Saturday, August 4, 2012

Visit to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

July 7, 2012: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA - I found out about Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in 2008, the first time we visited the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Old Point Loma Lighthouse is at the top of Point Loma, overlooking San Diego Harbor on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other side.

The active New Point Loma Lighthouse is located at sea level at the very tip of Point Loma.

New Point Loma Lighthouse
Both lighthouses are part of the larger Cabrillo National Monument.
Cabrillo Monument overlooking San Diego Harbor

There is something out there!

It was only just recently, in July, 2012, that I visited the cemetery. I had thought about visiting on Memorial Day Weekend 2012, but figured that while the cemetery would be all decked out in the colors of flags and flowers, it would be crowded with mourners and ultimately disrespectful to them for me to be roaming around the cemetary grounds taking pictures.

The cemetery is pretty much cut in half by Cabrillo Memorial Drive which spans the crest of Point Loma. One half of the cemetery faces the Pacific Ocean and the other half of the cemetery faces San Diego Harbor. I explored the Harbor-facing side.

The earliest burials were casualties of the Battle of San Pasqual, which took place east of San Diego, on Dec. 6-7, 1846, during the Mexican-American War.

View of inner San Diego Harbor from the harbor-facing side of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Chain-link fences that used to be the harbor-facing boundaries have been replaced with with crypts, vastly expanding cemetery capacity, so as long as the remains are cremated.

Boundary Crypts
Desert Cruiser Waiting to Move On
Selective Colorization - Tree and Boundary Crypts

The cemetery is generally rolling hills, making the headstones form different patterns in different areas.  Cemeteries with raised headstones are actually being phased out for flat makers over which grass cutters may ride.  This is the way it was at Riverside National Cemetery, making photography there dull (though there are elaborate memorials there, such as The National Medal of Honor Memorial.

Heavily Color Saturated Treatment

As a final note, while I was roaming around the cemetery, I found out that I wasn’t the only photographer interested in the location.

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