On Shutter Shudder

(Disclaimer: This post will make it sound like I know photography words. I know nothing.)

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Today I decided to go on a little adventure. Obviously the first thing that came to mind were dead people. Not exactly, but I had been dying (no pun intended) to visit the historic Greek Orthodox Church in Malbis and, after scoping out the place one evening, learned that the church is open to the public until 3 p.m. Perfect. So on Friday I grabbed my cameras and headed out the door. Jokes all around though because I showed up with plenty of time to spare and all the doors were locked. Upon further investigation I found a flyer on the door that said I actually needed to call a sweet old Malbis resident who was available for tours on request (so bama). Fortunately for me, the cemetery is open to the public so I just decided to wander around for a few hours. The architecture is truly reminiscent of the family’s Mediterranean heritage and was considerably well-maintained given that the last family member passed away in the 2000’s.

I also was looking for an opportunity to practice Through The Viewfinder photography, which is basically the most hipster form of Instagram to ever exist. Back in high school I purchased an old Duaflex camera which has a reflexive lense. If you feel like respooling 120 film to fit into one of these, yes, okay the pictures are pretty cool. But there is still a carton of 120 film in my closet to prove respooling isn’t worth it. Instead TTV photos use hd digital SLRS to take photos, literally, through the viewfinder of old cameras. It sort of looks like this:

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I decided I might as well kill two birds with one stone (apologies for all these death allusions) and take my TTVF to the cool old Church where da biddies stand still. This makes my task substantially easier. Granted, distortion is the name of the game. Lense flare and glare are likely to happen, but are totes acceptable in a graveyard, where aura is good! Here are some examples of some neat shots at Malbis:

Church TTVF Method 2 Method Pretty Cemetery

After I finished practicing at Malbis I decided “what the hey, let’s go check out Blakeley Cemetery.” Blakeley State Park, a registered historic site, is basically the remains of what was once a town. So a ghost town. As described online Saluda Hill Cemetery, the Confederate graveyard, is “A short distance from Blakeley, remote from all signs of travel or habitation, at the summit of a long grassy slope heavily shaded by swaying pines through which the sunlight flickers.” So basically BFE, Alabama. I had this weird urge to text my mom when I got there and tell her where I was because I had this uncomfortable feeling I was about to be axe-murdered. Lo and behold, I had no cell service. Living dangerously. I hit it at the perfect time- about 30 minutes before sunset, and stayed until the sun had gone.

 

Grave Saluda Godbold Graves 3 Group Graves Sunset TTVF Flag 2 TTVF Flag

After the sun had dwindled and I was becoming more certain I was about to be the next victim of a chain saw massacre, I turned around to take a few more shots of the landscape behind me. And I got this: Ghosty Glare

My first reaction, “That glare is kind of weird looking.” And then I zoomed in and I thought to myself, “that glare…looks decidedly like a man.”

 

Ghosty Glare 2

In defense of glare, it happens all the time. There is even a very obvious glare in the bottom right corner. It happen in lots of the TTV pictures and minds make what they want of images, trying to find something familiar (thus, inkblot tests). Also I don’t want to acknowledge supernatural things exist. In defense of ghost, my glares have never had holes in them before. Or faces. But most importantly ghost glare just sounds cooler. Also it would be understandable if a Confederate soldier was turning in his grave over that Star-Spangled banner being placed by his tombstone. What do you think- ghost or glare?

Ghosty Glare 3

 

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