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Redwood Creek, Late Winter

Redwood Creek, Late Winter. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Golden light reflects on the muddy winter flow of Redwood Creek as it flows over boulders and new late-winter growth.


Even in this dry year in Northern California, there is finally water running in the creeks of the redwood forests. I arrived fairly early on this early March day, looking for trillium flowers. (Although they are not the subject of this photograph, I did find those flowers later on this visit.) As I walked up the trail to enter this park, the sun had risen but it was too early for its light to make it down to the forest floor or to the creek. However, the reflected light of the sun hitting trees high overhead was turning the water a sort of golden brown color, which contrasted in a striking way with the bluish light on the rocks and in some of the shaded areas of the water. New spring (though that season was still several weeks away) growth was coming up everywhere, including in shallow areas of the creek such as this one.


Because I could not get right down to the creek here, I actually photographed this with a fairly long telephoto lens. I had to look around carefully to find a spot where there was enough of a break in the foreground vegetation to provide me with a gap to shoot through. I was also lucky that the plants were not moving a lot in the creek, since the exposure time was surprisingly long - there isn't a lot of light down in the bottom a canyon through the redwood forest!


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer 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.

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Taken on March 3, 2012