Chicago L Train

Posted on 1 November 2014 | Comment

Chicago L Train

Chicago L Train

Chicago L Train. Chicago, Illinois. August 2, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A Chicago L train crosses a downtown bridge.

Since I’m not a Chicago regular, much less a Chicago native, I get to report the obvious here — these things are all new to a visitor who is still discovering the town. Actually, I was already familiar with the Chicago L, the city’s elevated railway system, from my previous short visits. The L trains, many of which have a bit of the same attractive worn and dated quality of the New York subway system cars, travel on elevated tracks above the downtown area. The car in this photograph is on a bridge crossing the Chicago River in the downtown area.

I don’t know the whole story, though I think it involves the historic paths of railroads into the downtown area, but there are areas in downtown Chicago with multiple street levels. For example, if you drop down to some sections of the Riverwalk from the main roadway level, you arrive at another system of roadways that runs underneath. Add the L on top of that, and there are three transpiration layers in places.

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.

Morning Haze and Light, Shoreline Trees

Posted on 31 October 2014 | Comment

Morning Haze and Light, Shoreline Trees

Morning Haze and Light, Shoreline Trees

Morning Haze and Light, Shoreline Trees. Yosemite National Park, California. September 3, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Forest trees at the edge of a Sierra Nevada subalpine lake in morning light, Yosemite National Park

This is another photograph from that magical first day of shooting at a location that I would stay at for nearly a full week. As I wrote previously, the magic of this first morning comes from many things. Recognition is one of them — the experience of experiencing again the familiar elements of the Sierra backcountry that I have known for so many years: the sounds of gentle wind and water lapping at the end of the lake, the stillness of the morning air, that beautiful light coming over a ridge and striking trees and rocks from behind, the bits of detritus along the shoreline. A sense of expectation is another — the focus on seeing what is new at this place, the almost certain knowledge that I will discover new and unexpected things during the upcoming days.

On this morning I walked down to this lake for the first time. (I had arrived so late the previous day — after sunset, actually — that I had not even gone to the shoreline.) I began to circle around its west side slowly, first on a trail through flat terrain near where we camped, and then on rockier areas that forced me to ascend above the water a bit. All the time I was looking for subjects and compositions — though it would take a few more days before I fully fell into the ideal mode of seeing. I love backlight and I live juxtapositions of subjects, and I was attracted to the fringe of morning light on the branches of the trees at left and on the grasses below, and to how they contrasted with the deeply shaded area beyond.


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.

Morning, Subalpine Lake

Posted on 30 October 2014 | Comment

Morning, Subalpine Lake

Morning, Subalpine Lake

Morning, Subalpine Lake. Yosemite National Park, California. September 3, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A granite peninsula holding small trees extends into the waters of a subalpine lake, Yosemite National Park

I made this photograph on our first real photography day of our early September backcountry photography trip in Yosemite National Park. There is a sort of life-cycle to any trip and especially for longer trips like this one. The entire first day of the “expedition” was spent loading vehicles, driving across California, and getting settled into first night accommodations in the eastern Sierra. The second day was a travel day — first a drive up to our trailhead, getting our gear to the packers who would take the majority of it in to our destination, leaving vehicles and starting the long hike, arrival and camp setup, and dinner… and the day was gone. So this third day of the trip was the first for serious photography.

The first day in a location where you will spend substantial time photographing is an interesting one, and the first morning is a very special time. After two days of transit, this is when photography begins. We arose before dawn, loaded up packs of camera gear, and headed down to the lake, each following his or her own path. It is a time of renewal and recognition — of the features and sensory elements of being in the Sierra high country and of focusing your “seeing” intensely. I began by first making an obligatory warm-up shot or two and then working my way around the west side of the lake, looking back across it toward the early morning sun as it eventually rose high enough to backlight trees and rocks. When I look at this photograph, the point of view and the elements in the frame remind me again of those first day sensations as we began our relationship with this lake and its surrounding terrain, a location we would photograph for the better part of a week.


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.

Chicago River and Downtown Skyline, Morning

Posted on 29 October 2014 | Comment

Chicago River and Downton Skyline, Morning

Chicago River and Downton Skyline, Morning

Chicago River and Towntown Skyline, Morning. Chicago, Illinois. August 2 ,2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Downtown Chicago skyline above the mouth of the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive

I’m sharing this photograph not because it is a work of great photographic art but because it so clearly shows its subject, the entrance to the Chicago River, the bridge for Lakeshore Drive, and the core of tall towers along the river in central downtown Chicago, light by morning sun.

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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