Cemeteries

Cemeteries

Cementiri de Poblenou, Barcelona, 2003.
Cementiri de Poblenou, Barcelona, 2003.
Cementiri de Poblenou, Barcelona, 2003.

“Like many beginning photographers, I took some of my first pictures in cemeteries. But as my photography became more sophisticated, cemeteries joined railroad tracks, abandoned buildings, and sunsets on the list of forbidden clichés. Discussing this with my photographer friends Ed Panar and Melissa Catanese in Pittsburgh, Ed told me he still regularly photographs in cemeteries. ‘Ed is so not cynical,’ Melissa said, ‘the idea that something is cliché just doesn’t occur to him. He doesn’t have a cynical gene in him.’ Ed is the single happiest photographer I’ve ever met. Wanting a little bit of that to rub off on me, I asked him if he’d take me to a cemetery. It was nearly sunset, and helped me to a bluffside cemetery near his home. He pointed to a particular spot where he’s made a number of pictures. I couldn’t imagine photographing in the same spot. Everything was too spectacular. But after setting up my camera and looking through the ground glass, I realised why Ed was so happy.”

– Alec Soth, as quoted in Photo-No-Nos: Meditations on What Not to Photograph (2021) by Jason Fulford.