Hello and welcome to the Tiptoe Through The Gravestones Blog. I am sure you have guessed, this blog will solely concentrate on graveyards. For the last seven years I have photographed various graveyards and cemeteries throughout Scotland. At first, graveyards were a quiet place where I could master the technicalities of digital photography. Once I got to grips with the basics, I ventured off tried my hand a landscape, street, wildlife and macro photography. I kinda did what I was ‘expected’ to do.
As soon as I say I enjoy photography people always expect the majestic landscape shot. Landscape photography is always stunning however, when I am behind my camera, I don’t get a buzz from taking landscapes or wildlife the way I do with graveyards. They simply lure me in.
I get excited when its a foggy day, which doesn’t happen very often in Stirling, Scotland, because fog or mist are thee single best weather conditions. A true gothic horror movie setting right there. Gloomy days, that suck up the sun, can be a nightmare for other photographers but for me its the best time. Sometimes the gloomier the better. Although in saying that, some of my best photographs have been taken in bright sunshine with a ND filter.
It isn’t until you spent time in an old graveyard or an old cemetery that you can truly appreciate the splendour that lies behind the gates. These old places, that sometimes can be very ignored, give the perfect home to an abundance of wildlife and plants. Despite them being a place for the dead, nature very much makes them a place bursting with life. If you have ever wondered around an old graveyard, you will see how unique every single gravestone is. Before modern times, gravestones were carved by hand, therefore no two gravestones were ever the same.
You can also witness old religious traditions. Such as all graves facing east so that the dead can rise and meet Jesus when he returns. In some graveyards, especially in Scotland, there is evidence of the lengths families would go to to deter bodysnatchers.
These places are fascinating and can show the social, religious and political beliefs of the times. In fact they can show the changing face of a whole country. Scotland has hundreds of old graveyards and I want to visit as many as I can before I shuffle off this mortal coil. (Not sure how I am going to do it because I don’t drive but I will give it a bash!)
So, I sincerely hope you join me on my adventures of rattling around old graveyards and cemeteries…