Old Cottonwood Trees, Autumn. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. October 24, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Old cottonwood trees against autumn sky, Grand Staircase-Escalente National Monument
This is a photograph that I wish I had seen this way while I was there! On the scene, while wandering into a beautiful section of a big, deep canyon to photograph water, sandstone, and fall colors, I came across these trees (or this tree – they may grow from a common root system) and made the photograph in landscape orientation… and only realized while working on it in post that I really like it in portrait orientation, too. So, yes, this is cropped from a larger original photograph.
I don’t know how others will “see” this, but for me this version recalls a lot of older monochrome photographs of subjects like this from an earlier era – the era in which I first came to be fascinated by photography. Way “back in the day” when I first did photography, with the encouragement and help of my father, virtually all of the photographers whose work inspired me shot black and white. With that in mind, and with my early experience involving how to shoot, develop, and print black and white, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that I still love monochrome. (A number of my personal favorites among my own work are black and white.) In this one I even applied the virtual equivalent of the classic filtering to alter the tonal balance and lighten clouds and foliage and somewhat darken the massive, twisting forms of tree trunks and branches.
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.