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Doane Cemetery, Hawley MA. March 9, 2013

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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My housemates went up to the Maine Coast this weekend for some night photography, reminding me that it was a New Moon ’round about tonight and tomorrow night.

Well, I can’t get away, but thought I’d find something closer to home which might make a suitable subject for taking advantage of a clear, moonless night.

I headed up into the hills to get away from cities, towns and highways, but you know, there’s nowhere really, really  dark in Massachusetts. The best I could manage was to get to a high meadow in the hills, find something worth shooting and work with the ambient light.

I settled on the Doane Cemetery in Hawley, beautifully situated on a dome of farmland off of Forget Road. The faint glow of distant Pittsfield tainted the horizon, and I knew that with a long exposure to get the stars, it would be a compositional element. So I looked for a foreground element with enough presence to stand up to the background light.

I settled on a tall monument, which I lit with about five seconds of “light painting” from a small LED flashlight. It was a bit clumsily done, but with the camera a foot off the snow, evaluating the image meant laying in the wet snow, which I could only do a couple of times before I was soaked and had to call it a night.

Next time, it’s full gear and a foam pad for this old boy!

Anyway, here’s the best of several images – taken with a 16mm lens, ISO 6400, f/8, 30″ exposure:

Blog Doane Cemetery

I was surprised at how little of the sky I got with my 16mm lens; seems to me it looked somewhat grander when I last took night shots up at Acadia National Park in Maine this past autumn.

Oh well, I like the image anyway, and without buying a wider lens, that’ll have to be good enough! 😉

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Forget Me Not. January 27, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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Driving around yesterday, way up in Hawley, I turned down Forget Road looking for rural scenes to photograph.

I came across this, a small cluster of trees in a landscape of high fields, just before sunset – Doane Cemetery:

The snow was deep, and I post-holed out among the stones, being too lazy to put on snowshoes for such a quick stop.

Many of the markers were too old to read, and I found it ironic that they were out here on Forget Road.

But I could read the name of Charlotte Wells, whose smaller stone is on the right in this photo:

…next to her husband’s larger and more ostentatious memorial.  His name has been erased by time, and remains only on Charlotte’s stone, as she was called, “Charlotte, wife of ________ Wells.” Two hundred years ago she was regarded as little more than his possession; now she can name or not name him, as a witness wishes.

I wish to remember Charlotte, no longer anonymous.

The sun went down, and what I had envisioned as an interesting black & white photo essay blossomed into this:

It was as if the snowy fields had somehow ignited:

I actually took some of the color out of that one.

Goodnight, Charlotte.