G Dan Mitchell Photography http://www.gdanmitchell.com Daily photographs, news, observations, and ideas about photography Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:05:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 G Dan Mitchell Photography http://www.gdanmitchell.com/images/Dan-at-Shuksan_VertCrop144Wide.jpghttp://www.gdanmitchell.com Daily photographs, news, observations, and ideas about photography Wall, After Rain, Nighthttp://www.gdanmitchell.com/2014/04/20/wall-after-rain-night http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2014/04/20/wall-after-rain-night#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.gdanmitchell.com/?p=22139 Wall, After Rain, Night

Wall, After Rain, Night

Wall, After Rain, Night. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, Vallejo, California. April 5, 2014. Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Night photograph of the walls of an industrial building reflected in a pool of rainwater, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard

Recently I returned to the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard with my friends from The Nocturnes, a group of folks who focus on night photography. The Nocturnes have been photographing there for many years and the group forms a core of San Francisco Bay Area night photographers. Mare Island has become something of a mecca for night photography in the area, to the point that you can often find photographers shooting there in the dark and so that certain images from the location have achieved an almost iconic status. I first photographed there about a decade ago, and I’ve gone back at least a couple of times each year, to the point that I now have quite a few images of the place.

Having shot there so much, the way I approach the subject has evolved. At first, like anyone else getting to know the place, I focused on the well-known shipbuilding machinery—steel towers and cranes, dry docks, and so forth. Eventually, I began to look for other subjects, and I also began to understand the patterns of the place. Shooting on a full moon night is one thing, while shooting on a completely dark night another. Clear skies bring different opportunities than clouds. (I’m still waiting for a foggy night there!) More recently there have been changes to the area lighting on the island. The lighting is part of what has made photography there so interesting. It includes a wild range of sources—sodium vapor, mercury, fluorescent, tungsten, moonlight, and more—and sometimes turns otherwise bland structures into brilliantly colorful subjects. (Or at least it did. Now the older, colorful lighting is gradually being replaced with sun-white LED lights!) The weather is a major player, and it had rained the week beforehand. Because of this I was on the lookout for puddles and pools that might reflect the images of Mare Island structures, and here I found a very large puddle right in front of the wall of this large building.

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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