Oakwood Cemetery statuary aMused me

Well, it’s interesting isn’t it what different people decide to photograph?  Even more interesting may be WHY they decide on a particular subject.  Before I arrived at Oakwood I really didn’t know what I wanted to shoot.  No muse was whispering in my ear but I thought “What the heck, I’ll just wander around and find something.”  I knew it would be a good time to see photo-friends and the rain was holding off; the cloud cover actually providing some nice diffused light.

When I pulled up to the chapel off to the right under some trees I saw a statue of an angel that made me think of the cover of the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and it was then that my muse got my attention – “Get some shots of the statues and practice off-camera flash while you’re at it.”

That’s exactly what I did.  For my statue shots I used manual mode, metered the scene, dropped the exposure by 2 or 3 ev (whatever it took to darken the background appropriately), set up off-camera flash, placed the strobe at a location that I thought would give good coverage, took a shot, checked the results and dialled the flash output up or down as needed from within the camera menu.  (Wireless flash is a great thing.)

For the crypt shot I wanted the texture of the stonework to be an important element in the image so I set the flash at camera-right to graze the face of the structure.

The photos below show the results. Be sure to click on an image for a larger version and to be able to comment.


Oakwood Cemetery

On Saturday, May 12, members of the Trinity Arts Photo Club went to the Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.  This is another mostly unknown gem in the DFW area for photography.  The cemetery was founded in 1879 by John Peter Smith.  It is on a beautiful plot of  land covered with large oak trees overlooking the Trinity River providing a great view of the Fort Worth skyline.

It was a quiet morning, cloudy and cool, allowing for excellent photography of the grave markers in soft light.  The grave markers were of all sizes, from modest flat stones to large mausoleums with bronze doors, with every size in between.  Several of the bronze doors were held closed by padlocked chains.  I was wondering whether that was to keep people out, or to keep people …..

I noticed headstones that looked like a tree stump with the words “Woodmen of the World” on them.  I had never heard of the organization and looked it up when I returned to my home.  They are a fraternal organization based in Nebraska that provides insurance to their members.  I found the following  information.

“One enduring physical legacy of the organization are distinctive headstones in the shape of a tree stump. This was an early benefit of Woodmen of the World membership, and they are found in cemeteries nationwide. This program was abandoned in the late 1920s as it was too costly.

Typically the headstones would include a depiction of the WOW relics—symbols of the organization. These include most notably a stump or felled tree (inscribed into a more generic monument in some cases, rather than the more noticeable instances of the entire monument being in the shape of the log or tree-stump); the maul and wedge; an axe; and often a Dove of Peace with an olive branch. As Woodmen “do not lie” a common inscription: “Here rests a Woodman of the World”.

There are many historical markers and the cemetery has a driving tour that will take you past most of them, including a former Texas governor, a soldiers row for confederate soldiers, and the grave of “Goose Neck” McDonald.  The website address is http://oakwoodcemetery.net/index.htm.

Here are a few photos taken during our excursion.

Wonderful Works of D’ART

The next time you take a trip to Dallas and ride the DART Rail, look out the window as you approach each station.  There is art at every station – from the station canopies and columns to the pavers and landscaping.  Each station depicts artwork for that area.

Paul and I decided to take the day to explore (and photograph) some of the art work that is along the DART Green Line Stations.  We caught the TRE at the Hurst Station at 10:00am and switched to the DART Green Line at Victory Station.  Originally, we thought we could do the entire Green Line in one day but soon decided we needed to split it into 2 or more days.  We had 20 minutes at each station before the next train came along and that allowed plenty of time to get all the shots we wanted.  We stopped at 9 of the 13 stations between Victory Station and Buckner Station.  About 2:00pm, we stopped at the West End and had lunch.  We made it back to the Hurst Station about 4:00pm.  It was a long and hot day.

Below are some of our photos from our adventure.