Category Archives: Sharing

A Glimpse of Spring

I was going through my image files today, getting prepared for an exhibition that I am applying for (more about that another time).  My files are full of images that I haven’t done anything with yet, just waiting for their time to be noticed.  Sometimes, when I create images they don’t really speak to me at that moment in time.  I have learned to be patient and revisit them at another time.  Not always, but often, the images will speak to me months or years after I’ve created them.

As I was reviewing image folders, I found several different groups that had a similar point of view.  They were all taken at ground level and very close up, sort of like an ant’s view.  So I began to put them into one collection and see where that leads.

Perhaps because we are on the cusp of spring, these four images particularly appealed to me today, so I thought I would share them with you.  Meanwhile, I will continue to think about the idea of shooting with the perspective of an ant.

Out There

One of the things I do as a fine art photographer is submit images to “calls for entry”.  I call it getting my work “out there”.  There are many organizations nationally and internationally that publish these calls to invite artists to submit work.  Over the past few years, I’ve found a few specific galleries where my work seems to generally fit and I like the way the gallery is run.  They have various exhibits throughout the year, usually with some theme.  If I have images that I feel fit a certain theme, I will submit to that call for entry.

Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

These two images were exhibited at the A Smith Gallery this year as part of two different shows.  Each show at this gallery, as well as many others I submit to, has a different juror for each show, those BNF’s  I mentioned earlier.

Impressions of Trees-5 was accepted into the Trees exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City , Texas in January.

Between the Mountains and the Sea was accepted to the Elsewhere exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City Texas in the spring.

I thought it might be interesting for you to follow along a bit when I enter one of these calls.  The A Smith Gallery has a current call for entry open which the theme, Vistas.  I’ve submitted these 8 images.  (click on each image to make it larger.)

Do you think any of these will be accepted? If so, which ones?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

Always seeing something

The end of summer always seems a time to stop and pause before moving on with the year.  In that spirit, I’m going to do “Blog Lite” for the next few weeks.  I’ll simple share a few of my images and some quotes that inspire me.

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer”

Walter De Mulder


Abstract of colorful water reflections at the marina. Prints available. Click on image.


“Art is a form of communication”

Art is a form of communication. You might think you make art as a form of self-expression, but you know that your work is incomplete until people see it and respond to it.”  Alyson B. Stanfield, aka the Art Biz Coach

I’ve been preparing for a new exhibit this week.  It’s a collaboration with my Pilates instructor, Melissa Lamendola, of Anatomy in Motion Pilates and Wellness Studio.

Alyson’s words keep coming back to me.  They are what push me to get my work “out there”. For years I had all these images sitting around and the only one who knew about them was me and perhaps a few friends or family.  I used to have this notion that if work was displayed it had to be in a Gallery (if I could put that word on a pedestal, it would better emphasize the notion I had of galleries).  Nothing else was “real”.  However, just by putting my work out for others to see, a conversation is created. My work has grown and expanded by being in conversation with a wider audience, even without being in a Gallery (pedestal here again). Insights and inspiration flow from others taking part in the conversation.

How can you take part in the conversation of art this week?

Below is a sneak peek at some of the images on display during the exhibit at Anatomy in Motion. There is an opening reception this Sunday, 9/28/2014 from 3-5 pm.  The exhibit will run through December.  
Curly Leaf Mandala 3  ©Gail Haile

Curly Leaf Mandala 3 ©Gail Haile

©Gail Haile Cottonwood Mandala 4

Cottonwood Mandala 4, ©Gail Haile

Beach Flow 1  ©GailHaile

Beach Flow 1 ©GailHaile


Sneak Peek at a portion of the exhibit in Anatomy in Motion Pilates and Wellness Studio

Sharing Inspiration: Filling the Well

The new year, for most of us, is  a time of reflection and reordering of life, priorities, and focus. (I often wonder if it’s different in the southern hemisphere where the New Year comes in the summer.  Does it change that dynamic of newness?)  This blog has been the subject of some of that reflection and as a result will have more  varied posts for you to enjoy. Mandalas will still come one Monday of the month, but other Mondays will hold different themes.  A new theme, “Filling the Well”, shares what’s been inspiring me lately. (more…)

