be left to rest in peace?

6 thoughts on “Rest in peace?

  1. I personally, don’t see anything wrong with photographing graveyards. It’s not like you’re going in to deface the gravestones, or the cemetery in general. You’re not going inside the place to have a living dead party. What you are going to do, you are going to do with quiet respect, and in my eyes, sort of paying respect, in your own little kind of way. Just my two cents worth. ;)

    I love the photos. The DoF in the first one is outstanding! I can’t wait to see the follow-up on this.


    • Thank you Tina, much appreciated. Yes, I suppose you’re adding to something that might otherwise be ignored. Of course these people who died in the earlier half of the 19th century would never have been photographed before!


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