Courtyard Window Reflections

Posted on 19 April 2015 | Comment

Courtyard Window Reflections

Courtyard Window Reflections

Courtyard Window Reflections. Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. March 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Curving window reflects the courtyard of the Getty Center

This curving wall of tinted windows is a favorite subject of mine at the Getty — I have photographed it several times, in fog and rain, with people in front of it, with people behind, and the structure alone. People often move across the courtyard area in front of it on their way to other places, so I can catch people in motion against this background. In fact, one other series from this visit includes a child jumping and hopping his way across. Frequently people will appear momentarily between the columns leading into the distance at the right, too.

This was a very clear day, so the light is crisp and the reflections are very visible in the curving glass. The color of the glass almost reminds me of the water of a swimming pool, and I wonder if the architects thought about this when they designed this aquarium-like rounded building with its many windows.


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.

A Moment

Posted on 18 April 2015 | Comment

A Moment

A Moment

A Moment. Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. March 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

An unplanned tableau at the Getty Center

The Getty Center, much like similar places where a lot of people collect and do interesting things, it a great place for shoot-from-the-hip photography. You keep your eyes open and keep the camera ready, and when you least expect it something worth photographing pops up, often for only a brief moment.

I don’t know if others will see it, but for me there is something intriguing and perhaps every so slightly “off” about elements of this little scene. The glowing white walls seems like something from the future. The woman against the wall seems to have one eye covered and the fellow at the far, who is only half seen, is standing and facing that bright white wall. The colors of the shirts on the two children relate in an interesting way, and one of them tilts off-kilter. There is something a bit odd about the two guys conversing at the right — something about their stances, the distance between them, and the body language.


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.

Sand Patterns

Posted on 17 April 2015 | Comment

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns. Death Valley National Park, California. April 2, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sand patterns on the side of a sand dune following a wind storm

Like so many such places, Death Valley is a place of big, solid landscapes — but it is also a place of small and incredibly fleeting things. The landscape is constantly being reshaped and moved by wind and sometimes by water, and while the large-scale features change very slowly, the smaller features often are so transitory that they are gone almost as soon as they appear.

The sand dunes are, no surprise, one of the places of constant change. While the dunes, perhaps surprisingly, manage to maintain their general form over long periods of time, a closer look reveals things that change from day to day and even from moment to moment. During this visit to Death Valley I experienced several days of high winds and conditions that were often quite dusty, with dust storms in play for more than 24 hours. I ventured out onto these dunes near the end of a day that had begun with strong winds and blowing sand, and the conditions had only calmed down shortly before I walked out here. The patterns are on the lee side of a dune, where sand blown to the top of the dune on other side falls over the edge and out of the wind, forming intricate and intertwining patterns. For just a very brief moment in the evening the waning sunlight angled almost directly across the surface of these shapes, and moments after I made this exposure the light was gone.


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.

Mountain Silhouette, Dust Storm

Posted on 16 April 2015 | Comment

Mountain Silhouette, Dust Storm

Mountain Silhouette, Dust Storm

Mountain Silhouette, Dust Storm. Death Valley National Park. April 1, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A dust storm obscures desert mountains

Those who have been in a desert dust storm (not fun) or sand storm (worse!) will already know about this, but I wanted to share a photograph that shows a bit of how the desert environment is transformed by these conditions. The weather conditions on the first part of this visit to Death Valley had already been strange — the previous morning I had traveled to a high ridge top overlook before dawn, only to discover the atmosphere filled with such haze to a depth of perhaps 7000′, despite the fact that there did not seem to be a source of the dusty air nearby. On the day I made this photograph I took a long drive over a different ridge and then down into and through a long and deep canyon. The trip through the canyon as beautiful, but it is so narrow that my world was confined to what the interior of that canyon — I had little awareness of what might be going on outside.

Eventually I reached the end of this canyon after passing through a narrow slot area, and I emerged at the top of the canyon’s gigantic alluvial fan, hundreds of feet about the valley floor. I was surprised to find that the other side of the canyon was almost completely obscured by the backlit, dust-filled atmosphere. The far hills were visible, but only barely, and almost all details were gone. Such views carry an odd mixture of awe at the immensity of the glowing atmosphere and a kind of resignation to the uncomfortable and difficult aspects of working in such an atmosphere. As a photographer I try to focus on the visual power of the scene (while protecting my gear!) and I make photographs. As I made this one I felt that it was going to be a bit of a stretch since the contrast was so low and the details washed out so much — but this is, in fact, what one sees on an afternoon like this one.


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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