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G Dan Mitchell
Works at G Dan Mitchell Photography
Lives in SF Bay Area, California
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G Dan Mitchell

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Photograph of the day: Bluffs and Morning Fog. Big Sur Coast, California. May 1, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Coastal bluffs lead away into the fog along California’s rugged Pacific Ocean coast

I am still astonished by how widely variable the appearance of a single scene can be along this Big Sur coastline. On a winter day this area could be raked by monumentally powerful Pacific storms, raising winds and surf. On a quite summer evening it could be warm and peaceful with sunset light bathing the cliffs. On another summer evening everything could be socked in completely by thick fog.

On this spring morning the light coming over the ridges of the coastal mountains was still casting shadows along the shoreline, while the tops of the bluffs were in sunshine. Oddly, on a morning that began clear, fog was beginning to form down low, hugging the coast just above the water...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/05/05/bluffs-and-morning-fog
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Great memories of the Big Sur coastline +G Dan Mitchell I was a student at Brooks in Santa Barbara in the 70's and used to drive Highway 1 all the time looking for photo ops. Learned to fill the tank before the drive because gas in Big Sur was so expensive and hard to find!
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Photograph of the day: Dunes and Mountains, Morning. Death Valley National Park, California. March 31, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Morning light on sand dunes and rugged mountains, Death Valley National Park

On our final morning in Death Valley this past March I got up before dawn one more time, loaded some gear in the car, and drove a short distance to a place from which I had decided I wanted to access sand dunes. I had been in the same area a few days earlier, and on that visit I spotted a likely looking area not far away — and that was my target this time as I walked alone across the quiet playa in pre-dawn light.

Out here the light arrives with surprising suddenness, despite the hints that it is coming, seen in light on peaks to the west and far up the valley. Silently the first light skims across dune tops, and within seconds the soft light is replaced by brighter highlights and darker shadows. Here I looked east across low dunes toward mountains along the eastern side of the valley...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/05/03/dunes-and-mountains-morning
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Photograph of the day: Great Blue Heron. Sacramento Valley, California. January 8, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A great blue heron stands next to a Sacramento Valley pond

As I prepare photographs to share via social media (in my continuing photo-a-day marathon, now perhaps the years old) I often have photographs lined up for posting days or weeks in the future. Occasionally one sits here on the computer for a long time before I finally share it. This photograph of a great blue heron is such a photograph — I made it almost four months ago, way back when we were in the middle of winter!

This past winter I decided to expand the range of my bird photography a bit. I’ve been photographing winter birds in Central California for the past few years, but mostly in a range from roughly Sacramento south....

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/05/01/great-blue-heron-2
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Photograph of the day: Dunes, Clouds, Morning. Death Valley National Park, California. March 30, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Curving dune forms beneath spring clouds, Death Valley

This turned out to be a very productive morning for photography — from scenic photographs of beautiful light on the Cottonwood Mountains to abstract and expressive photographs of the dune forms. I had several conditions that appeal to me. The sun in this photograph was almost directly in front of the camera, creating a somewhat stark effect and producing myriad sparkles in the sand. There were clouds from a passing weather front, and in a typically cloud-free place like Death Valley it is wonderful to get them. Not only were there clouds that I could include in the composition, but at times other high, thin clouds softened the light.

When I made this exposure I was pretty certain that I was heading toward a monochromatic interpretation. I also had a mental image of layers stacked up vertically: the light-colored lower band of sand, the softer middle ground with the streak of light passing across the darker textured sand, and the clouds above....

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/29/dunes-clouds-morning
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Photograph of the day: Desert Light and Shadow. Death Valley National Park, California. March 28, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Morning light illuminates dust filled air above desert mountains and valley

Please indulge me as I continue to engage in my obsession with a series of photographs of this scene made on a special morning earlier this spring, when dark clouds gave way to light across the valley from my position high on a desert mountain ridge in Death Valley National Park.

