Photographing Mission San Francisco de Asis (Delores)

Front of the Old Mission
Front of the Old Mission

Mary and I are well on our way to finishing our project to photograph all 21 California missions. We have completed 16 and will finish by year end.  San Francisco de Asis is in the Mission District of San Francisco south of Market.  Though it is in the middle of the city, it has a nice small courtyard, the old mission, and the new church (Delores).  Here is what you might see:

The old mission has a beautiful altar, a lot of nice statuary, and a interesting ceiling.  We made dozens of long exposures inside to get all of the angles and points of view.

The inside of the old mission
The inside of the old mission

There are two Father Serra statues at this mission.  The one in the courtyard is the one you see at every mission and will be very familiar to you.  The other one is a very large statue in the cemetery that looks like a Men’s Health Cover model.  I have never seen one of these before.

Tough looking Father Serra
Tough looking Father Serra
Nice Father Serra
Nice Father Serra

The New Church is not much to look at from the outside, but it has two really beautiful bell towers.  We really liked the stain glass windows inside.  Again, plan on long exposures and/or using high dynamic range (HDR) photos.

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Warning – this is a working church and a popular tourist spot.  The new church was crowded and we could not really get close to the altar.  The old mission was also quite crowded and this bus pulled up right after I got the cover photo.  It was the only one I would get as the bus parked there for ten minutes before we finally walked away.  If you are in San Francisco, this is a worthwhile side trip for an hour or two.

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Here links to our main blogs abut how to photograph the California Missions I and California Mission II..

To see more of our photos, please go to

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