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Friday, August 08, 2008

SELF PORTRAIT IN GRANITE

It's been nearly a year since my camera and I have been to my favourite type of place with my photog-partner, and last weekend sister Pammie and I hit a *new* cemetery. Groovy cool!

**Click on the pictures for a larger view, but use your "back" button to return here**

We've spent a lot of time at St.Joachim's Cemetery here in our fair city and it's still our favourite one, but so far this *new* one (new to us!) is a second place runner up. It's HUGE. And we spent somewhere around 4 hours I think (with a half hour for a picnic lunch included) slowly wandering around in one end of it; I'd say about 1/6 of the entire cemetery. There's so much more to explore there yet!
















As in all cemeteries of course there are far too many childrens graves, always a tear-jerker. In total I took 433 photos on this trip. Many of the shots I took this time I have had fun using some Photoshop effects like Blur, Soften and Glow. I've also used some desaturation (take some of the colour out) and done some black & whites. You will notice some of that in here. For me, the softening and glowing effects added a 'heavenly' quality here and there.

The weather on this day was perfection. Not too hot, a mix of sun and cloud, and it was windy to keep us cool. You may be able to tell how the wind gusted just by my flying hair and jacket in the first self-portrait shot.




There is a very large Canadian Military Veterans section that we spent quite some time in as well. (the other end of the cemetery which is many city blocks farther down, has yet another veterans's section!) I've got shots of stones from the RCAF (Royal Canadian Airforce), RCA (Royal Canadian Army, formerly 'Artillery') and even a NWMP (Northwest Mounted Police, which in 1920 became the RCMP ~ Royal Canadian Mounted Police). As with everything else here, I'm only sharing a wee portion of all the shots I took.











There aren't many places (other than just being out in nature itself) where I find so much serenity and a sense of beautiful peace. Cemeteries have a draw for me, and sister Pammie as well. It's one of our favourite kinds of places to be, and we can always feel it the moment we step out of the car.

My first experience with that takes me waaaay back to 1976 when our Dad passed away at the age of 49. The burial service itself was very difficult and sad, but afterwards when the day was over and everyone went home, my Mom and sisters and I found solace by going back to the gravesite and sitting in the grass by Dad and all the flowers; just reminiscing, talking to him, and finding support in each other. It was surprising to me then just how much peace and serenity I was feeling just being there. Being only 24 then and quite inexperienced in life, I didn't understand it. Today, I do.










Using the different Photoshop effects lends an interesting quality to an otherwise "normal" shot, and in this one what I used gave just the effect I was looking for.... "Angel Wings".

There are other beings in cemeteries too, many times we run across rabbits, squirrels, and many types of birds. This one, a gull, has earned it's own angel wings. I hope its journey Home was swift.

On this particular day we saw a lot of spiders, bees, crows and magpies. And the crows and magpies we heard too! I think that unlike the people who reside there, the crows in particular are never too keen on our presence.








It was a day well enjoyed, and we are both looking forward to heading back there soon. In another 3 weeks I am on vacation (staying home) and hopefully we'll get back here (and some other places) with our cameras again.











And lastly, if you haven't done it yet you can still head on over to Stardom Awaits! to cast your vote for the "Skies" theme Photo Contest. There's one week left of voting folks!

I hope you all have a great weekend, take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

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