While exploring the south west I came across this old abandoned chapel. The booming midday clouds framing the chapel gave me all the feelings of a classical and timeless earthy Ansel Adams landscape. Adams has been one of the most inspirational influences of my craft. He once said, “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
Upon seeing this old church, I thought to myself, “this will be my first black & white print in my Bicycle Landscape series - Ansel Adams style”.
I wanted the chapel to be the focal point and not the bicycle.
This image is an homage to many things for me. It’s a tribute to over 33 years of using a camera and the many people and inspirations that have contributed to my journey. It is also a gratitude statement to the eight years that I worked in ministry and to the incredible people I worked alongside. As I look at this chapel I think about all the people that had to come together to assemble this. The Pastor or Priest who rallied a community. The stone workers chiseling and stacking rock by rock. The woodworker that painstakingly carved all the details in the doors and windows. It is all so rudimentary and magnificent at the same time.
Despite my best research efforts I couldn’t find the name of this chapel or any history behind it. It’s closed off to the public on private property. If not for a Spanish-speaking groundskeeper I would not have been able to get this shot. I noticed him working behind the large fence that guarded the property. Thanks to a brilliant suggestion from my wife, I used Google translate on my phone to request permission to enter the grounds and take some shots. After much confusion and back and forth, I gathered that he was giving me 15 minutes before he would be leaving and locking up the property. I acted fast, unloading the bike and grabbing as many shots, compositions, and angles as I could!
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