Friday, September 20, 2013

San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church at Taos

As a British photographer living in New Mexico the thing that strikes me the most is the light and the skies, plus, of course, the wonderful adobe architecture. These three New Mexican ‘attributes’ come together so well in Taos.

Taos is an old Pueblo and it has been made famous by various artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. In particular the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, which was completed in 1816, is a large, sculpted Spanish Colonial church with massive adobe buttresses and two front-facing bell towers. 

Ansel Adams photographed the church for his Taos Pueblo art book and Georgia O’Keeffe painted a series of perspectives of the church. O’Keeffe once described it as “one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards.” In most works, these artists favored the view of the back of the church, with its smoothly sculpted adobe beehive buttresses.

The following two images are my humble attempt to capture the spirit of this beautify New Mexican Pueblo.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wide open spaces

Last week I had some time to kill in the San Francisco area and, despite living in the area for a few years, I had never visited Oakland’s Catholic Cathedral.

The Cathedral of Christ the Light emerged as the legacy of the former St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, which was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.  

The Cathedral’s Mausoleum is a unique and sacred site replicates the tradition of the early Church to place the remains of the faithful at the grounds of the Church. The mausoleum has 1,300 spaces for crypts and 1,850 niches for cremated remains. There are also 12 crypts reserved for the past, present and future Bishops of Oakland.

The Cathedral, like others, is an ideal place to explore bracketing and creating indoor panoramas. The two images below show a bracketed view of the Mausoleum and the handheld vertirama gives an impression of the huge inside.

Both images were captured with a Canon S95 Point and Shoot: which goes to prove you can achieve a lot these days by traveling light and shooting in RAW.