Thursday, June 28, 2018

Special Photo Projects Ahead: Get Involved!

History in stones
I haven't worked a race since the Indy 500 at the end of May but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy with my cameras. My fiance and I spent a week in Charleston, South Carolina on vacation the third week of June so I had the opportunity to add to my travel photography portfolio. While we were in Charleston, I was notified that a grant I had applied for through the Indiana Arts Commission had been approved. I was surprised but happy to get that notification as I really didn't expect to be approved given the review committee comments I had heard a couple months ago. With that grant approval, I now have a longer term photo project to complete which I am quite excited about.

If you have an interest in Indiana cemeteries or genealogy, then perhaps you will be interested in my project as well. If you would like to be kept apprised of my progress, or you know of any especially interesting cemeteries that I should check, then please email me here or leave a comment on this blog or any of my social media accounts such as Twitter. I am especially interested in photographing pioneer cemeteries or older cemeteries which have been virtually abandoned, or surrounded by modern development. I have been researching locations on the internet and have several in mind around central Indiana already. My goal is to produce a photo book for public distribution at the end of my project and I'm really excited about the challenge this project entails. I plan to experiment with lighting as well as shoot lots of black and white images, so this project is outside my normal comfort zone photographically.

Older cemeteries often contain hidden gems I hope to find and photograph
As fate would have it, we got the chance in Charleston to visit some very old churches in the "Holy City" and each one seemed to have its own little cemetery. At the time, I hadn't found out about the grant award yet but I was already thinking about the project so I made sure to take a few photos at each graveyard. I didn't know why Charleston was called the Holy City before this trip but I overheard a horse drawn carriage driver tell his passengers that the name was a result of the numerous churches in the historic old city. When we were in Europe last summer, churches were regular locations for us to visit so checking them out in Charleston seemed natural. I don't consider myself a religious person but I often feel a spiritual presence in these old places of worship so that is a big reason I find myself drawn to these places. Is it any wonder I have devised a photo project with a spiritual element in visiting old Indiana cemeteries?

For next year, I have an even bigger photo project in mind that will also involve churches so stay tuned for more on that over the summer! Next weekend I am back to racing with the ARCA series at Iowa Speedway where we are paired with Indycar so I am looking forward to getting back to work!

The interior of St. Michael's Church in Charleston