Flight of Geese

Posted on 07 January 2013

Flight of Geese

Flight of Geese

Flight of Geese. San Joaquin Valley, California. January 1, 2013. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A flight of geese.

Occasionally I enjoy pushing an image as far as I can in the direction of abstraction. I’ve also been interested for a while in photographing birds at very slow shutter speeds, and working with the resulting blur. In addition, I have a vague long-term project of making photographs that are very ephemeral and perhaps almost without a central subject of form – I refer to them as my “barely there” photographs.

This photograph is in line with all of those things. After making plenty of sharp photographs of Ross’s geese and other beautiful migratory birds – some of which will be shared here later – I moved on to work the same subject with shutter speeds that were intentionally chosen because they were so slow that sharp images would not be possible. I have other images from this shoot that are also blurry but which retain a more concrete sense of whole birds… and I have some that are so vague and vaporous that you can barely see the animals at all. In this one the birds’ bodies are almost invisible, and we are perhaps mostly seeing the evidence of their black wing tips, against a pale sky that gradually transitions from pink to blue.

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.


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