Lessons in Photography & Other Nerdly Stuff


I wanted to be inspired to blog about something exciting tonight, but it turns out my brain (and my body) is tired from long work days this week. How about some more photography from two new cemeteries? While at the second cemetery, I captured a killer sunset that just took my breath away. I’m not entirely sure I did a great job of capturing it, but it was fun trying. 



Fifteen minutes later I caught this one with my iPhone in the grocery store parking lot. 



Back to the cemeteries… Bellerive Gardens in Creve Coeur, Missouri and Thomas Howell Cemetery in St. Charles, Missouri. 



While I’m at it, I’d love some constructive criticism from any experienced photographers. I had a chance to talk photography with a colleague at school today. He’s a “retired” administrator and former music teacher who has been doing some long-term subbing in our building. He does photography on the side, and so I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him some of those silly questions that a new photographer might ask when they’re learning lingo and the how-to. You know, like when do I need to switch lenses? What’s ISO? Things like that. I’ve found that he is GREAT at explaining things to me and making me not feel stupid. Ha! (He’s really great at explaining new sound systems too, by the way.) 




A lot of times when I’m shooting in a cemetery, I have the urge to lay on the ground for several shots. If you don’t know me, physically, crawling across the ground, under trees and bushes, and straining to get back up again is not the greatest activity for my back and will almost always result in breaking out the good pain pills. It’s also funny when you stop by the grocery store on the way home and realize you have twigs and leaves clinging to you everywhere. It’s totally worth it, though. 



Anyway, I’ve suspected this, but I’ve learned that I think I tweak things like the saturation and contrast a little too much in Photoshop Elements. I need to find a balance. You learn as you go, I guess. Here’s the link to most of my favorite recent photos from the new camera.




This was on a grave marker. How cool is that?!

This was on a grave marker. How cool is that?!


Question: Do I need a Flickr account, or something similar? Why? Why not? What’s the point of it?





Love creative photography? You might also like:

Something Unsettling (KarlPfeiffer.com)

Photos by Randall Keller on Viewbug



About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

14 responses to “Lessons in Photography & Other Nerdly Stuff

  • deborahjhughes

    I love taking pictures too! I would love to take a class and learn to be a better photographer! Nice pics! Enjoyed them lots!

  • Maria Laing

    Awesome, as usual, Patrick! I am delighted that you share your experience!<3

  • Sally Bosco

    Wow! Beautiful photos! Thanks for posting.I especially love the icy stream.

    • Patrick Keller

      You know, I took so many photos of that stream, different places, different angles, different shutter speeds (a little beyond my ability right now), but this was the only one I liked. Thank you!

  • Randall Keller

    Oh, I think you’re doing very well, Mr. Novice! I love talking photography, but you’re so far away and I can’t be trusted in public, but I do think you’re doing a great job. It’s a slow process, so just imagine how great you’ll be in a year!

    • Patrick Keller

      I’ve very much enjoyed seeing your photography! Unlike me, who splatters 50 mediocre photos online from each visit–like when I open a package of cookies or candy and can’t decide when would be wise to stop, so I finish them off and then get sick and never want them again–we get to hold our breathe in anticipation for your beautiful photos. Then it’s like an incredibly delicious dessert at a fancy restaurant… and you want another helping, but you have to wait until next time, leaving you craving it until then… and each time is delicious! (Okay really, am I talking?)

  • Paranormalogistically

    I love all of these photos! I love taking photos and right now just have some on Facebook and Pinterest but am thinking about blogging some of them. I really like your varied unique perspective ….your voice 🙂

  • Renae Rude - The Paranormalist

    I recognize so much of this. I find photography to be a nice way to still see and “speak” when my words aren’t flowing. And I, too, have been seen in public with graveyard dirt and twigs all over me 🙂

    Yes. You need a Flickr, so it’s easier for you to contribute to #hauntedphotoaweek 😀

    Seriously, what the point? I guess it’s another plank in your platform. I also kinda like being “forced” to edit, cull and organize my pics for my photostream. And sometimes you get comments. Comments are always good.

  • Annabelle

    Hi Patrick,

    Love all of the photos , especially the one on the iPhone. I think taking a photography course is a good idea, something I should of done from the first day I got my camera. Flickr is a good platform for pics and I seriously need to organize but love all of the options it gives. I found Pinterest to be a good place for finding tutorials, although I’ve just started to really search the photography category. And yes, I too have on many occasions laid on my belly to take pictures, walking away with pinecone, branches and grass in my hair : )

    p.s. left a friend request on Facebook

    • Patrick Keller

      Hey Annabelle… I have a Flickr now and I’ve linked it on the side menu of the blog. Will you look for me? I think I’m listed as just “Big Seance”. It took a while to get used to, but I’ve been loading anything new up there. I am definitely thinking about a summer photography course… and think I’m going to look for a few tutorial videos to watch tonight or later this week. 🙂

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