Category Archives: Commentary

Comments Working Now

(This is an update to the original version of this post, with the update first and the original post below the horizontal divider.)I

Update: I think I have a handle on the comment problem now. I have contacted the plugin developer whose plugin is creating the problem, and they offered a temporary solution that I’ll use for now: I will check for new comments once per day and manually approve them.

So if you commented in the past and were disappointed that your comment never showed up, give it a try one more time. Thanks!


(Original post text follows…) Continue reading Comments Working Now

A Photo A Day: How Long Has This Gone On?

Recently someone who was giving a talk on photography noted that I have been posting a photograph every day for a long time. His guess was that I had been doing so for about four of five years. I told him that I thought that it has been longer than this, but I wasn’t sure how long.

Morning Light, Zabriskie Point
Morning light on the badlands near Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

Morning Light, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park. April 4, 2004. © Copyright 2004 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved. (Originally posted April 5, 2006.)

Judging from some records I just looked up, I think I may have been doing this since early April 2006! Some of those earliest posts are still there, but the photographs have gone missing — in the course of moving the website between different hosts and transferring the content from one content management system to another some of the early content was lost.

(This was not the first photograph shared  I posted online — I was blogging in the mid-1990s, and posting photographs not long afterward. It is a bit scary to think of how many thousands of photographs I must have posted by now!)

My friend (the “someone” mentioned above) was pointing to this history in the context of practice, something that I think is tremendously important in photography. He and I share extensive background and training in music, where the importance of practice is obvious, and where practicing is assumed. Continue reading A Photo A Day: How Long Has This Gone On?

Landscape Not-Photography

It is no secret that I’m pretty serious about my landscape photography. I spend a lot of time going to interesting places, searching out subjects, and making photographs. In fact, this activity is undoubtedly the single biggest influence on the nature of my outdoor experiences.

Subalpine Meadow, Summer
Midday summer sky reflected in a subalpine tarn, Yosemite National Park

I embrace this effect and regard it as highly positive. I’m convinced that photography deepens my appreciation and understanding of these places and subjects. Like every photographer I know who shares my passion for these subjects, entering the natural world to make photographs focuses my perceptions in powerful ways. I slow down. I stop. I look. I ponder. I wonder. I indulge my curiosity and I see things that I would otherwise miss. I’m intensely aware of light, color, atmosphere, form, and subject.

But sometimes the photography gets in the way… Continue reading Landscape Not-Photography

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square
Tourists in Trafalgar Square, London

Trafalgar Square. London, England. July 8, 2013.© Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Tourists in Trafalgar Square, London

This is a late photograph post today. It was a busy weekend followed by a busy Monday, and I had no time to post this until evening. The photograph comes from our visit to London a couple of years ago. I’m intrigued by the ever-changing patterns formed by people moving through public spaces like this one. The photograph was made late on a haze afternoon, so the soft light mutes the shadows of the people engaged in activities including walking through the square, watching other people, making photographs, sitting, and more.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Brown Pelican in Flight

Brown Pelican in Flight
Brown pelican flight above the shoreline of Monterey Bay, Moss Landing, California

Brown Pelican in Flight. Monterey Bay, California. July 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Brown pelican flight above the shoreline of Monterey Bay, Moss Landing, California

Rediscovering this photograph and a few of its buddies makes for a bit of an odd story. Earlier today I got a message telling me that one of the drives attached to my computer was nearly full. That seemed a bit surprising, but it also was clearly an issue I had to address, so I set about looking for unnecessary files on that volume. In doing so I “discovered” a folder full of raw files and a few Photoshop files that I had apparently transferred to the computer last year… and then forgot. Most of the files there turned out to be unneeded, and I reclaimed 5GB of disk space by deleting them. But among there were s small number of shorebird photographs that I had forgotten.

The photographs came from an amazing and surprising spur-of-the-moment visit to Monterey Bay last June. For weeks I had been hearing stories of whales coming very close to the shoreline, and I had even observed a few from the cliffs in the Big Sur area. A news story claimed that they were now inside Monterey Bay and even coming very close to the beaches an Moss Landing — and friends had photographs to prove it. So over the hill we went to go there ourselves. When we arrived we were, indeed, impressed by how close the whales came to the beach — I had no idea they did that. But as impressive was the huge collection of birds that was perhaps attracted to the same food sources that drew the whales. I had never seen such numbers of these birds along the coast. Among them were a large number of brown pelicans, so many that photographing them was almost too easy.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

A Photograph Exposed: “Two Islands, Fog”

(“A Photograph Exposed”  is a series exploring some of my photographs in greater detail.)

Two Islands, Fog
Two Islands, Fog

Two Islands, Fog. San Joaquin Valley, California© November 27, 2012. Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

This simple-looking photograph represents a number of things that are important to me and to my photography — so I think it may be worth adding to the “A Photograph Exposed” series.

I made the photograph on a late-autumn day in California’s Great Central Valley, on a day that felt more like winter than like fall. We were there on one of the first trips of the season to photograph migratory birds in the Valley — geese, pelicans, herons, ibises, cranes, and more. In a typical autumn/winter season this is a place of fog, ponds, and amazing collections of migratory birds. On this morning it seemed to be mainly about the fog!

Continue reading A Photograph Exposed: “Two Islands, Fog”

A Photograph Exposed: “Two Rocks, Morning, Racetrack Playa”

(“A Photograph Exposed”  is a series exploring some of my photographs in greater detail.)

Two Rocks, Morning, Racetrack Playa - Black and white photograph of two "moving rocks" on the Racetrack Playa at Death Valley National Park. Morning light with unusual clouds, and the Grandstand in the distance.
Black and white photograph of two “moving rocks” on the Racetrack Playa at Death Valley National Park. Morning light with unusual clouds, and the Grandstand in the distance.

Two Rocks, Morning, Racetrack Playa. Death Valley National Park, California. April 3, 2006. © Copyright 2006. G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Moving rocks, lenticular clouds — morning on the Racetrack Playa.

This photograph from Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa is one of the first I made when I began photographing this landscape seriously, and it may still be my favorite photograph from the park — yet it also carries a flaw that I’ll mention below.

My first visit to Death Valley National Park had been perhaps seven years earlier at the very end of the previous millennium, when I was one of several adults accompanying a group of middle school and high school students on a visit that was to include a short backpack trip in the Cottonwood Canyon area. The story of that trip deserves its own article. That article would describe snow, near-hypothermia, winds that blew down tents, a retreat from the pack trip, an attempt to hike down the upper portion of Death Valley, water shortages, a dust storm, a dangerous situation with a bus, and more.

I’ll never forget my first view of this great valley. We had arrived in the park after dark, stopping between Towne Pass and Stovepipe Wells at a small campground a few thousand feet above the valley floor, where we set up in the darkness and went to sleep. Having never seen the Valley before, the next morning I unzipped my tent and stepped outside to see the stupendous “oh wow!” landscape of the valley and the mountains on the far side in the beautiful morning light. I was hooked, and I’ve been going back annually for more than fifteen years.  Continue reading A Photograph Exposed: “Two Rocks, Morning, Racetrack Playa”