Red, White, and Blue Hour

Posted on 1 August 2014 | Comment

Red, White, and Blue Hour

Red, White, and Blue Hour

Red, White, and Blue Hour. Yosemite National Park, California. March 1, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

The last red sunset light falls on a forested ridge in front of snow topped Half Dome in blue dusk light

This past winter I was in Yosemite Valley for a few days for the opening of the Yosemite Renaissance Exhibit, and I had many opportunities to head out and photograph the Valley in beautiful foggy, cloudy conditions, with a bit of snow still remaining from earlier storms. (I also had a great time meeting up with plenty of other friends and photographers who were also there for this event and a simultaneous film festival.)

Sometimes I know what I want to photograph in the Valley, and I simply to look for that thing, often knowing exactly where to go find it. But in conditions such as those of this weekend, which included a lot of clouds and changing light, sometimes it was impossible to know for sure what the conditions were going to do. See fog developing? Head for a high place or a meadow. Possibility of sunset color? Perhaps one of the well-known Valley views. Clouds swirling around the upper ridges? Get out a long lens and shoot from innumerable locations. Soft sunlight? Perhaps time to photograph trees and granite. On this evening a number of us ended up at that most iconic of iconic Yosemite locations, Tunnel View. For the last few years, I’ve been playing a slightly different game at Tunnel View when I end up there, often shooting with very long focal lengths and trying to pick out small bits and pieces of the larger scene. I had been doing that and had pretty much wrapped up for the evening, since the light seemed to be dying behind clouds to the west, and in fact I was loading equipment into the car when my wife said, more or less, “Look at that!” A band of intensely red end-of-sunset light had found its way through a gap in the clouds to the west and suddenly cast an intense glow across this ridge standing between me and Half Dome. So we have red (of sun on ridge), white (of snow) and blue (of the blue hour light on Half Dome and the clouds above).

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.

Blue Hour, Point Lobos

Posted on 31 July 2014 | Comment

Blue Hour, Point Lobos

Blue Hour, Point Lobos

Blue Hour, Point Lobos. Point Lobos State Reserve, California. February 17, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening “blue hour” light along the Pacific Ocean shoreline at Point Lobos State Reserve

I have been visiting Point Lobos for decades, beginning when I was a young child. Point Lobos was on the circuit of parks in the greater San Francisco Bay Area that my parents regularly visited, and back in those days my elementary school even took field trips there to investigate tide pools. I have continued to visit often since that time. You would think that by now I would know every nook and cranny of this place but, as is always the case, there is still more to see and to learn about it.

For example, although I’m positive I must have seen this line of rocks extending into the surf many times over the years, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I recognized it as a potential photographic subject and even then I did not immediately see its relationship to the further shoreline. On this mid-winter (my favorite time to visit Point Lobos!) day I shot many subjects before finding myself here in the evening shortly after sunset, when the world takes on a magical and rich blue tone and ocean fog was beginning to appear over the coast.

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.

Sandhill Cranes, Wetlands Marsh

Posted on 30 July 2014 | Comment

Sandhill Cranes, Wetlands Marsh

Sandhill Cranes, Wetlands Marsh

Sandhill Cranes, Wetlands Marsh. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 14 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A group of sandhill cranes stands in a San Joaquin Valley wetlands marsh

This group of sandhill cranes was part of a bigger group that came much closer to us than I am used to. Most of the time when I see cranes they are either a good distance away if they are on the ground or they are in flight and passing quickly overhead. One of my strongest memories of cranes is from a morning of very dense fog, when I could hear their creaking, croaking cries from off somewhere in the distance, but could only catch a brief, half-visible view of them as they passed directly overhead and then disappeared again into the tule fog. But this group was hanging around in a shallow pond, near the dirt access road and even near to lots of other birds.

The cranes almost seem a bit aloof to me. While the geese whirl and turn overhead, and then erupt periodically into a honking riot when something disturbs them, the cranes seem to mostly stand quietly, occasionally walking a bit in the water or, even less often, on the land. The arrangement of this group caught my attention, with all standing together but each adopting its own unique pose.

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.

The Fly-In

Posted on 29 July 2014 | Comment

The Fly-In

The Fly-In

The Fly-In. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 14, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Ross’s Geese settle into a wetland pond during the evening fly-in

Often the most active times of day for migratory geese in California’s Central Valley are the morning fly-out and the evening fly in. (In the right conditions, it is also possible to see very active birds at other times, too — even in the middle of the day.) If you happen to be in the right place in the early evening you may see hundreds or thousands of geese descending towards you to eventually settle in for the night. (At the opposite time of day, you may catch the birds suddenly taking to the air in large numbers to depart for destinations that only they seem to know.)

These wetlands ponds in the San Joaquin Valley stretch off into the distance, broken only be a few scattered trees and some levees. Many birds pass overhead, but eventually more and more of them come in to land on the water and form into various sorts of groups.

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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