Lens-Artist Challenge 108: Sanctuary

Sanctuary, for me, is where you seek refuge from things that may be bothering you, where you relax and rejuvenate, where you find peace. This challenge was selected by our guest host Xenia of Tranature and posted by Ann-Christine.

I gave it a lot of thought. Where do I find peace? Where do I get away from it all? Where? Where? I came to the realization that I find peace and rejuvenate when I’m out taking pictures. My camera is my calming mechanism. When I’m out shooting, I concentrate on taking the best pictures, I forget what’s bothering me, I forget my physical problems. When the outing is over then my hip hurts and the world situation comes back into my head.

So I began the daunting task of finding pictures that would be my interpretation of sanctuary. These Lens-Artist challenges can lead to great introspection. To my surprise, I kept coming back to the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery! Now that’s odd, you’re probably thinking. Me too! This cemetery is beautiful, has history, it’s not crowded with tourists, has places to sit, has lovely flowers, and old head stones and statues to photograph.

My photo buddies and I usually visit there at least once a year, maybe twice. Things don’t change much so the challenge is to find new ways to shoot and create difference. It was built in 1849 and its architectural style is that of a Victorian Garden. The grave stones tell us about how life was lived back then and the people who lived it.

You can see, beautiful sculptures rather than head stones. And head stones that tell the sad story of two children lost, and one simple stone telling of what I assume to be a still born child.

The lovely flowers are maintained by a volunteer organization, and they are beautiful.

During our last visit, I tried to capture the flowers around the headstones.

And I finally found the cemetery cat!

I’m due for another visit. Maybe this week. It’s supposed to be in the 80s on Wednesday! It’s a great time to visit my sanctuary.

More macro: Sacramento Historical City Cemetery, part 2

When I promise, I deliver. This is part two of my fun morning at the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery. This cemetery is known by another name: The Old City Cemetery. And, because of its historical nature, volunteer tours are given on weekends and various holidays. The who was who of Sacramento are buried here.

What I find interesting, besides the beautiful flowers, are the grave stones and monuments. Some are simple and some ornate. On my first visit there, I found one that simply said: “Our Baby.” Life spans are given in years, months and days. If you’re a history buff, you’ll find it here.

Maybe that’s why the City in its misguided effort is trying to take away the roses to present history as they think it was. But that would take away the beautiful attraction to the cemetery. This move is being fought by the volunteers who planted the gardens surrounding the grave sites. I’ll keep you posted on their effort.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the pictures. And, as promised in a prior post, I just sent in an order to have five of my black and white images printed!

Macro Madness: Sacramento Historical City Cemetery

We visited the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery with a sense of loss. Not for people who have died and are buried there; for the flowers and archways the City wants to take out. The goal they say is to bring the cemetery back to what it would have been in the 1800s. What, they didn’t have flowers then?

We come to shoot here at least twice a year. We come for the history and the beauty of the gardens. We came this time because the flowers were blooming and there was no breeze. Well, just a slight intermittent breeze, but great for macro work. I haven’t been able to use my macro lens all winter. Fortunately, my walk around lens does a great job on close up shots, and I’ve been making do with it.

But this Tuesday was macro madness indeed! And, I came upon some head stones and statues I hadn’t shot before. You could keep going back and come home with images from a different perspective.

We also met the head volunteer who is fighting the City, trying to keep the gardens as is. I hope she wins. This is going to be a 2-part post because I have so much to show you. I hope my next post about this amazing cemetery isn’t to say that the flowers are gone, because that would be a great loss.


Dem bones: back to the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery

Is it wierd to keep going back to a cemetery just to shoot photos? This cemetery draws me back, and back. It’s large enough that your get shoot it all in one visit, and, for me, I seem to focus on different things all the time. This time it was the statues. They are beautiful, and are non-existent in today’s graveyards. They express the sadness of loss and hope for an afterlife.

This time I also found some masoleums worth shooting, some small grave stones and flowers. History is in this cemetery, so I guess I’ll keep going back until I’ve shot it all!