Tag Archives: travel

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Coast

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Coast
A spring morning along the upper Big Sur coastline above Bixby Bridge.

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur Coast. Pacific Coast Highway, California. May 1, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A spring morning along the upper Big Sur coastline above Bixby Bridge.

Living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area region, I’m spoiled by the wealth of visual opportunities within a day’s drive. It has been a busy few weeks since I returned from Death Valley near the beginning April, and I was overdue for a day of photography — so I decided to pick a relatively local area and head out. I had two possibilities in mind. The first was Point Reyes, north of San Francisco, and a location I’ve been trying to get my photographic mind around for some years now. The other option was to head south towards the upper section of the Big Sur coastline, perhaps with a stop at an old favorite, Point Lobos.

Initially my plan was, in fact, to start at Point Lobos. However, as I crossed the Carmel River and soon got my first look at the ocean I saw that fog was beginning to form. For me, that is a good sign! I’d much rather photograph in “interesting” conditions than in perfect blue sky weather, and I’ve often found low coastal fog in the morning to produce some stunning lighting. So I bypassed Point Lobos and headed on to the south. This point was my turn-around, on a high bluff looking back up the coast to the north past Bixby Bridge and a series of additional ridges dropping to the Pacific, with that low fog starting to gather further along. Yes, it is a familiar icon… but, yes, it is also quite beautiful.


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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Winter Day, Manhattan

Winter Day, Manhattan
Brick buildings on a gray winter day in Manhattan

Winter Day, Manhattan. New York City. December 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Brick buildings on a gray winter day in Manhattan

Near the end of our late-2015 visit to New York City we ended up heading over to Chelsea (which we did more than once on this trip) for various reasons, and we ended up walking along the High Line Park. This popular elevated park snakes above Chelsea, starting near the new Whitney Museum, and runs north a good distance. It is a fascinating place for a photographer, both for the people watching possibilities and for the views of the city it provides.

This Californian is fascinated by this kind of “dull” gray winter day of a sort that we don’t see that often in my part of the world. The temperature hovers in the just-above-freezing range, and the sky remains gray, and in many ways the city can look very old.


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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Ben Is Watching

Ben Is Watching
A Brooklyn, New York wall

Ben Is Watching. December 21, 2015. Brooklyn, New York. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A Brooklyn, New York wall

I generally make it a rule to not photograph graffiti, though it is not quite a hard and fast rule. I almost never photograph a subject with someone’s vanity tag on it, and in a few cases when a larger subject as been compelling I have removed or defaced the tag in post. There are probably a range of reasons that one might write or scribble or draw on public and private property, ranging from a poor sense of social belonging to a desire to produce something like art — so the decision to show or not isn’t without context.

In this case, the wall seemed to be one that had become, likely by more or less popular agreement (or a concession?) a place where such public art is perhaps not only tolerated but also expected. While a simple tag doesn’t usually interest me, here there were layers of text and imagery that had been assembled over time and then modified by weather, wear, and perhaps later contributors. Eventually, the accidental juxtapositions seem to take on their own lives, as in this vignette featuring a worn dollar bill image of Benjamin Franklin, and oddly anthropomorphic red and white and green shape, bits and pieces of paint, and the underlying old brick wall. And, of course, this is all very temporary — and probably transformed or gone by now.


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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Woman Photographing Brick Wall

Woman Photographing Brick Wall
A woman stands on a bench to photograph a brick wall along the High Line Park, New York.

Woman Photographing Brick Wall. New York City. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A woman stands on a bench to photograph a brick wall along the High Line Park, New York.

I made this photograph on a winter’s day walk along the High Line Park in western Manhattan — the increasingly well-known park that extends along the abandoned path of an old elevated railroad bed. The park is very popular, and even on a winter day there were many, many people out walking along it, and the surrounding neighborhoods were also filled. Of course, there is a lot going on in this Chelsea neighborhood — the Whitney Museum is now open at the southern end of the park, there are lots of restaurants and more along its length, and the north end now terminates at the busy construction site of the Hudson Yards.

When I made the photograph I probably wasn’t thinking consciously about much or than the possibility of isolating the figure of the woman, engrossed in making a close up photograph the bricks, against the small and large patterns of the background wall, with the slight natural intrusion of the tree at the right edge. Later I thought about what she was photographing, and how most people might simply wonder what the heck she sees there, in a place where there is nothing apparent to photograph. This might be a bit of a metaphor for lots of photography, where the act of capturing “something you see” defines your world and presents a personal vision of it to others. And I still do like the complex set of interlocking patterns of the wall, the wooden structure, the window, and the single figure.


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.

Two Bridges, East River

Two Bridges, East River
The East River and Manhattan Bridge, photographed from the Brooklyn Bridge, winter.

Two Bridges, East River. New York City. Deem her 26, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

The East River and Manhattan Bridge, photographed from the Brooklyn Bridge, winter.

During our recent December 2015 week-plus in New York City we stayed only a five or ten minute walk from the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge. Primarily that put us in a great area for food and other things and very close to a bunch of subway stations, but it also meant that a walk on the bridge was almost inevitable. On this day we had a date at the Metropolitan Opera in the evening, but we found ourselves with just enough time to wander onto the bridge before we had to go to Manhattan.

This bridge is, of course, a tremendously popular place these days. Even on a cold day after Christmas there were hordes of people walking across. I think I’ve made the classic photograph of the bridge towers and cables before, so I was looking for something that wasn’t that. As I walked along I noticed how the Manhattan Bridge towers (and other urban landscape elements in other photographs not shown here) lined up between the cables, and I soon found this spot that placed parts of the bridge structure in the foreground.


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.

Observation Deck, Griffith Observatory

Observation Deck, Griffith Observatory
Visitors to Griffith Observatory overlook Los Angeles twilight.

Observation Deck, Griffith Observatory. Los Angeles, California. November 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Visitors to Griffith Observatory overlook Los Angeles twilight.

We were in Southern California over the Thanksgiving holiday, visiting our daughter and son-in-law. On the weekend we decided to head up to Los Angeles for various things, including a visit to the Frans Lanting show at the Annenberg Space for Photography. We finished up there, headed out for food (of course!) and then decided to head to Griffith Park.

We were apparently among approximately 350,000 people with the same idea! I’m not sure what a typical crowd looks like here, but this one was huge. We finally abandoned our rental car well below the observatory and found a shuttle bus that went up the hill. We arrived a bit before sunset and found that hordes were already there. But I can see why — it is a spectacular location. Although I was only carrying my “little camera,” I decided to see what I could come up with. Eventually I photographed the actual sunset, but first I turned the camera towards the people crowded onto the walkways around the observatory and standing in the beautiful light watching the evening develop.


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.

Tourists Walking

Tourists Walking
Tourists on a late-night walk passed closed Chinatown shops in San Francisco

Tourists Walking. San Francisco, California. September 5, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Tourists on a late-night walk pass closed Chinatown shops in San Francisco

This is (yet another!) night street photography image made on one of my summer night walks in The City, in this case between roughly Union Square and almost to North Beach. A group of us meets up to photograph these subjects every so often. We begin before sunset and then continue walking, watching, and photographing right on into the night.

I recently read a nice description of part of what is appealing about photographing the street at night. In the daytime everything is more or less evenly lit, but at night small groups move into and out of the light, becoming “spotlighted” against the backdrop of the night. In places where we might see undifferentiated subjects in the daytime, subjects that pass though localized pools for light acquire more importance, and other elements of the scene recede. Here a small group of slightly uncomfortable-looking tourists shuffles past the closed up storefronts of Chinatown. Something about the group does not look entirely comfortable with their surroundings.


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+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


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