If nothing else, sharing the series of somewhat similar photographs (this one, others posted previously, and possibly one or two more still to come) might illuminate the process of refining the way of seeing a particular subject. (Of course, to do that more completely you would also have to see photographs of the same location from previous visits over a period of years.) While I was there and the light was evolving I was very aware that the I could “see” the scene in multiple ways...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/27/desert-light-and-shadow
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Photograph of the day: Buildings, Venice Beach. Venice Beach, California. April 1, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Venice Beach buildings in midday sun

Finally. A photograph that is not Death Valley. Don’t worry, there are still more Death Valley photographs, and this one did come from the same trip. On our return from Death Valley we swung through the LA Basin to visit our daughter and son-in-law, replacing natural pleasures with the distinctly urban experiences of Los Angeles. On April 1 we went to Venice Beach to visit the G2 Gallery, where photographer friends exhibit from time to time. (We enjoyed the gallery quite a bit — some lovely photographs by Clyde Butcher and Jack Dykinga were featured that week.)

Out of the gallery and on the street I had an opportunity to play with a new camera, my Fujifilm X-Pro2, which had arrived shortly before we left for Death Valley...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/24/buildings-venice-beach
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Photograph of the day: 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...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/05/04/bixby-bridge-big-sur-coast
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Photograph of the day: Desert Mountains, Clouds. Death Valley National Park, California. March 28, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Clouds from a passing weather front and the beginning of a dust storm above desert mountains and valley

If you follow my daily photographic posts, you just might recognize this scene — given that I’ve been posting variations on it for the past couple of weeks! (As you may have gathered, my daily shared photographs are not the same as my “Best of…” work. Instead they are, among other things, a way to stay “on assignment” and work out and try a variety of ideas.) So far, the variations on this general subject have included both monochrome and color versions and vertical and horizontal formats.

There were several challenges with this scene on location, some technical and some esthetic. Technical challenges included the extreme variations in the light, from the brilliantly lit clouds to the left foreground canyon in deep shadow. This was a challenge for which I realized that part of the solution could come in post...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/05/02/desert-mountains-clouds-2
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Photograph of the day: Desert Wash and Mountains. Death Valley National Park, California. March 29, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A desert wash cuts though golden layers toward mountains and Death Valley

I made this in another area of Death Valley where, despite its popularity, I have never really quite felt comfortable making photographs. The area is along a loop road that ascends the alluvial fan along the valley edge and then passed across and along some very beautiful washes, giving access to areas of strikingly colored rock formations. The formations are intriguing, but they don't move be photographically. At least not yet — I won't rule out the possibility that I'll someday find a way to "see" them.

However, at one of the most popular stops, when I look the opposite direction, I see this absolutely lovely wash curving gracefully back and forth as it descends through golden rock...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/30/desert-wash-and-mountains-2
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I think you are just getting used to my 4:3! (Which this is, too :-)

Though I wonder if G+ is playing some games with the display?
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Photograph of the day: Dunes, Evening. Death Valley National Park, California. March 27, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Evening light comes to desert sand dunes, Death Valley National Park

I made this photograph on the evening of our arrival in Death Valley this past March, when we spent the better part of a week photographing in this desert park. We took a slow drive into the park from Ridgecrest, stopping at Trona and then in the Panamint Valley before crossing Towne Pass and dropping into Death Valley itself. It was early enough that we decided to take a “little” side trip to some slightly remote canyons in the afternoon and go for a short hike. We returned to the Stovepipe Wells area and then headed out along the dunes in the evening.

The evening light, especially when softened a bit by clouds or else just after the sun sets, paints the dunes and the surrounding terrain in marvelous and subtle colors. Mountains that are blue-gray in daylight and dunes that are almost colorless take on the colors of the haze, the sky, and the evening light...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/28/dunes-evening-2
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Photograph of the day: Desert Mountains, Clouds. Death Valley National Park, California. March 28, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Clouds from a passing weather front and the beginning of a dust storm above desert mountains and valley

The light and atmospheric effects in the desert can be quite varied, though we are perhaps most familiar with the least interesting conditions, the heat and clarity of midday. (Even that has an appeal, but for me it often isn’t photographic.) But go there often enough and at different times of year, and you will witness an astonishing diversity of conditions. I’ve been at this location in extreme heat, gale force winds, snow, light rain, quite evening light, and more. The conditions on this morning were not unprecedented in my experience, but the combination was marvelous.

