With fall now just a month away, Heyday is excited to seize the season with California’s Fall Color in hand, a new release by photographer and long-time photo blogger G Dan Mitchell. This useful guidebook is filled with vibrant photographs of the freshly colored autumn, as well as tips and tricks on how to head home from your next trip to the Sierra with a camera filled to the brink with beautifully composed landscape portraits. Earlier in August, Monica Masiello sat down with Dan to talk about the importance of making new discoveries in familiar places, the very best way to look at an aspen, and stealing a moment out of nature’s constant cycles.
MM: First off, I’m wondering what prompted California’s Fall Color?
GDM: I have this website where I post a photograph everyday, which I’ve been doing for nine years, and I accompany each photograph with a short written piece. Heyday contacted me–someone had seen the blog, and they said, “It seems like there’d be something you could build out of some of the stuff you’ve done there.” That’s really where it started. The book has some material that expends on things that I’ve written on the website–and then there’s some new material as well. Once we were doing a book, there were some holes that we had to fill.
MM: And you do mention in the book that it wouldn’t be possible to include every location, and that a little mystery is a good thing for the readers. I’m wondering then how you chose to include what you did, and whether those strategic choices in curating the content taught you anything about what you value most when you’re going out and exploring things.
GDM: I picked places that I’m familiar with. I mention a place called Conway Summit, which is on Highway 395, because it’s spectacular, it’s accessible, and it’s not going to be at risk from overcrowding because you have to pull over at the side of Highway 395. Most people don’t look at it.
…there’s an aspect of being a photographer that is a way of buttressing yourself against the passage of time in a world in which everything is transitory and impermanent.