Tag Archives: Nature

Walk along the Middle River

One afternoon recently, I had the pleasure of spending a hour or so along the banks of the Middle River that runs near my home, through Augusta County in Virginia.  This time of year it was just exploding with all the beauty and possibilities of Spring.  It was so soothing to walk along the dirt road that follows the path of the river and hear the water running over the rocks.

While the views of the river are lovely, I am more drawn to the small details along the way. The bank along this particular stretch of the river was awash in wildflowers just making their appearance for this year.  Many of the wildflowers were ones that I was not familiar with because they don’t grow in New York state where I lived for so long.   I’m looking forward to revisiting this spot many times during the year to see how it changes.

The Middle River, near Verona, VA.

The first Bloodroot flower I’ve ever seen.

I loved the way these tree roots framed another Bloodroot plant.

The flowers really do look like little pairs of pants on this Dutchman’s Breeches plant.

Cutleaf Toothwort gets its name from it’s historical use to treat toothaches.

Virginia Spring Beauty is most aptly named.

It was too early in the bloom for me to know what this shrub is but I loved the airy patterns that the branches created in the afternoon sunlight.

 

Open to Delight – Spring

Browsing the images on my phone a few days ago, I realized I had quite a few Delight images that I had not shared.  Here’s the current installment of Open to Delight with just a few of the moments that have given me delight recently.

How have you been taking note of these moments in your life?

(If you’d like to see the images larger, just click on the first one and you can scroll through all of the images.)

April Snow

 

We woke up to a couple inches of snow the other day.  The cherry tree that had just surprised me with blossoms earlier that week was covered in snow.  It looked like a pastry chef had delicately and artfully placed frosting on all the blossoms.  It melted quickly once the sun came out but the way the light danced around the snow and the blossoms begged to be photographed. The last image doesn’t show the cherry blossoms but the forest, with bits of new green just showing under the light frosting of snow. It was a lovely morning!

Open to Delight: A Walk in the Woods

We got out for our first hike of the year the other day.  It was just a short bit of a hike since the water in the stream was too high to cross that day.  It looks like a hike that would be fun to do several times throughout the season as there are huge groups of mountain laurel as well as rhododendrons, and who knows what else?!  And if you can cross the stream and go further there is a waterfall to enjoy.  Hiking in Virginia in late March was such a delight.  We are used to  Mud season in NY’s Adirondacks that makes hiking a challenge in the spring time.

Here are just a few glimpses of a lovely time in the woods.

Out There, again…results.

Thanks for all the input to my post earlier this week, Out There, again.

I have news to share.  🙂

One of my images was accepted by juror Michael Pannier to the Seasons exhibit at the SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. This image is a personal favorite of mine so I’m happy as well as honored to have it accepted into this relatively small show. The entire exhibit can be viewed at this link.

Calm Waters

For the NVACC  Eighth Annual Abstract Photography Exhibit, two of my images were accepted by the juror, Joseph Miller.  The exhibit opens Sat May 5 and runs through Mon May 28, 2018 at Joseph Miller Center for the Photographic Arts in Gainesville, VA.  I’m not sure if they will show the entire exhibit online at any point but will let you know if they do.

Marina Reflections 3

Ribbons of Color 3

Now I need to prepare prints and get them shipped.  Thanks for all your input and support!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

This says it all.

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”                                                                                                                 Henri Cartier-Bresson

I’m busy taking a wonderful online class with Laura ValentiThis quote from famous French photographer, Cartier-Bresson, was used in one of the lessons.  Despite my predilection for quote collecting, I had never read this one before.  When I first read it, I was stunned as it sums up precisely what photography is for me.

That “great physical and intellectual joy” is so so true for me when I am creating with my camera.  This image, from an afternoon of creating with water and color and movement, is a result of that joy.

“Fleeting reality” is also what I work to capture, those moments that are here for a split second and then gone.  But then, isn’t that all of life?

I hope you find some joy in those fleeting moments this week.

 

Fall Water Abstract-03_©Gail Haile

Fall Water Abstract-03_©Gail Haile Prints available.

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

marina-reflections-2_gailshaile

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

 

Impressionism and Photography

One of my favorite art movements has always been Impressionism.  This quote sums up what appeals the most to me about Impressionism, the methods served to “emphasise the artist’s perception of the subject matter as much as the subject itself.”

It’s no surprise, then, that I enjoy capturing  the feeling of a scene rather than documenting how it looks.  One of the ways I do this is by a fancy technique I call “swooshing”.  There’s a more technical term for it, Intentional Camera Movement or ICM.  I much prefer to call it swooshing.

The basic technique involves slow shutter speeds, in the range of 1/30 of a second up to 1 second.  As you press the shutter you move the camera.  The results depend on how fast you move, what direction you move the camera, what the shutter speed is, your subject, the light, and more.  The resulting image depends a great deal on the play of light and color, just as in Impressionism in painting.

With photographic impressionism, there is skill to it but also a bit of serendipity.  You never exactly know what you will get.  I enjoy the combination of skill and surprise.

The more you practice, the better you get at judging what will work best but there are always surprises.  It’s definitely not a one shot and done technique. Often it takes at least 4 or 5 shots to get one that is pleasing.

For me, these images evoke an emotional response much more than static, documentary type images ever can.

This is not a new technique for me but I’ve been playing with swooshing a lot in the past few months and thought I’d share just a few of my favorites.

Fine art photograph of water reflections.

Reflections on a stream.

Fine art impressionistic photography of tree branches.

Looking up at the trees and swirling the camera while it takes multiple exposures.

Fine art impressionistic photograph of water.

Shoreline along the canal.

Fine art photograph of Yellowstone Lake.

Yellowstone Lake.

Fine art impressionistic photograph of fire ravaged trees in Yellowstone National Park.

Vertical swoosh of fire ravaged trees in Yellowstone National Park.

Fine art impressionistic photograph of aspens in Yellowstone National Park.

Dappled sunlight in a grove of Aspens captured with a vertical swoosh.

When you look at a scene, think of how it makes you feel rather than what it looks like, even if you don’t have a camera in your hand.  Record the feeling in your soul.