Tag Archives: red

Redrock Country, Near Fruita

Redrock Country, Near Fruita
Cliffs and eroded towers near Fruita, Capitol Reef National Park

Redrock Country, Near Fruita. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. October 20, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Cliffs and eroded towers near Fruita, Capitol Reef National Park

I’m a sucker for juxtapositions of mountains and cliffs, and sunlit and shadowed surfaces. (In fact, “juxtaposition” is a word I think about a lot when making photographs.) This part of the world provides these juxtapositions with a vengeance. Everywhere in the red rock country of the Southwest there are sandstone walls, lined up, building one on top of the other, standing in front of and behind each other, layered with eroded rock and soil, standing above valleys and beyond lower ridges.

We had only a brief time to photograph on this first afternoon in Capitol Reef National Park. I had arrived in the middle of the afternoon and then busied myself with setting up a tent and a few other camp chores, plus catching up on the news with my friend Dave. By the time all of these important things had been taken care of the sun was rapidly dropping toward the horizon, so we quickly headed to a nearby area to see what sort of late-day light we could find. Literally within minutes of leaving our campground (which is just to the right of the shadowed trees visible in the lower part of the photograph) we came upon this intense and saturated late-day light, with shadows starting to stretch across the valley and the low foreground ridges.


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.

Sculpted Canyon Rock, Plant

Sculpted Canyon Rock, Plant
A lone plant grows in a crack in sculpted Utah canyon sandstone

Sculpted Canyon Rock, Plant. Utah. October 19, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A lone plant grows in a crack in sculpted Utah canyon sandstone

These canyons feel isolated from the rest of the outside world. In the narrow sections, the only view of the familiar world may be a small strip of sky directly overhead. The tall canyon walls, which may be only feet apart, block any view of the surrounding terrain, and the focus of my attention narrows down to the section of the canyon where I find myself, the walls where I stand a some short distance ahead before the canyon twists out of sight.

Not only are we visually cut off from the outside, but we are also isolated acoustically. No sound makes it down into the bottoms of the canyons from the above. In the canyon there may be the sounds of quietly flowing water, and perhaps the tinkling sound of water dropping over rocks. A bird may sing. The sound of my footsteps echoes between the walls. In this spot, daytime sunlight high above bounced between the canyon walls, diffusing until a wash of soft red-tinted light reached the canyon bottom. Horizontal layers had eroded at varying rates, a jagged crack cut the canyon wall vertically, and one plant grew in the crack.


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.

Red Bus, People on Bench

Red Bus, People on Bench
A group of people sit on a concrete bench as a red bus stops behind them.

Red Bus, People on Bench. London, England. July 8, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A group of people sit on a concrete bench as a red bus stops behind them.

I think there might be a bit more to this photograph than meets the eye — at least I like to think so. The scene is a concrete bench along the edge of Trafalgar Square late in the day, as the low angle sun hits the bench and its occupants straight on. I’ll leave it at that…


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.

Canyon Walls, Plant

Canyon Walls, Plant
A long plant grows from sandstone walls deep within a Utah slot canyon

Canyon Walls, Plant. Utah. October 19, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A lone plant grows from sandstone walls deep within a Utah slot canyon

I had the opportunity to spend a significant period of time photographing in Utah back in October of 2014. Although I got a late start with Utah (only photographing there for the first time a few years ago) I have been doing my best to make up for lost time. I’ve spent between a month and a month and a half there in total over the past couple of years. During that time I have come to love autumn in the canyons. Oh, heck, I think I love autumn just about anywhere in Utah!

I walked into this canyon early on last fall’s trip. I had arrived at my first Utah stopover place the night before, looked at a map, and figured I might find something interesting in this general area. (I’m not always a careful advanced planner, preferring to wing it depending on the light and my mood.) The walk began in terrain that was more of a wash than a canyon, but before long the sandstone walls closed in and narrowed and I was walking through slots. The light in such places can be magical at the right moments, usually when the sun rises high enough in the sky to project into the upper reaches of the canyon, where it bounces and diffuses as it fills the canyon below with saturated light.


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.

Detail, Tower Bridge

Detail, Tower Bridge
Detail, Tower Bridge

Detail, Tower Bridge. London, England. July 3, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Detail of the Tower Bridge, London and the River Thames

Earlier today we were talking about how it has been too long since we’ve been across the Atlantic — our last trip was back in the summer of 2013. We started in London, spending nearly a full week there, enough time to feel like we were beginning to get past the most obvious things — but not nearly enough time exhaust the possibilities of the place. Making that trip extra special, we managed to meet up with a bunch of family members there, and then continue more or less together as we continued on to Germany for about a another two weeks.

As I like to do in American cities, we wandered a fair amount while we were in London. While I know that planning is very useful when going to a new place and having limited time, I know that I also like to just follow my nose a bit and get out and walk around and see where I end up — in some ways I feel that this may eventually give me a better sense of a place. Not that this location is exactly off the beaten track! In fact, this photograph shows details of one of the best known iconic bridges, with bits of the River Thames visible in the background.


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.

Red Rock and Roots

Red Rock and Roots
Red Rock and Roots

Red Rock and Roots. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. October 23, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Long roots extend across Utah sandstone

This was a sort of casual photograph, made while wandering around near our backcountry camp in southern Utah. We arrived in the afternoon, set up camp, and had a bunch of time to kill — time to eat, make plans, hang out, hike, take a nap, and explore. I probably did a bit of all of those things, but eventually decided to take my smaller camera and wander off into the surrounding countryside.

Eventually I ended up ascending a sandstone hill, and from the top I had open views of the surrounding terrain. But the closer subjects were perhaps even more interesting — the curving shapes of the sandstone, the small hollows that were filled with red sand, the plants trying to eke out a living in this spare and rocky area. In several places I found plants that had sent roots or stems over great distances across bare rock, perhaps trying to find pockets of water or moist soil.


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.

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn
Cottonwood Trees, Autumn

Cottonwood Trees, Autumn. Southern Utah. October 26, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A grove of autumn cottonwood trees in Utah red rock country

After a few days “in the field” in a remote southern Utah location with a group of friends, I left our camp and headed back out to what passes for civilization in this part of Utah. Truth be told, by the end of the day I arrived in a quite civilized place! After driving a bit I ended up in the town of Boulder, where I was to meet my cousin and her husband to share dinner and conversation. But I arrived a bit early, so I decide to explore a bit first.

I headed right on through Boulder and onto the Burr Trail route, following it for a few miles to an overlook where the road descends into a long canyon. I arrived at close to the perfect date to see brilliant colors from autumn cottonwood trees in this valley — although the color peak may have come a few days earlier, I like the combination of colorful trees and the skeletal shapes of partially bare trees. This little valley has a flat bottom, and the trees grew across its width and right up the red rock cliff on the opposite side.


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.