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G Dan Mitchell
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Photograph of the day: Service Station, Billboards. San Francisco, California. August 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Billboards tower over a service station in morning light, San Francisco

There are many kinds of landscapes to photograph, and I like most of them. This one happens to be an urban landscape, a subject that I like a lot. I made the photograph on one of my periodic walks through parts of San Francisco. This one, as most of them do, started at the Caltrain station very early in the morning and headed straight up toward Market Street. This gas station is right near a freeway interchange, and probably ideally situated for people arriving in or departing from downtown San Francisco.

I know that a scene like this may simply baffle some viewers, especially those who are more drawn to nature and natural landscape photographs with their depictions of unspoiled beauty. I understand. But even in the city there is beauty, and the light was especially wonderful on this morning — blue sky with scattered fog breaking up created a soft but still directional quality to the muted light... (continued:

#urbanlandscape   #urban   #street   #urbanphotography   #streetphotography   #sanfrancisco  
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Photograph of the day: Market Street. San Francisco, California. August 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A scene along San Francisco’s Market Street

Here is another San Francisco street photography image, this one from the “act quick and grab before it is gone” school of photography. When I’m lucky I may spot a scene like this and find that the human (and other transitory) element is unusually static, and I can take a bit of time to compose and wait for other elements to appear in the scene. On the other hand, often it is a matter of making that photograph almost instantaneously before the person moves, the street is again filled with cars, or any of many other elements change.

In this case I was initially thinking about the figures on the far side of the street and the interesting beam of light reflected down onto the street from the windows of tall buildings. As I walked I turned to my left and saw the person in black leaning against the structure... (continued:

#street   #streetphotography   #urban   #urbanphotography   #sanfrancisco   #blackandwhite   #blackandwhitephotography   #monochrome   #monochromephotography  
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Photograph of the day: Urban Reflections. San Francisco, California. July 25, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Reflected image of lights in San Francisco’s Chinatown

This photograph comes from a late-July evening spent doing night street photography in San Francisco, this time working the area between North Beach and Union Square… which of course means largely the Chinatown district. We began photography at dusk a few streets up from the touristy main drag, walking along Stockton street as the last shops closed up for the day. From here we wandered down narrow streets to the main drag, Grant, arriving there as darkness came on.

Even though it was a Friday night during the height of tourist season, there were not all that many people here, at least by the sometimes extraordinarily crowded standards of this area. Some shops were still open — catering to the out-of-town visitors — but many had closed or were closing... (continued:

#reflection   #reflectionphotography   #nightphotography   #night   #nocturne   #sanfrancisco   #street   #streetphotography  
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Photograph of the day: Green Door, Brick Wall. San Francisco, California. August 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Repainted and patched green door in the brick wall of an old San Francisco building

On this mid-August morning I got up early, took the bus to the train and the train to San Francisco, then walked right up into the downtown core of the City. The walk began with among train commuters heading up toward Market Street, past construction zones, freeway interchanges, and lots of traffic. Once at Market Street I turned toward the Bay and walked slowly, stopping frequently to watch and photograph. At the end of Market I turned south and began my walk back to the train station along the Embarcadero.

Eventually I decided to leave the Embarcadero and follow smaller streets to cross back to the Caltrain station. Like so many parts of San Francisco today, this is an area in transition. There are still some gritty old buildings, but things are rapidly evolving in a much more upscale and expensive direction — and for now the gritty and the modern live side by side. But not for long... (continued:

#urban   #urbanphotography   #street   #streetphotography   #urbandecay   #sanfrancisco  
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Very nice photo!
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Photograph of the day: Forest Edge, Mountain Slopes, Evening. Yosemite National Park, California. July 13, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Forest edge in evening light with forest sloping upwards toward Sierra crest peaks

This is most certainly not an iconic view, but I’m sure that many fellow Yosemite high country aficionados have been to this spot and gazed at this and the surrounding view. (Part of one Yosemite high country icon does appear in this photograph, but it is the bottom part.)

