</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Les McLean @ Jan 19 2003, 05:56 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Given my block, how would you deal with the moral grounds of my dilema. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
I share your feelings. What I did was go early morning during midweek. It was basically me and the grounds crew. Still felt kind of wierd. The monuments are really starting to soften from the acid rain. I figure in the not too distant future those made out of stone that reacts to acid rain [limestone?] will literally wash away.
Actually it wasn't just me and the grounds crew. Almost got run over by a jogger.
A headstone has one function; they are erected "In Memorial" - to perpetuate the memory of ....
That we bring the memorial to someone's attention through a photograph is simply an extension of its function.
These are our histories of those who have preceded us. They certainly do invoke images of "The way it was" ... and one cannot help but wonder at the people there and their lives.
In visiting, I am always reminded that we are finite beings; that we have little time to waste, and therefore, we should use it well.
I've never though of a headstone in the way that you describe. You've certainly given me mush to think about. Thanks for the contribution.
to response to Les and the moral dilema. I have been thinking about this for several days now, and feel it has to due with intent and one's internal moral compass. To be in these places and maintain regard and respect for the subject matter as well as surroundings makes a differences (at least IMHO). I would like to make a beautiful print that would make folks think of peace and serenity. To use it as a poster for a dart board would be unthinkable (at least from my point of view).So purhapes the final outcome intended would make a difference as to whether one feels comfortable making images in this environment.
As to another thought; people have spent alot of money and engery on artistic forms to represent their pasting and it is hard to image they had no intention of anyone sharing and seeing these indevors.
I agree that headstones are placed as monuments to stand in rememberance of people now gone. They are meant to be seen. I can see no disrespect or poor taste in Photographing them.
I can't say that I have taken a whole lot of photos in Cemetaries but it seems an awful broad theme to abandon out-of-hand as being derivative. With so many of them around the World, each with it's own character and full of unique detail, it would seem a fertile subject for original visual and emotional interpretation through Photography.
This topic reminded me of a print of a Churchyard that I made some time ago. I dug it up and scanned it this morning.
You can barely read it even in the 11x14 print but the stones from right to left, read just "My Father", "My Mother" and "My Sister". It is very sad but It made me think, "Who would choose to identify these three individuals on _their_ memorials by nothing other than their relationship to Him/Her?" I wonder if I were to explore further, would I find a headstone somewhere simply marked, "Me"?
Every picture tells a story, don't it?