Woking is not terribly photogenic
But I have worked in Woking for more years than I’d care to admit. Like many photographers I have tended to ignore what you see too often. In the south east corner of Horsell Common, hidden by a screen of trees and fenced in on one side by enormous pylons lies this now abandoned Muslim Cemetery. It was opened in 1916 as a place of burial for Indian soldiers who had died whilst being treated at the Indian Army Hospital in Brighton. The bodies were removed in 1960 but the walls and ornate entrance still remain (this shot shows what it was like almost 100 years ago.)
It is a sad place. Not intentionally I know. There is a strange kind of peace here. But it is slowly crumbling and the paraphernalia of drug dealers and alcoholics litter the ground. Yet my love of the sub-continent and an urge to make some images have finally made me come and take a look.
My cameras of choice seem to fit the type of place it is. So I shot with both a film camera and my iPhone: a combination of very low and high tech. My Holga can not easily be described as a serious camera but its plastic lens and 12 images per roll of 120 film produce a tonality and texture that is hard to match. Provided you don’t want an exact interpretation of the scene.
And this was combined with the iPhone using the very fine Tadaa app. And whilst I will have to wait for the film to come back from the lab (how quaint!) the images from the phone are below.The irony of taking a start of the art smartphone and producing images that look like they were made on wet-plate from the turn of the last century whilst photographing a WW1 burial site is not lost on me!
I suspect that I’ll be back to have a further look. I can’t help but think that some of the incredible trees surrounding the Cemetery are worth a look.
Goes to show that you should always pay attention to what’s under your nose!
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