Photographing the San Gabriel Mission

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As many of you know, Mary and I are on a quest to visit and photograph all 21 of California’s missions.  San Gabriel Arcangel is number 16 for us.  It is the one closest to our home and one we have put off for a while.  Though it was a bit hard to photograph, it was a great place to visit.  Here’s why:

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The San Gabriel is mission is in the middle of a Los Angeles suburb, pretty much off the beaten path.  There are really no other attractions near it.  It has the old (but rebuilt) mission, a new Catholic church, and nice grounds.  This may be a recency issue, but I think it has the best little museum I have seen at any of the missions.  It just had wonderful artifacts.  Not much to photograph, but really interesting to see.

The fountain and park
The fountain and park

It is also distinguished by the number and age of gravestones and grave sites.  It has three main courtyards with plenty of small subjects.  The outside was a challenge to photograph as it is on a busy street and the nice park has overgrown trees that block an unobstructed view of the bell tower.

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This was not the best mission to photograph, but we really enjoyed the experience.

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Here are two of our main blogs about the California missions.  Search on “missions” to see all of our blogs about our California mission journey.

To see more of our photographs, please go to

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