The Last Leaves

Posted on 20 December 2014 | Comment

The Last Leaves

The Last Leaves

The Last Leaves. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 10, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

The last autumn aspen leaves hang from the branches of nearly bare trees against a granite cliff

So many aspen photographs focus on the wild autumn colors — for good reason! But this is not the only interesting phase of the autumn transition, and I also like the reappearance of the bare, white trunks of the trees as the leaves drop away.

I made this photograph late in the day and in a canyon area where little light penetrates after mid-afternoon, and where trees grow right up against a jumbled granite cliff that is fractured and full of blocks and angles. Late in the day, when the only light comes from the blue sky overhead, the quality of the light becomes quite cold. (At this time of year the air also becomes cold quickly late in the day!) I stuck around after most others had left and photographed these nearly bare trunks into the blue hour period.


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.

The Choral Project (and more…)

Posted on 19 December 2014 | Comment

The Choral Project

The Choral Project

The Choral Project. Santa Clara, California. December 17, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Members of the Choral Project raise their hands as they rehearse for a joint holiday concert with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra


I have more than one reason for sharing this photograph. First of all, I like the photo! I think it captures the focus, intensity, and joy of the chorus members as they raise their hands and sing this gospel number at a rehearsal for this week’s holiday concert.

And the second reason? To let my San Francisco Bay Area friends know about this wonderful joint holiday concert by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and The Choral Project, an annual tradition that brings together both groups, wonderful soloists, and a diverse range of music, old and new and from all over the planet. Here is more information about the concert:

Winter’s Gifts: Evocations

Saturday, December 20 – 8:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church
1140 Cowper St.
Palo Alto

Sunday, December 21 – 7:00 PM
Mission Santa Clara de Asis
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara


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.

Highlands, Autumn Light

Posted on 19 December 2014 | Comment

Highlands, Autumn Light

Highlands, Autumn Light

Highlands, Autumn Light. Zion National Park, Utah. October 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

High country of Zion National Park in evening light

On this visit to Zion National Park we did not stay in the usual place, the park boundary town of Springdale, with its hotels and restaurants. Instead we stayed at a place a bit more off the beaten path, up a quiet road quite a few miles away from this town, where we had a home to stay in for a few days.

In the past I have visited many of the more popular areas of the park, since I’m still new to Utah and its national parks and feeling my way into a better understanding of these places. By the time of this trip some elements of the experience were beginning to feel familiar, and we were beginning to look at places we had not visited before. This is one of those areas, and we headed up into it late in the day, when others mostly seemed to be heading down. We weren’t really quite certain what we would find, but we figured that we would at least get up high. On the return trip we came to an area of open terrain with peaks to one side as the sun was setting, and driving past this spot I was stopped short by the light. We stopped, I got out, and I made this photograph more or less from the roadside.


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.

Lake and Pinnacles, Evening

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 2 comments

Lake and Pinnacles, Evening

Lake and Pinnacles, Evening

Lake and Pinnacles, Evening. Kings Canyon National Park. July 30, 2010. © Copyright 2010 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening light reflects surrounding pinnacles in the surface of a subalpine Sierra Nevada lake

This photograph takes me back to a long southern Sierra backpacking trip I took with friends back in 2010 — a trip from which I have recently shared a few other photographs. We entered the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park from the east over one of the high Sierra crest passes, a few days later crossed another even higher pass to enter the upper Kern River drainage, spent a few days in a very remote portion of this area, and then exited back to the east over the crest by way of one of the more notorious east side passes — not the most notorious one, but definitely on the short list of awful passes… in a wonderful way. ;-)

The lake in this photograph was the site of our first night camp, after we came over that first pass and dropped to this beautiful sub-alpine valley with its lakes, meadows, rocks, and small trees. We settled in to this first camp… and into the familiar and welcome patterns of a long trip into the backcountry. These include camaraderie among friends who have shared many backpacking experiences, purposefully purposeless wandering around the wilderness neighborhood, sitting on rocks and staring, and watching the day transition to evening and then night.


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.

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