Despite having lived in Northampton for six years and driven past St. Mary’s Cemetery on numerous occasions, I had never thought to wander through looking for statuary. This hunt for angels and other iconography is a recent thing for me – I had photographed my one Madonna “Black Mary” in New Orleans in 2011 but otherwise hadn’t yet realized my passion for these religious statues.
That’s what friends are for though, right? One of my oldest friends suggested that I should be photographing in St. Mary’s sometime last month and so I encouraged him to show me the cemetery – apparently he and some friends had photographed there pretty extensively sometime in the late 90’s.
This lady caught both of our eyes – she had her back to the path so we could see the white crown of her head glowing in the sunlight and the white tips of her wings. As I walked around her starting to take some first exploratory shots, Abel realized what she was missing – real flowers to go with her bouquet. A beautiful selection of nearby pansies was the perfect thing.
I couldn’t resist taking some macro shots of the flowers – because…it’s like all of my varying subjects combined into one. If only there was a honeybee to complete it all!
The first thing that I research when I’m going on vacation is the closest Catholic Cemetery. I just LOVE finding new statuary to photograph and the Catholics know how to do religious statues better than anybody else. So when I found out that my parents were going to fly us to Charleston for a week last cemetery, I knew that I would be visited Magnolia Cemetery. I googled it online and was blown away by the beautiful angels and Madonnas – it was definitely the place for me.
My goal is always to take that shot the defines what makes that particular cemetery different from anywhere else. For me, the things that I find the most fascinating about the South are the combination of the Live Oak trees and the Spanish Moss. Magnolia Cemetery had a little of both – though unfortunately never together with the beautiful statues that I wished to photograph.
Still, I think that I captured the experience of visiting Magnolia Cemetery well with this image – it is amazing how differently statues age down South than they do here in New England. There are all kinds of new growth to add texture and beauty. This lovely lady especially caught my attention – you can really feel the weight of the cross that she bears.
A year ago I took this image at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Easthampton, MA. I called it “Purple and Bumble” or “PB” for short. I love the violet and mint green combination – it makes me feel so good.
I revisited to the site yesterday on my walk through town – it’s been so hot and muggy out that I haven’t wanted to visit my favorite bee locations. It’s a pity really, I feel so out of touch with my sisters.
There were some bumbles on these flowers as well this year, but the plant was covered primarily in honeybees. Even better.
Have I talked lately about how much I love my Cannon 100mm Macro lens lately? You get less of the mint green here because I am so close to the bee, but the hairs on the buds! I chose to shoot at the most open aperture that my lens would allow (2.8) both because the 15 mph winds necessitated a fast shutter speed and also because I love creamy colored backgrounds.
And I also love that it can be “PB”…I’m just a little nostalgic like that.
I’ve been meaning to check out Mt. Auburn Cemetery for a while now so when my husband and I realized that we would be staying at a friends house nearby on Saturday night, we knew that we just had to plan a trip to walk around the cemetery on Sunday morning. We suggested it to our friends as a nice morning stroll and they all agreed – apparently they are into Pokemon Go and thought that there might be some fun Pokestops there (lol).
The cemetery was every bit as gorgeous as their website had lead me to believe – designed from the beginning to be a Garden Cemetery, it is full or rolling hills and beautiful foliage as well as the most beautiful headstones I’ve seen. Camera in hand, I set off in search of some cool Angels or maybe a Madonna or two and found….turkeys?
When I found this guy (really folks, I have no idea how to sex turkeys), he was wandering around among some headstones. I grew up in the woods of Western Mass so wild turkeys are nothing new to me but I didn’t expect to find them in the middle of an urban cemetery right outside of Boston!
I realized that he was calling out to another bird and saw his/her mate in a bush nearby.
They were talking back and forth, seeming not at all that concerned that I was photographing the two of them. But why didn’t they want to move on? Most bird don’t hang out around people for that long without a reason. I soon figured out why.
Their little one was hiding underneath a nearby tree!
There was a red tailed hawk hunting in the cemetery that we’d been watching earlier, we think that Mom and Dad turkey had stashed their baby under the tree to keep it out of sight of the predator. In fact, I watched the bigger of the two adults charge at something out of my sight which I can only assume was the hawk returning.
The hawk certainly wasn’t having anything to do with me and the turkeys seemed to realize it. They even moved the baby closer to us after the hawk appeared for the second time.
The baby hiding underneath its parent’s tail.
