Receding Ridges, Rain. Owens Valley, California. October 4, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A squall moves across hills near the base of the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada
This photograph belongs to a portion of my work that I think of as minimalist landscapes. They often focus on landscapes that are largely hidden or in which some elements are obscured. Not all involve mist, clouds, fog, and rain, but quite a few do. In many of them I am trying to work with a kind of light that is very special to me, where the atmosphere itself becomes luminous, perhaps when filled with haze or fog or dust and lit from behind, producing a kind of glowing effect that can be so bright that it is hard to look into.
On this day I had, or so I thought, finished my autumn photography on this trip, and I was in my “heading home” mode. I had driven down from the mountains, where I had photographed in rain and incoming light snow earlier in the morning, stopped in a town along US 395 for coffee and something to eat, then gotten into my vehicle to hit the road. Not 15 minutes north of town I came to a familiar spot where I often stop to admire the view and sometimes photograph. I pulled over and went a ways up a side road and watched the landscape disappear behind rain and clouds as a squall moved through. I set up under the rear door of my vehicle so that I could have some shelter from the rain, and I began looking for places in the landscape where there was just enough detail to suggest its form but no more than necessary. (Trivia fact: This is a color photograph!)
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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