Tag Archives: scenic

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.

Monterey Cypress, Cliffs

Monterey Cypress, Cliffs
Monterey Cypress, Cliffs

Monterey Cypress, Cliffs. Point Lobos, California. March 15, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Monterey Cypress trees growing at the edge of a rocky cliff above the Pacific Ocean, Point Lobos

It has been a very busy few weeks, for reasons I won’t explain here in detail. In any case, it was important today for me to head out and make some photographs. I originally had planned to go yesterday, but California’s strange weather wasn’t looking too promising, so I delayed for a day, hoping that the cloudiness that has been around might move further north. I was up early today and on the road, and while there were some clouds it looked like things might be a bit more interesting to the south by the ocean, so I headed towards the upper end of the Big Sur coast. (Usually I like clouds, but some types of clouds make for particularly challenging light.)

I arrived at Point Lobos within a half hour of its opening, which turned out to be critical as the place quickly became busy enough that they closed the entrance gates a few hours later! I started out in the Whalers Cove area and decided that I would walk along the north shore trail since I had in mind some photographs looking back towards this cove from higher ground. The light remained challenging for a while, but them changed to what can be a special sort of light, where high and thing clouds mute the intensity of the light but still give it a clear directional quality. This kind of light also fills the shadows better than more harsh light, and that allowed me to photograph the shady side of this rocky prominence topped with Monterey cypress trees.


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.

San Luis Reservoir, Autumn Haze

San Luis Reservoir, Autumn Haze
San Luis Reservoir, Autumn Haze

San Luis Reservoir, Autumn Haze. Central California. November 21, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Soft light and autumn atmosphere obscure the view across the San Luis Reservoir

Since I have previously described the circumstances of photographing this scene, I’ll keep this description short. The San Luis Reservoir is a huge manmade lake in central California, between the south San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley. I frequently pass by here as I travel to the Valley, the Sierra, and beyond.

On this day I had been out in the Valley photographing migratory birds and the landscapes in which they are found — my first such visit to the Valley this season. On the way back home I passed the reservoir in the middle of the day, when the bright, late-autumn sun was reflecting off the surface of the lake and making the clouds above the distance mountains glow.


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.

Autumn Cottonwood, Kolob Canyon

Autumn Cottonwood, Kolob Canyon
Autumn Cottonwood, Kolob Canyon

Autumn Cottonwood, Kolob Canyon. Zion National Park, Utah. October 28, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A bright yellow autumn cottonwood tree in a valley below red rock cliffs, Kolob Canyon

I have visited these trees — and this tree — in Zion National Park’s Kolob Canyon area before. I’m familiar with this beautiful little valley that runs up toward the head of a canyon bounded by red rock cliffs, and shaded from the early morning sun. Each time I have visited it has been a bit later in the morning when direct light was still blocked, but when ambient light began to fill in the shadows a bit.

A creek runs up (or down, depending on your perspective!) this little canyon, and it is lined with vegetation, notably including cottonwood trees. Higher up there are conifers, whose green color stands out against the red of the Utah rock. Further along the canyon narrows, twists around turns and disappears from sight. Although the colors might have been even brighter few days before this visit, I like the way that the colors of the foreground tree contrast with the more skeletal shapes of the bare and nearly bare plants beyond.


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.