Meredith Brown, French Horn

Posted on 26 July 2014 | Comment

Meredith Brown, French Horn

Meredith Brown, French Horn

Meredith Brown, French Horn. San Jose, California. June 5, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Symphony Silicon Valley principal French hornist Meredith Brown

This weekend I am sharing two more photographs from my ongoing project photographing professional classical musicians, a three-year project during which I have the opportunity to attend many rehearsals and concerts and generally spend a lot of time learning to see and understand this world. (I already understood more than most since I’ve been part of it in several ways for many years.) Both of these photographs are casual shots made during rehearsals. Such photos remind us of several things, I think. First, it is possible to get some odd ideas about who the musicians are if your only experience is seeing them in formal concert situations — but backstage and during rehearsals… they are “regular people” just like all of us. Second, and from the same perspective, it is easy to overlook that fact that the vast majority of the work necessary for a live performance is actually done outside of the performance, with often intense and lengthy periods of individual practice and preparation and significant time spent on group rehearsal. And, finally, in both of these photographs I think you will see the intense focus of these musicians. Meredith Brown is the principal French hornist of the Symphony Silicon Valley.

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.

Rocky Beach, Cove, and Fog

Posted on 25 July 2014 | Comment

Rocky Beach, Cove, and Fog

Rocky Beach, Cove, and Fog

Rocky Beach, Cove, and Fog. Big Sur Coast, California. July 4, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A rocky beach and cove on a foggy summer morning along the Big Sur coast

On July 4 (of all days!) I headed out rather early so that I could make it to the upper Big Sur coastline before the tourist traffic arrived. I succeeded, and there were very few people when I arrived on the foggy coast and drove slowly south while looking for photographs. It being a major holiday, within a few hours the Pacific Coast Highway was filled with visitors, and I turned around and headed back home.

I like several things about this photograph, and most of them have to do with the fact that, in many ways, there is little all that special about the scene. I’m not sure that I could even find this particular cove again, at least not without some careful searching — this coastline is almost a continuum of such places, and almost anywhere you stop and look around a bit you can find such scenes. The fog is another typical element, especially in the summer months, when many visitors are surprised to find that the beautiful sunny scenes that they have seen in photographs are the exception rather than the rule. A typical summer morning in this region? Fog! To many of us Californians, however, this is part of the appeal. On a day when only a few miles inland the temperatures were well into the ninety degree range and perhaps higher, along this coastline I could enjoy the welcome and cool and damp of the coastal fog.

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.

Landing

Posted on 24 July 2014 | Comment

Landing

Landing

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

A goose approaches a landing in a San Joaquin Valley wetlands pond at dusk

A goose (either Ross’s or snow goose) prepares to land in a San Joaquin Valley wetlands pond at dusk last winter. We frequently photograph winter migratory birds in California’s Central Valley, and we were at a location in the San Joaquin for the full day back in mid-February. It was an almost ideal day for winter photography in the Valley, with highlights including lots of birds (of course!), morning fog that cleared after the sun rose, a colorful sunset, and the dusk arrival of many thousands of birds.

I have worked with motion-blurred photographs of birds for some time now. While I also like to create sharply delineated photographs that show the details of these animals, I also like the more expressive quality of the blurred images, which also may evoke the motion of the birds in a different and effective way. As the light becomes very dim at and after dusk, rather than ending my shooting I got with the slower shutter speeds and start to play with motion. Here I tracked this goose as in came in for a landing, allowing it to blur a bit but not as much as the background water and birds that had already landed.

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.

Wetlands Pond, Reflected Winter Sky

Posted on 23 July 2014 | Comment

Wetlands Pond, Reflected Winter Sky

Wetlands Pond, Reflected Winter Sky

Wetlands Pond, Reflected Winter Sky. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 14, 4014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A seasonal wetlands pond reflects a foggy winter sky

This is the third in this series of photographs from a beautifully atmospheric winter day in California’s San Joaquin Valley last winter. Although I shot the three scenes nearly a half year ago, it took me that long to return to the original files and understand what I wanted to do with them. All three depict a type of atmosphere than has long intrigued me — fog and mist-filled atmosphere, illuminated by sun, and so bright as to be almost difficult to look at directly.

These are minimal landscapes — there is little in them that is concrete and fixed stuff. Here the only “solid” elements are a few distant birds scattered on the surface of the water, a small island, and a faint line of the horizon further off. The rest of the scene is almost entirely ephemeral, consisting of the fog-obscured sky with its high winter clouds, and the reflection of these elements in the surface of the wetlands pond below. There isn’t a lot in this image when you come right down to it, but for me it evokes a quiet sense of great distances and space.

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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