2006 Favorites

I’m trying something different with this year’s “favorite” images. Instead of a Top 10 list like I did last year, I have selected one favorite from each of the Subject categories listed in the sidebar – with the exception of categories in which I don’t have a favorite and/or I have nothing new from 2006.

(If you have a large monitor, click on one of the “runners-up” link and position the new window so that it and the original window are both visible. Additional runners-up images will open in the same secondary window.)

Central California

CaleroFireRoad2006|01|14: Fire Road. Calero Park. January 14, 2006. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell". ("sales")
Fire Road. Calero Park. January 16, 2006. Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

Runners-up:

Oak, Valley, and Ridge

Two Monoliths, Mission Peak

Vallecito Trail

Ridge Road and Grassland

Death Valley

RacetrackTwoRocksBW2006|04|03: Two Rocks, Racetrack Playa. Death Valley National Park. April 3, 2006. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell". ("sales")    keywords: race track playa two rocks death valley national park dawn clouds california black and white photograph

Two Rocks, Racetrack Playa. Death Valley National Park. April 3, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

I was lucky to spend several days in Death Valley National Park at the start of April this year, in amazing conditions: wind and dust storm, rain, snow on the peaks, and even some heat. The stormy conditions brought amazing clouds to the area and I was up before dawn every day. This photograph was made at the remote and amazing Racetrack Playa, 30 miles out on a narrow dirt track. I arrived the night before too late for photography, after driving straight through from the Bay Area. On this morning I was up before dawn and out on the vast expanse of the playa well before the sun came up, all alone in tremendous winds. As the sun came up the the cloud shadows raced across the playa so fast that I could barely set up for photographs in time. This photo captures a strange otherworldly quality that one feels on the playa.

Runners-up:

First Light, Racetrack Playa

Moving Rock, Racetrack Playa

Dawn on the Panamints, Zabriskie Point

Shafts of Sunlight, Panamint Range

Mono Lake

MonoDawnTufaPano2006|09|10: Dawn, South Tufa. Mono Lake, California. September 10. 2006. © "copyright g dan mitchell".    keywords: south tufa towers mono lake dawn sunrise early morning california color photograph

Dawn, South Tufa. Mono Lake, California. September 10. 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

I took several photos on this particular late-summer morning, quite a few of which I like. This one is a composite of three vertical-format images stitched together, producing a photo that can be printed large. Dawn at Mono Lake on a morning like this one is almost completely still with only the sounds of the gulls breaking the silence. There is a monochrome version of this photo that I like a lot as well.

Runners-up:

Birds, Mono Lake

South Tufa, Dawn (black and white)

Negit Island

Clouds, Mono Lake

Nature

MuleEarsHillSunsetBW2006|09|16: Field of Mule-Ears, Sunset. Near Tinker Knob, California. September 16, 2006. © "copyright g dan mitchell".    keywords: mule ears plants rock sunset tinker knob sierra nevada donner pass squaw valley black and white photograph

Field of Mule-Ears, Sunset. Near Tinker Knob, California. September 16, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

I cheated and took this photograph from my Sierra Nevada category – even though I also like some of those actually place in the Nature category. This photograph was taken on a late-September backpack trip between Donner Pass and Squaw Valley, at a time when the mule ears plans had all gone dormant and the green leaves had turned brown and brittle. I took this picture right at sunset – actually I took the several photographs (at different exposures) from which this image was created.

Runners-up:

Oak Leaves, Autumn

Dogwood Leaves

Aspen Leaves

Lupine

Ocean

PacificFog2006|08|24: Fog, Pacific Ocean. North of Davenport, California. August 28, 2006. © "copyright g dan mitchell".    keywords: pacific ocean fog blue north of davenport california color photograph

Fog, Pacific Ocean. North of Davenport, California. August 28, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

I took several others that I also like, but I selected this one because of its minimalist simplicity.

Runners-up:

Sand, Surf, and Birds

Winter Surf

Pacific Northwest

SeattleSkylineMorning2006|07|30: Morning, Seattle Center and Mt. Rainier. Seattle, Washington. July 30, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.    keywords: seattle center downtown space needle skyline mount mt. rainier dawn sunrise morning pink clouds washington color photograph

Morning, Seattle Center and Mt. Rainier. Seattle, Washington. July 30, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

It may seem a bit too “post card,” but I like the light in this photograph a lot. I was not at all optimistic about photo prospects when I went out on this July morning but I found a good moment at this hillside park above downtown Seattle.

Runners-up:

Reflections #3, Experience Music Project

Walker in Volunteer Park

Nightfall, Seattle Center and Mount Rainier

Winter Skyline

People

UmbrellaPeopleMission 2006|07|01: Umbrella People. Mission Peak. July1 , 2006. © G Dan Michell.

