Tumacacori National Historical Park is located 49 miles south of Tucson and 19 miles north of Nogales. This partially restored Spanish Catholic mission sits on the site first visited by Father Kino in 1691. It was built by the Franciscans over a period of decades but never had the financial and cultural support enjoyed by other nearby missions such as San Xavier del Bac.

The shot above was taken using the plastic top of a showcase in the Visitor Center of the Park. In case you find the reflective distortion too challenging I offer Jon's more traditional approach.

This mission is one of the most unrestored and primitive of the many missions I have visited. Yet, it remains one of my favorites.

This is it for the altar.

Now, if you lay on your back right in the middle . . . and carefully point straight up . . . keep that composition steady girl!! You get rewarded with this.

There are several other buildings on the site. One was a storage area. The other was a small living quarters.



One can appreciate the challenges of the restoration. The adobe walls are very thick, rounded and exposed, sometimes having buttresses to reinforce even the smallest of walls. The effort to stabilize the adobe is slow and expensive. This may be a mission that is never returned to its original condition.


There is a cemetary in the back of the church. Talk about simple!!


Just before we left, we began to see the early hints of a golden hour. That light is sure to bring out a whole new and vibrant color to tired adobe. The image below was taken just outside the grainery/storage room looking at the back of the church.

We headed back towards Tucson in hopes that we could reach San Xavier del Bac before the golden light was replaced by nightfall. In my many trips to San Xavier, I have never photographed it in the evening light. To me, the left side of that particular mission was not very interesting and evening light would not make it so.  I was wrong!  That shoot is up next.

Thanks for joining us.