Category Archives: Photographs: Photographers

Two Photographers, Zabriskie Point

Two Photographers, Zabriskie Point
Two photographers sit behind a camera and tripod at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

Two Photographers, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. © Copyright 2007 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Two photographers sit behind a camera and tripod at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

In the midst of sharing many photographs from my most recent Death Valley visit near the end of March and the start of April this year, I happened to be looking at website logs when I saw a link to this photograph from way back in 2007. I hadn’t thought about it for a while, so it was fun to get the reminder — and to have an excuse to rework it just a little bit and share it once again.

I had ended up at Zabriskie on this early April morning, and it turned out to be a morning of lovely light, though nothing far out of the ordinary, as I recall. My recollection is that as I waited to see if something more interesting would happen I thought about switching my focus to the other people who were there, and I ended up photographing quite a few of them — solitary figures silhouetted on the ridge above me, rows of photographers lined up at the edge of the drop-off, and a few individuals and small groups here and there. These two people were part of a slightly larger group, and they also seemed to be awaiting the hoped-for special light. I was intrigued by their patience and by the way they leaned in towards one another, and by the visual contrast between her light-colored jacket and his much darker clothing. In order to let the focus be on them rather than on the landscape, I exposed to let the distant subjects become quite light and then decided to render the image in black and white.


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.
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.

Detail, Wildcat Hill

Detail, Wildcat Hill
Detail, Wildcat Hill

Detail, Wildcat Hill. Wildcat Hill, California. September 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Detail of a building at Wildcat Hill

This is the third and final (for now, anyway) photograph from my visit to the historic Wildcat Hill home of Edward Weston and other members of the Weston family, today including Kim and Gina Weston. I suppose that visiting the Weston compound is something of a photographer’s pilgrimage, given Edward Weston’s influence and the work of the other photographers in the Weston family. (I believe there now may be as many as five generations of Weston photographers.)

The place is fascinating in many ways. Given its location, today not far from a very busy tourist byway, it is especially intriguing to think about what the place must have been like many decades ago. The main building is maintained in much the way it must have been many years ago, and it is a rather humble structure. Inside are many fascinating artifacts — Weston prints, paintings, sculpture, objects from the home, the small Edward Weston darkroom, and more. Over the years the place seems to have picked up a large number of small bits and pieces of “stuff” that is found everywhere — on shelves, attached to walls, scattered around the grounds. These things make fascinating subjects for almost any photographer.


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.
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.

Working the Red Rock Landscape

Working the Red Rock Landscape
Working the Red Rock Landscape

Working the Red Rock Landscape. Utah. October 23, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographers at work in Utah’s red rock country

A group of us assembled in the outback of southern Utah in October for a few days of landscape photography — and I was perhaps the odd man out as the person least familiar with Utah subjects. Not that I haven’t shot there before… I’ve actually spent perhaps a month and a half photographing in the state in the past few years, all told, and I’m becoming more and more familiar with the visual quality and the rhythms of the place. However, the others were mostly from the Southwest, and they have the same sorts of instincts for this land that I have for the Sierra.

We spent a few days in this red rock landscape of domes, hills, gulches, and canyons. On this evening we went to a location where red sandstone hills rise above the flatlands and stretch into the distance, and are filled with a seemingly infinite variety of textures and shapes and plant life. Here we stopped to photograph an old cottonwood snag in the middle of an expanse of sandstone.


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.
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.

Photographer David Hoffman

Photographer David Hoffman
Photographer David Hoffman

Photographer David Hoffman. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. October 21, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer David Hoffman works the late afternoon canyon light at Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is, of course, a spectacular place to make photographs, with a wide variety of potential subjects ranging from the obvious icons to things that are possibly not as immediately obvious. I’ve had the good fortune to photograph there on perhaps four occasions now. Each time I visit I discover new aspects of the park that I had not previously known. My first visit was largely to the popular and accessible tourist areas near the Fruita district. A second visit took me to another side of the park over gravel roads. A third visit went beyond those roads to investigate some less known areas that required some advance knowledge and hiking.

