St. Eugene Mission Historical Site

Thanks to my hosting family, had access to the little Toyota Echo again this afternoon.
Headed out towards Kimberley not really sure which path I would take to photography once out in that nick of the woods. Then I saw the sign for St. Eugene, in all the time that I have lived and sojourned in Cranbrook, I had never ventured out to the mission which is approximately 8 Km from the city.
Turned off the highway and around the first bend saw an old dilapidated Gulf Oil fuel truck back in the woods - mental note to self - stop there on the way out.
Wow, the beautiful trees and groomed grounds made me think of posh resort and that is what it has now become since the Oblates have left some time ago. The large school capped with the Cross and two tipis off to one side by the golf course, is now a hotel.
I found a composition behind the school-turned-resort along with two white tipis and Fisher Peak in the background to make my first pinhole images.
Working with the same gear as yesterday: ZeroImage 6x9 120 format camera set at 645 format with TMax 400 metered @ 320 and my Nikon FM3A loaded with Rollei 25.
To photograph the front of the school/resort was challenging due to the fact that people kept parking right in front of the staircase leading up to the front entrance doors. This despite the fact that a generously sized parking lot (which is where I parked) was so close by.
Anyway, I decided to head over to the the quaint white church established Anno Domini 1897 with the Madonna above the front door and come back later to get the front shot of the school-turned-hotel.
The little church was a wonderful photographic experience. I recall seeing a shot recently by an Alberta photographer (E. Rose) on an film dedicated website from this location. I didn't want to duplicate his exact results and found a lot of variation to bring to my compositions. Sometimes the most intriguing shots are not the obvious ones ... at least this is what I am finding out.
You may head out to a photographic location with a set parametre of compositional ideas to explore, and many times these are just extensions of someone who has already been-there-done-that! So it is really important to set up one's own creative compositional frameworks and give oneself ample time and opportunity to explore these. That is why it is nice (on occasion), to photograph on one's own - no pressures or concern for others.
In my case, I walked around the entire building and as I came around the back, I looked up and noticed what appeared to me to be a unique composition of the two different roof heights, chimneys and the very tall pinnacle with the Cross at the top. The interruption of these different levels and planes in space really caught my attention, so here is where I found my compositional framework. Of course, I made the other shots too, i.e., the front of the church.
Having satisfied my pinhole and lens camera compositions, I headed back down the road a few hundred metres back to the school/resort and made a pinhole image of the front of the building.
Time to head back to Cranbrook and stop at the old fuel truck rotting away in the bush off the road. Couldn't find a safe parking place along the road, so had to drive up a bit and turn into a driveway. It was a short hike back to the truck where I moved about, got some shots and I was done.
Having new images in hand, it was time to head back into Cranbrook, do a little shopping and home for a shower - it was very hot today, but I see thunderstorm clouds moving in. Glad I got the shots when I did.
Feel free to leave comments if you like.


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