Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day Photos: San Francisco National Cemetery

Today is Memorial Day and I thought it would be appropriate to pay my respect to those who have made it possible for us to have our freedom. I looked back and found some of my older images from the National Cemetery in San Francisco (from a blog post I did ten years ago) and also have added some new photos that I took yesterday. 

The first two photos were taken back in 2013. It was the first time that I visited the cemetery after the volunteers has placed flags in front of all 32,000 tombstones. 

For this image, I used a fish-eye lens to capture the flags at the entry of the cemetery.

On my previous visit I was there on Memorial Day and had a chance to photograph some of the military who were in attendance.

Yesterday the cemetery was mostly empty. Since I had just finished shooting an event, I had many of my cameras and lenses to choose from. I decided to use my Canon R3 with the Canon RF 70-200mm lens. I got down low to capture the flags and show the repeating pattern of the endless headstones.

I also looked for graves that had been visited. I shot from a standing position...

...and also got down low to highlight the tribute. 

I did not just take photos. I also walked around and fixed some of the flowers and flags that had fallen over and took time to read many of the names of the fallen.

As I walked around, I was looking for repeating patterns in the background. I took this photo at f/3.5 to have the first stone in perfect focus, but let all the stones in the background go out of focus. This photo highlights the name and information.

For this photo, I waited for the wind to blow the flag in the foreground, and focused on that. I took this photo at f/5 to have both the flag and the stone in focus.

There are some military who are buried with flat headstones at grass level (like you can see in the first photo). I got down low to the grass to highlight only the repeating pattern of the flags. 

After spending an hour or so in the cemetery, I was about to leave when I saw these geese walking through the grounds. I saw these two that were walking towards the flags and waited to take photos until they got close.  It almost looks like they are paying their respects.

I got back in my car and was driving out when I saw this goose walking. I lowered my passenger window and framed my shot, and just as I did, it took off. I like that this is a different view within these hallowed grounds, with a little bit of life amongst the fallen. 


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1 comment:

Wendy said...

Jeff - I appreciate the fact the you took the time to think about these fallen soldiers… w-