Dare to be bold / by Neil Alexander

Headstones at night, Peak District, England, UK

When learning photography it becomes drilled into you that you have to get the exposure right. Watch the histogram! Make sure you're not clipping blacks or your whites. Which is all well and good but sometimes you need to break the rules to make art. 

This image from some years ago, 2007 in fact, is case in point. It was eery in this graveyard that night. I was alone, it was practically dark, there were no street lights to speak of and true to form, I'd left my torch in the car. It was just me and the dead. 

This set the mood for the image I wanted to make. Underexposing by a stop or probably two left the headstones in total black, no definition there whatsoever. To me this creates  a feeling of anonymity in the headstones, and gives the image a rather sinister vibe. Dark, moody and ever so slightly scary.

I could have lit the headstones with strobes or light painted them. Or I could have made a bracketed HDR exposure. That's what the rules would've said to do. 

To view the image larger or buy a print, visit the gallery here.

Incidentally, I've had a complete re-work of my print galleries. I've removed a lot of what I felt to be chaff, completely restructured into more appropriate titles, and re-processed almost every image up there. Check it out here.