Oak and Morning Frost

Posted on 3 March 2015 | Comment

Oak and Morning Frost

Oak and Morning Frost

Oak and Morning Frost. Yosemite Valley, California. March 1, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A frost-covered Yosemite oak tree in morning light

It was great fun to be in Yosemite Valley this past weekend for the opening of the 30th annual Yosemite Renaissance exhibition. This is the third time that I’ve had photographs in the show. (If you are in the Valley, drop by. It is in the Visitor Center Museum through May 10, after which it moves on to a couple of Central Valley locations.) The show features a wide variety of two and three-dimensional art by artists who focus on the Sierra and the park. The entry of mine that was selected this year was atypical for me — it includes people and it is humorous! I share it again here at some point, but for now I’ll just note that it features backcountry photographers engaged in an unusual activity. The show brings lots of other fun things: a chance to photograph in the Valley, opportunities to hang out with lots of photographer and artist friends.

I made this photograph on our final morning in the park. We headed out around sunrise, thinking we might find some shallow fog in meadows. There was a bit of the fog but it was dissipating quickly and we eventually ended up in this sunny meadow. I was immediately attracted to this large black oak tree, covered in frost and backlit in the morning light. I made several photographs of it — and at least one other may appear here before long — and before long the air warmed and the frost melted.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Storm Clouds, Pinnacles

Posted on 2 March 2015 | Comment

Storm Clouds, Pinnacles

Storm Clouds, Pinnacles

Storm Clouds, Pinnacles. February 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Winter storm clouds swirl around pinnacles above Yosemite Valley

We were in Yosemite Valley during the late-February season so that we could attend the opening reception for the 30th Yosemite Renaissance exhibit reception. For three decades this juried exhibition has been presenting work by a wide range of wonderful artists who focus on Yosemite and the Sierra. I am grateful that one of my photographs was included in the show again this year. It was wonderful to see so many Yosemite artists of all sorts, their beautiful work, and the large group of art lovers who came to view the opening.

Since we were in the Valley for the exhibit, we figured we might as well make some photographs! The weekend brought the promise of some much-needed snow in the Valley and the higher country. In the end the amount of precipitation was woefully small, yet colder temperatures, and small amounts of snow, and the swirling clouds reminded us of what Sierra winters are supposed to look like. As I stood at a famous overlook, in the company of many other people, I aimed my camera away from the main scene before us, angled it up toward the upper rim of the many, and captured this little scene.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Black-Necked Stilt

Posted on 1 March 2015 | Comment

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 13, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A single black-necked stilt works it way across a shallow pond.

This is a fairly simply little picture with a simple story. We arrived early at this refuge on this mid-February day. It began with thick tule fog, but before long the fog began to thin and the blue of the sky reflected on the surface of this shallow wetland pond. There were quite a few birds here — the usual geese and sandhill cranes flying by overhead, night herons in the brush on the other side of the water, avocets, and a few of these wonderful black-necked stilts, with the long and strikingly red legs.

Mostly the birds worked their way among grasses and water plants, but for a moment this one moved into an area of water colored by blue reflected light from the clearing sky, leaving a wake in its path. I decided to compose the photograph with the bird near the top of the frame to suggest its distance and to let the large, uninterrupted foreground suggest that large surface area of the pond.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Building, Windows, Blinds

Posted on 28 February 2015 | Comment

Building, Windows, Blinds

Building, Windows, Blinds

Building, Windows, Blinds. San Jose, California. December 24, 2009. © Copyright 2009 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

An urban building with vertical windows and blinds

I think I’ll stick with the black and white theme for one more day. This is a photograph I made five years ago. I remember stopping at this oddly plain little building on a walk not far from where I live. It was Christmas Eve day, and things were slowing down in anticipation of holiday festivities, so I went out on one of my local “photo walks” in the surrounding neighborhood. I do this from time to time for reasons that range from the desire to practice and tune up my “seeing” to wanting to see my surroundings more clearly — there is nothing like wandering with a camera in hand to encourage me to see things I would otherwise overlook. (One of the first times I did this in the neighborhood I was shocked to notice the upper stories on nearby business buildings that I had walked past for years.)

I think this must be some sort of office building, and perhaps behind these tightly shut blinds there is some sort of personal world that the rest of us cannot see. The outside of the building seems incredibly boring and lacking in any intentional design sense, yet the odd but functional windows start to look very strange when shot close up and without the rest of the building visible. The late afternoon sun was casting shadows from nearby trees to produce the mottled light.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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