We arrived at this ridgeline location just before sunrise and, as is often the case, there were clouds above the ridges far to the east that would block the light of the rising sun. Such clouds can be a photographic blessing (when the light up the right way) or a curse (when they simply block the light and leave everything gray). After a very brief bit of color along the distant horizon it looked like this was going to be a gray morning. Fortunately, we stuck around...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/26/desert-mountains-clouds
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Photograph of the day: Sand and Shadow. Death Valley National Park, California. March 31, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Patterns of light and shadow on desert sand dunes

This was just about the last photograph I made during this year’s spring photography trip to Death Valley National Park. Our plan was to get up and be on the road to the Los Angeles area in the morning, but I couldn’t resist one more early awakening, so I was up and down the road before sunrise, parking my vehicle a half hour away from a location I had been thinking about for some time. I headed out across the flats in the pre-dawn semi-darkness and hiked toward low dunes as the sky began to lighten. It was very quiet and the air was still as I arrived and climbed up onto low sand hills and dunes.

I was surprised to find the wind blowing stiffly in the dunes, and as I photographed the foot or so above the sand was filled with blowing sand, occasionally muting the otherwise distinct patterns of rippling sand. I began by photographing some longer views across ranks of dunes rising toward the east, but I gradually shifted my attention to closer and smaller subjects...

continued: http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2016/04/25/sand-and-shadow
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Visual opportunist and photographer of the Pacific coast, the Sierra Nevada, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography and more. www.gdanmitchell.com & "gdanmitchell" on social media.
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    G Dan Mitchell is a visual opportunist and photographer of the Pacific coast, the Sierra Nevada, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography and much more. My photography blog features daily photographs along with news and commentary. Information about purchasing prints and licensing photographs is available here or by email: dan@gdanmitchell.com. Also: Faculty member at De Anza College.
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  • G Dan Mitchell Photography
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    G Dan Mitchell is a California fine art photographer and visual opportunist whose primary subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more. Faculty Member at De Anza College.
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G Dan Mitchell's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Official: Canon 5DS, 5DS R and 11-24mm lens released!
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[news]The rumors were indeed true. Canon just announced two new flagship DSLR cameras with the highest megapixel count in the market. The fu

Togs Circle Connect
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Togs Circle Connect is the GOOGLE+ PAGE where PHOTOGRAPHERS can connect together for interaction.

Landscape Photography Show
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2014 Landscape photography Show page!

1212Scenery
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A collection of beautiful photography

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I personally purchase and use products from each of these affiliate vendors: B&H Photo, Craft and Vision, and ThinkTank Photo.

Raven Tells a Story
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I completed this painting last week and decided to put the photo up on Facebook social media because people like to comment and "like" it. W

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L versus Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS | G Dan Mitch...
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Anyone who spends any time in photography forums discussing Canon lenses has seen this topic come up regularly. (Some might say it comes up

Special Discount on Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II at B&H | G Dan Mitchell ...
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We interrupt our regular broadcast to bring you this special message. ;-) I just heard that site sponsor B&H has added its own additiona

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Photographers Charles Cramer and Karl Kroeber working in golden hour light along the shore of a sub-alpine lake high in the Sierra Nevada ba

YouTube - Who Cares About this Planet?
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Create AccountSign In. Home. BrowseMoviesUpload. Hey there, this is not a commercial interruption. You're using an outdated browser, whi

The Metropolitan Opera: Satyagraha LIVE
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The Met's visually extravagant production is back for an encore engagement. Richard Croft once again is Gandhi in Philip Glass's unf

Publish Sync on Facebook | Facebook
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Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep

Photograph: Reflections, Trees and Rocks, Morning Light - Yosemite Natio...
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Morning light on shoreline trees and rocks at a back-country sub-alpine lake, Yosemite National Park.

Photo of the Day | August 26 | Fishermen by Joe Azure | Light and Compos...
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This pier is located at the Warming Hut in San Francisco's Park Presidio. When I get there in the mornings, no matter how early it is, there

Buffett calls for more taxes on 'mega-rich'
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(08-15) 07:10 PDT , (AP) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is calling on the so-called "mega-rich" to pay more in taxes. Buffett said M

Opinion: U.S. has sowed the seeds of its own decline since the Cold War ...
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In the wake of the hugely disappointing budget deal and the S&Ps debt downgrade, maybe we need to hang a new sign in the immigration ar

The Do’s and Don’ts of Photography
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A list of maxims outlining the art and science of photography with prescriptive pragmatism, conceptual insight and a healthy dose of stern h

Experiment #1: What do you see? | G Dan Mitchell Photography
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Yesterday I posted a series of three images in a couple forums I frequent along with a request that a few people try a little experiment wit