Tag Archives: green

Fall Foliage, Sandstone Canyon

Fall Foliage, Sandstone Canyon
The colors of fall foliage and red sandstone canyon rock, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Fall Foliage, Sandstone Canyon . Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. October 22, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

The colors of fall foliage and red sandstone canyon rock, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

These are the kinds of Utah colors that make some of us return to California and to find that “our Sierra Nevada” looks a bit more gray than we thought! In my experience, the color season in southern Utah begins in late September with the arrival of aspen color. (I have seen it, but so far have arrived just after the peak color.) It continues later in the month as the lower elevation cottonwood trees become intensely colorful. In some places the show is still continuing in early November.

The fall color show on its own would be impressive, but place those colors against the backdrop of Utah’s colorful sandstone landscape and the overall effect is very powerful. We returned from a daytime adventure elsewhere in Capitol Reef National Park and passed through this canyon area just before sunset. The light in the areas shaded by the tall cliffs was already becoming soft and luminous, and in this light the colors can become even more intense. We stopped and more or less wandered for as the sun continued to drop, photographing in the quite evening right up until the light was too far gone.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


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

Coal Chute Point

Coal Chute Point
Coal Chute Point

Coal Chute Point. Point Lobos, California. March 15, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A bench on the bluff at Coal Chute Point, with inlet and peninsulas leading toward green hills, Point Lobos

A few days ago I needed to go make photographs, following a period during which that has not been possible, so I headed off towards the Monterey Peninsula with a vague plan that might have ended up here at Point Lobos or could have taken me further down the coast highway. It was overcast further north and inland, so I figured that by going south a bit I could find better light. In fact, I did, though it was not without its challenges — though the challenges of thin clouds (with their softened light) and haze usually appeal to me.

Without thinking about it a lot I ended up at Point Lobos, a place I have visited regularly since my family first came to California when I was four years old. Needless to say, this is familiar territory for me! I arrived shortly after the park opened and I headed straight to Whalers Cove and soon saw the peninsulas across this bay fading into atmospheric haze and finally to the “impossibly green” hills of the coastal range — and I knew that this would be my first subject for the day.


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.

Cottonwood Trees, Potholes

Cottonwood Trees, Potholes
Cottonwood Trees, Potholes

Cottonwood Trees, Potholes. Utah. October 23, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Cottonwood trees grow in potholes in the curving sandstone terrain

In the evening of our first day camped in this somewhat remote Utah location, we left camp and headed to a nearby sandstone landscape featuring the sorts of gullies, potholes, rounded domes, steep inclines, and curving patterns that are so common in this part of the world. Later we would walk further into the landscape, but on this first evening we only had time for a short visit.

The group walked up a steep slope and came to a landscape that is perhaps familiar to many who know this region, with some features that are often photographed by those who visit. The light was “complicated” — at times a beautiful glow came through high, thin clouds, but at times the cover thickened enough to truly mute the light. It is tempting — unavoidable, actually — to photograph certain subjects here in the ways that I have seen before. On the other hand, I also like to see such subjects for what they are and not just for what others seen in them. Wandering around the curving sandstone and skirting the edges of large potholes, I looked for juxtapositions of these rounded shapes with variations in color and with the cottonwood trees that grow sparsely here. The foreground tree seems to be at just about the peak of autumn color, even though the other tree a short distance away is still almost completely green.


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.

Colorful Giant Leaf

Colorful Giant Leaf
Colorful Giant Leaf

Colorful Giant Leaf. Garden, The Huntington, San Marino, California. November 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A giant leaf with brilliant fall colors, photographed lying on the ground

I have no clue what kind of leaf this is, and the location where I found it gave no hints. Usually if I find such a thing I can just look up and see the tree from which it came, but when I looked up from this leaf I could see nothing nearby with leaves even close to this one.

The leaf is huge — in my recollection it was well over a foot long. It was on the ground between some cacti and/or succulent plants in a desert garden at the Huntington. The colors were wild, and if there had been a tree full of huge and intensely colorful leaves like this one I would not have missed it! Initially I was attracted by the bright yellow color and the size, but the closer I looked the more I found that the other surprising colors caught my attention — bits of green, a spot of purple, and red highlights along some of the vein structure.


