Category Archives: Photographs: Photographers

Photographer Louis Mendes

Photographer Louis Mendes
Photographer Louis Mendes rides a historic New York subway car

Photographer Louis Mendes. New York City. December 27, 2015. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Louis Mendes rides a historic New York subway car

The timing of our December 2015 visit to New York City coincided with a special event on the New York Subway system — a day when historic subway trains run along one Manhattan route. Our sons had told us about this before, and we all met up at the south end of the line to catch the first train. It is made up of a variety of cars — some from just before the vintage of the current trains and others from much further in the past. It is a big event, and by the time the second run began there were big crowds. (One fun thing was watching the looks of the faces of folks at stations who didn’t know about this… as ancient subway trains rolled in and stopped to take on passengers.)

As I walked through one of the cars there was a big group of photographers, many holding vintage film cameras, some rigged up to work with modern electronic flash units. This fellow immediately caught my eye, and for a bunch of reasons. Many years ago my father had a camera almost exactly like his, and I thought it was the coolest thing back then. I also was taken by the contrast between his rig, with his giant camera and multiple flash units, and what I use to photograph in circumstance these days… a very small mirrorless system that works so well in low light than I never use flash. And I was pretty sure I recognized him, and thought that I had read about him somewhere. It was too crowded and noisy to talk, but I later figured out that he is street photographer Louis Mendes, who is well-known for photographing with this eclectic equipment in Manhattan. (I later ran into him again in front of the B&H store, and I recently read an interview in which he said that is his “third favorite” location for photographing.)


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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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Photographer, Wetlands

Photographer, Wetlands
Water reflects clouds above photographer David Hoffman as he works from a levee in San Joaquin Valley wetlands.

Photographer, Wetlands. San Joaquin Valley, California. December 6, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Water reflects clouds above photographer David Hoffman as he works from a levee in San Joaquin Valley wetlands.

Passing through California’s Great Central Valley by car, you could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t much there besides fast food, gas stations, freeway, and other stuff alongside the road. Get off the freeway, get out of the car, and slow down a bit, especially during the colder half of the year, and you may find a very different place. This little post is not the place to share the whole story, but for me the place is partly defined by its agricultural roots, partly by the sense that it is located between the coast ranges and the great Sierra Nevada, and partly by the sense I often get there of space and immense sky.

We had spent the morning photographing migratory birds and the somewhat hazy landscape. We broke for lunch in a nearby town and then returned for more photography in the mid afternoon. While we were at lunch the conditions changed — the light fog dissipated and high clouds from a Pacific weather front drifted across the sky. As we headed out toward a spot where we hoped to find birds for evening photography we paused along the levee and photographed the sky, its reflection in the wetlands pond, and the spare winter landscape. My friend and photographer David Hoffman is photographing the same pond from the far bank.


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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Photographer Scot Miller, Yosemite Backcountry

Photographer Scot Miller, Yosemite Backcountry
Photographer Scot Miller at work on a ridge in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park

Photographer Scot Miller, Yosemite Backcountry. Yosemite National Park, California. September 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Scot Miller at work on a ridge in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park

I have been fortunate to get to know photographer Scot Miller over the past few years. I write “photographer,” but a more complete accounting would include videographer, author, and much more. I met Scot through my association with a group of photographers who have been photographing in the Yosemite backcountry for the past 15 years or so — sometimes referred to as the “First Light” photographers in recognition of their beautiful book, First Light: Five Photographers Explore Yosemite’s Wilderness(The others are Charles Cramer, Karl Kroeber, Mike Osborne, and Keith Walklet.)

This past September three of us (Scot, Charlie, and myself) spent a bit more than a week base-camped at a backcountry Yosemite National Park lake making photographs. By staying in one location for so long we become acquainted with the location in ways that would not be possible in the normal backpacking mode, in which one tends to move from place to place daily. Instead we have the opportunity to let the character of the place sink in, to wander slowly, to return to spots we saw earlier, and to experience a range of conditions — which on this trip included everything from Sierra sun, though wildfire smoke, to a couple of days of rain. One morning, without planning to do so, Scot and I ran into one another high on this ridge above our lake.


