Featured California Missions with μ43

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by SVQuant, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Since I first saw them, I have enjoyed visiting California missions and seeing their architecture. We drove down to Southern California for the Christmas weekend and I took the opportunity to visit two of the missions while we were there. I have been a 50mm prime shooter for a while, but decided to take my relatively recently acquired O17/1.8 as the prime companion for my travel kit of E-M10 + O14-150II + O9-18.

    I really attempted to capture the symmetry of the architecture, but didn't always do it as well as I could :)

    Mission Santa Barbara (taken the day before Christmas). The Church is still active and was decorated for Christmas and prepared for the mass later in the day.
    1. Mission façade (cheatingly taken with the O9-18 at 9mm). This is mostly how the mission has looked since 1820, though the bell tower to the left was added after the initial construction.
    Mission Santa Barbara Front 2.JPG

    2. Chapel front door
    Mission Santa Barbara Chapel Door.JPG

    3. Church sanctuary
    Mission Santa Barbara Sanctuary.JPG

    4. The sun was lined up with the front door and looking down the pews from the sanctuary gave a warm glow to the whole interior.
    Mission Santa Barbara Seeing the Light.JPG

    5. Door from the cemetery to the church. The skulls and bones are apparently real and were used in Spanish churches to mark the cemetery.
    Mission Santa Barbara Cemetary Door.

    6. Australian fig tree in the cemetery. The tree was planted in the 1890s and is really impressive. Tried to capture a sense of its magnificent canopy.
    Mission Santa Barbara Fig Tree.JPG

    7. One of the original mission bells (now cracked) decorated for Christmas.
    Mission Santa Barbara Bell.

    8. Window inside the courtyard
    Mission Santa Barbara Window.

    Images from Mission San Diego de Alcala in next post.
     
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  2. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    Great images. I love visiting the missions as well. My favorite is probably mission San Miguel Arcangel not too far from San Luis Obispo - it is one of those that have not been maintained and rebuilt so it has a special "patina" for a lack of a better word.
     
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  3. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    831
    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    Nice images. I really like #4, the alignment with the sun gives a great feel to the space. My suggestion would be to straighten the horizon in some of your images (I am ocd enough to always notice this :sorry:)
     
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  4. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Images from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego, CA taken the day after Christmas. We had hoped to get there a little earlier, but only made it in time for sunset. The interior was already closed as the weekday mass was going to start in a few minutes.

    1. Mission façade with the last rays of the sun shining on it.
    Mission San Diego Facade.

    2. Chapel front door (with the papal insignia on top of the door) Mission San Diego Church Door.

    3. Church sanctuary
    Mission San Diego Sanctuary.JPG

    4. Staircase to the bell tower
    Mission San Diego Bell Tower Staircase.

    5. One of the interior doors. Reminded me of my grandparents' home in India.
    Mission San Diego Inside Door.
     
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  5. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I haven't been to Mission San Miguel since 1999, but remember it well. Will keep it in mind for my next trip down that way. My personal favorite is Mission San Juan Batista though I haven't had a chance to shoot it with m43 yet.
     
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  6. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    The level on my E-M10 was not accurate (adjusted it after I got back) and being one-eyed I don't always get my horizontals accurately in camera. I did straighten the ones that looked off to me. Happy to fix the ones which are looking particularly off to you.
     
  7. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Over the last few months, I have visited a few more of the California missions. Decided to revive my old thread rather than post a new one.

    Starting with Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Shot with the E-M1 and 12-40 Pro. Processed in B+W because of the highly overcast skies when we visited.
    Mission facade
    M1046421_bw.JPG

    Sanctuary door
    M1046452_bw.JPG

    The sanctuary
    M1046423_bw.JPG

    Some of the mission bells from the early 1800s
    M1046432_bw.JPG

    Old well in the courtyard
    M1046429_bw.JPG

    This being California, the courtyard garden still had a few blooms, but this flower which someone had floated in the fountain really caught my eye (natural selective color thanks to the grey sky)
    M1046433.JPG

    Contemplative (from the front garden)
    M1046419_bw.JPG

    Images from Mission San Miguel Arcangel and Mission Soledad (and maybe Mission San Buenaventura) to follow.
     
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  8. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    Looking forward to it. San Migual Arcangel is my favorite, and Soledad is very good too.
     
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  9. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Going back to Mission San Miguel Arcangel has been on my to-do list since the priest at Mission San Juan Batista mentioned it in 2010. @rloewy@rloewy had picked it out as his favorite mission as well. I had intended to stop there on a trip to Ventura in October, but traffic and time constraints prevented that. This time it was the first item on the agenda and we get there nice and early.

    The mission was founded in 1792 and was the 16th of the 21 California missions. The original church burnt down and the current one dates to 1818 and functioned as a mission for less than 20 years. Most of the church and the front part of the compound are unrestored and have a very different feel than the more manicured missions like Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Photographically, it was very rich and interesting.

    Overcast skies greeted us again when we started, but they cleared up over the two hours we spent there.