Finally I had to say goodbye to the little guy (who was, perhaps unsurprisingly, WAY cuter than either of his parents) and move on with my exploration of the cemetery grounds. But I won’t soon forget him!
The joke is the my husband and bestie took my to NYC for my birthday – the reality is that my husband had to work the National Stationary Show on the weekend after my birthday and I was a super brat about being left alone, so he and my bestie made plans to bring me to the city for some birthday fun. Like any 2-day trip to the city, it was a whirlwind and I didn’t get to do nearly as much as I would have liked. But I did get to visit Eataly NYC, a gorgeous Italian styled grocery store. I probably spent longer in there photographing than either of the two of them would have liked – good thing they love me.
I edited all of the photos with the same sepia look to create a series – because I’m always being asked for matching prints. I can’t wait to have them for sale in person at shows and most of them are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. 🙂
I have a love affair with old Catholic cemeteries that is only rivaled by my love of felines, a perfect cocktail, and my husband. I used to think that it was a love for all old cemeteries (and they are all great in their own unique ways), but is the Catholic iconography that speaks to my soul. All Dr. Who fans are familiar with the way that an angel statue can strike fear in the hearts of any who lie eyes on it and it doesn’t take a true believer to feel the power of a well-love Madonna. Still, there is something special about the small monuments – the ones so often left for loved one. You can’t see them for the road, you have to search carefully for each and every one.
I call her my Day Dreamer – she is so thoughtful. I visit her every time that I go to my local cemetery and she always makes me feel better about my day.
This girl I’ve seen so many times and always wanted to capture. The day that I found her sitting with dirt cakes into her halo was the day – she has never been more perfect or serene.
At this point in my trip I had seen alligators and I would have been content if not for my parents talking about the dolphins that they seemed to see every time that they walked South Beach at sunset. It was cold – not cold for us New Englands who had left 20 degree Winter behind us as we flew South – but 40-50 degrees is a bit cold for my version of walk on the beach. Still – dolphins! Sure I’ve been to the Boston Aquarium, but I’ve never seen dolphins in the wild before. So off we went.
There is really little else better (photographically at least) than the Golden Hour on a beach.
But I wasn’t there for golden sands, or even really for the setting sun (though it was magnificent) – I wanted to photograph the dolphins. We headed towards the end of the beach were a river met the sea – this, we had been told, is where the dolphins liked to feed.
We spooked the birds first – they had been feeding on the edge of the beach and didn’t enjoy us encroaching on their grounds. As they flew out, they seemed to call to the pod of dolphins that we could just barely see on the other side of the water. Then, in a moment, everything changed. The dolphins swam straight for us!
There are moments like this in life – when nothing could be more perfect. Time and again the pod breached and surfaced and swarmed – we couldn’t see what they were hunting and it made their display seem meant for us as they moved (seemingly in time with us) back down the beach. Here you can see the droplets of water turn red from the light of the setting sun.
The sun sank lower and lower towards the horizon as the dolphins fed until finally they crossed the very line of reflection of the setting sun in the water.
My brother, husband and I taking in the majesty. (This last photograph is by my Sister-in-Law and not mine, obviously.)
Still re-visiting my trip to Charleston early this year – this time our trip to the Aiken-Rhett House. This is a really unique historical house that exists almost unaltered since the Antebellum period in the South. I was in vintage photography heaven.
So many people spend all of their time trying to make their photographs “look” vintage – there’s a whole industry of people selling Photoshop Actions to help you age you images. I’m not into that as much, I like to represent a scene as it was (especially in my travel photography) – BUT what I do love is finding real vintage things to take photographs of. Like this chandelier – no editing needed.
This is a portrait of my family checking out a portrait. A bit post modern, but I like it that way. I probably wouldn’t have checked out the house if my brother and sister-in-law hadn’t suggested it, but it was definitely worth checking out. And this portrait was absolutely gorgeous – and check out the chandelier!
I call this photograph “Hauntings” – it was definitely my shot of the day. Everything – the old dappled mirror, the harp, the aged wall…I was instantly in love with the room. And I think that it shows. I also see the creepy girl from The Ring crawling out of the mirror one of the days and you know what? I think that I’m okay with that.
This was a post I made for the SCOTUS ruling last year, but I feel this so much more today. I am deeply saddened by the tragic events that transpired early Sunday morning – almost too deeply for words. This is something that’s ripple can be felt through many communities throughout our country, and Northampton is no exception. But we have to remember that Love Wins – that standing up and being our own true selves has to be the answer. We are with you Orlando, and we love each and every one of you so, so much.