Tag Archives: Inspiration

Out there, again.

A while ago, I shared a post about submitting my work to exhibits otherwise known as call for entry.  In that post I explained why I spend the time, money, and emotional energy doing this: 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!

I’ve been up to it again recently.  The themes for three calls for entry seemed to fit with some of my work.

Photo Place Gallery in Middlebury, VT had a call for the theme, Capturing the Light. None of the images I submitted were selected for the exhibit, but you can see the final selections here.

The Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC) is currently putting together their 8th Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Exhibit.  This is a new venue for me but it was appealing because it is in my new home state and because much of my work falls into the category of abstract, so I thought this call for entry would be worth a submission.  Do you think any of these six images will be accepted?  Results are due this weekend.

The SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. is also a new venue for me apply to a call for entry.  They currently have a call for the theme Seasons.  “Spring is fast approaching and what better time to celebrate the use of color in photography. We usually think of color and seasons to mean landscapes, but this time let’s not limit it to just the landscape, or Spring. All subject matter relating to seasons, digital, analog or alternative methods.”   What do you think the chances are for these images?  Results will be announced next week.

I recently found this wonderful article by Douglas Beasley, a well respected photographer, on what it’s like for a juror.  It helps put the whole process in perspective for those entering their work.

I’ll let you know next week how my images did in the Abstract and the Seasons exhibits.




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.

The results are in!

A couple of weeks ago, in the post Out There, I shared some images that I had submitted to a call for entry at the A Smith Gallery with the theme, Vistas.  Yesterday, the juror’s choices were announced and I was pleased to have the image, The View from Shore #10, accepted for the exhibit.

View from Shore #10
On exhibit at A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, November 3 to December 17, 2017.

Dan Burkholder was the juror for this exhibit.  As I mentioned in the earlier post, each call for entry has a different juror.  While each juror is very capable and accomplished, they too have personal preferences.  It’s fun to see what sort of images are accepted.  Was this one of your choices?

You can view all the images that were accepted here in this online gallery (click on the images to advance through the entire exhibit).  Of course, if you happen to be in the Johnson City area in November, stop in and check it out in person.  It’s a great gallery.

Now I need to get a print sent to the gallery!

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.

A New Direction

In January of this year I was introduced to photo encaustic work.  I immediately knew that this was a new direction that I wanted to pursue with my work.  Encaustic painting uses beeswax and pigments and is a very ancient medium.  Photo encaustics, combines photography with the warm beeswax medium creating very unique, layered, moody images.

In July, I was able to attend a 3 day workshop at R & F Handmade Paints  to learn and try working with photo encaustics.  I came away with a strong (that’s putting it mildly) desire to continue to continue to learn and work with encaustics and my photography.

Encaustics provides a more hands on way of working with my images, something I have been craving for some time.  While I enjoy computer work at times, I wanted to create more hand made pieces.  It also gives an extra dimension to the images with all the layers of wax and pigments.

I have plans to set up a dedicated encaustic studio where I can continue to explore this fascinating medium.  I’ll keep you posted as that progresses.  For now, here are a few images of me at the workshop and some of my practice pieces.  I have much, much more to learn!!!

Beginners’ Photography Retreat

Springtime at New Skete ©Gail S. Haile

A couple of weekends ago, I got to spend some wonderful time with six other photographers, leading another Seeing with New Eyes Beginners’ Photography Retreat at New Skete Monastery.

Despite torrential rains, 65 mph winds, and a brief power outage we enjoyed this wonderful setting that is so rich in images.  Actually some of those conditions created some unique images.   No matter where you are or what the conditions there is always something to be seen, to be noticed.  Spring had just arrived on the mountain that holds New Skete Monastery and the earth was waking up from it’s hibernation.   New life, potential, and hope surrounded us.

We spent a lot of time going over the basics of how photography and our cameras work. When you know how they work, you can make decisions about what type of image you want to create rather than letting the camera decide for you.  Understanding the basics allows a photographer to create images with intention.

A video of some of the photographers’ images summarizes the weekend far better than I could with words:

And of course, this was New Skete Monastery so there were puppies and dogs!  They got their own video of images that the photographers created:


If you are interested in a future  photography retreat, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know.





