Brian's Photo Blog — Article 378
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La Purisima Mission
Tuesday 24 February 2015   —   Category: Outings

While on our January 2015 trip to the California Central Coast, our planned long walk at Jalama Beach was thwarted by the high tide. Therefore, after only a short time we left the coast and returned to Lompoc for a visit to the historic La Purisima Mission.

During the eight years we had lived in nearby Santa Maria, we had made a number of family and homeschool trips to La Purisima. But this was the first time I visited the mission with a mission to photograph.

Arriving at opening time on a weekday, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. My enthusiastic, budding-photographer, 13-year-old daughter grabbed my wife’s camera and started snapping the shutter like crazy, documenting each room that we entered as we wandered around the mission, as well as quite a number of farm animals outside.

In the past I might have done the same thing, but this time I took a more critical, discriminating approach. Rather than trying to document everything I saw, I waiting until something interesting caught my eye. While I didn’t surpass my daughter in quantity, I may have done so in quality — at least I hope so!

Out of the 55 photos I took during our 70-minute visit, 16 of them have made it into the La Purisima 2015 album. It is interesting that 15 of those pictures were taken with my often-neglected Panasonic 35-​100​mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

The lens that normally stays on my camera, and which I use most often, is my indispensible Panasonic 12-​35​mm f/2.8 zoom — with a 35mm equivalence of 24-​70​mm. When I want a longer reach, I usually need a much longer reach. Therefore, more often than not, I turn to my Panasonic 100-​300​mm f/4.0-5.6 zoom (200-​600​mm equivalent).

As a result, the Panasonic 35-​100​mm zoom is often passed over in favor of these other two lenses, although its 35-​100​mm focal length range (70-200 equivalent) perfectly fills the gap between the focal length ranges of its companion lenses. Over the past few years of using Micro Four Thirds camera equipment, I have used my 12-​35​mm lens nearly six times as often as the 35-​100​mm lens, and I’ve used my 100-​300​mm lens nearly twice as often as the 35-​100​mm. Poor Cinderella!

After taking a number of shots with the 12-​35​mm lens at La Purisima, I found that I needed a longer focal length for the next shot. Contrary to my usual habit, I mounted the 35-​100​mm lens instead of the 100-​300​mm. After that, I found it was so versatile that I didn’t change lenses for the rest of the visit, but shot all of the remaining photos with this excellent but neglected lens. This experience will cause me to remember it, and use it, much more on future outings.

Four of the 16 pictures in the La Purisima album also looked very good in monochrome, so I’ve added those images to the Black and White 2015 album as well. There is a link in the caption of those four photos which enables you to easily switch between the color and monochrome versions. This is also the case for the other 250-plus photos in other albums for which there is both a color and black and white version of the same image.

For the other photo outings from my January trip to California, don’t miss these other articles and albums:
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 378
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