Friday, March 27, 2009


I got away from blogging this week. Sort of. I think I skipped maybe two days. And am still not sure about the Photo Shootout thing...I'm pretty sure the theme is cemeteries. I think I know a few of the people who do it. Patty at Chrisfield, Maryland, Reggie Girl at Midlife, Menopause, mistakes and random stuff, and Barry at An Explorer's View of Life, (Butler says this was a very poorly timed theme, Barry, and understands if you don't post anything. Bagman, of course, thinks God has a warped sense of humor like himself). I also just learned of several other Shooter-outers - I hope I link them correctly: GingerV, Half Crazy, J9, Jen, Loida, and Sarah Paige.

And last time, I missed the underlying idea that these Friday shootouts gave us a chance to showcase our home towns, and posted stuff from all over and from different years. This time I took the effort to shoot in Charleston, SC. Well, Mt. Pleasant, which is near Charleston.

These are from the little cemetery behind an old church where I attend A.A. meetings. I go other places but this is where I call my home group. Not the cemetery. The church.

The fuzzy one above, I took during a wild period where Bagman insisted on shooting pictures from a moving car...yesterday's blog. But I save this one for today because...just because. This is I-526 going out of Mt. Pleasant. I ride it regularly and the little cross by the side of the road probably doesn't meet the rigid definition of a cemetary. But it is one of the hundreds of little cross memorials that people put up beside highways. You can't read it but it says "Jerry Ramos" and I always wonder who he was. And I always throw out a short prayer for him and his family when I pass.

Thank you, Patty, for saying (when I cheated last time) that home is where the camera is, because I can't resist posting some older, more distant cemetary shots as well:

This was in a place I wrote down as Tzuitlan, Mexico, somewhere in the State of Veracruz. I wish I had been carrying a camera but I only had a video camera and stills are poor from it. My wife and I had thought we could get from Jalapa to El Tajin in one afternoon and ended up at dusk in the mountains, lost, looking for a hotel or anything resembling a hotel in a large market town that had clearly not based its economy on the tourist trade. I kind of liked it but Karen wasn't too happy. Driving out the next morning in more drizzle, I saw this cemetary and stopped, shooting stills on a movie camera, wishing for a real camera and hearing a voice from the car, "Mark! Are you going to be all day?"


At least I had a still camera in Italy when we ran into the church cemetery (below) near Florence.

Haves and have nots. Maybe just waiting for the work to be done, or maybe the money just wasn't there for the Salerno family. Unlike some of the ones below...

Dante's tomb

I think this was in the Vatican but I was bad at documenting. I was shooting about 800 shots a day over three weeks. Unlike being lost and hungry in a rain, Karen was much more patient with me in Italy. But she was still not about to stand around with a notebook recording locations of shots for me. Mostly she was shopping, which gave me a chance to practice patience too. She'd dart into a shop and I'd say I was heading over to a church or some other place of visual interest. "Just don't lose me," she say. Thankfully, I never did.

This was in a download folder called Venice Day 1...but it could also have been in Sienna from the day before. The photo below was from the same folder and I know it was from Sienna.

The finger of a saint

And another saint (getting back to my hometown...or a sort of hometown) -- my mother-in-law returning to her roots in Vidalia, Georgia.


  1. I like how you've linked all of these places together, and that I'm not the only one who shoots cemeteries just for fun...

  2. Thanks for including me but I can't do the Cemetery shootout! I'll do my best with the next one, though! I'm sure it's gonna be a lot of fun. Cemeteries are miles away from here.

    That Jerry Ramos cross is interesting! I looked him up and various personalities popped up, not sure which is which lol.

    Those are very interesting and beautiful shots, Butler and Bagman! Especially the photos from the Vatican!

    I actually don't snap photos whenever I'm in cemeteries. They're kinda.. creepy. LOL.

  3. Gorgeous .....the photos not you Bagman. So self-absorbed sometimes.

    I loved also the Italy and Mexico ...ones, both are places I will one day visit.

    I also missed some blogging this week.

    Our lives getting in the way.

    I do so love churches.

    I very much enjoyed your photos.

  4. You have a great eye for photography. I have always thought that.

  5. Stunning photos, Mark, especially the ones from Italy. But the little cross beside the highway shot from your car, was the most moving.

    Did Patty actually say "home is where your camera is"? Now that's the motto of a photographer!!

  6. You certainly take these assignments seriously! I never really thought about it, but I guess I also have been intrigued and have a few cemetary photos.

  7. My friend's Butler AND Bagman. These of course are beautiful and thought provoking shots. There is no such thing as cheating in a game with no rules. Any photo's that you would like to post in the Friday Shoot-Outs are fair game. We said from the very beginning no rules though things are trying to change. I personally will remain true to the way this was originally started and post as I see fit. I'm not interested in making this some big agenda to critique my snapshots. The only person I shoot for in myself and my pictures are for my own interpretation as all forms of media are.
    I just don't even know what to say about our friend Barry B&B.
    I don't even feel like flirting with you and Bagman today (though you are looking kind of hot these days.....)
    Take good care and.......

