Tag Archives: evening

Dust Storm, Dunes, Evening Light

Dust Storm, Dunes, Evening Light
A dust storm rages above sand dunes at the end of the day, Death Valley National Park

Dust Storm, Dunes, Evening Light. Death Valley National Park, California. March 28, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A dust storm rages above sand dunes at the end of the day, Death Valley National Park

This was a wild evening, featuring an apocalyptic combination of tremendously strong winds, huge clouds of blowing sand and dust, periodic downpours of rain, and light that changed constantly from ominous and dark to luminous clouds backlit by sun to threads of virgo, and more. I had never seen quite this combination of conditions in Death Valley at one time.

Photography was quite challenging. Because sunset was approaching (and I continued to photograph into the dusk), it was often quite dark. The screaming winds made it virtually impossible to shoot from the tripod, so I was mostly reduced to bracing my camera against the window frame of my vehicle and working with the camera handheld. In the rough conditions I was forced to work from a distance with a long lens, since photographing inside the windblown clouds of dust and sand was not a good idea. Here the clouds and the dust above the sand dunes momentarily thinned, creating a backlit glow from the low angle sun about to drop behind mountains to the west.


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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Evening Storms

Evening Storms
Evening rain clouds and dust storm above the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley National Park

Evening Storms. Death Valley National Park, California. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening rain clouds and dust storm above the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley National Park

This was a wild evening in Death Valley. While the clouds were generally moving toward clearing, we first saw extreme weather of several types. Down close to the ground there were big, billowing clouds of sand and dust being lofted above the Valley floor. High above that wildness huge weather front clouds built above desert mountains.

In the evening I decided to go our for one more photographic chase, even though the weather hardly seemed conducive to photography. In this case I resorted to an approach that I’ve used before in storms like this one, namely to put on the long focal length lens and shoot into the maelstrom from a distance. It this case, two storms were present at once: While high winds whipped up the sand and dust storm closer to the ground, overhead the monumental clouds of a rain storm towered over the desert mountains.


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.

Dunes and Mountains, Twilight

Dunes and Mountains, Twilight
Sand dunes and desert mountains in twilight, Death Valley National Park

Dunes and Mountains, Twilight. Death Valley National Park, California. April 27, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sand dunes and desert mountains in twilight, Death Valley National Park

Arriving in Death Valley earlier in the day, we had visited some canyon country that is a bit off the beaten path and then headed back to our home base in the park for the next few days. We got settled in, had some dinner, and headed out to make some photographs, deciding that it would be best on this first evening to photograph nearby.

We made it to an area along the periphery of the dunes before sunset and then continued to photograph during the evening light transition from warm pre-sunset color to the post-sunset blue hour light. Here there was still a bit of a glow from the west, but the sun had already dropped below the Cottonwood mountains, and the light was soft as we finished photographing in the evening stillness.


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.

Grant Avenue Sidewalk Scene, Evening

Grant Avenue Sidewalk Scene, Evening
Crowds of people walking past shops along Grant Avenue on a summer evening, San Francisco

Grant Avenue Sidewalk Scene, Evening. San Francisco, California. July 25, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Crowds of people walking past shops along Grant Avenue on a summer evening, San Francisco

To me, this photograph has a feeling of San Francisco. Yes, it is in a tourist location, but the crowded sidewalk, the diverse group of people, the somewhat old and (lovingly) worn buildings and sidewalk, the narrow street, the clutter… all contribute to the charm of The City.

There are a lot of small things in this complex photograph that I like. The center, though it is subtle, may be the man facing the camera and looking into the light of the store. But there is also the family with two children, one clutching dad’s hand and the other, barely visible, looking into that light. There’s more, but I’ll leave it to viewers to look.


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.

Meadow, Forest, Cloud-Shrouded Peak

Meadow, Forest, Cloud-Shrouded Peak
Cloud-shrouded Mount Conness towers above the domes and forest of Tuolumne Meadows

Meadow, Forest, Cloud-Shrouded Peak. Yosemite National Park, California. July 12, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Cloud-shrouded Mount Conness towers above the domes and forest of Tuolumne Meadows

I’ll take a break from the recent urban, night, and street photography and go back to the high country with a photograph from about this time a year ago. I spent a few days in the Tuolumne Meadows area, photography in the high elevation areas of the park. This was a particularly memorable evening that started without a specific plan, led to a surprise meeting with friends and photographs, including a hike down a river to a lovely area of granite slabs, and concluded with sunset back in the big meadow.

As we came back up the river we split up — some heading up onto a nearby high prominence and others (that would be me!) hanging out along the edge of the meadow, between the base of a granite dome and a large herd of grazing deer. As the final sun light touched the tops of the highest peaks, fog formed around the summit of Mt. Conness up along the Sierra crest.


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.

Natural Bridge, Evening Fog, and Coastal Mountains

Natural Bridge, Evening Fog, and Coastal Mountains
Evening light on the mountains, coast, and incoming fog along the Big Sur coast

Natural Bridge, Evening Fog, and Coastal Mountains. Big Sur Coast, California. July 20, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening light on the mountains, coast, and incoming fog along the Big Sur coast

Yesterday I shared a Big Sur Coast photograph — looking north and in black and white. Today’s post is a counterpoint to that one — it looks south and is in color. Both were made late on the same day, and in the same general central area of this rugged coast. It was late in the day and I was looking for an ideal last photographic location of the day, and from this particular overlook I could see down the coast… and the light was going to go before I had time to find another spot!

In many ways I suppose the view is typical. The view extends into the distance where it disappears into fog and coastal haze, and the coastline is an alternating landscape of shallow bays and jutting peninsulas where mountain ridges drop into the ocean. Here and there are the remnants of ridges and bluffs that lost their battle with the ocean long ago, and which now remain only as isolated rock and sea stacks set off from the shoreline. One of the most impressive of them in this photograph is right below the camera position where a large rocky formation is cut through by a natural bridge.


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.

Evening Dunes and Mountains

Evening Dunes and Mountains
Evening on Death Valley sand dunes with desert mountains in the distance

Evening Dunes and Mountains. Death Valley National Park, California. March 27, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening on Death Valley sand dunes with desert mountains in the distance

It was the first evening in Death Valley this season, and we had arrived after a lazy drive in from the Ridgecrest area. Having plenty of time, we stopped at Trona Pinnacles before reaching the park and after entering we took a long side trip out on a gravel road to a couple of somewhat remote canyons. We got settled in and it was time to head out for some evening photography — and since dunes were nearby they seemed like a good first evening destination.

The sand dunes go quickly through some remarkable transitions of light and color at the end of the day. In the full sunlight the tones of the sand can seem a bit flat and washed out, but the low angle light begins to highlight the textures — large textures of the dunes themselves, plus the finer textures of small patterns of windblown sand. The the color of the light begins to warm and the contrast drops and shadows fill with a soft light. At the moment I made this photograph the sun was still above the ridge to our west, but it had passed behind high, thin clouds that momentarily muted the light even more.


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.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | LinkedIn | Email


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