On July 17 our route took us through Taos, where we stopped at Ranchos de Taos to see the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Mission Church; always a notable stop with the abode buttresses and surrounding architecture providing plenty of photo opportunities in both color and black and white.
Then we passed through Santa Fe, making a brief stop for ice cream. Consulting the map we noticed an alternate route, so rather than blasting through on I25 we headed for Highway 14, also known as the Turquoise Trail. The drive took us through several small towns. We stopped Los Cerrillos, where we explored the grounds of the church and some of the colorful buildings around town. The town was very quiet during our visit, but it was clear that a number of art galleries and artists would make this a busy spot when tourists are out.
We had to do a double take as we passed a herd of colorful origami horses. Having driven past, we made do a U-turn to take a closer look; something that’s not uncommon, and one of the reasons we like the less travelled routes. I wouldn’t even think about doubling back if we were on a four-lane divided highway. The Outside the Box Studio was closed, but we had a clear view to look over the barbed wire fence.
Continuing on we were struck by a small church near Golden, and again stopped to take a few photos.
Then it was back on the main highway, I25, to make our way through Albuquerque and on to our campsite at The Golden Rose Ranch near Prewitt, New Mexico.
Towards the end of our Catalonia trip we decided to return to Barcelona. I had been intrigued with the idea of photographing the Sagrada Familia at night and our previous visit did not present the opportunity. We had one discretionary night open so we booked a room at Hostemplo which was a 10 minute walk away. Before our trip I had studied the map to see if there were some obvious locations to capture a view of the whole facade. There is a park facing the Nativity Facade, Placa de Gaudi. There is another park facing the Passion Facade the Placa de la Sagrada Familia. The Nativity Facade captures the morning sun and the Passion Facade the evening sun. Both of these locations offer good views, although not entirely unobstructed. You’d need to get in the air above the trees in the park, or on top of one of the apartment buildings opposite the park for an unobstructed view. Nevertheless, it’s always fun to look for a new angle and a new perspective. I found a location on Av. de Gaudi that I thought captured the feeling of Barcelona at night.
On our previous stay in Barcelona I had the opportunity to explore La Rambla and some of the area around the Cathedral.
For night photography I put the camera on a tripod and I typically capture multiple exposure to process using an HDR program on my laptop. Blending multiple exposures gives a bit more control over the extreme contrast range you can have at night with streetlight or spotlights and dark shadows. Blending images where people are moving can be a challenge, but one of the programs I use, Photomatix, has some powerful tools for dealing this ghosting.
If you are interested in architecture or you are looking for something to do in downtown San Jose, then a visit to Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is the thing to do. The cathedral is listed as a California Historical Landmark and as well as the National Register of Historic Places.
I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and found very few visitors, which made it easy to capture photos of the architecture with out people.
The first church on this location was called San Jose de Guadalupe built in 1803. Earthquakes and fires took their toll of the original and several successive buildings. The existing structure was consecrated in 1877. In 1985 following a major renovation it was elevated to the status of cathedral and made a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997. The church is open to the public with no fee, although you may want to pay attention to the events happening at the church since it is an operating church with worship services and other events.
Forest at Parc Naturel Regional des Landes de Gascogne
Artwork at Chateau de Villandraut
View of rolling hills and vinyards.
Churh of Sainte-Croix du-Mont
Churh on our bike route
We’ve logged 102 km on our bike ride, having left the town of Cadillac on the morning of September 17th. Our ride has taken us over the rolling hills of the wine country in the Bordeaux region, past Chateaus, churches, through a variety of villages and hamlets to the small town of Origne, where we’re taking a day to just relax. The french motorists are very courteous and respectful of cyclists it seems. A contrast to riding at home. Enjoying fabulous food and wine along the way.