Dear Brandon / Steve,
As the name suggests, the daily inspiration series on your website is a never-ending, frequently updated source of inspiration. I really enjoy reading all the interesting stories and photographs of all those passionate photographers, both amateurs and professionals.
From my father-in-law, I inherited some old manual nikkor lenses back from the early seventies. At first, I did not really have any use for them. I considered starting to shoot film on his old Nikkor, but never actually did it. The lenses were kissed awake when I bought the Sony A7 last year. Those new sony lenses are really expensive and at release, only the kit lens and the FE 35 were available. While the 135mm f/3.5 and the 50mm f/1.4 spent considerable time on camera, the Nikkor-H Auto 28mm remained in the closet the whole time.
The inspiration I would like to share with the community came to me on an overcast day. I mounted the 28mm on my A7 and decided to make a one lens and one subject trip. Being an unexperienced wide-angle shooter (I mostly use the FE 55 nowadays), I figured that a crowded place would be to great of a challenge with regard to framing the right thing.
Remembering the forest cemetery at the outskirts of Aachen, it seemed like a good place to start. It is very quiet, not many people visiting and all you can hear ist the rustling of the leaves in the wind. My first plan was to shoot a series of black and white pictures, so the camera was set to b&w and raw to give me the opportunity to work with colors in post-processing.
The cemetery itself is divided into a public cemetery and a war cemetery. The former seemed to be of lesser interest, as it mainly consists of normal graves with small tombstones. Still, one grave caught my eye as it was a bit separated from the others and looked nice and symmetrical.
After some strolling around with the camera in hand but without really taking pictures, I found myself in the war cemetery part. Unlike all those geometric war cemeteries for US soldiers, this one is a real forest cemetery. The gravestones are more or less randomly distributed among the trees with no apparent order. Many of them are half-sunken in the ground, others are covered with moss. Without exif information and not having written down any setting, I can not really tell which apertures I used. Mostly, I was shooting at f/8 with what I guessed might be hyperfocal distance but some of the images were also shot wider open. Coming back home, I browsed though my images and converted them all to black and white, considering it to be fit for a cemetery. Yet, I found most of the images did not really breathe the spirit of what I just saw, so my plan changed and now the whole series features the greenish light of the place.