Earlier on this visit to the park I had walked out into this landscape to photograph in the meadow, on low hills, among trees, and alongside a river. As I passed by here again on this early evening I stopped and was entranced by the warm evening light on the trees at the edge of the meadow and by the further forest-covered slopes rising into the alpine zone and eventually above tree line to the elevations where there is little but rock and tundra... (continued:

#yosemite   #yosemitenationalpark   #sierra   #sierranevada   #forest   #forestphotography   #nature   #naturephotography   #nationalpark   #landscape   #landscapephotography  +Landscape Photography +HQSP Landscape 
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nice, picture,I like it,
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Photograph of the day: From Valley to Crest. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. August 7, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Afternoon light and haze, clearing storm clouds, eastern Sierra Nevada

In early August I was (of course!) once again in the Sierra for several days. This time the main event was to be a short backpacking trip with long-time back-country friends — a “taking it easy” trip to a beautiful group of lakes in the Rock Creek drainage. Our plan was to meet on at the trailhead or on the trail, to do the short hike to a central lake, set up a base camp, and relax and explore for a few days.

I decided to head up early, partly to have a bit of time to adapt the elevation, but also to do a bit of photography. (My backpacking partners were more “normal” people — not “abnormal” photograph-obsessed folks like me!) Arriving in the Yosemite high country at noon on a Friday in August, I did not spend much time at all trying to find a campsite there, instead heading straight over the crest and down to a less crowded spot. With camp set up, it was time to go make some photographs... (continued:

#landscape   #landscapephotography   #sierra   #sierranevada   #mountains   #light   #blackandwhite   #blackandwhitephotography   #monochrome   #monochromephotography   #nature   #naturephotography  +HQSP Landscape +Landscape Photography 
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Photograph of the day: Morning, Tuolumne Meadows, Mount Dana. Yosemite National Park, California. July 13, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Lembert Dome and Mount Dana rise above Tuolumne Meadows on a cloudy summer morning

This is yet another of the stopped-on-my-way-somewhere-else photographs, often made unexpectedly as I encounter something I wasn’t really looking for and get distracted — though another way to put it is that I quickly fall into a different mode of seeing when I photograph, and I begin to recognize the potential in subjects that I might otherwise not have noticed. In this case I was headed towards a specific location that I had planned to visit this morning, with a rather specific subject in mind. I set out and, as almost always, my “photographer’s brain” engages and I start seeing potential photographs everywhere. There is a tricky balance sometimes between stopping for the thing I see right here and sticking to a plan to photograph that other thing that I want to see. (This is an old question in photography with the extreme answers ranging from “never pass up a subject in front of you for one that you might see elsewhere” to “make a plan and stick to it if you want to get the photograph you have in mind.” The truth is complex, situational, and depends as much on good fortune and good guesses perhaps as much as on any rational considerations.)

In any case, I skipped past a few opportunities/distractions but ended up stopping for this one. This is a fairly well-known view in this part of the Sierra, though not everyone sees it right at sunrise.... (continued:

#landscape   #landscapephotography   #nature   #naturephotography   #yosemite   #yosemitenationalpark   #nationalpark   #sierra   #sierranevada   #blackandwhite   #blackandwhitephotography   #monochrome   #monochromephotography  +HQSP Landscape +Landscape Photography 
Satit Tanpromrat's profile photoJean Day's profile photoG Dan Mitchell's profile photoSridhar SRI's profile photo
Ha! Thanks, +Jean Day! :-)
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Photograph of the day: Receding Ridges, Trees, Morning. Yosemite National Park, California. July 15, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Morning haze and tree covered glacial ridges, Yosemite National Park

This is a view that has long caught my attention. It is very close to a place where [i]every[/i] park visitor stops to take in a famous view, but I suspect that quite a few miss this view in their anticipation of the stop for the more famous overlook. Some years ago a group of friends and I had an unusual experience here. One of my long-time backpacking buddies and I love listening to classical music on long drives, and we sometimes attempt to time the music so that particularly appropriate and impressive points in the music may coincide with our arrival at appropriate and impressive places. (Full backpacking and music geekery into one thing, and that’s what you end up with! ;-) We we listening to Mahler’s second symphony and we managed to hit the overwhelmingly powerful conclusion of that work right as we came around the bend to see this view. Needless to say, that made an impression on me, and the place is both special on its own and now associated with that experience.

Music aside, this is a stunning bit of Yosemite high country scenery, and it is perhaps (somewhat ironically) revealed even more clearly in the morning haze seen here... (continued:

#yosemite   #yosemitenationalpark   #nationalpark   #nationalparkphotography   #nature   #naturephotography   #landscape   #landscapephotography   #sierra   #sierranevada  +HQSP Landscape +Landscape Photography 
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waw .very beautiful
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Anyone have any experience with the Voltaic Systems portable solar charging systems? I'll be a back-country location doing photography for more than a week later at some point in the future, and I'm considering updating the way I get power to recharge batteries... and laptop. 