The fourth visit was a bit different from each of the others. After photographing alone elsewhere in Utah, and before meeting some other photographers to “work” a more remote area, Dave and I met up for a few days in Capitol Reef. Since it was his first visit to the place, we combined photography of some accessible areas with visits to a few of the areas that are a bit more off the beaten track, and we visited some of the familiar areas at odd times when few others were there. Here, Dave is photographing the rocks and walls of one of the many canyons in the park.


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.
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.

Edward Weston Darkroom

Edward Weston Darkroom
Edward Weston Darkroom

Edward Weston Darkroom. Carmel Highlands, California. September 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

In late September I had the opportunity to join a group of photographers visiting the Wildcat Hill Weston home in the Carmel Highlands area of the California Coast. The Weston family, members of which still live and work here, trace their family history at this place back to the great photographer, Edward Weston. The main house is maintained in much the state it would have been in quite a while ago, and there are wonderful archival objects — photographs, art, objects, this darkroom, etc — everywhere. This small darkroom, designed for contact printing, is a small space off the main room of the building. Not only does it have fascinating historical interest for photographers, but it is also remarkable to see the modest and personal space in which so much Weston photography was realized.


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.
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.

Pick the Right Friends… (Morning Musings 9/29/14)

G Dan Mitchell Photographing in the Sierra Nevada
G Dan Mitchell Photographing in the Sierra Nevada

If you are ever in the wilderness and you want someone to take a photograph of you, you could hand your smartphone to the nearest person and hope for the best. However, I have a few suggestions (slightly tongue-in-cheek) that might improve the odds:

  1. Arrange to be in the company of one of the best landscape photographers working today. (Yeah, that’s you, Charlie Cramer.)
  2. Make a photograph of him at work and hope that this inspires him to photograph you doing the same thing.
  3. Be sure to place yourself so that dramatic golden hour light hits you in partial profile.
  4. Be sure to position yourself against an appropriate background.
  5. Gaze attentively and thoughtfully into the distance. ;-)

Bonus hint: Be sure to level your tripod first, or your photographer friends may never let you live it down. ;-)

Here’s a photograph of Charlie at work, too

Photographer Charles Cramer
Photographer Charles Cramer

In all seriousness, when you are out shooting, do photograph your fellow photographers. Each of us needs photographs of ourselves, and a photograph by a friend (or of a friend) is a special thing.

Thanks, Charlie!

Morning Musings are somewhat irregular posts in which I write about whatever is on my mind at the moment.


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.
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.

Photographer, Fog

Photographer, Fog
Photographer, Fog

Photographer, Fog. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 14, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Michael Frye at work in early morning tule fog, San Joaquin Valley

A small group of us met up on this mid-February morning to photograph migratory birds, winter fog, and the San Joaquin Valley landscape. We came from different directions, beginning our travels well before dawn so that we could meet here before sunrise. We met shortly after 6:00, exchanged greetings in the pre-dawn dark, and then got ready to shoot. I lagged behind a bit while getting gear ready, and our friends Michael and Claudia started off down the gravel road before Patty and I did. Very soon were ready to follow, and in moments we found their car parked near a grassy area.

The fog was dense but also very shallow – nearly ideal for photography since it blanketed everything in a mysterious layer but still allowed the colors of the developing dawn sky to penetrate right down to ground level and make the fog layer glow with luminous color. Michael must have seen this coming, and he was already across a grassy area and at the edge of a pond when I arrived, and he was barely visible through the fog. My first thought was to “work” this solitary tree as my primary subject as the light came up, but first I thought I’d grab a photograph of him silhouetted against the foggy landscape. I made this photograph and then walked to the edge of the pond and made my own series of photographs of the tree, the water, and the foggy atmosphere as the light passed through a range of colors that the eventually revealed higher clouds lit by the dawn sunlight.

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.
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.