Exit Only #10146

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The Story

There is nothing unusual about this leaning fence of a cemetery gate except for one thing: the rusty Exit Only sign. Of course, the spooks need a place to get out at night, so maybe that’s what the sign is all about. Perhaps they could add a Dead End sign here too.

This end of winter day had an overcast sky that ran thick and thin, and the overnight March snow had fallen heavy and wet like half-melted vanilla ice cream. Fortunately, those conditions with the changing light can make for interesting shooting and the snow was quickly melting. It was a good time to load the camera gear into the truck and head out to poke into the not-so-frequented places.

As luck would have it, I didn’t have to go very far. I came across this cemetery gate in an out of the way place about ten blocks from the house. There was a great view through the opening coupled with the dark humor of the Exit Only sign…all it needed was the right light to make a Tim Burton-esque picture.

So, I set up the tripod, made the focus, and waited. About ten minutes later, a thin spot in the overcast came over to put the right light in the right place: square onto the graveyard behind the leaning fence and cemetery gate. The shutter was tripped with a remote at that right moment and here it is to share with you.

One of those rare dark humor finds, this scene was shot exactly the way it was found and surprisingly not far from home. A small photographic lesson from this is that it pays to look around all the corners both near and far. This graveyard gate can be found just this way today; things don’t change much over that way. Although I’ve shot it at other times in summer and fall, it never worked out as well as this day in the snow.

There’s another view of this gate called Peaceful Day #11124. Taken in early Spring, it’s a rather pretty picture with buds on the trees in the snow and easy to enjoy.

However, for an entirely different look at this cemetery in a more macabre dark humor Halloween view try Spook Hollow #12006

Location: Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks


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