Man In White Pants. San Francisco, California. September 5, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A man walks into the sun on a San Francisco sidewalk
After more than a month filled with colorful photographs of autumn foliage in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, I’m going to cleanse my palate a bit… with a black and white street photograph. I know it seems odd and even inexplicable to some that someone who photographs the natural world and likes to spend time there would also be attracted to photographing the constructed world of urban streets — but I do. In some ways I think of this other universe as more of an extension of the same way of seeing that attracts me to natural landscapes. These are simply urban landscapes and they are populated by people rather than animals. The same light falls on the city and on the mountains. In addition, photographing street tunes up my visual sense, forcing me to quickly see and respond to compositions, light, and subjects.
On a couple of occasions this past summer I joined a small group of like-minded photographers to wander around parts of San Francisco making photographs at night. We generally assembled in the late afternoon, photographed first in the daylight late in the day, grabbed a bite to eat, and then headed back out into the evening to photograph street scenes under ambient and artificial light. Here I headed up a street into the late afternoon light, focusing initially on the backlit subjects and the lengthening shadows, and then this fellow walked into the scene.
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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