Living in a lovely city, surrounded by scenic vistas, evocative architecture, with painterly light at dawn and sunset every day, one can tend to forget that people come from many places to shoot photographs close to one's home. Every day, I pass photographers engaged in their art and craft, and each day I pass locations that are prominently placed in magazines and on book covers. The problem has been exactly that I pass these things and do not stop to exercise my own photographic muse. I recently decided that I need to shoot more close to home, and enjoy the bounty presented to me each day. One interesting, and, in my opinion, highly challenging location is the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, more commonly known in Santa Fe as the Santuario de Guadalupe. The Santuario is believed to be the oldest shrine in the United States honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. It was constructed over a twenty year period in the latter part of the 18th century by Franciscan missionaries at the end of El Camino Real. The walls are thick adobe, and the colour of the building alters with the time of the day and angle of the light. I said above that this is a challenging subject. The Santuario is not placed for optimal photography being placed on the corner of Guadalupe Street and Agua Fria, with power lines, fast moving automobiles, and a series of stores and restaurants in the area. There are signs around the Santuario, which, while informative, are not photographically pleasing. The Santuario faces roughly east, and the front of the building is enclosed by a walled courtyard, limiting the line of sight. The furthest reaches of the courtyard that would give a good line for composition are an elevated garden area, which, given the nature of the location would not be considered a reasonable part of the shooting zone. The more commonly used entrance to the Santuario is located to the west, away from the subject face for photography, so this aspect of the building is relatively simple and unadorned. For some time, I've pondered shooting this location at sunrise as a test case for learning, then perhaps taking the lessons and performing another follow-up shoot. This frosty and brisk morning, I essayed a couple of attempts at this site. This is literally a work in progress, as I plan to address the deficiencies of these shots in future efforts. And there are deficiencies that I'll address below. I'm open to suggestions, critiques, ideas on composition, the whole nine yards (approximately 8.23 meters for our international members). It's not going to be an award winning photographic effort, but it's going to be an opportunity for improved technique and thinking (I hope). D200, 12-24mm f/4 AFS, ISO 100, processed in NC, crop and copyright in PS-CS2 I can see that the use of the CP is problematic - the sky colour isn't what I'd like it to be. I want the deeply coloured sky, however, I don't wish to get the gradient. I suppose a GND could be employed, but I'd have to set up the shot exactly, or get a distracting gradient in the lower part of the photo. I doubt that a GND would work at all for the position and composition of the second photo. I'm also pondering the angle of shooting for the first photo - it's not ideal, but the wall around the front courtyard shadows the base of the building. There are signs and a well located immediately next to where I crouched with my tripod (I hunkered down to the ground and shot with a remote to avoid the long dawn shadow that I cast into the scene). The second shot, taken some minutes after the first was performed with me tetering at the outside of the wall of the courtyard to get the angle, but the rich red of the newly refurbished brick walk in the courtyard now shows up. I suppose that I could bring a small stool to use for this angle in the next shoot. The colour balance isn't quite as deep as I'd expected - the initial light over the Sangre de Christos mountains was darker and more red to my eye. I'm also going to have to ponder my usual reluctance to making significant PS changes in the image - those posted notes on the door of the Santuario visible in the second shot are unappealing to me. OTOH, I'm willing to clone out an errant raven in the sky for one shot, so perhaps I'm not opposed to this in a future post-processing effort. But there's much food for thought, and I can start to plan the follow-up for some future morning at dawn. Maybe I can position myself to catch the very first burst of light on the top of the Santuario ? Hmmm... Always shoot. John P.