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G Dan Mitchell / 316 items

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Forest, Fog. Yosemite Valley, California. March 2, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Fog drifts among the trees of a Yosemite Valley forest on a winter morning

A winter morning is almost always a good time to seek out fog in the meadows of Yosemite Valley, but things did not look too promising on this particular morning. We were up very early—well before dawn—and out and about. Since we had photographed from a higher spot with expansive views the previous morning, today it seemed like a good idea to look for more intimate scenes, so we began to check out a few of the centrally located meadows where the fog often forms. However, first looks revealed perfectly clear air. We wandered a bit more and eventually ended up near Curry Village where there was one fog-filled meadow. As far as we could tell, Stoneman Meadow was the only place in the Valley with the conditions we were looking for.

In much the same way that valley-filling fog can move back and forth, thicken and thin, rise and fall, the fog in this meadow was constantly changing. At first the rapid changes made it seem that the fog might be dissipating, so I began shooting fairly quickly, hoping to get something before it was gone. But soon there was a surprising resurgence of the fog, which drifted across the meadow into surrounding trees, rose higher, and hid the view. As it again began to thin I turned my attention to a bit of nearby dense forest and photographed the trees, late and small, as the fog gradually faded away.

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.

Tags:   yosemite valley national park sierra nevada mountain range forest tree trunk green morning mist drift nature landscape scenic travel fog winter california usa north america stock license print

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Purple Trillium. Muir Woods National Monument, California. March 14, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A purple trillium flower against a background of green leaves

Visiting Muir Woods National Monument to photograph trillium flowers is almost a late-winter tradition for me. It is also close to becoming a tradition to forget that it is time for trillium, and then realize just in time that they are in bloom. I week or so ago I realized that my previous trillium photographs from this location had been made in early March... so it seemed like now would be the time to go! In this California drought year — now the third in a row — I wasn't sure what I would find. Some recent rains had finally brought some water to the area, and the creek through the monument was flowing and the ground was actually a bit wet. New plant growth was beginning, though it appeared less lush than I am used to seeing in this coastal redwood forest.

We did find blooming trillium plants. There were far fewer than in some recent years, and many of them seemed to have already blossomed, but with a bit of looking I was able to find some worthy of photographing. This year I decided I wanted to photograph them very close up, so I used a piece of equipment that often lives in my bag for months without ever coming out, a simple extension tube. I was able to position the camera almost directly over this flower, which let me make a background that consists entirely of the larger leaves of the plant.

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.

Tags:   california usa north america wild flower foliage plant trillium nature flora muir woods national monument golden gate recreation area ggnra bloom blossom green stock license print

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Forest and Valley Fog. Yosemite Valley, California. March 1, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Thick winter fog drifts among Yosemite Valley trees

Yes. Another foggy photograph. And perhaps not the last from this visit to Yosemite Valley at the beginning of March, though perhaps the final one from this particular vantage point. No guarantees, though. ;-)

At the risk of repetition, this fog drifting among the forest trees on the floor of Yosemite Valley and occasionally sloshing back and forth and rising up in front of cliffs, waterfalls, and domes was in continuous motion. While the big scene changed more slowly, the smaller vignettes within it changed very quickly. At times I would spot a potentially interesting bit of foggy landscape, swing my camera in that direction and frame up a composition... only to find that it had disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. While some landscape photographs may be carefully and slowly and thoughtfully composed, this moody subject seems to require a lot of quick, instinctive shooting. Here I quickly rotated the camera to a vertical position so that I could include near and far trees, adjusted the focal length to keep an interesting combination of trees and fog in the frame... and keep some other extraneous elements out. I often wonder how people see an image of a scene at which I was present, and how different their impressions and interpretations might be. Mine were related to the dampness in the air, the muted light, the overall quite and stillness of the scene, and the nearby presence of several friends who were also shooting here on this morning.

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.

Tags:   yosemite valley national park fog mist drift cloud winter trees forest season sierra nevada mountain range landscape nature california usa north america green stock license print

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A green tinted shadow falls across the front of a yellow building, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard

Photography © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Tags:   mare island naval ship yard vallejo california usa north america npy night photography historic green shadow yellow building metal industrial windows sodium vapor lighting stock license print The Nocturnes Nocturnes Mare Island Museum San Francisco Bay Area night photography MINSy Mare Island Naval Shipyard

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Aspens and Granite. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 12, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A stand of aspen with fall color in front of a granite filled slope, eastern Sierra Nevada

This beautiful stand of aspen trees is easily visible from the main highway running up and down the eastern Sierra, and I notice the trees every time that I drive past. It is across a small meadow where sheep graze at certain times of the year, and the trees are set against the backdrop of a small rocky hillside. I have stopped here before, but most often either the light hasn't been quite right (I have been looking for a certain combination of back- and side-light) or the leaf color hasn't been exactly idea.

On this October eastern Sierra trip we passed this spot quite a few times as we looked for photographic subjects in nearby areas. Conditions ranged from snow to fog to night to midday. Each time I again looked over at the trees and thought about the conditions in which I could photograph them, and because the trip was an extended one I passed by a few times when I could have stopped and photographed. Finally, on the second-to-last day of the visit, I figured out that I might or might not pass them again on this trip, the trees were showing a lot of color, and the light seemed about right.

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.

Tags:   eastern sierra nevada mountain range aspen trees grove stand yellow gold green bright colors fall autumn season california usa north america nature travel landscape granite slope rocks boulders stock license print


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