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The Highgate East Cemetery; Amazing Photo Journey to a Victorian Treasure

A Photographer's Walking Tour of Highgate East Cemetery: 


Please check out the photo album to really get a flavour of the amazing location & photographic opportunities. These wetter grey, autumnal November days are just the right atmospheric setting for an afternoon spent photographing this exceptionally atmospheric Victorian cemetery - probably the most famous in England.  It is designated Grade I on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England with 53,000 graves & a nature reserve. 

                                                                                                                                The attraction is not only that Karl Marx, George Elliot or Douglas Adams, Malcolm Mc Claren along with a host of other remarkable people..  but also the abundance of ornate & distinctive sculptures, headstones that nestle in the natural greenery, rather like " an in between" twilight world... 

For photographers, the place is truly an absolute gift - your creative juices can run wild - black & white, vintage - fabulous compositions - variety of lighting - it's all there " for the taking " . Imagine cloudy or flat light, perhaps some sunlight,  against the contrasting  grey marbles & granite, within the autumnal greenery.. We are already thinking about opportunities for working in low light, playing with contrasts & saturation,  bw, sepia, vintage...  

Meeting Place : I suggest that we meet outside the entrance to Highgate East Cemetery, on Swaines Laine at 12.30 pm. As it gets darker from around 3pm this should give us plenty of time. 

 The Photographer's Tour : The East cemetery is a large winding nature reserve, packed with older & new graves, merged & hidden along footpaths & in the midst of foiliage. 

I'll guide the group round at a photographer's pace - around 1.5 - 2 hours depending what you need - to the famous graves & also some wonderful locations that i have always found fascinating & make for great shots - along with supplying you with  lots of information about the remarkable people who rest there. ( The cemetery is open till 4pm you are of course free to come back to favorite spots after our tour .)    

Transport - getting there : There is plenty of parking for cars all the way up the hill on a Sunday which is free or if you are coming by  public transport - by train take the tube to Archway & then either  walk from Archway to the cemetery is about 20 minutes on foot up Highgate Hill, or take one of three buses 210, 143,271 from the Highgate Hill bus stop - then it's two stops to Waterlow Park It’s then a very pleasant five minute stroll through Waterlow Park to the Cemetery gates.                                                                                                                                                                       

* Still photography of graves is allowed for personal use only. No tripods or video are permitted.

Following the cemetery tour, if time allows - for those who would like to do so, we can walk up through scenic Highgate to the historic Flask Pub - one of London's oldest dating back to 1663, which is full of character, the odd ghost & more stories.. & more photographic opportunities..  

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 25 people, so please book now to ensure your place & avoid disappointment. We will run this tour again for those who cannot get on the list this time. 

Please note: 

* Winter is upon us & the tour will take place even if it's raining, the paths are  sometimes muddy so please do wear warm clothing,  appropriate footwear & bring a hood for your cameras !

* There's no cafe within the cemetery so you may want to bring a snack/drink with you with your gear, as we will be walking for a good while before going to The Flask Pub in Highgate.   

* The tour price of £10 includes Cemetery entry fee into the East Cemetery. (The tour doesn't include the West Cemetery which is a separate area & separately charged by the Cemetery) . 

*The cemetery is located on both sides of Swain's Lane in HighgateN6, The main gate is located just north of Oakshott Avenue.The nearest transport link is Archway tube station.


The Flask Pub - where we'll have a good warm up afterwards :) !

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  • JUDE

    Thank you guys for joining this meetup. I really enjoyed meeting you all & I had a lovely afternoon, i hope that you found the Cemetery interesting & were able to capture some atmospheric shots. ( Please do post them on the group album ).
    Will post a series of new meets - which i hope will be fun & inspiring :) Many thanks again & lovely to meet you all.

    3 · November 17, 2013

  • Alex

    It will be lovely to meet everyone. I've been to the cemetery twice, but certainly don't feel like I have even scratched the surface of what Highgate has to offer! :)

    1 · November 8, 2013

    • Alex

      Morning jude, change of plan again. It will be just myself today. My friend is ill with a chest infection.

      November 17, 2013

    • JUDE

      So sorry to hear your friend is not well - but looking forwards to meeting you - have been looking at your blog etc - amazing work !!!!

      November 17, 2013

  • Roberto P.

    Where the appointment is exactly? There is a phone number that I can call when I am there?

    November 17, 2013

  • Helen

    Hi Jude
    Would love to come but won't know until Sunday morning if I can make it - can I just turn up or do you need an answer before the day?

    1 · November 14, 2013

    • JUDE

      Hi Helen, i'm sure that will be fine :) - have checked the weather too & apparently that will turn up :) hope to see you :)

      November 14, 2013

  • JUDE

    Hi Antonio, thank you for your question :) photography of graves is only allowed for personal use, i think it means precisely that - not for commercial use - i.e for sale. I've seen many images on websites & on the internet, as far as personal use is concerned, & photography as fine art hopefully that's what we would be creating but again - not for sale.
    I will speak to them later & find out if there is a licence that you might purchase to enable commercial use.

    Regarding the other event - that's at 6.30 pm & this event is at 12.15 pm so i think you would have plenty of time to get to the Langham, depends on how long you would like to spend in the Flask Pub after the cemetery or if you would like to go back to the cemetery for more shots :)

    November 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      In both cases there is an economic compensation given to the author for acquiring his/her work (at the end we all need money to survive) but this is particularly different from the meaning of "commercially"­ I said in the first case. They are even some exceptions, i.e.: you can not sell a print of the Eiffel Tower at night as its lightning is copyrighted but you could do so if the shot was done during the day and the tower is not the main subject of the scene. This sometimes gets pretty confusing and, since the Highgate Cemetery is a private place, hence my question... sorry for bothering you.

      1 · November 4, 2013

    • JUDE

      No bother, i wasn't able to get in contact with the right person today as not available -but will ask tomorrow. :)

      November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The description says "the pictures would be just for personal use", wouldn't they be usable as "fine art"? I don't mean commercial use.
    Also, I¡m joining another group which is going to the DIGNITY exhibition (from this same meetup group) at 18:30... do you think that there would be enough time?
    Cheers!

    1 · November 3, 2013

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