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Going with the Flow

September 21st, 2016

Going with the Flow

For me, this weathered piece of driftwood symbolizes the ancient Taoist principle of Wu Wei or going with the flow of life rather than fighting it. The lines in the wood resemble flowing water, which to the ancient Chinese sages was a metaphor for the Tao, the mysterious force behind the universe that pervades everything but which eludes all our attempts to grasp it.

You will find this image in my "Details" gallery.

Photo © John S. Mitchell 2016 All Rights Reserved

Red Lamppost

September 24th, 2012

Red Lamppost

This is one of my favorite images from a recent photography outing that I took in Vancouver's Chinatown. I was struck by the way the deep red of the lamppost contrasted with the background of leaves, which were just beginning to take on their autumn hues. In Chinese culture, the color red corresponds to fire and symbolizes good fortune and joy. For me, this fiery image highlights the fact that the changing of seasons is both a time of nostalgia and one of renewal, both an ending where the past is consumed and a new beginning. You will find this photograph in my Vancouver Chinatown gallery.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2012 All Rights Reserved

Yellow Bicycle

August 26th, 2012

Yellow Bicycle

I stumbled upon this bicycle while strolling by the popular Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada. I was immediately struck by the brilliant colors and by how the yellow bicycle blended so perfectly into the scene. It is chance encounters like this that remind why I love photography so much. What were the odds that the yellow bike would be parked in this exact spot? Certainly the bicycle's owner had no idea what a gift to passing photographers he or she had left behind. You will find this image in my "Hidden Vancouver" gallery.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2012 All Rights Reserved

Beautiful British Columbia

July 23rd, 2012

Beautiful British Columbia

I consider myself lucky to live on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I was on a moving ferry when I took this photo of a sunlit sailboat with the the snow-laced (even in July) peaks of the Coast Mountains towering in the background. Composing the picture proved to be a bit tricky because once all the elements — boat, island, and mountains — in the scene lined up, I had only a couple of seconds to push the shutter. Fortunately, things worked out just the way I had hoped. You will find this image in my Landscapes and Waterscapes gallery.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2012 All Rights Reserved

Puebla Angel Photo

May 3rd, 2012

Puebla Angel Photo

I took this photo in the Mexican city of Puebla, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Puebla is famous for the brightly coloured Talavera tiles that cover the domes and facades of its Spanish colonial buildings. In order to compress the perspective, I shot the angel with a long zoom lens. Although I'm not particularly religious, I found this scene to have a "heavenly" quality about it. You can find this image in my "Details" gallery.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2012 All Rights Reserved

New Nicaragua Gallery

February 18th, 2012

New Nicaragua Gallery

Please check out my newest gallery containing images of Nicaragua. This surprisingly diverse Central American country packs a lot into a relatively small package: dramatic volcanoes and vast lakes, handsome Spanish colonial cities, misty cloud forests, uncrowded tropical beaches, and welcoming people. It is one of my favorite places in which to travel and photograph.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2012 All Rights Reserved

Black and White Ruins Gallery

December 30th, 2011

Black and White Ruins Gallery

I've recently added a new gallery containing black and white photos of pre-Hispanic ruins in Mexico and Central America. These images were created from color shots by using a digital filter that mimics the results photographers get when using infrared film. The characteristic darkened skies and eerie glowing highlights reinforce the mystery of these long-abandoned ancient cities, many of which are either shrouded in tropical jungle or perched on barren hilltops.

The photo of the Maya pyramid on the left was taken in the appropriately named "Lost World" complex at the ruins of Tikal in northern Guatemala. You can see this image in my "Black and White Ruins" gallery (click on the "Galleries" tab above).

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2011 All Rights Reserved

Papier Mache Couple

October 20th, 2011

Papier Mache Couple

I came across these life-size papier maché figures (see them in my "Humor" gallery) outside a folk art gallery in Oaxaca, one of the most culturally rich cities in Mexico. For me, they embody the whimsy and wry humor of the Mexican people, who are always ready to laugh at themselves and at the foibles of human nature. This serious-looking couple reminds us that, more often than not, it is the woman who really "wears the pants" in the family.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2011 All Rights Reserved

The Last Journey

September 30th, 2011

The Last Journey

This is one of my favorite Mexico images (see it in the People gallery). I was out exploring with my camera early one morning in San Miguel de Allende when I spotted this elderly woman walking slowly beneath the "portales" that flank San Miguel's main square. She reminded me of the last journey that we all must eventually take. I saw the closed door at the end of the graceful passageway as symbolizing the unknown, the mystery that lies beyond this fleeting life full of hardship and yet great beauty.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2011 All Rights Reserved

Mexican Ghost Towns Gallery

August 21st, 2011

Mexican Ghost Towns Gallery

Please check out my latest gallery entitled "Mexican Ghost Towns." I have always enjoyed photographing in abandoned places that show the inevitable ravages of time. They remind me that nothing in this world is permanent, including ourselves, and that living in and appreciating the present moment is the key to life. Many Mexican ghost towns such as Real de Catorce and Cerro San Pedro are old mining towns that were deserted after their mines went dry and silver and gold prices plummeted. Some of these towns are coming back to life as tourist destinations. Crumbling buildings have been restored and occupied by handicraft stores, art galleries, restaurants and the like. However, their repainted facades and cobblestone streets worn smooth by countless feet seem to be waiting patiently for the cycle of decay and rebirth to begin anew.

Photo Copyright John Mitchell 2011 All Rights Reserved

 

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