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G Dan Mitchell / 274 items

N 6 B 644 C 1 E Dec 21, 2015 F Mar 5, 2016
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Broken Glass, Spray-Painted Wall. Brooklyn, New York. December 21, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A shattered glass window and a spray-painted brick wall

This is another small and complex street vignette, found on a wall along a street in Brooklyn, New York while walking around making photographs and looking for a place to eat. This section of wall was covered with a lot of street art, layers of contributions from a large group of people over some period of time, no doubt.

There's not a whole lot for me to write about this one, except that the juxtaposition of broken glass, a single clean vertical line, and the abstract shapes and colors on the right caught my attention. There appears to be some piece of paper behind the fractured glass, and it looks like it may hold some message, but the meaning remains unclear.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Tags:   spray paint shattered broken glass window brick wall brooklyn new york city street graffiti rust

N 6 B 633 C 2 E Dec 21, 2015 F Mar 5, 2016
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Ben Is Watching. December 21, 2015. Brooklyn, New York. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A Brooklyn, New York wall

I generally make it a rule to not photograph graffiti, though it is not quite a hard and fast rule. I almost never photograph a subject with someone's vanity tag on it, and in a few cases when a larger subject as been compelling I have removed or defaced the tag in post. There are probably a range of reasons that one might write or scribble or draw on public and private property, ranging from a poor sense of social belonging to a desire to produce something like art — so the decision to show or not isn't without context.

In this case, the wall seemed to be one that had become, likely by more or less popular agreement (or a concession?) a place where such public art is perhaps not only tolerated but also expected. While a simple tag doesn't usually interest me, here there were layers of text and imagery that had been assembled over time and then modified by weather, wear, and perhaps later contributors. Eventually, the accidental juxtapositions seem to take on their own lives, as in this vignette featuring a worn dollar bill image of Benjamin Franklin, and oddly anthropomorphic red and white and green shape, bits and pieces of paint, and the underlying old brick wall. And, of course, this is all very temporary — and probably transformed or gone by now.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Tags:   new york city brooklyn nyc wall brick art ben franklin poster paint grafitti travel street photography usa north america happy meal killing

N 10 B 545 C 0 E Dec 28, 2015 F Mar 25, 2016
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Brick Wall, Windows. New York City. December 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

Windows, a metal chimney, and a brick wall in Manhattan

This is yet another photograph from the High Line Park in Manhattan, made on the same gray day as the photograph I shared yesterday. The soft, gray light fills in the shadows and reveals details that are not visible in midday sunshine light.

The geometries of old brick buildings with exterior detail of fire escapes, pipes and wires fascinate me, and the elevated perspective from this location allows straight-on photographs of the subject. Yet, while making these photographs it did occur to me that people living along this park must, from time to time, get a bit tired of thousands of folks wandering by outside their windows and some of them (us!) stopping to photograph.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Tags:   new york manhattan brick wall windows fire escape balcony chimney metal pipe urban street chelsea

N 3 B 827 C 0 E Dec 24, 2015 F Jan 30, 2016
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Hand to Heart. Brooklyn, New York. December 24. 2015. Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A man on a cell phone outside a coffee shop with holiday decorations

I made this photograph on Christmas Eve day, 2015 in Brooklyn, when we went out to find coffee in the morning. If I recall correctly, we ended up at this Starbucks — though it is possible that we might have just walked past here on the way to another place. The man was probably not the main subject. The wild patterns in the windows were what first caught my attention.

Initially I thought of the photograph as a color image, but the more I looked at it the more the various holiday colors began to distract from the pattern itself, so I decided to go with the monochromatic rendering. Inside there were many people, sitting on chairs and at tables, drinking coffee and checking their laptops. Outside on the cold sidewalk and alone, one man waited for something and checked his phone.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Tags:   holiday window decorations coffee shop wall sidewalk man cell phone black and white monochrome street urban new york brooklyn

N 6 B 798 C 1 E Dec 21, 2015 F Jan 22, 2016
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Graffiti Covered Wall. Brooklyn, New York. December 21, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.

A small portion of a colorful graffiti covered wall, Brooklyn

I used to have a firm policy of virtually never photographing graffiti, and when I couldn't avoid it I would remove or modify it in post so as to not be part of the sharing that might encourage the sort of graffiti that is really simple vandalism. I still avoid photographing simple "tags" in most cases, especially when they offer little more than the evidence that some anonymous person wrote on a wall. I also have this nagging feeling that photographing graffiti-ridden cityscapes can too easily become a street photography cliché.

However, I've become more open to the idea of finding and photographing the accumulative juxtapositions of layers of drawing, painting, posters, and weathering that show up on some urban walls. That's my way of explaining why I stopped to photograph this Brooklyn wall, moving in close to find compositions among the colors, lines, and shapes that have built up over time and which have been revealed as time has weathered away later layers.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, "California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra" is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Tags:   brooklyn new york graffiti covered wall paint color street art urban city nyc


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