I'm Dave Mitchell, a photographer based in the Brooks area of Alberta, Canada. Please bear with me for two minutes as I hopefully inspire you with my photographic journey.
My journey in photography started with admiring it. I was intrigued by great photographs from a young age. They invited me to imagine and dream as they took me away to fascinating places.
I started photography myself just for something to do on family trips with a 1970’s Kodak film point-and-shoot - and my photos reflected it. Not creations, not works of art. No depth of field, no character. Just snapshots. Not like I expected anything more, but I had been born with the “camera gene” – I just had to have a camera with me wherever new that I went. Regardless of how they looked, photos were my visual diary of fascinating places and things.
Wanting to take my photography to the next level - and with some money finally in my pocket - I bought my first SLR in 1996 mainly because I wanted to be able to blur out a background or foreground. That was back in the film days. In 2002, I bought my first digital camera and then my first digital SLR in 2008. I upgraded to a full-frame DSLR in January 2016.
I continued in 1996 where I had started, with my first love: landscapes. But as you begin to study photography, you are soon taught that landscapes are too cliché, too numerous. Nearly every photographer and his dog starts with them and many continue with them. Stock photo agencies must cringe when somebody submits yet more because they already have far too many. As the articles and books and now videos imply, landscapes are a great starting point, but you need to reach beyond and get more “sophisticated” if you wish to become a “real” photographer. Forget Ansel Adams, they say – he long ago mastered the landscape. You need to aspire to be a Leibovitz, a Cartier-Bresson, a Doisneau.
Although I never fully abandoned landscapes, I bought in to the hype. I began to wander into and through most of the other major genres including macro, candid, lifestyle, sports/action, stills (products, objects), eventually dabbling in portraiture, complete with a basic studio setup - my daughter a very willing subject. You can view all of my best photography, not just what’s on this site, in my stock photography portfolio.
But something happened. I kept getting drawn back to landscapes. They provided a satisfaction that I wasn’t getting out of anything else. They were reminders of the sights, sounds, even smells of where I had visited. A visual diary now of special times with my family. They also reminded me to imagine and dream.
So I decided to go with my gut, to get back to my roots by creating this site to showcase my first and biggest love in photography. Yes, that same, cliché genre - "boring" to some people - that almost every photographer who doesn't shoot weddings and portraits seems to be pursuing and promoting.
I now do so without shame. I willingly embrace the cliché because it's what I'm the most passionate about.
I hope that my landscape photos carry your soul away to the same places that I've tried to capture, to fascinating places that will invite you - or remind you - to also imagine and dream.
This site and my photography in general are dedicated first of all to God, my heavenly "Dad," who I credit for being able to express my love for both the fascinating artistic and technical sides of photography. They are also dedicated in honor of the memory of my earthly dad who, in his final days in 2015, encouraged me to not give up my craft at a time when my confidence and desire as a photographer were at their lowest. Thank you, Dad, for being my biggest fan and encouraging me to push ahead with this when you could have focused instead on your own, much more urgent struggles.