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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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Photographer Doug Kaye

Photographer Doug Kaye
Photographer Doug Kaye prowling a San Francisco alley in late afternoon light

Photographer Doug Kaye. San Francisco, California. September 5, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Doug Kaye prowling a San Francisco alley in late afternoon light

Back in early September I joined up with a group of fellow photographers to explore areas of downtown San Francisco in late afternoon light, followed by dinner, and then a return to the streets to photograph at night. Among the group was photographer Doug Kaye, here seen walking into the light along a narrow San Francisco street, a street lined with a bit of Dr. Seuss architecture with wildly dissonant angles from shadows, fire escape leaders, perspective convergence, and a crazily tilting lamp-post.

Later on this evening we headed back out after dark to photograph areas between roughly upper Chinatown and the Union Square vicinity. Night street photography is rapidly becoming a bit of a passion. Last year on a trip to Manhattan I realized that my little mirrorless camera performs well enough at high ISOs that I can effectively do handheld photography in the urban night environment — and this was a revelation!


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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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Photographer, Long Valley, Dawn

Photographer, Long Valley, Dawn
Photographer Patricia Emerson Mitchell working the dawn light near a small lake in Long Valley

Photographer, Long Valley, Dawn. East of the Sierra, California. October 10 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Patricia Emerson Mitchell working the dawn light near a small lake in Long Valley

On about my third week of aspen photography this fall I was accompanied back to the Sierra by my wife and fellow photographer, Patricia Emerson Mitchell. There are all sorts of advantages for me when she comes along — motel (instead of tent or back of car), real food (instead of things heated over a camp stove), and more… ;-) By this point in the aspen season I was ready for something that wasn’t aspen, so on this morning we headed east rather than west into the Sierra, traveling out across Long Valley with a plan of going even further east toward the White Mountains near the town of Benton.

We started in near darkness and arrived at a familiar spot out in the Valley before the sun rose. We parked and headed out to our destination, arriving a few minutes before the light, at which point we went to work rapidly — the photographic opportunities evolve rapidly as the first light arrives. Here she sets up close to the shoreline of the lack, photographing across the water toward mountains to our north as the first light rakes across sagebrush and the nearby hills.


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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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Photographer Charlotte Hamilton Gibb

Photographer Charlotte Hamilton Gibb
Landscape photographer Charlotte Hamilton Gibb works the summer evening light along the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park

Photographer Charlotte Hamilton Gibb. Yosemite National Park, California. July 12, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Landscape photographer Charlotte Hamilton Gibb works the summer evening light along the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park

This photograph was one result of a wonderful set of coincidences in the Yosemite high country. I had gone up to the Tuolumne Meadows area for a few days of photographing mid-July. I arrived midday, managed to get a campsite, set everything up, hung out a bit… and it was time to figure out what to photograph in the late afternoon and evening. As sometimes happens, especially on the first day of such a trip, when I’m still working my way back into “the zone,” I didn’t have a plan. So I decided to simply get in my vehicle and head back to the west along Tioga Pass Road and look for some interesting potentials in the light and the scenery. At one point I caught a glimpse of some interesting light on trees and I quickly pulled over into a clearing at the side of the road. I noticed two other cars already there and a woman getting out of one of them, and I thought “I hope I’m not annoying her.” Then I realized that she was a friend and her husband was parked one car up. Claudia and Michael and I exchanged greetings and quickly decided to join forces and head out across the meadow.

As we crossed to the other side I saw another couple, one with a serious looking tripod, who seemed to be following us. we paused at the far side of the meadow and they caught up — it was Charlotte and her husband. Now the party was becoming larger! We headed slowly downstream, talking and watching for subjects, finally arriving at a spot where the river twisted through a few turns and granite slabs lined the banks. Each of us went to work on our particular views of the spot, and I made this photograph of Charlotte, focused so intently on her photograph that she was unaware that I was photographing her.


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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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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.
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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.