I'll likely want to charge my 11" Macbook Air once every day or two, and recharge a Canon LPE6 battery once per day or slightly less, and I might need to charge a battery for my Fujifilm X-trans camera very rarely.

(In the past when I've "gone heavy" on such trips, getting pack train support on the way in and out, we have used and older system based on lead acid batteries and various converters/inverters.)

If anyone has experience with this system, I'm looking at the Voltaic 10W, 17W, and 20W kits and leaning toward the 20W system.

Thanks in advance.
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We're long overdue for a trip.  As soon as we can recover from what has been an expensive few months.  I'll make a post when we do :)
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Photograph of the day: Colin P. Kelley. San Francisco, California. August 14, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Stark light on an old building on Colin P. Kelly Street, San Francisco

Most often when I go out to make photographs I do not have extremely specific ideas about my subject or even about how I will photograph the subjects I encounter. Usually, and especially with street photography, it is more a matter of tuning in to my surroundings and essentially hunting, conspiring to be in places where I think I might find interesting things, paying attention, and being ready to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise. On the other hand, I often do have some general ideas about the sorts of things that might interest me, and on my way to this morning on San Francisco streets I had specifically thought about a sort of image that might be black and white and which might use rather stark light a bit later in the morning — so when I saw this building on a corner near the train station I didn’t hesitate to photograph it.

What about the name of this photograph? It was simply a practical matter. I usually do not like to name photographs in ways that tell the viewer how to think of the photograph — most often I feel that if the photograph has anything to say to the viewer, the viewer should be allowed to figure that out from the visual content. (Yes, there are some exceptions.) So in this case the choice to use the words on the street sign... (

#architecture   #architecturephotography   #sanfrancisco   #street   #streetphotography   #urban   #urbanphotography   #blackandwhite   #blackandwhitephotography   #monochrome   #monochromephotography  
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Photograph of the day: Paris, San Francisco. San Francisco, California. July 25, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Closed Stockton Street shops, San Francisco

Today I’ll interrupt the nature/landscape photographs in order to share another photograph of a San Francisco street scene, photographed in late July when I was there for a night street photography shoot with friends. Members of the small group began assembling early enough to start with dinner — though I arrived late and had to meet up with them post-dinner on the street. We figured that if they walked south and I walked north that we might find one another along Stockton Street in the City’s Chinatown district.

This is a favorite area of mine for photography. I love the complex and often quite worn and utilitarian architecture. Shops are jam-packed close together, and at the right times of day the streets are packed with locals. Color and texture combinations can be wild, with colorful signs, painted and repainted walls, and more... (continued:

#sanfrancisco   #chinatown   #street   #streetphotography   #urban   #urbanphotography  
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Photograph of the day: Pine Trees, Morning. Sierra Nevada, California. August 10, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A small grove of high elevation pine trees in morning Sierra Nevada light

Although I visit the Sierra frequently, it has been some time since my last real backpacking trip and even longer since I last me up with my “Talusdancers” friends. The Talusdancers go way back — to a time about two decades ago when a loosely organized group of us began joining regularly for Sierra backcountry trips that ranged from a few days to longer than a week. In early August I had the opportunity to get these things back on track, with a three-day backpack trip in the eastern Sierra with three of the old gang. I arrived before the others, was on the trail by mid-afternoon, and had set up camp and was fixing dinner before the sun set. My friends apparently got to the trailhead much later and didn’t start hiking until about 6:00 PM. As the sun was setting I heard the “holler” of my friend Owen coming from across the valley, and I yelled back to let him know I as there. They soon arrived, and I can report that there are few things more wonderful that meeting up in the backcountry with good friends you have not seen for some time!

Our camp was on a rise above the shore of a sub-alpine lake, a very familiar Sierra Nevada setting. Beyond the lake to the west the terrain rises, past more lakes and thinning trees, into the alpine zone, and eventually to Sierra crest peaks and ridge lines... (continued:

#sierranevada   #johnmuirwilderness   #trees   #treephotography   #nature   #naturephotography   #landscape   #landscapephotography  +HQSP Landscape +Landscape Photography 
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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.

    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: Also: Faculty member at De Anza College.
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photography, landscape photography, nature photography, urban landscape photography, music photography, music, teaching, night photography, more...
  • 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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