Travel Photography: Cemeteries of New Orleans / by Neal Auch

Cloth flowers on a tomb in Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans

Cloth flowers on a tomb in Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans

On a recent trip to New Orleans I was very excited to have the chance to visit a few of their famous cemeteries: St Louis #1 and Lafayette.  Both locations are beautiful, but I was reminded of how challenging it is to take a decent photograph in a cemetery.  There are a number of challenges.  First off, one can typically only visit these places at midday when the light is terrible.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky for the whole week I spent in NOLA, so the light was as harsh and unflattering as it could get.  The second problem with shooting in graveyards is that they're visually cluttered; it's very difficult to find a composition with a clear, well-isolated subject in such an environment.  To try and mitigate these difficulties I found myself mostly shooting tight detail shots on the shaded sides of tombs, either avoiding the bad light or else using a backlight to generate a little lens flare and add some colour to what is otherwise a very grey scene.  More images below, enjoy!