San Francisco de Asis Church
San Francisco de Asis Church

You’ve seen this place. You know you have.

Just about everybody has photographed it. Or, painted it.

A few of those artists who did are: Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Ansel Adams, Ned Scott. And, that’s just getting started. Georgia O’Keeffe said that it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States left by the early Spaniards. There you have it. I almost can’t say anything more.

But. You know me. I can.

I’ve been stopping by this place — the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, in Rancho de Taos — for years. I’ve photographed it on black and white film. Color film. Digital sensor. If I could paint, I probably would have painted it. I haven’t really hadn’t added very much to the original artists who worked here. I doubt that many of the millions of photographers who passed this way have added much to the general collection either. We all end up repeating ourselves. We become derivative. We can’t help it. This place is beautiful in its wonderful simplicity.

Then, on one trip to Taos I saw the light. I was heading back to my hotel at about dusk I got very, very, very lucky.  The sky went crazy. It exploded with color. I worked as hard as a could for about 15 or 20 minutes. That’s all the time I really had. The top picture is one of the results. It’s special. To me. I’m sure somebody may have made a picture something like it. After all, New Mexico is all about light. At least for artists of all genres. Just stand there. The light will make you look good.

This is one of those pictures that I can’t really claim. It’s nature’s work. I really just saw it and pushed the button. Really.

San Francisco de Asis.
San Francisco de Asis.