Steps and Concrete Walls, Night. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, Vallejo, California. November 7, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A stairway in the dark, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard
I made this photograph recently, on a night photography visit to the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard with my friends from the Nocturnes, the San Francisco Bay Area night photography group. We assembled for an “alumni” event, so almost all of us were veterans of night photography at this location. Many of us have photographed here for a decade or more.
Instead of beginning with the usual subjects, I needed out into the night with the goal of avoiding them, at least at first, and instead looking in unlikely places that I had not previously photographed. I spent more time that I would have expected in the area of this staircase. I first happened on it almost by chance. I was photographing this building from some distance away, and as I worked on that photograph I began to notice the potentials of some of the concrete structures near the front of the building. I wandered over there, slowly considered the possibilities, and was first drawn to this stairway. It took be a bit of work to finally arrive at this composition — my first thought was to use a vertical composition.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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