The photography of Mitch Mitchell

About the Photographer
I'm a true armature photographer; that means I take pictures just because I enjoy it!  Photography has been my primary hobby since 1980 when my college roommate sold me his old Olympus OM-1 SLR camera.  I briefly experimented with using photography as a business but found that took all the enjoyment out of it.  Still, I worked in photo labs for 15 years where I got to meet some of the best photographers and artists in California and learned a lot.  At the last lab I worked at, I studied under a brilliant retoucher who showed me lot of technical secrets to "recreating" portions of an image. I stared using digital cameras around 1997 and purchased my first DSR in 2002.  I started learning Photoshop techniques using the skills I had learned in the photo lab business and what I had learned from other great photographers like Jay Jones.  I don't shoot people as a rule.  My favorite photography (obviously) are the images that I take on vacations.  My motto is, "Travel is a good excuse to take pictures and taking pictures is a good excuse to travel."

About the Images
Although I do still have a large collection of slides and negatives from 1980-2000, I have yet to digitize more than a handful.  All the images on both this site and the are from digital cameras, mostly Canon DSLRs.  I now shoot nearly 100% of all images in RAW format and post process them so as to have complete control over color, density, contrast and digital noise.  This is analogous to using a negative and a custom darkroom to do printing as opposed to just taking the film to a 1-hour photo lab.  I typically shoot any given picture several times, varying the angel, F-stop and exposure so that I can choose the best one.  Each frame then gets reviewed and processed in a RAW program. That's followed by making adjustments and final crop in a image editor where they can also be printed.  Last, I using a gallery creator program to produce the web pages.  In the case of the galleries from Oct 08 the post processing probably took around 100 hours (I wasn't actually counting) including some custom enlargements.

About the Hardware and Software
I own several cameras and lenses.  My DSLRs are Canon brand as are most of the lenses.  I have found that spending more money on the lenses has made a very significant improvement in the quality oft the images I take and how big they can be enlarged.  My Canon L-series lenses have been worth the extra money that I  invested in them.  I also have a Canon G9 which is a high end point-and-shoot that includes the much needed RAW mode.   I do also shoot with a couple of point and shoot cameras, but those images are more often of friends and events and don't usually end up in these web galleries.  The photo software I use is Adobe Lightroom, and Corel PaintShop; most images require both programs.  I also have Adobe Photoshop Elements as there is a very small number of images that come out better in the program.  The web gallery design program I use us Jalbum; a freeware program that was well worth making a donation to support; I haven't seen a retail software that does better.  I also use KompoZer for editing minor details and layout; also a freeware program.  I create, maintain and update all my own domains.  I use Filezilla for uploading.  The panorama stitching program I am now using is Panorama Factory; I'm very satisfied with it's ease and flexibility.  I also own an Epson R-1800 printer that can handle up to 13x19 inches.  This is a semi-pro printer that handles landscape images well, but isn't quite as good as other printers for skin tones.   I rarely print over 8 1/2x11, but do manage an occasional 11x17 or 13x19 from some of the better images.  All my prints are for myself, family or gifts to a few friends.  I don't sell any prints.

Other galleries
I also own THELUMIARY.NET.  I have several galleries up at that site.

You can email me at this address

All images are taken by and copy write Mitch Mitchell.  A very large amount of time, effort and money goes into creating these galleries.  Please do not copy, print or otherwise distribute my images without my express permission..