Satisfy your morbid curiosity with a trip to a graveyard. If you can’t get to a well-known cemetery, such as Highgate in North London or Brompton Cemetery in South Kensington (see discodrew’s article), try your local one. I visited London Road Cemetery in Mitcham, South West London.
Once past the sign warning about open graves, you’ll see a fairly standard cemetery: plots for graves, benches, flowers, and a chapel in the middle. The cemetery was opened in 1929 and features sections for cremated and non cremated remains. It is a multi-faith cemetery with a variety of different stones. Photographing in a graveyard, it is important to be respectful of families who are visiting the site. Not everyone appreciates a loved one’s memorial becoming your art. And, of course, some will not understand a Lomographer’s love of the unusual setting, and they’ll believe you have some terrible, morbid obsession!
At London Road Cemetery in Mitcham there are many typical graves, along with war memorials, including a poignant group of Home Guards, who lost their lives in an air raid on Mitcham in April of 1941. Older grave markers have a great potential for fantastic Lomographs. Some people choose to decorate their loved one’s graves with garden arrangements, small figurines, and flowers – some real, some fake. Look out for statuary at your local graveyard. At London Road Cemetery they are scattered around the place: religious figures, angels and… flower pot men! With an overcast sky and black-and-white film, these statues can look dramatic and spooky.
So get out there and flex your spooky skills. Photography in graveyards can raise eyebrows, but check out your local cemetery. You could get some powerful shots.