Category Archives: Photographs: Imaginary Landscapes

Two People, Railing, Walls

Two People, Railing, Walls
Two People, Railing, Walls

Two People, Railing, Walls. New York City. December 29, 2013. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Two figures seen through a gap in walls at the top of a stairway.

There is probably not too much to say about this photograph, though I could probably say a lot about it if I got started. During a rainy day visit to a New York City museum, I saw the gap between walls at the top of this stairway and the effects on color and luminosity of the various different sources of reflected light in this space. I lined up with the scene to leave a slender gap between the corners of two walls so that people passing by in the hallway would momentarily show up in this gap. I tried a variety of focus points – on the people, on the edges of the walls, on the railings… but in the end I liked the version that doesn’t really focus on anything specific.

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.

Pelicans and Cormorants – Point Lobos

Three Pelicans, Shadows
Three Pelicans, Shadows

Three Pelicans, Shadows. Point Lobos State Reserve, California. September 2, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Three Pelicans, Reflections
Three Pelicans, Reflections

Point Lobos State Reserve, California. September 2, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Cormorant, Reflected Clouds
Cormorant, Reflected Clouds

Cormorant, Reflected Clouds. Point Lobos State Reserve, California. September 2, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Something a bit different today – I’m bundling three wildlife photographs into a single post. As I queue this message in advance on an early September morning, it appears that I have enough photographs ready for posting to carry me through October! I think I can afford to put three in this post!

All three were made from the same point on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean at Point Lobos, where I had gone – on Labor Day! – primarily to do landscape/seascape photography. It was an interesting and slightly unusual day. Tropical monsoonal moisture had been streaming over the area for a few days, which is not quite a typical pattern in this area, and the morning started out cloudy. Although it was Labor Day, a bit day for travel and tourism, I arrived early enough that things were still quiet.

On a more typical Point Lobos shooting day, at least one without fog, I would likely complete my work and leave by or well before noon. But the broken overcast allowed interesting and filtered light to continue well into the early afternoon, so I stuck around. After shooting in the forest along the north shore – much easier in filtered than in direct light – I decided I would make a loop along the high bluffs on my way back to my car. I came to this spot just as a very large flock of pelicans floated past below, barely skimming the tops of the almost glassy-calm ocean. With filtered top-light and a good vantage point, I decided to put on the long lens and see what might fly by. Here are a couple of photographs of pelicans and cormorants flying right above the water.

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.

One Front Street, San Francisco

IOne Front Street, San Francisco - maginary (urban) landscape based on the facade of the One Front Street building, San Francisco
Imaginary (urban) landscape based on the facade of the One Front Street building, San Francisco

One Front Street, San Francisco. San Francisco, California. July 9, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Imaginary (urban) landscape based on the facade of the One Front Street building, San Francisco.

This is another in a short series of photographs I did earlier this month in which I focused on shooting very close to the base of some downtown San Francisco buildings, aiming the camera nearly straight up in order to see their shapes more abstractly, and then working fairly freely in post to modify the images in ways that I felt were interesting. This one, and some of the others, are subject to enough post-processing that they probably fit into the category that I describes as “imaginary landscapes.)

I imagine that architects who create such things understand these buildings in ways far different from this in which the rest of us see them. A few things, likely completely obvious to the building designers, occurred to me. One, obvious now that I see it, is that the visual character of the buildings themselves is formed as much by what they reflect of their surroundings as it is by their own shape, texture, and material. Most of what constitutes this photograph, for example, is not the building itself (which is largely defined by the narrow non-reflecting portions) but by what in the surrounding environment is reflected on its surface and how those reflections are shaped and modified by the reflecting surface of the building. In this case, the building reflects itself in the right angles such as the one in the center of this shot, along with the sky, and sometimes the surrounding buildings. (Though the latter is removed when you aim the camera up so sharply.)

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

Imaginary Landscape With Lamps #3

Imaginary Landscape With Lamps #3
Imaginary Landscape With Lamps #3

Imaginary Landscape With Lamps #3. San Francisco, California. March 9, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Imaginary Landscape With Lamps #3

As always, there isn’t a lot to write about this image – so I’ll post it more or less without comment and let you figure it out!

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

Imaginary Landscape with Lamps #2

Imaginary Landscape with Lamps #2
Imaginary Landscape with Lamps #2

Imaginary Landscape with Lamps #2. March 9, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Imaginary landscape with lamps #2.

As with the previous image in this series, I don’t think there is a lot to say about it. (Or, as I wrote on the other one, there is a lot that could be said, but I’ll refrain.)

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

Imaginary Landscape with Lamps

Imaginary landscape with Lamps
Imaginary landscape with Lamps

Imaginary Landscape with Lamps. March 9, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Imaginary landscape with lamps.

There is not a lot to say about this photograph – or perhaps I should say that while there is a lot I could say, I think it is better to simply present it for what it is or appears to be.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

Imaginary Landscape – Death Valley

Imaginary Landscape - Death Valley - An imaginary landscape derived from subjects photographed in Death Valley National Park.
An imaginary landscape derived from subjects photographed in Death Valley National Park.

Imaginary Landscape – Death Valley. Photographic components from Death Valley, California. January 3, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

An imaginary landscape derived from subjects photographed in Death Valley National Park.

“Imaginary Landscapes” are images most often derived from photographs of natural scenes and objects, but modified in ways that are not intended to be realistic.

While working on this photograph, I was experimenting with some techniques for post processing images, particularly to control the visibility of features at the very light and very dark ends of the luminosity scale. One thing led to the next, and soon I had darkened the sky, enhanced the dynamic range in the clouds, and tried a monochrome interpretation of the scene. Then I got the idea to play around a bit with the sky and clouds and before long things had progressed to a point that was well beyond believable.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.