Having just returned from a trip, I’ve been delinquent in adding new posts to my website. Although I am working today in the photography studio at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, California, I wanted to add a quick post with some recent images I shot at a special locale known as Chapel Hill in Shandon, California, about 15 miles east of Paso Robles off Highway 46 East, just off McMillan Canyon Road. Chapel Hill consists of a private church high on a vineyard-studded hill built by famous Shandon resident William P. Clark, Jr., former Deputy Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and United States Secretary of the Interior. The chapel was built specifically for Clark’s daughter and is available for private ceremonies. Upon occasion, concerts and special events are held at the church.
Chapel Hill has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and is located amongst the hills of Clark’s massive private ranch. Shandon is a small agricultural town with many vineyards, like its Paso Robles counterpart. Anyone can make the journey up the hill from the dirt parking lot below. The gate is usually open during daylight hours. Getting to the top of Chapel Hill is another matter, however, with a very steep climb. The incredible views from the top are well worth the climb with your camera equipment. There are beautiful grapevines along the path to the top.
The top image was taken just after sunset on McMillan Canyon Road just behind the chapel, and consists of HDR bracketed shots processed in Photomatix 4, Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, and with onOne Software’s Perfect Effects. The second image above of an abandoned and decaying farmhouse was taken further down McMillan Canyon Road. The image below shows the public access walking path up to the church facing the front, and was shot on another occasion during a thunderstorm. I overlaid a grungy texture to the image in order to give it the feeling of the approaching dark storm. I will add more images from this excursion as I process them.