Porch and Shadows

Porch and Shadows
Porch and Shadows

Porch and Shadows. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, California. November 17, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Ambient light, shadows, architecture and vegetation on a night photography shoot.

In November 2012 I joined my friends from The Nocturnes, the San Francisco Bay Area night photography group, for a get-together and shoot at the historic Mare Island Naval Ship Yard. Since this was an “alumni night” event, there was a certain ritual to be followed. Folks who were new to Mare Island arrived early to tour the site – the first west coast naval ship yard, with history going back well over 150 years. A bit later, the “veterans” arrived to join everyone else for events that began with sharing of photographs, continued with pizza, and then led to a night of, well, night photography nearby.

The weather was not promising. We knew that a weather front was on its way, and we hoped – though we probably knew better – that it might hold off long enough to complete some photography. (Those of us with smartphones, checking the weather radar updates, knew better.) The tell-tale south wind was rising as we headed out, and within moments of starting to photograph an old wooden building the rain began. At first I continued to shoot under my umbrella, but soon it was just plain too wet to stay out. Fortunately, we had arranged for access to one of the historic officer’s quarters buildings and photographing inside and around this building quickly became the fall-back plan. I ended up on the front porch with Mark Citret and Tim Baskerville where we intermittently talked photography and made a few shots of things that didn’t require us to stand in the rain. At one point I parked myself near an end of the old porch and made this photograph of the shadow of my rig falling the wall of the building.

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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