Saturday, January 27, 2024

Snow, Tombstones, and a Camera: A Hilarious Frolic in the Cemetery (by ChatGPT)

"Jesus, its cold out here ..."

Intro: If you were weirded out by my previous post, “Photographing Cemeteries in the Snow: A Frozen Elegy,” which I admitted at the end was generated by the IA program ChatGPT, here’s a doozy. I thought I would test the ap by inserting the word “funny” into my request. To wit, write a “500 word funny essay on photographing cemeteries in the snow.” Here’s where we landed. Like my previous post, I just added photographs that I took last week during and after a couple snowstorms in the Philadelphia/south Jersey area. The title was ChatGPT's idea.

Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, NJ
Photographing cemeteries in the snow might sound like an odd choice for a lighthearted escapade, but sometimes humor emerges from the most unexpected places – or in this case, from the frosty embrace of gravestones and the whimsy of winter.

First things first, navigating a snow-covered cemetery with a camera is like trying to salsa dance in flippers – it's entertaining, awkward, and you're bound to draw some puzzled looks. Picture this: a photographer attempting to capture the perfect shot, slipping and sliding on icy paths, all while trying not to disturb the eternal slumber of those beneath. It's a slapstick comedy waiting to happen.

Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, NJ

The snow, in all its fluffy glory, has a knack for turning tombstones into shape-shifting snow sculptures. Forget about reading the inscriptions; half the time, you're left deciphering what might be a name or just a whimsical snow doodle left by a particularly creative winter sprite. Perhaps the dearly departed are playing a frosty game of hide-and-seek, leaving photographers scratching their heads and chuckling at the snow-covered riddles.

Old Camden and Evergreen Cemeteries, Camden, NJ

Now, let's talk about the snow angels – not the celestial beings, but the unintentional ones photographers end up making. The cold ground and the excitement of capturing the perfect shot can lead to unexpected acrobatics. You might find yourself unintentionally channeling your inner winter Olympian with a graceful, or not so graceful, snow dive. The camera might capture a breathtaking shot, but the outtakes reel is a comedy goldmine.

Snow Angel, Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia

Evergreen Cemetery, Camden, NJ
As if nature itself is playing a prank, the weather during a cemetery photoshoot can be as capricious as a mischievous imp. One moment, the sun is casting a warm glow on the snow, turning the cemetery into a winter wonderland. The next, a snowstorm sweeps in, and you're left frantically trying to protect your camera from an unexpected icy baptism. It's a classic case of "weather, you had one job!"

Sheltering in place, Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey


Evergreen Cemetery, Camden, NJ

And let's not forget about the ghostly footprints that appear on the snowy canvas. In a normal world, these might evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue. In the world of cemetery photography, they're more likely to make you wonder if the resident spirits are testing out a new pair of snowshoes. Who knew the afterlife could be so fashion-forward?

As photographers tiptoe around the cemetery like clumsy ballet dancers, the hush of winter is occasionally interrupted by the unexpected symphony of wildlife. Squirrels, confused by the human antics, might decide to join the photoshoot, photobombing your carefully composed shots with their acrobatic antics. It's a woodland comedy show with an audience of one – you and your camera.

In conclusion, photographing cemeteries in the snow is a hilarious adventure, a quirky dance between the living and the departed, and a reminder that humor can be found even in the most unexpected places. So, grab your camera, put on your most absurd winter gear, and embark on a frolic through the snow-covered tombstones – who knows, you might capture the laughter of the dearly departed echoing through the frosty air.

Colestown Cemetery, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Epilogue: WTF? …"weather, you had one job?" What ... does that mean? "Hilarious," as the title implies? Well, no. This is a fairly ridiculous and repulsive essay. Hopefully, my photos gave you a chuckle, at least. Rest assured, future frolics will be in my own awkward hand. I like giving new technology a shot, though. It helps me thrive as my truest self (a line I stole from one of the characters in the television streaming series, “Beef”).