Four Cemeteries and a Swamp

For the month of December I did not schedule a single photo shoot because I had just done a grand total of 10 in November and I was ready for a break. Instead I was looking forward to a fun quick trip to New Orleans over Christmas with my boyfriend. We flew out on the 25th and rented an AirBnB 1 bedroom apartment near the Quarter. On Friday the 26th we got up early and went to four cemeteries throughout the day. The first was St. Louis Cemetery #1 which was a short walk from our rental. It is the oldest and most famous in the area and there are many old crumbly tombstones among the newly restored ones. The early morning light had some cloud cover so it was very soft and blue. This cemetery was crawling with tourists and guides so it was difficult to get the angles I wanted with no people.The next one we went to was St. Roch Cemetery #1 also Roman Catholic and in the Bywater district. The sun was directly above and super bright. Inside the chapel was a room filled with prosthetics and crutches giving it a gothic quality.I love the marble so much, but it was eerie to not have a single person other than my boyfriend wandering around when we had just come from tourist central. It took a couple hours to make our way across the city (and have lunch) to another area of cemeteries. We traveled by bus and street car to the Greenwood Cemetery on the other side of city park. By then it was around 2:30 p.m. and the sun had gone behind thick clouds creating this stormy and moody scene.I was very attracted to all the Italian marble crypts and how pretty they all were. This long row of them is a favorite shot of mine with that nice grey sky.Rob was getting tired of looking at all the rich people’s tombs so we took a walk down the road to the Pauper’s Cemetery. Officially called Holt Cemetery it is known for burying the dead below ground rather than above as is the norm.There is a beautiful oak tree with dozens of graves beneath it and with the hanging grey Spanish moss it is the centerpiece of this otherwise somber cemetery. Many of these graves have a “homeade” look to them and some are very rough as well as there not being a clear laid out plan, some look like they are right on top of each other. After so many cemeteries we headed to the French Quarter to meet up with an old high school friend of Rob’s and eat dinner. Saturday was a more relaxing pace with a visit to the NOMA to see their Photo-Realism (paintings that look like photographs) and PhotoUn-realism (photos that look like something else) exhibits. On Sunday we took a trip to the Honey Island Swamp and Pearl River to take a river boat tour.The tour started just after noon so we had bright light briefly the first part of the trip and gorgeous fluffy clouds. The river was very chocolate milk brown and since it was winter season the Cypress trees did not have leaves, but there were a couple small alligators for the tourists to photograph!Because most alligators are hibernating in the winter the guides bring marshmallows to coax out the wild boar running around in the swamp so the tourists have something else to look at besides trees.Not that the trees weren’t spectacular. I loved the moss and how they towered above everything else.I forget the name of the above tree, but it’s a very old one and has been in some films that Hollywood shot in this swamp. Our trip to NOLA was filled with great experiences and I loved being a tourist there. I will definitely go back again, there are many more cemeteries to shoot in!

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