Photographers learn to paint with light in historic Laurel Hill Cemetery

Ornate gravestones cast long shadows as 14 photo enthusiasts set out on foot from the gatehouse at Laurel Hill Cemetery on a Friday evening in early June.

Toting tripods, cameras and flashlights, the photographers were there for a guided tour and lessons in painting with light.

Painting with light is a night photography technique in which the photographer shines a flashlight on selected areas of a monument while the shutter of the camera is open for an extended period of time. The results can be stunning.

This was the first of three Lunar Strolls offered at the historic cemetery this summer. Additional dates are July 8 and Aug. 10 at 8:00 p.m.  A tripod and some photo experience are recommended. Reservations are required.

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Laurel Hill Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, was designed by Scottish-American architect John Notman and completed in 1839. The cemetery, which was then in a rural location, was conceived as an alternative to increasingly crowded churchyards in Philadelphia.

In its nearly two centuries, the cemetery has become the resting place for scores of noted Philadelphians. More recently, Phillies Broadcaster Harry Kalas was buried there in 2009, and the film character Adrian Balboa has a headstone there, left behind after a Rocky shoot.

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