Canyon, Reflected Light

Posted on 21 December 2014 | Comment

Canyon, Reflected Light

Canyon, Reflected Light

Canyon, Reflected Light. Utah, October 19, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Light reflected from sandstone cliffs along a narrow canyon passage, Utah

On my first full day of photography in Utah — as opposed to days spent traveling — my plans were a bit vague, but I wanted to end up in an area close to some very popular southwest Utah sites. I had no plans to visit the post popular of them, since they require permits and a lot of time spent getting the permits. However, I had an idea about visiting some nearly areas whose names I recognized, so I set off down a gravel road to the general area of one of them, still no knowing exactly what I was looking for. Soon I came to a short side road and a parking area labeled with a name I had heard of before, so I parked, loaded up camera gear, water, and a bit of food and set off on foot.

Almost any place around here seems to provide a sufficient number of beauties, and it wasn’t long after I set out to walk down this broad wash that I found my first red rock formations and stopped to photograph them. A bit further along the canyon briefly narrowed and bent as it passed between some sandstone walls, though which some more distant pinnacles were visible. The juxtaposition of pinnacles and cliffs and other elements was interesting, but the it may have been the beautiful light reflected on the right canyon wall that convinced me to stop and photograph here, too, before heading further down this wash to where the walls narrowed and slot canyons began.


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.

Boat, San Luis Reservoir

Posted on 21 December 2014 | Comment

Boat, San Luis Reservoir

Boat, San Luis Reservoir

Boat, San Luis Reservoir. California Hills. November 21, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Two fisherman in a very small boat on the very large surface of the San Luis Reservoir on a cloudy and hazy autumn day

Returning from my first Central Valley winter bird photography excursion of the new season, I passed by San Luis Reservoir in the middle of the day when soft clouds hung above the mountains across the water and the sun made the hazy atmosphere glow. I usually just drive right past this place — which isn’t easy to access, even though the road runs right next to it — but I decided to figure out how and where to stop and make some photographs.

I found a high overlook at the visitor center that stands at the north end of the huge earthen dam, and from here there was a panoramic view of the surface of the lake and the surrounding California hills, which are mostly golden at this point in the early winter season. (Before long, after the first real rains, they will turn “impossibly green.”) As I photographed landscape subjects I noticed one very small fishing boat on the otherwise-empty surface of the huge reservoir.


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.

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… (Morning Musings 12/20/14)

Posted on 20 December 2014 | 3 comments

Something came up recently that reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about a complicated topic, namely our natural inclination to see work that doesn’t impress us and wonder, “How can people like that?! And how come my work doesn’t get that kind of response?”

It is a natural reaction, and no one is immune to it. I confess that I am not. In fact, what follows may be as much a reminder to me as it is a post for others…

The explanations for how it is that some work that seems unworthy gets tremendous acclaim are complex and diverse. They range from taste to marketing and even may tell us something about ourselves. I’m not going to try to sort all of that our here. (Hmmm… that sounds like another possible post.) In truth, simply “wondering” about how and why this happens isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I would like to consider what kinds of responses are or are not useful. It is tempting to want to speak out and let the world know that “the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes!” Read more…

The Last Leaves

Posted on 20 December 2014 | Comment

The Last Leaves

The Last Leaves

The Last Leaves. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 10, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

The last autumn aspen leaves hang from the branches of nearly bare trees against a granite cliff

So many aspen photographs focus on the wild autumn colors — for good reason! But this is not the only interesting phase of the autumn transition, and I also like the reappearance of the bare, white trunks of the trees as the leaves drop away.

I made this photograph late in the day and in a canyon area where little light penetrates after mid-afternoon, and where trees grow right up against a jumbled granite cliff that is fractured and full of blocks and angles. Late in the day, when the only light comes from the blue sky overhead, the quality of the light becomes quite cold. (At this time of year the air also becomes cold quickly late in the day!) I stuck around after most others had left and photographed these nearly bare trunks into the blue hour period.


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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