Sep 132008

This semester I’m taking a landscape photography class as an elective. Our first photo assignment was to capture “heaven and hell” in Tucson. Most folks took separate photos of heaven (the good) and hell (the bad), but I took photos at religious sites that I hoped would represent both heaven and hell in each particular photo, either in aesthetic or symbol, as well as cultural context, history, and the like.

The first seven below represent my portfolio for the project, which I did in black-and-white. The original photos, however, are in color, and a few of those follow. I have 35 black-and-white and color photos at a larger size over in my gallery.

Blooming desert beneath cross at the top of Grotto Hill, next to Mision de San Xavier del Back.

The gated entrance to the Grotto; notice the note, beads, flowers, and peace canister.

The large dome at Mision de San Xavier del Bac, just south of Tucson.

St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Tucson, lit up at night.

Statue and lawn at the cathedral, with downtown buildings in the background.

Streetscape with cathedral, streetlighting, and downtown buildings.

The El Tiradito Shrine just south of the Tucson Convention Center at night. Spooky, no?

This is the original color for the San Xavier Mission dome photo in black-and-white above; darkened quite a bit in the top version “for effect,” as they say.

Weed, median, and bridge at the intersection of I-19 and Valencia Road.

St. Augustine Cathedral lit up at night, with a car’s headlights (but no car!) on the street.

Another spooky view of the El Tiradito Shrine, where only a few candles were lit when I visited.

Be sure to check out the full gallery here.

  3 Responses to “Heaven and Hell in Tucson”

Comments (3)
  1. Please contact me at the above email address. I would like to inquire about using your images.

  2. Hey Simmons – nice shots! Been awhile since I stopped by. Keep up the good work.

  3. Thanks much David — always great to hear from you. Hey, if you read this can you contact me at It’s about the journal I edit,

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