With Halloween approaching, I thought I would make my very first post about something a little spooky to most people, a cemetery. These aren’t just your run of the mill graveyard photos, all of the photos are from historic Waverley cemetery in Sydney and most of these photos were taken under the cloak of darkness.

About two years ago I started visiting Sydney’s Waverley cemetery, a picturesque and historic graveyard perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. On the coast of Sydney between Bronte and Bondi, a coastal walk passes along the outskirts of the cemetery giving those that walk by a glimpse of its beauty. Usually, people don’t enter the cemetery and prefer to admire its beauty and grandeur from the walking path.

One evening in January of 2015, after a storm passed through Sydney, the cemetery came alive with the sight and sounds of birds. Currawongs, raptors, parrots and magpies were everywhere, feasting on the insects and worms that appeared after the storm. It was during that visit, I decided to capture the statues using available light and a torch – at night. By spotlighting the statues with a torch, I am able to bring life to each statue individually. I have always shot handheld and I have used the same camera and lens for every image. Waverley cemetery looks very different at night and I’ve attempted to capture a bit of the beauty so others can appreciate it without having to visit at night. At night, the sky colour can vary depending on atmospheric conditions, light pollution from Port Botany and the occasional bushfire. Sometimes the sky appears to be red and at other times it has a violet hue. I have found predicting the sky colour on any given night a challenge, so I tend to visit frequently so I don’t miss an interesting sky!

For two years I obsessively visited the cemetery several times a week, often just picking up my camera at the last minute. Many times I would run out the door just because I had a gut feeling the sky would have a moment of brilliance…that moment just before the last light of day vanishes. These are a few images from my series, From Dusk til Dawn.

Oh, and if you are wondering if the graveyard is haunted….well, let’s just say that I’ve never felt “alone” while I was there. :-)

More info: melissawilliamsbrown.com

The Guardian

At the End of the Day

Magpie at Sunset

Purple Sunset

Waverley Cemetery – In Living Colour

Angel Looking Over Coogee Beach

A Starry Night and a Red Sky

Clouds and Celtic Crosses

Waverley Cemetery – Untitled

Angel and the Lights of Coogee

A Passing Storm

Heaven and Hail

A Quiet Moment

The Angel with the Moss Covered Face

The Darkest Night

Coogee Sparkles

The Kissing Angel – Monument to Kate Fiaschi

Dawn over Bondi Beach