Hikers with Black Umbrellas. Mission Peak. July 1, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

While I am fond of some other photos in this category (including a couple shots of my oldest son in the Seattle Library) I keep coming back to this one. For some reason, umbrellas are an interesting subject in and of themselves but in this case the incongruity of seeing three of them, all black, on a trail atop of high ridge in the middle of summer is something special. I was descending from the summit of Mission Peak when I saw them coming toward me. I dropped to the side of the trail and quickly got out my camera, acting as if I was interested in something else entirely so that I would not make the subjects react unnaturally. As they passed I quickly squeezed off about three shots, of which this is my favorite.

Runners-up:

Red, Yellow, Blue

Photographer at the Racetrack Playa

Tourists, Glacier Point

Caroline Reading at Big Pine Lake #4

San Francisco

Three Ships at Anchor, San Francisco Bay

Three Ships at Anchor. San Francisco, California. July 17, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

I’m fortunate to live a short train ride from San Francisco, and I managed to photograph there quite a few times this year and bring back several images that I like quite a bit. There is also a color version of this photograph that I like quite a bit – in fact, I still go back and forth between the color and monochrome versions.

Runners-up:

Bay Bridge and Fence

Bridge

Morning, San Francisco Bay and East Bay Shipping Yard

Transamerica Building

Sierra Nevada

TarnRockPeakBW2006|10|07: Tarn, Rock, Peak. (Monochrome) Twenty Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada. October 7, 2006. © "copyright g dan mitchell". ("sales")    keywords: tarn lake rock reflections peak clouds autumn light snow twenty lakes basin sierra nevada mountains california black and white photograph

Tarn, Rock, Peak. (Monochrome) Twenty Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada. October 7, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

Taken on a very cold afternoon on a late-season pack trip near Tioga Pass just outside of Yosemite National Park.

Runners-up:

Sunset, Aspens

Dawn, Palisades Area

Sunrise, Temple Crag and Fourth Lake

Field of Mules-Ears, Sunset

Sports

VeloPaceline2006|05|19: Paceline, Hellyer Park Velodrome. San Jose, California. May 19, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.

Paceline, Hellyer Park Velodrome. San Jose, California. May 19, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

I took a number of photographs of bicycle track racing this year, mostly more conventional shots of the cyclists. I like this one, however, because I think it captures some of the feeling of the evening races and has a certain stark quality about it.

Runners-up:

Motorpacing

Solo Rider

Paceline, Saturday Training Race

Structures

Mining Equipment, Bodie

Mining Equipment. Bodie, California. May 27, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

This category was also difficult as there are other images that I like quite a bit – some of which are also found in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco categories.

This photograph was taken on a very cold late May day at Bodie, California in the desert east of the Sierra Nevada. I took a detour to Bodie while driving between Mammoth Lakes and home since I found myself with a bit of extra time, only to arrive at Bodie in very cold and windy conditions and, eventually, light snowfall.

Runners-up:

Walls and Chimney, Snow Flurries

Reflections, Experience Music Project

Experience Music Building, Surfaces #1

Seattle Library

Textures

BambooString2006BW|07|14BW(Hori): Bamboo and String, Hakone Gardens. (Horizontal, Black and white.) Saratoga, California. July 14, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.    keywords: bamboo sticks string hakine japanese tea garden zen house saratoga california black and white photograph horizonatal landscape format

Bamboo and String, Hakone Gardens. (Horizontal, Black and white.) Saratoga, California. July 14, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (Sales).

 

Since there was only one, the choice was easy. :-)

Urban

CruiseTerminal2006|07|17: Cruise Terminal. San Francisco, California. July 17, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.    keywords: cruise terminal ferry building san francisco california reflections of people in door windows black and white photograph

Cruise Terminal. San Francisco, California. July 17, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

In what I suppose is classic street photography form, I grabbed this shot from a moving bus as it passed the entrance to this building along the Embarcadero in San Francisco – and somehow the people ended up framed in the separate door windows.

Yosemite

TenayaReflectionBW2006|07|24: Tenaya Lake Reflections. Yosemite National Park. July 24, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.    keywords: tenaya lake tioga road yosemite national park clouds rocks evening reflection black and white photograph

Tenaya Lake Reflections. Yosemite National Park. July 24, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

 

This is one of the toughest choices for me – Yosemite is so huge and so beautiful, I visit so often, and I have photographed everything from the Valley, to Tioga Road, to the backcountry. I chose this one for several reasons: it was taken very close to the location of a famous photograph by Ansel Adams, another photographer whose work I respect commented on it, and I like some of the formal and other subtleties of the image.

Runners-up:

Three Brothers, Merced River

Tree, Sunset, Olmsted Point

Early Evening, Tuolumne Meadows

Morning, Half Dome and El Capitan

Sunset, North Dome and Mount Hoffman

Morning Light and Snow

Last Light on Half Dome

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

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G Dan Mitchell, photographer and visual opportunist. Posting daily photographs since 2005, along with articles, reviews, news, and ideas.

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