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.

Green Building and Tracks

Green Building and Tracks
Green Building and Tracks

Green Building and Tracks. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard. March 3, 2007. © Copyright 2007 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Ambient light floods the side of a building and old railroad tracks with green-tinted light, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard

A friend recently shared a photograph of a bit of curving railroad track, and I recognized it as being the same track that appears in this photograph from seven and a half years ago. I went back to look it up to share it with him, and in doing so I realized that I seem to have not shared it previously — so I’m rectifying that with this posting!

I have been photographing this location at night for over a decade now. I’m pretty certain that my first visit was back in 2003, when I happened to see an announcement of an event sponsored by The Nocturnes the San Francisco Bay Area night photography group. I had seen photographs made at night, of course, but it wasn’t anything that I had ever done, so I showed up. I was quickly hooked, especially when it comes to photographing urban and industrial areas in ambient light. This photograph is fine example of what attracts me about that light. If you were there in person, you would not really see anything quite like this — it was so dark that most of the details would be lost in shadow, the intense colors would be invisible to your eyes, and the only real details would be on the small lighted wall in the distance. But the camera can see what the eyes cannot. Here that includes not only the details in shadow areas, but also the wild colors that are produced by artificial lights.


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.

Tropical Leaves

Tropical Leaves
Tropical Leaves

Tropical Leaves. Pasadena, California. November 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Lines and curves on tropical plant leaves at a Southern California botanical garden

We were recently in Southern California for a holiday visit to “our kids,” and once the food-focused festivities had ended (though they never completely end!) we moved on to other family adventures in the Southland. On the day after Thanksgiving we headed up to Pasadena to visit the Huntington Library and its museums and gardens. I had not visited this place before, though I was well aware of the Huntington wealth from reading about the California Railroad Barons, composed of Huntington, Hopkins, Crocker, and Stanford, names that Californians may be familiar with. (There is a group of four peaks in the “Recesses” area of the Sierra that are named after them.) Suffice it to say that Huntington was clearly a 1%-er among 1%-ers!

We visited several gardens while we were in Pasadena. I wasn’t there primarily for photography, though I usually travel with sufficient gear of the right sort (a small mirrorless system) that I can do real photography when the opportunity presents itself. While waiting for others I happened to see these beautiful big leaves and I made a few quick exposures, including this one. There are many things to like about these leaves as a subject: The sit on a boundary between realistic depiction and abstraction of form and line, their color is beautiful, they catch light in such interesting ways.


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.

Two From the Waterpocket Fold Area

I’m going to double-up here and share two photographs in a single post — both are from the Waterpocket Fold (Strike Valley) area just to the east of Capitol Reef National Park.

Waterpocket Fold, Utah
Waterpocket Fold, Utah

Waterpocket Fold, Utah. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. October 22, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Utah’s Waterpocket fold, viewed from high in the southern part of Capitol Reef National Park

The “Waterpocket Fold” is a gigantic geologic formation in Utah, a good portion of which runs the length of Capitol Reef National Park and beyond. As I understand it, the formation is a monocline, where strata change depth at a fairly steep angle, and subsequent erosion has worn away and exposed these strata in amazing ways, especially where the up-trending layers end. This photograph, made from a high point along the ridge of Capitol Reef, looks south into the waterpocket valley as it bends and continues to head south.

Canyon with Cottonwood Trees
Canyon with Cottonwood Trees

Canyon With Cottonwood Trees. Waterpocket Fold, Utah. October 22, 2014.© Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Cottonwood trees with autumn foliage follow a wash up a canyon toward Waterpocket Fold area cliffs

This photograph looks to the east across the strike valley of the Waterpocket Fold feature from along the ridge of Capitol Reef. A wash (which may be Bitter Creek?) winds away and upwards toward the giant cliffs along the east side of the Valley. The scene illustrates, I think, quite a few common features of this terrain. It is quite arid and rugged — except that along the bottom of the wash, which periodically floods, a long grove of cottonwood trees and other vegetation has taken hold and seems to thrive.


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.