Friday, June 14, 2019

Adventures in Gravestone Photography

I've mentioned before that I volunteer as a gravestone photographer.  I received three photo requests this morning and decided today would be a good day to fill them. So I ventured out to a little cemetery I'd never seen before. It was next to a church, but the church hasn't been used in 10 years. I don't know how the parishioners accessed the church even then because there's nowhere to park--not by the church, nor anywhere else within reasonable walking distance. 

I was determined not to leave without taking pictures, so I turned into the closest road and pulled as far over as I could, and left my car there. I then set out on an uphill hike to the cemetery. I didn't realize right away how dangerous this was. The road isn't heavily traveled, but when a car or truck comes by, it's flying. With the road's hills and twists, visibility isn't always the best. And the shoulder, if we can call it that, was just a tangle of poison ivy and tall weeds--some as tall as my face.

I don't normally get a lot of exercise. (My daughter once gave me a mug that reads, "Typing fast is my cardio.") I have back issues, and I don't remember the last time I walked that far--and certainly not uphill! I had to stop twice to catch my breath and ease my burning calves. But I made it, and had photographed about 2/3 of the stones when my camera battery died. Oy. I'd left the spare battery in the car, along with the list of photo requests.

I haven't gone through all the pics yet, so I don't yet know if I actually fulfilled the requests. I do know I made it back down the hill without getting killed, and I also know there's no way I'm doing that particular adventure again. Maybe another volunteer photographer can arrive in a helicopter, although that does seem unlikely.