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Years ago, as a kid, even before I had even considered my future life as a filmmaker I was captured by an inconspicuous book of photography on our family bookshelf. It was a sample of works by the photographer Clarence John Laughlin. Shooting primarily in the early 20th Century, Laughlin's work is decidedly gothic in nature - decrepit mansions, shimmering cemeteries, and crumbling forgotten ruins. I was captivated by his virtuoso ability to combine the macabre and the sublime, and I think it's a safe bet I am who I am in part due to Clarence John Laughlin. As I've grown older, a new aspect of his work has emerged to me that I have attempted to adopt for my own work, that is the transcendence of image. What I mean by this is simply the ability of the image to evoke an emotion or story that lies beyond the sum of the composition. It is the spirit, the very soul of the object transmuted into meaning. Like a ghost conjured by alchemy, its essence haunts the viewer, lingers in the eyes and seeps into the mind. It is very much like magic.

My own hobbyist venture into 35mm photography falls far short of the gothic master and I consider this more a visual diary of the places and subjects that inspire me. To begin, I take you to a hidden pioneer cemetery very close to my current home in Dallas/Fort Worth. It is a fragile relic of the past and for this reason, I will not state its name or location. The little memorial plot has been a refuge of inspiration for me- its rolling hills, shaded lawns, and moss-grown stones. One grave in particular I feel a special connection to, one I cannot describe, but I feel however when I visit and I find myself alone, Lott's wife calls to me from beyond the grave. Secondly, an expression of immortal love.

historic cemetery

"Lott's Wife" © 2016 Tim Stevens

cemetery photography

"Love Eternal" © 2016 Tim Stevens

#cemtery #ghosts #35mmphotography #blackandwhite #bnw #gothic #haunted

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