Gratitude for Super Powers

I’ve been taking a wonderful online photography course called Meditations on Gratitude. It’s been a good way to go a bit deeper with my photography and to stretch my thinking a bit. And mostly it’s been fun and uplifting to really focus on gratitude!

One of the lessons was about being grateful for our bodies. Even if there are parts that don’t always work so well, there are still parts that do work well. We were given the task of photographing something about our bodies for which we are grateful. There were a few examples of artists who work with self-portraiture, as well.

Oh no, self portraits!! I so resist being the subject of images so this was a challenge for me. It percolated under the surface for a week or so before I posted my response to the task. As I was thinking I realized that my favorite part about my body is my eyes, my sight. I think “seeing” is one of my super powers. I’ve always noticed things that other people don’t.

We were out for lunch and the sunlight was coming in a window onto our table and it was interesting the way it framed my glasses, so I took a photo on my phone. I kept thinking I couldn’t use that image, it felt like cheating. 🙂 But as I scanned through the images on my phone there were so many images of interesting light. Images I had taken just because I thought the light was interesting. I decided to play with all those. I put them together and this image is the result, sort of what it looks like to be seeing through my eyes all the time, constantly watching light.


I am so so grateful for my eyes and my vision.

I like to think that we each have super powers, those things that make us unique. Those things that we are generally better at doing that others. You might call them our gifts. What are your super powers? What about your body, your being makes you grateful?

Adirondack Colors

Fall is currently putting on a spectacular show in upstate NY.  We’ve had warm sunny days and incredible colors.  The only thing that is not good about Fall is the long winter that comes after.   We went on a little adventure to savor these amazing days and took a drive on the Powley-Piseco Rd. in Fulton County, NY.   It’s in the southern portion of the Adirondack Park.

If you live in the area and have an opportunity, I highly (Haile, get it?) recommend exploring this bit of paradise.

Here’s a few of my favorites from our day.

Powley Piseco Rd-1-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-2-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-3-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-4-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-5-©GailSHaile Powley Piseco Rd-6-©GailSHaile

Friday Finds: Jay Maisel

Jay Maisel is a photographer that I learned about when studying the history of photography in college.  So his work is not really new to me, though I hadn’t really spent time enjoying it in a long time.  And I did enjoy his work.  He has a very keen eye for details that would go unnoticed by many.


©Jay Maisel

What this Friday Find is really about is a video that I recently viewed in which Maisel talks about “How to Be a Better Photographer.”   If you’re not a photographer, don’t worry, it applies to simply being a human as well.    It’s a short video, only 2:43 minutes, but it is rich with wisdom.

Some of his advice:

“Be open.

Be open to what is in front of you.”

“Walk slow, slower that you’re walking.” 

“I’m trying no to look for anything.  I’m trying to have it come to me. “

Spend a few minutes looking at his work and listening to his advice.  It will be time well spent.

Jay Maisel website: http://www.jaymaisel.com/

Jay Maisel on How to Be a Better Photographer: https://vimeo.com/116692462


Right under my nose

I spent 3 wonderful days last week in Rockport, MA on a little retreat.  Rockport is a small, very old and historic port north of Boston.  Anywhere near the ocean is heaven for me and three days with only myself and my own thoughts was an added treat.  I made lots of images, spent masses of time on a rocky, shallow beach that begs to be explored for hours at low tide, played with images of the bobbing dinghys in the harbor, played with my Lensbaby, but the most satisfying images were made in the last hour I was there.

The tiny cottage where I stayed had a spiral staircase and a string of driftwood pieces hanging along side it.  Just before I was to leave, I noticed some interesting light and all the lines that were being created in that spot.  Packing stopped and I spent more than 30 minutes making images of the lines and light.  Of a week filled with things I love, for some reason this slice of time was extremely gratifying.

Perhaps because I had spent a few days exhaling and relaxing, I was more able to notice and appreciate this little scene of quiet wonder.  But, noticing these small things is what fills our days with delight and gratitude.  It was a reminder to me (because we all need frequent reminding) to stop often and appreciate what is right under my nose.

Lines-1-©GailSHaile Lines-2-©GailSHaile Lines-3-©GailSHaile