Spanish Missions of San Antonio

San Jose

San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo was founded in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus. The village was the central feature of every successful mission. The importance of community life is evident in the physical arrangement of the mission compound. Viewed as a model of mission organizations, San Jose was a major social center. The size of the complex bears witness to San Jose’s reputation as “Queen of the Missions.” The massive stone walls reflect it’s defensive role. Because of the threat of raids by the Apache and Comanche Indians, mission residents learned to use firearms to defend themselves.

In this part of the three part series on the , Darlene shows you photographs of Mission San Jose. The first was , followed by

Found a photographer doing a pre-bridal session before this girl's wedding.

Chapen Mission San Jose

I took this from the doorway of the ladies restroom, looking up through the wood frame over the doorway. I thought it was a cool angle.

Dar here:  as I was taking the shot above, this family was also in the area taking a photo of themselves by the wall.  Then the man with the camera turned and took a photo in the direction I was shooting and said to me “I guess we’re seeing the same things”.  I chuckled inside to myself as I thought “no probably not!”.   Cause he wasn’t crouching in the door of the ladies room shooting straight up like I was, so he couldn’t possibly be seeing what I was.   I thought it was funny, maybe other photographers can relate.

Hopefully the sign explains it all

inside the mill

One of the side gates and wall at the mission. This mission is very much still in tact.
front of the chapel again in the later evening light as the sun was going down. Recognize the little window on the right? See a few photos above.
I ducked into a building and this is the view looking out. Archways everywhere in this place and it was speaking to me in black and white a lot of times.
Honestly can't remember what this was used for, but isn't it cool looking?

Dar again:   I found out the park closed at 6 pm but the young security guard said the main gate was broken and he wasn’t going to come find me and chase me out so if I was quiet I could keep photographing.  I was shooting the main courtyard and a service was going on in the chapel when this happy fellow strolled through – I couldn’t resist capturing an image of him.  Isn’t he so friar Tuck like?

Late evening light
the front of the chapel yet again - isn't the detail in it amazing?
. . . and one last one, this one a balcony on the front - I just loved how the sun was making it all orange.

Dar speaking:  I actually have more images of Mission San Jose that I’m working HDR magic on, but they aren’t ready yet so they’ll be unveiled at a later time.  While I was there after the park closed and all the tourists left, there was another guy there photographing, using a tripod and seemingly doing multiple exposures.  I silently wondered if he was doing HDR too.   Later by the front gate I talked to him and told him what the security guard had said so he was thrilled to keep shooting too.  So we photographed and talked and it turns out he was also at Ben Willmore’s seminar 3 days earlier too, and yes he was shooting for HDR.

We compared shots on the backs of our cameras and I told him about the other lady that had sort of followed me around all afternoon.  Every time I got into a corner and knelt down to shoot up, 3 minutes later she’s in the same position – happened 4-5 times.   How does she know I’m getting good shots?  Couldn’t she find her own angles?   Was a bit funny and flattering at the same time.

Wish I could find that guy’s card or email address.  If it was you, and you’re reading this – please leave a comment so we can compare our finished HDR shots.  Nice meeting you!

Missions are historic areas. In 1978, Congress pledged federal support for this nationally signifigant resource by establishing San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. For more information, maps of the missions or locations within the City of San Antonio, we encourage you to visit their website. Mission churches remain active centers of worship, so when visiting please use respect and discretion.

This is a three part post on the Spanish Missions of San Antonio.

Part 1: .
Part 2: .
Part 3: San Jose (current page)

7 thoughts on “Spanish Missions of San Antonio”

  1. Darlene, the pictures of the Spanish missions in San Antonio left me speechless ! I liked the atmosphere and texture and well…everything, really, about them! What a beautiful and informative post !

  2. OH MY!! those green fern looking things look like they’re moving around and going to jump out and catch me if i walk by..hehe.

    Gorgeous photography! When you get back we’ll have to go on a photo date walk together 🙂

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