Cottonwood Trees, Autumn

Posted on 1 April 2015 | Comment

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn. Southern Utah. October 26, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A grove of autumn cottonwood trees in Utah red rock country

After a few days “in the field” in a remote southern Utah location with a group of friends, I left our camp and headed back out to what passes for civilization in this part of Utah. Truth be told, by the end of the day I arrived in a quite civilized place! After driving a bit I ended up in the town of Boulder, where I was to meet my cousin and her husband to share dinner and conversation. But I arrived a bit early, so I decide to explore a bit first.

I headed right on through Boulder and onto the Burr Trail route, following it for a few miles to an overlook where the road descends into a long canyon. I arrived at close to the perfect date to see brilliant colors from autumn cottonwood trees in this valley — although the color peak may have come a few days earlier, I like the combination of colorful trees and the skeletal shapes of partially bare trees. This little valley has a flat bottom, and the trees grew across its width and right up the red rock cliff on the opposite side.


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.

Bend in the Canyon

Posted on 31 March 2015 | Comment

Bend in the Canyon

Bend in the Canyon

Bend in the Canyon. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. October 24, 2014. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A sharp curving bend in the bottom of a Utah canyon

In many ways this is a bend in the canyon much like probably many thousands or other bends in this and other canyons. In places the courses of these canyons seem to wobble back and forth, turning right and then left and then right again as they trace their way down into the deeper sections of such canyons. In this spot the canyon narrowed and steepened just a little bit, and the creeks almost filled the bottom of the rocky section of the canyon around the bend. The nearly vertical canyon walls towered hundreds of feet above and no direct sunlight made it down here while I walked through.

These spots form their own little worlds, cut off from the flat country surrounding the canyons high above, and far from entry and exit points above and below. They are quiet places — at least during the good weather times when I tend to visit — and they are sonically isolated from the rest of the world, too. It is possible to walk slowly down such a canyon, picking your way along and through the creek, stopping frequently to look and perhaps photograph… and completely forget that outside world.


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.

Eroded Strata

Posted on 30 March 2015 | Comment

Eroded Strata

Eroded Strata

Eroded Strata. Red Rock Canyon, California. October 30, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Eroded formations in desert badlands

Returning from Utah last fall we decided to make a detour up toward Red Rock Canyon State Park. I’ve driven through/past this park many times while traveling to and from Death Valley National Park, and every time I’ve passed through I have promised myself to stop… eventually. Eventually continued for more than ten years, aside from a brief pause at a road side pullout, so it was about time to make a visit. The terrain is striking, not looking anything at all like other areas nearby. The fluted and eroded structures and occasional layers of red rock bring the Utah geology to mind, though in a considerably less intense form.

We only had a short time there since we had started our day back in Zion National Park. Arriving in the late afternoon we took what seems like the main driving loop in the main part of the park, and followed it back up to a campground which was almost completely deserted on this late-season date. We found these formations along the upper edge off the campground. At first the very soft light — from high clouds — and the subtle colors almost made me wonder if photographs would be worthwhile, but eventually I figured out how to “see” this light and the subdued colors.


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.

Saint Ansel of the Donut Shop

Posted on 29 March 2015 | Comment

Saint Ansel of the Donut Shop

Saint Ansel of the Donut Shop

Saint Ansel of the Donut Shop. San Jose, California. December 24,2009. © Copyright 2009 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sunlit donut shop interior with semi-concealed photograph

This photograph comes from a memorable little photo excursion… that started at my front door. Some years ago (wow, has it been five years!?) I decided on Christmas Eve day to go out for a walk with my camera. It was an afternoon of interesting light, and it seemed like something to do. As I walked through the familiar neighborhood several things surprised me. As I recall, the long winter shadows of trees were appearing on buildings everywhere I looked and they became a subject. And I also saw things in this neighborhood that I thought I knew so well — I’ve lived here for decades — that I simply had not noticed before.

There is something about having a camera in hand that changes the way I see. Usually it is all too easy to see “casually” without really considering or even really noticing what is right there. For example, I distinctly noticing for the first time the fronts of the upper stories of buildings in the small downtown business area. I had no doubt walked that street hundreds of times before without paying any conscious attention to them. As I walked past this little donut shop, beautiful late-afternoon light flooded its interior. Again, though I had been inside many times (yum! donuts!) this was the first time that I noticed the old Ansel Adams reproduction on the wall. (There is an earlier version of this photograph in black and white.)


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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