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  8. How to follow darling Reggie Girl! I love your shots, B & B - Especially the very poignant, beautifully set up shots you took in the cemetaries in Italy - The statues are just so moving, I feel as if I were there...

    The way you have captured the contrast of the fallen deep rose-pink petals in the first photo is simply ravishing to me.

    Thank you for your kind comments on my own insane ramblings... I am pleased to make both your acquaintances, dear Sirs.

  9. Great shots! And I like the Italy's cemetery too. Thanks for sharing your photos with different cemeteries. By the way, I did post my cemetery shootout too :-) I just took some photos yesterday to join this Friday's shootout.

  10. Leave it to you guys to give us such an interesting post. And I love the way Bagman grabbed your camera. You go Bagman. Shoot away, my friend.

    I love the leaning graves, the Veracruz photos and all of the Italy photos are super, especially the one of the child, although the lady looking back at her reminds me of my 4th grade teacher.

    Dante is most entertaining, and the finger is ...interesting.

    I loved the way you closed by bringing us back to the simple life.

    All ya'll (that term is for Si) did a great job.

    Oh, I am glad you and I never met each other because I can't tell you how many photos I have taken, and I don't even know where I was when I took them. Had I not had guides and drivers when I was trekking around the world, I would have been forever lost.

    Can you imagine us on a photo shoot? There would be search parties everywhere. We would be famous!

    My husband keeps threatening that he is going to put a leash on me when he is out with me.

  11. I'm not in the least bit religious, but I do love visiting cemeteries. They are such treasure troves of history - and art.

  12. And because I was half asleep when I posted my first comment, I forgot to type that I really like the first photo with the flower petals as a carpet on the plots.

  13. All such wonderful photos... I love the graves leaning on each other and the one with the flower petals strewn about. Since I have been to Mexico several times and have enjoyed myself there immensely, I favor your Veracruz shots. But they are all wonderful. The finger is rather interesting...

    I've joined your shootout this time, and we'll see if I can keep up and join next week also! :)

  14. Bagman hitting the sauce again?? (and for those of you who don't know, Mark know's that I am totally giving him a hard time. He likes it and I don't even charge him extra for it when he calls me).
    Wild Animals????? ummm.......huh???????
    I think you're going to have to narrow that down a little. I ddidn't know that there were that many "wild animals" lurking in Charleston other than Bagman of course!!
    We don't have very many lion's and tiger's and bear's (OH MY) hanging round in Newnan so could we please, please, please perhaps maybe do animal's but not the wild kind? I do like wild things though..........
    You're killing me. Seriously dude....I'll call ou later. It's my turn to call and hang-up isn't it. Maybe this medication has gone to me lil ole head, lol.
    Hope your weekend is filled with much love, joy and laughter and.......

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl - your not so secret admirer

  15. Great pictures. Great story. Agree with all of the above.

    Wasn't Dante's finger in Firenze?

    Only got a few hours in St. Peter's but would love to return and just sit there.

  16. The second one is amazing. Perfect light, great composition.

  17. I love photos of cemeteries, they are my favorite kind- these are fantastic!

  18. I have been to the Vatican 4 times and not seen the actual of the photo you took, doesn't mean it is not there - that means don't worry no one else will remember either. only 800 in 3 weeks, mine is more like 500 per day with a 10% delete rate. I take my computer and download daily, putting in folders with name from that day. last summer's trip I put day 1-7 which was totally dumb. Oh, got sidetracked, liked the tombstone photos - muito...

  19. Cemeteries are rivetting! I especially enjoy going to isolated outback areas of Australia where there are little cemeteries dotted around. You can read the stories of people buried there - those who died young and those who died old, after seeking gold, after working land, bush rangers (outlaws on horses), and mothers of a dozen children. Variety is the spice of life (and death).
    June in Oz

  20. It's amazing how different cemeteries can be from one country to another, somehow similar of course, but different!

  21. The theme for next week is wild animals?

    (Does Regie Girl count?)

    Or is it Light Houses?

    It's not fair to play with the brain of a poor sick man!

  22. I was a witness of the crash that killed Jerry Ramos. I was coming down the 526 bridge and the wreck had just happened. All I can recall is the yellow car he was driving and (I think) the other car was a BMW. The driver of the BMW was drunk and crossed the median and hit Jerry head-on. I was the 3rd person on the scene. I re-hash that memory quite often in my mind! It was a terrible evening!

  23. I personally knew...and know Jerry and his family...since I was was a terrible evening...I really appreciate and know his family would appreciate the prayers as you pass by...its not so much a reminder of him but what happened to him and that a drunk driver did it....