The Alamo

My photo library is expanding at a pretty rapid clip.  This is a good thing of course, but it also is a challenge.  It’s a good thing in that I have a lot of photos to process, so even when I am not traveling and have free time, I can find something photo-related to work on.  But the challenge is that I never feel like I am caught up on anything.  I am literally always behind.

Take this photo, for example.  In case you don’t recognize this, it’s The Alamo in San Antonio, TX.  I took this photo about 3 years ago, and am just now posting it.  See what I mean?  I will never catch up.

Honestly though, I don’t want to catch up.  If I catch up, that means I have not been taking photos, which means I am not pursuing my love of photography.  It probably also means that I have not traveled anywhere, and that’s just as bad.

So, here’s to always being behind!  It’s a great place to be! :-)

San Miguel Mission

I used to not be a fan of adobe.  I thought it was boring and it felt too "southwest" to me, if that makes sense.  But, now that I have had several trips to Santa Fe, NM I find that my opinion of adobe structures is much higher.  They possess their own sort of beauty and are great to photograph.

This is the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, which is just a short stroll from the Plaza, which is their town square.  In all my previous visits, I had never come across this place.  So on my visit last summer, I found it on the map and headed out to photograph it.  Conveniently, it was only 2-3 minutes from my hotel.  That's nice when you are hauling 15 lbs of gear!

Usually I am not too keen on firing shots in the middle of a summer afternoon, since the light can be so harsh.  But out in New Mexico, there are usually beautiful skies and the clouds are just awesome, so I went for it.  :-)

By the way, this is known as the oldest church in the US, as it was built between 1610 and 1626.  Cool huh?

The hidden shrine


There's a benefit to wandering in new places.  I was in the Carmel Mission, in Carmel, CA and only had a short little while to check it out (and capture some shots).  I made it through the front courtyard, and the interior (I need to process that one!) and finally made my way into the "backyard" area of the complex.  It was pretty wide open, but there was a little area sort of tucked into a corner - which I could not clearly see from where I was - so of course I meandered over there and discovered this little shrine.  Looking at the photo now, it makes me think of something from an Indy Jones movie!

The Carmel Mission

As I mentioned in a previous post about Carmel, I have a bazillion photos from my trip out West to process and post, so I will continue to scatter them in here and there.  Ok, so the real number is just north of 1,000 but it feels like a bazillion!  This is from my brief but photographically productive trip to the Carmel Mission, in Carmel, CA.  I had a little spare time, and didn’t have a map handy, but knew the Mission was somewhere just south of town.  So, I found the aptly named Mission Street, went south, and bam!  Works every time.  This is just after you enter, as you approach the chapel.  As you can see it was a slightly overcast day, which is ok by me (especially for HDR shots) and was not crowded at all (also ok by me!).  I cruised around, snapped a bunch of shots, and enjoyed the heck out of it.  I always enjoy photographing churches and missions anyway, and this one is particularly fetching, as some would say.

The Alamo

I spent a lot of my formative years in San Antonio, TX and as a result have been to the Alamo more times than I can remember.  It figures prominently in Texas history, so it was always at the top of the list for out of town visitors and field trips.  Once I moved away, I sorta forgot about it and thought I may never return.  Enter my photography habit.  I spent a weekend down there a while back with my Mom, and of course got up early one morning to go shoot downtown around the Riverwalk area.  I had forgotten how close the Alamo is to the Riverwalk and so I sort of stumbled upon the Alamo that morning, luckily finding it without a crowd of tourists (which is hard to do).  It's interesting how photography gives you a new appreciation of things, even stuff that you have seen so many times you almost can't stand it.  Photography causes you to look at things differently, and with a new set of eyes, casting them in a new and interesting light.  It surely heightened my appreciation of this fine structure.  Thanks for stopping by!  

The entry to the Carmel Mission

I just love photos of doorways and entrances.  They are so inviting to me.  I have been taking shots of them for years, and have quite a few from my time in Carmel recently.  In other words, I hope you like them too since I have a lot to share!  They often don’t have the dramatic impact of a sweeping landscape, but to me they leave much to the imagination and can be quite interesting, especially when there is some history associated with the structure.

I caught this one at the Carmel Mission, which is a great place to visit.  I enjoy photographing churches and missions, and this one has been on my list for a long time.  

It is a working church and school, and has the added benefit of having been around since the 1700’s.  It is beautiful.  We were on our last day in Carmel, and I was just itching to shoot here, so my wife let me slip away for about an hour.  It was not too crowded, which is nice of course, and I ran around like a crazy man taking shots left and right.  Hopefully next time I am there I can make a proper visit and spend a little longer soaking up the history.  But nonetheless, I walked away with many shots that I am happy with, which was the main goal anyways.  I’ll save the history lesson for next time!

Enter the chapel

This is the entrance to Mission Espada, in San Antonio, TX.  It is one of the lesser-known missions along The Mission Trail, and is the smallest, but it is my favorite.  I just really enjoyed being here, and taking shots of this lovely structure.  I was there with my Mom and we had the place all to ourselves.  I was lining up for this shot, when I thought it would look better with the door slightly ajar - you know, a small peek inside, it plays to the imagination, all that sort of stuff.  So my Mom was kind enough to go inside and hold the door for me, thanks Mom!

An exquisite entrance

Aren't doors and entryways fun to shoot?  I have been drawn to them for years.   I guess it is the mystique of "what lies beyond".  This is the main entry into Mission San Jose in San Antonio, TX along the Mission Trail.  It is a series of several missions, all with their own character, scattered south of San Antonio.  I have been to most of them now, and this one is at or near the top.  It is pretty large and usually crowded, but man that door rocks!  Wouldn't it be cool to have a door like that at the house?  It's such a regal entrance.

Inside Mission Espada

A follow up to my post of the exterior of Mission Espada from last week - this is the interior.  It is rather small, as you can see, but possesses a quaint beauty that I have not found at other missions in San Antonio.  I found it be to spectacular.  I guess it is that “beauty in simplicity” thing.  Anyways, I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I enjoyed being inside the mission.

Mission Espada

Mission Espada is located on the Mission Trail down in San Antonio, TX and is a beautiful place.  This was my first visit there and I was impressed.  It is actually quite small compared to Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion - that's essentially the whole thing in this shot - but it is so charming and beautiful that you don't really think about it being "the little guy".  I arrived at 9am when the grounds were open to the public and was the only one there, which is nice.  I really like the look of the facade with the bells up top and spent quite a while getting all sorts of shots of it, which I will share as I get time to process them.  I also got a nice one from inside - again, a fairly small interior - but I found it to be beautiful partly due to its simplicity.  This mission is further afield than the others, and San Jose and Concepcion get more of the publicity (along with the Alamo of course), but if you are there I highly recommend adding this to the list - it is actually my favorite of all.