Hollywood Cemetery and Richmond, VA Architecture

Hollywood Cemetery and Richmond, VA Architecture

Hollywood Cemetery angel

Hollywood Cemetery angel

Early this morning Donna and I traveled to Hollywood Cemetery to shoot some first-light images of grave markers for a self-assignment, prompted by an earlier shoot a few weeks earlier. The weather prediction showed it would be a perfect day to capture black & white images. It was.

Thursday I had called the cemetery office to see how early I would be permitted inside the gate. A nice lady said if the workers had the gate open I would be welcome inside. We got there about 7:15 am, and the gates were open. Sunrise was 7:37 am, and it was 47 degrees with no humidity, crystal clear sky, and strong side-light. We saw some amazing stone work and captured some nice images, all in a couple of hours.

Donna also wanted me to shoot some architectural images on Monument Avenue, so earlier in the week I used SunCalc to determine what time I should be  there for the best morning light. Deep blue sky, no wind, abundant parking on a Saturday(!), and a beautiful city in which to choose locations made my job easier.


It seems to me that photography is largely just a commodity, now. In this day of iPhone snaps and selfies I find myself falling back in love with black & while images. I think they are more difficult to capture than color. The light must be right, composition and contrast are very important, and vibrant color (without meaningful content) cannot carry you.

I love shooting the Sony a7r. I planned to WI-Fi tether to my iPhone or Android tablet to check exposure and composition, but neither was necessary, as shooting WYSIWYG with the Sony is outstanding (and too easy!). The images were captured with Nikon lenses, but I sure wish I had a macro and a 300mm! Anyway, below are some edits from Lightroom 5 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Enjoy!

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  1. #1 by Lois Dean on November 2, 2014 - 11:12 pm

    These are really beautiful. You captured the light so brilliantly that the angles seem life like- the shadows on the right arm. Thanks for posting.

    • #2 by Carroll Morgan on November 2, 2014 - 11:15 pm

      Thanks, Lois. Hollywood Cemetery is an amazing place. I hope to visit many times.

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