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A Sierra Nevada Project

  
 
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A Sierra Nevada Project


For over a decade I've been part of a group of photographers doing backcountry photography every year. (I began working with the group in 2009, though they headed "out there" together for the first time back in 2001, under the sponsorship of the Yosemite Conservancy.) The basic idea is that we establish a base camp (sometimes moving once to establish a second one) and photograph the heck out of the surrounding area for a week or more. *

This being a difficult time to get together in the field, we've been working on putting together some materials to document the group's work. As such, I've been going over work done with the group since that first 2009 trip... and along the way I've "discovered" some work that got left behind originally, including these photographs.

























A fun side-light to the landscape photographs is that all of us have photographed one another in the field, too. I can't share those photographs here, but perhaps I can share them elsewhere at some point.

Dan

*If things go according to plan, you may see a project before too long that shares the documentation of what the group has done over these two decades. I have nothing solid to share right now, but I'll update as appropriate.



Mar 17, 2021 at 01:37 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A Sierra Nevada Project


I like them all but for reasons I could never explain, #3 stands out as exceptional.


Mar 17, 2021 at 02:26 PM
junglialoh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Beautifully taken image set - each of them is lovely.


Mar 17, 2021 at 03:29 PM
fotofoow
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A Sierra Nevada Project


You have really captured the feeling of the Yosemite back country. I prefer the third and fourth ones because of the textures and understated colors. I have to say that the last one is outstanding and maybe my favorite of any of the photos you have submitted.


Mar 17, 2021 at 04:22 PM
lookoutscout
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Thanks Dan. For me, #1 is a classic mountain sunset on a small tarn or lake with that late evening light, shadows and reflection. Thanks, brings back lots of memories of evenings in the mountains, where ever those may be. Dave



Mar 17, 2021 at 06:36 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A Sierra Nevada Project


All beautiful images, Dan. Thanks for sharing.


Mar 17, 2021 at 09:58 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Thanks, for the comments.

The reaction to #3 (here and especially in some other places) surprised me. I like it, but it has provoked a stronger positive response than I expected.

One of the fascinating things about this set for me is that all of these were "left behind" photographs that I only "discovered" recently in my raw file archives while working on this project. Originally I apparently had looked at all four of them, decided to not pursue them any further, and moved on.

This is not the first time I have had this experience. I've thought a lot about how it is that this happens, and while I haven't come to any single conclusion about it, I have some ideas.

Sometimes I think I am trying to make a subject work in a particular way when I compose the image and make the exposure, and that preconception blinds me to the actual character of the subject initially. It is only after I step back from the subject usually by ignoring the image for a long time and come back to it with fresh eyes that I "discover" how the image can work.

This was especially true with the first and fourth photographs in this set. For a long time I think I wasn't comfortable with the density of details in the first photograph. This is one that I know I had looked at earlier and then moved on, perhaps more than once. But somehow this time it made sense to me in a way that it originall had not. I like the concept of the fourth subject all along, but I was not comfortable with the some elements of the photograph. Mainly I wasn't sure how to handle the entirely of the trees, of which more had been captured in the original 3:2 aspect ratio exposure. Looking at it anew clarified for me that some things were best cropped out, with the result that the basic idea of the image seems clearer now.

All of this raises an awkward little question about one of the common-knowledge tenets of landscape photography the one about pre-visualization. That is sometimes taken to mean that you should always know what the final print will look like when you make your exposure. I think that aspiring to something like that is a good and useful thing, but truth is that the process of photography is not quite that one-dimensional.

Dan



Mar 18, 2021 at 09:43 AM
seanderson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Quintessential images of the Sierra. Great work Dan. I'm interested to hear more about this project!


Mar 18, 2021 at 09:53 AM
fotofoow
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A Sierra Nevada Project


I keep going back to look at this wonderful series. There was something very compelling and also vaguely familiar that keep drawing me back. It finally hit me, the last two remind me of block prints, an artform that has always attracted me. I'm glad that you resurrected these photos.


Mar 18, 2021 at 10:04 AM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Always a pleasure to view your images from those adventures, Dan.


Mar 18, 2021 at 10:15 AM
 


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psharvic
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Fine work on these, Dan. 3 is the standout for me, too. I like the colors but it is the composition of triangles that caught my eye.


Mar 18, 2021 at 11:27 AM
1bwana1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Dan, I would be very excited to see that exhibition on this project, or even a book. please keep us informed.

Steve



Mar 18, 2021 at 06:46 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A Sierra Nevada Project


I like them all, but I'm partial to the first due to the fact that there is more in the reflection than on the visible slope and it forced me to look a little harder to figure it out.

Well done,

Greg



Mar 18, 2021 at 07:10 PM
dwa652
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Absolutely beautiful set.


Mar 18, 2021 at 11:01 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A Sierra Nevada Project


1bwana1 wrote:
Dan, I would be very excited to see that exhibition on this project, or even a book. please keep us informed.

Steve


Steve and others,

Thanks for looking and for the comments.

There are several ideas kicking around, but I can't be specific at this point. It seems to us that an exhibit focusing on two decades of the group's work, a book, even some sort of video documentary might be appropriate. Several leads are being pursued.

It seems like a story worth telling from any of several perspectives. It could be the photography itself. It might be what it says about the Sierra backcountry. It could be about the group of participants and the singular example of cooperative work on this subject that this two-decade project comprises.

We'll see! :-)

I'll certainly share more information as it becomes available.

Dan




Mar 19, 2021 at 11:06 AM
JohanEickmeyer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Excellent shots, as always, man. I would like to be able to visit there some day in my life.


Mar 19, 2021 at 11:15 AM
DaleBerlin
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Beautiful Dan, that 1st one is unreal!


Mar 28, 2021 at 06:10 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A Sierra Nevada Project


I really liked the last one. Not something you see often.


Apr 18, 2021 at 05:10 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A Sierra Nevada Project


bobby350z wrote:
I really liked the last one. Not something you see often.


Thanks.

About "not something you see often..." I have been photographing the Sierra for a long time, so at this point I'm sort of (but not entirely!) "over" the big icons. I spend most of my backcountry time, and a fair amount of front-country time, looking for smaller subjects and for views that are not specifically familiar.

Dan



Apr 19, 2021 at 07:56 AM
junglialoh
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · A Sierra Nevada Project


Amazingly beautiful image set: especially 1st one is incredible image with fantastic reflection.
2 and 3rd ones are excellent composition. Thanks to your sharing these very impressive images.



Apr 19, 2021 at 08:56 AM







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