I worked a baseball game in Asher, Oklahoma, yesterday, which is about 28 miles from our home in Byng. The light was nice and it was quite warm out. My route to the game took me past Konawa’s Violet Cemetery, noted for supposedly having a tombstone in it with the inscription, “Killed by Human Wolves.” I mostly regard it as a legend, but there was nice late afternoon light on my way home from the game, so I stopped to look for it.
I didn’t find the inscription, but I made a few nice photos. The light was very warm due to a combination of high cloud cover and smoke from distant grass fires.
As I shot, with my Sony F828, I felt certain that I would convert my images to black-and-white, since the color content was unimpressive and a little distracting, while the tones and textures provided a strong sense of mood.
I also noted three tombstones close together that read…
- Our Baby, son of Buster and Tina Sharp, Sept. 17, 1920
- Our Baby, son of Buster and Tina Sharp, June 21, 1923
- Our Baby, son of Buster and Tina Sharp, July 2, 1926
I wondered how difficult it must have been for the Sharps.
Back at the office, I felt I had strong images, particularly one of a wooden cross on a granite grave stone. I did, as I had anticipated, render it in black-and-white, using Photoshop’s channel mixer dialog to simulate using a yellow filter with black-and-white film. I then used the levels dialog to fine tune the tones and make them deeper and bolder.
I ended up pleased with the result.
Indeed, the Sharps’ stones are sobering, though I suppose it was terribly common in those days to lose multiple infants to one affliction or another.
I’ve read that the biggest reason for our so-called increased life expectancy (compared to a century or more ago) is due to the dramatic decrease in infant mortality.