    Statue of Father Junipero Serra (now canonized) and the front courtyard gate. From what I can make out, the gate dates from early 20th century.
    M1056478.JPG

    Original arches from the 1792 construction. All the arches are different by design. The cannon is the only one I have seen at any mission and dates back to Mexican California.
    M1056481.JPG

    The "sheep gate" through which sheep were walked into the internal quadrangle to be sheared
    M1056515.JPG

    The old bell tower as seen from the inside quad
    M1056527.JPG

    The sanctuary. The iconography was chosen to remind the native Salinan people that the eye of god was upon them. This mission, more than any other, brought home the zeal which the missionaries expended and the hard work the native Americans put into the running of the missions, all in the service of the religious and political aims of far-off empire.
    M1056530.JPG

    Church pews. The mission currently serves as a parish church.
    M1056528.JPG

    The art on the walls is original to the 1816-18 construction and is attributed to native American artists. Ground pigments mixed with cactus juice on plaster. M1056532.JPG

    Cemetery gate. The cemetery contains the unmarked graves of over 2000 Salinan people.
    M1056542.JPG

    Church façade. The bell on the crozier is one of the original bells used by the state of California to mark El Camino Real.
    M1056540.JPG

    Church door
    M1056546.JPG

    Got some excellent light as we were about to leave, so had to shoot this one.
    M1056550.JPG
     
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  10. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    A few images from the mission museum
    Statue of St. Michael defeating the devil in wood from Spain circa 1820.
    M1056523.JPG

    Spinning wheel
    M1056508.JPG

    Cross carved in tree to mark El Camino Real (late 18th century). Rediscovered when the tree was cut down
    M1056499.JPG

    Sheepskin was used to cover the windows before glass
    M1056524.JPG

    And finally, a scale model of the mission built by prisoners at San Quentin State Prison
    M1056498.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018 at 7:52 PM
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  11. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Mission Soledad (fully Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad) is dedicated to our Lady of Solitude and is one of the smallest missions. We had last visited a few years ago when my daughter did "the mission project" as part of California history in 4th grade.

    Church façade. The original church was located at a slightly lower point behind the current building and was destroyed by flooding in the 1820s. This chapel was built in 1832 and fell into ruin soon after in the Mexican period. The buildings were restored in the 1950s after having fallen to ruins.
    M1056553.JPG

    Copy of the original mission bell (cast in Mexico City in 1799). It was hard to keep the boys away from it. M1056568.JPG

    The corridor with some of the old pew benches
    M1056556.JPG

    There is always a blooming rose to be found
    M1056554.JPG

    The sanctuary (note the nativity scene, this was early in the new year). The oil paintings date back to the 1830s.
    M1056557.JPG

    Ruins of the walls of the original church
    M1056564.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 9:38 AM
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  12. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
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  13. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Just for completeness, I will add a couple of run and gun shots from Mission San Buenaventura. I stayed 2 nights at a hotel right next to the mission, but could not visit it during the open hours. All with the E-M10 + P12-32 pancake.

    Mission façade at night. ISO 800, 1/5s, f/4.5, 15mm.
    PA146173.JPG

    A service was about to start and I felt that it would be disrespectful to intrude. So taken from the door shooting above peoples' heads.
    PA146168.JPG

    And the façade again the sunrise the next morning.
    PA156185.JPG

    This one deserves a revisit. Though the next on my agenda is Mission San Antonio de Padua.
     
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  14. Santa

    Santa Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    106
    Oct 13, 2016
    Tennessee
    Tom Staggs
    While stationed in California with the Air Force, we visited many of the missions but since I wasn’t in to photography, at the time, I don’t have any pictures. These are wonderful and bring back nice memories of almost 50 years ago. Thank you!
     
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  15. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Tom. I am glad you liked the images. Were you at Vandenberg? It seems ideally located for visiting a lot of the missions.
     
  16. Santa

    Santa Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    106
    Oct 13, 2016
    Tennessee
    Tom Staggs
    Yes, I was there for four years. The Lompoc mission (La Purisima) was very nice and we visited 4 or 5 others from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. When you consider how old they are. They have been kept in wonderful shape.
     
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  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    great work ..
    interesting ... one of our trees over there (yes, I know you have some of our Gums too).
    I detected what appears to be a little "non camera" tonemapping ... may I ask is this something like RawTherapee or Snapseed?
     
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  18. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the images.

    As far as Australian trees go, we actually have large groves of Australian Eucalyptus in California. These were initially planted soon after the Gold Rush as an intended supply for railroad sleepers. They turned out to be unsuitable for that and have been somewhat controversial ever since. Our little town is cutting many of Eucalyptus trees planted in the 1950s and replacing them with native trees after many of them started dropping branches during California's recent drought.

    Eucalyptus - Wikipedia

    I suspect it is the highlight recovery function in ACDSee 9. IIRC, I was trying to get some tonality in the blown out sky and maybe trying to reduce some of the CA.