Graveyards are both devoid and filled with human presence. Devoid in the sense that graveyards aren’t the most social of places. The living, only visit the grounds to call upon the deceased, either on an anniversary or birthday. The rest of the time graveyards are quiet and empty…well kind of. In a more spiritual perspective, graveyards are overflowing with human presence. Human ashes and bodies are restfully rotting below the ground, whilst names, dates and memories live on above. The memory of these people offers graveyards human presence, as the dead live on through us, both genetically and through memories. But is the only human presence present in graveyards due to us the living? Maybe graveyards have no presence at all without us. Paying a visit every now and then, allows the deseased to live on through us but without that outlet are they just bodies in the ground? Could graveyards be a purely physical place where the dead are simply put away?
If so, then why do so many of us find these places so eerie? This is where the idea of ghosts, paranormal activity, angels and demons come into play. Those childish fears idea of the grounds being haunted with lost souls and people who have not yet passed on into the next world. And so before taking my images of graveyards, I pre visualised how I wanted my photos to look like. I wanted to emote eeriness and create a ghostly presence. I wanted my images to look smudged/blurred, maybe overexposed, like the images were something out of a nightmare. These aspects are often created within pinhole photography anyway, so I wanted to use it to my advantage to add to the overall effect of my images.
Above are the images I made using my Mamiya pinhole camera. Many of the photos have camera shake, due to a low shutter speed, instigated by the light meter. Many of the photos are overexposed, which I did intentionally to emphasise a ghostly effect. However, many of the photos needed a longer exposure time, as I had to adjust the lighting in many of the images. Next time, I’d like to create sharper, better exposed images, as this was my first attempt with my Mamiya.