At the Brooklyn Historical Society, my group learned about the Brooklyn Theater Fire that happened on December 6, 1876 where 278 people burned to death and 722 survived. Of the 278 people who perished, 103 were buried together on this site with funds donated by wealthy people and the city of Brooklyn for those fire victims whose families could not afford to bury them. Some of those families also received other monetary help, especially when the victim was the sole provider for the household. This serves as a permanent “living” monument to those fire victims, I call it a “living” monument because of the beautiful flowers that surround it. The monument itself was erected by the City of Brooklyn, before it became a borough of New York City.
From my trip to Greenwood I learned that one object on the same location can look differently. I took pictures were greatly impacted by angles and in particular the natural lighting. In the first picture taken from a severe side angle, the female subject appears dark and brooding. The shadows that were being cast greatly impacted the tone and tenor of the picture. The shadows seem to cast a background that is suited to the mood of the woman. The viewer would be more likely to see a figure that is sad and literally and figuratively darker. Further, the viewer would be more likely to view the woman as someone who is appealing to a higher power to right a wrong…a woman in mourning. Since the picture of the monument was taken in a cemetery, the subject matter takes on almost a scary or ominous tone. Lastly, the coloring due to the management of light makes the monument appear to be more weathered by the elements and neglected.
In direct contrast, the second picture is taken from a wider angle and more from a frontward position. The impact of light on the subject matter is great, as the woman is seen in more of an angelic fashion then the darker picture. We see that the natural light has a great impact on the viewer’s perspective and that the coloring of the woman makes her appear to be gazing to a greater being in reverence instead of despair. Additionally, the angle of the picture makes the woman appear to be more hopeful that her prayers will be answered. This representation of the woman seems like it would be more appropriate in a cathedral or church since the subject matter is so much more hopeful
There was a big difference in going to the Brooklyn Historical Society and looking at maps, and going to the cemetery and seeing the space in person. I understand that the topography has not changed since it was farm land, confirming that the land was never actually turned into lots for homes. The scale of the place became much more real to me than looking at the maps. Being that we only covered a small part of the cemetery in our time there it puts in perspective that the cemetery is incredibly large. This is also shown in the maps in that the area that was supposed to be used for homes is also a small percentage of the entire cemetery. Overall being there in person was of course much more helpful in putting its scale into perspective but I am thankful for the knowledge I gained from the Brooklyn Historical Society.
After visiting the Brooklyn Historical Society, I was amazed to see what is being presented in the Greenwood Cemetery. I hoped to see exactly what I saw at BHS and I did. For example, I viewed a pamphlet from the mid 80s’ that carried some drawn photographs of monuments that explains mystery and then relaxation. The drawn photographs expressed the darkness of the cemetery, so I was able to see that during the day as the sun comes and goes.
Going to Green-Wood Cemetery was a really interesting experience. It is a big space fill of beauty and sadness at the same time.
Comparing with what I learned at the Brooklyn Historical Society and being at the cemetery, was seeing the difference of the rules that many years ago they had and how they have changed through the years. Before they talked about horses as main transportation. Now they talk about cars and motocycles.
They preserve all the areas very well, so it is a place where you don’t feel the time that has passed since the build. It is hard to believe that the cemetery has been there for over 100 years.
During our trip to the Brooklyn Historical Society, our group learned that part of the cemetery was farm land that eventually became land to be sold to build homes on in the early 1800s, but at some point must have been bought out to become part of Greenwood cemetery.
This made me think that the area has an extensive history as being intended for the well-off. Weren’t the poor basically living in the slums in the 19th century?
I thought it would be a good idea to try and capture some degree of luxury in my shots. Some of the statues and elaborate graves in the cemetery indicate that some of the people buried there were either very important or very affluent. Maybe both.
Going to Green-Wood cemetery was really a good experience because we got to take many interesting pictures; I really liked the trip because it really got a variety of subjects to choose from and therefore it was really easy to get nice shots. One of the things we got to see was the monument dedicated to the victims of the Brooklyn Theatre Fire, which we learned more about during our visit to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Also, when we got there we were given maps of the place and it reminded me of that map we saw at the BHS that showed the main recreational points of the Cemetery that was used as advertisement back in the 1800s.
My experience at Green-Wood was a very refreshing one. This was my first time there, and it was interesting. At first, I was kind of skeptical about the whole thing, because it is a cemetery, but actually Green-Wood is very beautiful, with a lot of historical moments behind it. I think that the photos I took of Green-Wood came out pretty well. I love how the range of photos vary.
I enjoyed my time at greenwood. I got a lot of shots and I even had to get a new memory card since I took so many pictures! I took many great shots and it was difficult to choose twenty or flickr but there are definitely two pictures I love that I want to print. To think a place that houses so much sadness and sorrow, it’s a really beautiful location and I’d love to go back there one day in the future.
Before going to the Greenwood Cemetery we went to the Brooklyn Historical Society library in order to learn some history about the place. In my group we learned about a tragical theatre fire where a lot of people died and a lot of their bodies were not even recognized so they were put in a mass grave with all the other bodies. It was a good experience because once we got to the cemetery, the following week it created a different mood for me as a photographer because I thought about the tragedy and all the people that suffered so the images I was really looking forward to take were full of darkness and sorrow, even thought I still took other ones.