Beach Glass: Mandala Monday

One of the things that I enjoy about creating mandalas is that they always seem to be more than the sum of their parts.  Today’s mandala is a wonderful example of that on so many levels.  A friend came to me with this idea a few weeks before Christmas.  For many years she had shared special time at the beach with friends.  Each year they would sift through the surf for bits and pieces of glass, remnants of other people’s time near the ocean.  This collection of sea glass had grown and represented all their memories and the bits and pieces of time and connections that held their friendship together.  She asked if I could make a mandala from an image of some of the sea glass.  Her friend arranged and photographed the glass and sent her the image.  She and I sat down and started playing with the image and creating mandalas.  We made about five before this one that finally seemed to hold the energy that she felt about the glass and all it represented.  I remembered that I had some images of sand, so we pulled those up and placed the mandala on the sand, returning the glass, in a manner, to the beach where they had found it.  But it was now something new, something more.

Our lives are made up of seemingly random bits and pieces but the patterns that those bits and pieces create can be beautiful if we allow ourselves to see.

I wish for all a New Year filled with a sense of wonder and appreciation for those ordinary moments, the bits and pieces, the connections that make up our lives.

Fourth Friday: Slow Sunsets

I’m still processing, literally and figuratively, all my images from Block Island.  On this final Friday of the month I’d thought I’d share a few sunset images.  Who doesn’t like a good sunset?  Everyone loves them and photographs them to the point that I’ve been known, in my snippier moments,  to say that I don’t photograph sunsets.  But here I was in this glorious place with the ocean and the wide open spaces, so why not spend at least one evening trying to capture that magic?  Oh what an evening this was!  Most of the week that I was on Block Island was completely void of clouds, nothing but pure blue wide open skies.  That’s nice but doesn’t make for very interesting images of sunsets, necessarily.  It good to have something for the light and color to bounce off.  Finally on the 6th day, we had clouds.  So I headed to the old Coast Guard Station at the end of Champlin Rd.  Then I hiked all the way out to the end of the point that is the entrance to the Great Salt Pond and around  to the beach that overlooks the Block Island Sound, the space of ocean between Block Island and the Connecticut coast.  (if you’re interested you can see it on the map here. I was in the yellow area)  I only saw one person and his 2 dogs for the 2 hours that I spent on that beach.  So peaceful!

I wanted to somehow capture the magic of the sunset but in a way that caused one to see it somehow differently.  Being around the water was a perfect opportunity to practice my long exposures so I figured I’d see what that did for sunsets.

This first image was captured about a half hour before sunset.  You can see that the sun is still up in the clouds but it was starting to create come interesting colors.  This was a 50 second exposure which shows in the smoothness of the water and the movement of the clouds.   Waves were crashing on the beach, but over 50 seconds they get smoothed over and you no longer see them.  That tended to exaggerate the colors in the water.


This image was taken just a bit past actual sunset with 58 seconds of exposure.  That means the shutter was open for almost a minute, letting light in all that time and recording the movement of the water and clouds.  I like the way the light reflects off the water where it hits the beach, that one strip of golden light against the dark blue of the water and darker blue of the beach.



This was taken almost 10 minutes later, well past actual sunset.  It is a long exposure of a different kind.  I call this a “swoosh”.  The exposure time is 1/4 of a second, far less than the previous two that were closer to a minute long.  One quarter of a second sounds pretty fast but in photography, with anything slower than about 1/6oth of a second or faster any sort of movement can cause the image to be out of focus and blurred.  That’s not always good, unless that is what you want.  I love to shoot this kind of image.  It seems like pure play.  It takes a bit of practice to get it to create anything pleasing but it’s great fun.  I put the camera on a slower shutter speed, hand hold it, and purposely move it during that 1/4 of a second or whatever the exposure is.  In this case, I knew I wanted to exaggerate the lines of the beach and horizon, so as I pressed the shutter I also moved the camera along those lines, like a swoosh.  It’s a bit more abstract, but I tend to like that.

BI_0983sq bordered_©GSHaile

How can slowing down help you to see things differently?

I have lots more to share from Block Island and other adventures but that’s all for today.