This is a photo of a nave, or aisle, in the church at the old mission of San Juan Bautista. The mission was founded in 1797, and the church completed in 1812, the widest of all the old California mission churches with three naves.
On a sunny day, as it was when I took this photo, the lighting in the church is stark, high contrast, and at the same time warm. This unusual mixture of light qualities is what got me interested in making the photo. As I composed the image, I felt that the quality of light had been intended in 1797, and was the same then, when the mission was founded, as it is today.
The bright California sun and old architecture seems to encourage this warm but high-contrast lighting; check out the photo below from the surgeon’s quarters in old Fort Point:
[Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR zoom lens at 18mm (27mm in 35mm terms), 3 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]