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G Dan Mitchell / 235 items

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Green Shop Doors. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, Vallejo, California. April 5, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Green doors to an immense industrial shop building, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard

I'm intrigued by doorways, especially doorways painted in interesting colors, or which suggest a size different from their reality, or which hint at something beyond the doors. These doors, both the obvious small door at the left, and the larger three section doors to its right that you'll see if you look a bit more closely, are along the front of a gigantic shop building at Mare Island. Many years ago they were, no doubt, devoted to work related to the ship construction that went on here for many decades. That work ended decades ago, the facility was decommissioned, and much of it was left vacant for a long time.

More recently things have begun to move again on the island. While some areas still lie dormant and others have succumbed to weather and vandals, many others still stand and quite a few of them are now used by small operations. Looking through the windows on this night, portions of the interior were dimly lit and it appeared that a few workers were busy inside. Incongruously, it looked like at least one computer screen glowed on a desk near a window.

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:   mare island naval ship yard minsy green metal doors windows light immense shop building interior wall vallejo california usa north america historic industrial stock license print nocturnes040514

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Industrial Building, Mixed Lighting. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, Vallejo, California. April 5, 2013. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Numerous sources of artificial light illuminate an industrial building from outside and inside

I like night photography for a number of reasons. I enjoy the very slow work, finding subjects and compositions in near darkness and then waiting patiently for long exposures to complete. "Normal" photography can be a slow and meditative process, but night photography must be. Given so much time to stand and wait, I cannot help but notice the stillness and quiet of the night, and to feel the cool and damp air. In fact, as a person who does night photography, these things are almost as much part of the experience as the visual elements.

In the visual context, there are a few things about the appeal of night photography that might not occur to a person who has not done it. When photographing in very low light, what we photograph is often very different from what we actually see. Often the subject is quite dark, even when lit by the moon or nearby lights, but the camera doesn't care—a long enough exposure can collect more light that our eyes can, and a dim and drab subject can become bright. Also, the illusion that the camera stops time is not quite so strong when photographing at night. Over the course of a many minutes long exposure stars move, lights of cars appear and pass, clouds blur into soft streaks, and the edges of shadows from moonlight blur. In industrial areas such as this one, the lighting is a mixture of things glowing from within and lit from without, and the diversity of lighting—tungsten, fluorescent, sodium vapor, LED, mercury vapor, moonlight—paints the nightscape with wild colors. This building is an excellent example. The upper windows emanate a glow from yellow interior light. Relatively colorless light hits the upper walls, but the light takes on an odd blue/pink tone on the lower building, and the shadows head toward blue.

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:   mare island naval ship yard minsy building industrial shop numerous light sources colors illuminate yellow pink structure wall window pipes stock license print Vallejo California USA nocturnes040514

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© Wall, After Rain, Night. Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, Vallejo, California. April 5, 2014. Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Night photograph of the walls of an industrial building reflected in a pool of rainwater, Mare Island Naval Ship Yard

Recently I returned to the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard with my friends from The Nocturnes, a group of folks who focus on night photography. The Nocturnes have been photographing there for many years and the group forms a core of San Francisco Bay Area night photographers. Mare Island has become something of a mecca for night photography in the area, to the point that you can often find photographers shooting there in the dark and so that certain images from the location have achieved an almost iconic status. I first photographed there about a decade ago, and I've gone back at least a couple of times each year, to the point that I now have quite a few images of the place.

Having shot there so much, the way I approach the subject has evolved. At first, like anyone else getting to know the place, I focused on the well-known shipbuilding machinery—steel towers and cranes, dry docks, and so forth. Eventually, I began to look for other subjects, and I also began to understand the patterns of the place. Shooting on a full moon night is one thing, while shooting on a completely dark night another. Clear skies bring different opportunities than clouds. (I'm still waiting for a foggy night there!) More recently there have been changes to the area lighting on the island. The lighting is part of what has made photography there so interesting. It includes a wild range of sources—sodium vapor, mercury, fluorescent, tungsten, moonlight, and more—and sometimes turns otherwise bland structures into brilliantly colorful subjects. (Or at least it did. Now the older, colorful lighting is gradually being replaced with sun-white LED lights!) The weather is a major player, and it had rained the week beforehand. Because of this I was on the lookout for puddles and pools that might reflect the images of Mare Island structures, and here I found a very large puddle right in front of the wall of this large building.

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 | Facebook | Google+ | 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:   mare island naval ship yard minsy wall puddle pool reflection building industrial night photography asphalt historic vallejo california usa north america stock license print rain water

B 1013 C 0 E Dec 24, 2013 F Feb 1, 2014
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Illuminated Wall Panel. New York City. December 24, 2013. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

The patterns of an illuminated and woven wall in a New York City Chinese restaurant

We had arrived in New York earlier this afternoon, taking the subway in to Manhattan from Kennedy to get to our hotel on Canal Street. The plan was to get settled there - where we would stay for the next week - and then meet up with family and friends and walk to the Chinatown district for dinner. Christmas Eve, New York City, meeting friends and family, Chinese food - what could be better?

We found the restaurant and some of our party were already there. In a city like New York I almost never go without a camera and, yes, I took one to dinner with me on this evening. Most of the photographs are of people in our group - and I won't likely post those here. But as we sat down, across the table was a very interesting wall - wide panels of some material that looked like very thin wood were woven together and lit from behind. I thought that the pattern might make an interesting photograph, so I made a single exposure... and went back to paying attention to the party!

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:   new york city state manhattan pattern black and white monochrome light illuminated wall panel woven shadow chinese restaurant usa north america urban structure stock license print

B 1961 C 2 E Dec 29, 2013 F Feb 1, 2014
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Person, Stairs, Wall, Windows. New York City. December 29, 2013. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A person ascends stairs inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

On this day, halfway through our late-December week in New York City, we finally had some bad weather. Not as bad as the snowstorms that shut down the city a week or so later, but enough cold rain that walking around Manhattan was starting to seem a lot less appealing than it had been the day before. We decided that the weather would make it a good day for indoor activities, so we got on the subway and headed up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art... where we joined what seemed like about half of New York City in using the Museum as a rainy day activity!

If you have been there, you know that this museum is huge - far too big to see the whole thing in a day. We've gone a number of times, each time poking into new areas that we had not seen before and visiting a few familiar areas. This time we visited some galleries displaying photography and finally ended up way in the back of the facility in a section of newer architecture. This seemed like an odd spot to me. What here looks like the exterior windows of a building, with a sidewalk in front, is actually inside the museum. If I recall correctly, it is in an area where new and old architecture meet.

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:   person man stairs steps stairwell window glass brick wall metropolitan museum art new york manhattan state city north america usa urban black and white monochrome stock license print


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