Tag Archives: spring

Oak Leaves, Reflections, Spring

Oak Leaves, Reflections, Spring
Oak Leaves, Reflections, Spring

Oak Leaves, Reflections, Spring. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. October 24, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Autumn oak leaves, reflections of sky and sandstone cliffs on stained rock

This was a wonderful autumn day of exploration, re-visiting a familiar place, wandering with friends, and photography. We drove a short distance down a back-country road from our campsite to get to the start of a canyon, beginning in a spot where there is little in the surrounding landscape to indicate what is hidden here. We left our vehicles on the flats at the edge of a shallow valley and dropped into it. The valley quickly narrowed and it wasn’t long until sandstone walls towered above as we traced the meandering course of the stream that had cut this canyon. We travelled slowly, making detours as the spirit took us, and halting to concentrate on photographic subjects we discovered along the way.

Eventually we arrived at a sort of “half-subway” (referencing a well-known Utah landscape subject that is far from this spot) where the creek rounded a bend in a narrow section of the canyon and has cut away rock back underneath the overhead walls. At the lower end of this section we arrived at a wider flat area, though the canyon was still quite narrow, and we paused to eat, talk, make photographs, and ponder. Across the bend in the creek a smooth rock wall dropped down from beneath a thickly vegetated ledge to the banks of the creek, and water seeped from cracks below the ledge, providing enough water to keep the rock constantly damp, and autumn leaves from an oak tree on the ledge were scattered on the rock.


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.

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.

Redwood Forest, Spring

Redwood Forest, Spring
Redwood Forest, Spring

Redwood Forest, Spring. Butano Redwoods State Park, California. June 1, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Dense spring growth and fog-filtered light in the forest at Butano Redwood State Park

I’ll stick with the redwoods theme for a bit longer and share another photograph from my recent first-time photography visit to the Butano Redwoods State Park along the California coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. I had not visited this park before, much less photographed it, though I had photographed along the access road that leads to it from the Pacific Coast Highway. It is a pleasure to actually “discover” a new park so close to home!

I chose to visit on this day at least partly because of the promising light. It remained foggy and cloudy along the coast pretty much all day, so I figured that if I went inland a few miles toward the redwoods I might catch the thinning fog and the soft light that it can produce. I found a trailhead, loaded up the camera pack and tripod, and headed out. There was so much to see in this lush forest that I made very slow progress, stopping every couple of minutes to consider and sometimes make another photograph. From this spot along the trail I found a view past closer trees and on into more distant growth, and I stopped to make a few photographs. In this one I chose to work with a vertical composition to emphasize the slender forms of the second-growth redwoods and other trees reaching toward the light.

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.

Granite, Falling Water

Granite, Falling Water
Granite, Falling Water

Granite, Falling Water. Yosemite National Park, California. May 4, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A spring creek cascades across dark fractured granite, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite’s Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120), which passes through the park and across the Sierra crest at Tioga Pass, opened earlier than usual this year. It was not the earliest recorded opening, but the very small snow pack of the winter season meant that in early May it looked much more like a typical June. There was some snow left on the ground, but rather than being the deep and compacted remains of months of winter snow it was mostly what was left from a single spring storm a few days earlier.

In a more typical year, a drive over this route on the opening weekend provides an experience that is, to my way of thinking, mostly about water. Not only do we get to see vast remaining snow banks holding water that will irrigate the Sierra for months to come, but the spring melt brings wild, watery scenes nearly everywhere. Waterfalls and creeks appear in places where there is almost no evidence of their existence weeks or months later. Creeks spill across the highway flood sections of it. Larger creeks and rivers overflow their banks and turn meadows into lakes. But not this year. The photograph features a small section of a larger cascade which bounces down a steep and rugged section of granite boulders. Beautiful as it is, it should look like this in late June rather than early May.

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.