January 6, 2009

Garden and Fountain at La Purisima

Come with me to visit the garden at a historic Spanish mission near Lompoc, California. La Purisima is so photogenic that lovely shots practically hit you over the head, which is why I took my new Cannon Rebel XS, a digital SLR camera, and plunged into the world of amateur garden photography.
The photo above shows the main fountain in the gardens. I could use one of these in my yard, though the pool surrounding the fountain would be too large for my space.
I love the columns in the photo below. The obvious age of the place is especially attractive to me, perhaps because I live in a such a young neighborhood. Click on the photos to see a larger version.

The garden is filled with gorgeous old oak trees like the one below. Do you think this one has been growing since the mission was founded in 1787?

Here's another view of the central fountain. I tweaked all of these photos to add more color, fix the light and adjust the size. They look a bit more drab and dark after uploading to blogger, unfortunately.

This is the same photo as above, just cropped differently. Which do you prefer? I like seeing more of the trees and sky in the shot below, but I think the first version is better.

Would you like to explore the path that extends beyond this tree? It looks a little spooky to me.

A final view of the fountain with the main church in the background. So what do you think of these first attempts at garden photography? Comments and suggestions will be appreciated. Note to self: upload slightly smaller images next time! Sorry if they don't fit well on your screen after clicking on them.

Sharing makes me happy. You're welcome to use any of these photos if you'll list vwgarden.blogspot.com as the source.


  1. Hi VW,
    This is very nice. A garden guide to take us around for tours, I love the idea! And, with photos, too--gee, can't complain there:)
    That one path does look a little bit 'spooky';) I'd be sure and make sure someone is with you before you venture there!!
    Experimenting with the camera, with cropping, with color...that is something I am doing, too. I'm not skilled with any of it--but blogger does have a way with messing things up like size, color, etc. There are people in the blogosphere who can truly give advice, but it isn't me:)
    I think you're doing a great job, and isn't blogging supposed to be fun? If you're having fun, I think all the experimenting in and of itself is worth the effort;)

  2. I think they all look great. This from a lady who does not adjust her picture:) But I must say the first picture of the full fountain I prefer over the second one. That first one just seems to be missing half of its focal point, though it is nice to see the trees and sky of course. Marnie at Roses and Lilacs did an awesome post on adjusting pictures, complete with links. It was a few months ago. She is real good with this. But you are doing fine and all pictures showed perfectly on my screen. I know many people blog for pictures and who doesn't like them, but I guess I don't have a clue because I am more of a wordy person. Can you tell??:) Have a great day!

  3. I've found that my particular secret to a good pic is simply to take stacks of them! Something will come out right.

    Regarding the two similar photos of the fountain, well I think the second as the subject is in the centre of the shot



  4. Hi VW, what a lovely fountain. I love a path that leads where you cannot see the end, to add mystery! Every garden needs some of that, IMHO! I like the cropped shot, but think the first one looks better, does that make sense? And like Rob, I take hundreds of photos to get a couple of good ones! :-)
    Frances at Fairegarden.

  5. VW, I love those old oak trees. I agree with all that just taking more and more pics is the way to understand your camera and figure out what works. I like the sky in the second photo. Maybe if the bottom of the fountain was in it it would be more complete. Just keep on clicking! Thanks for the tour.

  6. I prefer the first photo, it has a more intimate feel. I used to live in Santa Barbara and visited the Santa Barbara mission all the time but never made it to the one outside of Lompoc. Looks like I missed a worthwhile trip.

  7. Beautiful location, I envy your visit.

  8. Another world and another time wasn't it! But I am loving your practice shots! A new camera is in the offing and I am torn! The dslr is attractive but the ease of a good pt and shoot is too. How did you decide to get this particular camera? Gail

  9. I just love the old California feeling here. This is some of my friends favorite mission garden. I would love to visit here. Thanks for the lovely tour!

  10. Thanks for alerting me to this post. This is an aesthetic I can aspire to, in that it is peaceful and simple. I just wish I had a few more mature trees though, like in your photos. I love that sharing makes you happy. So many warm generous people in Blotanical.


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