Cello Detail. San Jose, California. June 6, 2014. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Close up photograph of a cello — strings, fingerboard, bow
This is a photograph from my three-year project photographing the members of two professional classical music groups. Most of the photographs were made during the fall academic terms while I was on a sabbatical, though much of the post-processing, editing, and organizational work continued beyond those periods. In fact, some of the photography continued in the same way, and I continued to photograph both groups outside of the specific time frame of the project. This is one of the photographs from that outside work, as it was made in June 2014.
As I photographed these groups I found more and more things to “see” photographically and more and more ways to photograph them. Part of the reason for this, no doubt, is that I had never before had the opportunity to focus on a single project for so long where the main subjects are people! Frankly, at the beginning of the project I had a lot to learn about that — and one of the best outcomes for me has been learning how to create photographs of human subjects, from the technical, aesthetic, and human perspectives. But I also have become much more aware of the visual possibilities of things I might not have considered photographing before. This detail shot of a cello might not be the ideal example, as the forms of string instruments have long interested photographers. However, I recall first “getting” the qualities of the large string instruments when I made a photograph of the entire lower string section early on in the project. I saw the obvious after making that shot, that these very large instruments, with their attractive shapes and rich wood textures and evidence of use and wear are visually interesting objects and evidence of the relationship between the player and his or her instrument.
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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