Going to New Mexico this past May I had several compositions in mind for some photos. One was finding some southwestern or Spanish mission style churches. This was my second trip to the “Land of Enchantment” with my previous visit to beautiful Santa Fe. During this previous trip and my May visit to Santa Fe, I was inspired to photograph more churches like the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Prior to my trip a fellow photographer who lived in New Mexico suggested that I take the Turquoise Highway from Albuquerque north to Taos my final destination. Formally known as State Route 14, it’s a scenic 50-mile drive north to Santa Fe passing through the towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos. From Albuquerque you drive east on Interstate 40 to Cedar Crest to start the journey on the Turquoise Highway.
My first significant stop was the Town of Madrid a former mining made famous by the movie “Wild Hogs” starring John Travolta, William Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence. Being a former mining town that pre-dates the State highway, the road narrows as you approach the town and then meanders through the center of town.
I obviously took photos of the Maggie’s Diner, which was actually built for the film and left as a gift shop in Madrid. I also wandered through the small town and visited several shops and purchased some amazing chocolate at Shugarman’s Little Shop.
As I approached the town of Los Cerrillos I noted a turquoise dome church off the State Highway. I quickly turned around and proceed toward the church. It was just after midday and the side streets were very quire with no traffic, perhaps it was siesta time. I took several shots of the front of St. Joseph Catholic Church from different angles, including a close-up of the wooden statute in the front of the church. Afterwards I continued my trip north to Santa Fe and then onto Taos.
For processing I primarily used Lightroom with the exception of the removal of some overhead powerlines that I prefer to use Photoshop. Being midday, I wanted to convert my photos into black and white images to take advantage of the contrast between light and shadow on the church. I used the black and white profiles provided in LR CC as they have numerous options to explore. I selected one that darken the sky and provided a nice texture to the clouds and desired contrast for the church itself. Making some final tonal and sharpening adjustments my black and white image was ready. For additional information on photography or my processing technique for black and whites, please feel free to contact me.