Tag Archives: Fall Colors

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!

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.

Autumn Colors – Part Two

The autumn colors, at least from the changing leaves, are officially gone here.  Only a few stray leaves remain in the trees.  The streets are lined with tall piles of fallen leaves waiting for the village workers to come and suck them up into their massive vacuum.

So it’s especially inspiring to think of the glorious colors and light that we were privileged to experience this past month.  Last week’s post, Autumn Colors – Part Oneshared images of trees and leaves as they displayed their full fall glory.  In response to that post, one loyal reader emailed me with the most poetic description of the colors she had seen, Cruising down a local street lined with beautiful homes and well-kept yards, the sunlight was incredible! Or was it the leaves? Together nature had created an explosion of gold, saffron, and mustard so saturated and intense that it blew paint right out of the water! It seemed ‘alive,’ and it made my insides dance!” I could not say it any better!

This week I am sharing images of water that show off those autumn colors.  Again, I challenged myself to portray those colors in a unexpected way.

Water seems to be where my soul rests and photographing the light and colors in the water centers me as no other subject does.

The next time you look at a lake, a river, even a puddle, really look and see what you see besides “just water”.


Please feel free to share my blogs with your friends and family and thank you always for reading.

Autumn Colors – Part One

The autumn colors this year have been spectacular!  The light has been amazing and the colors have been so fun to capture.

Here in the northeast, the autumn colors are a regular treat, though some autumns seem more remarkable than others.  There are very scientific, change of season type, reasons why the leaves change color and drop from the trees that you can brush up on here.   If it’s been a dry summer, the autumn colors are often rather dull.  If it rains or snows a lot early in the season, the show is cut short.  I think one of the reasons this year has been so spectacular is the amount of sunshine that we’ve had.  It lights up all those colors and makes them glow.

I’ve taken a few days during this time to get out, with camera in hand, and immerse myself in all that light and color.  For me the color and light are more like paints to be applied to canvas.  I like to play and add movement and texture to create images that show them in ways that our eyes don’t see.

The challenge, for me, is how to capture that beauty in ways that cause us to see it in a new way.  

The autumn colors in these images all include leaves in some way.  I’ve used camera movement, changes in perspective,  and shallow depth of field to emphasize the colors and light.

Part two, next week, will be images that feature water with the autumn colors.

What will you do this week to see your world in a new way?

(Be sure to click on an image and scroll through them, so that they will enlarge and you can see all those colors!)


It would be great if you would share this with anyone you know that might be interested!  Thank you!

Makeover Story: Portrait of a Cozy Cottage

Everyone loves a makeover.  The list of television shows based on the idea of a makeover , extreme or otherwise, is very long.  Before and after photos of kitchens, backyards, hairstyles, fitness programs, and more can be found all over the internet.  We love the the sense of renewal that comes with makeovers.

A makeover is a one description of what I like to do with my images.  What comes from the camera can be a bit flat and full of things that don’t belong.  For me, that is just the starting point.  What comes from the camera is not always what I envisioned in my mind when I first encountered the scene.  There is a category in this blog call Second Look, examples of images that I’ve revisited and given a makeover.  I’ve been particularly enjoying doing this with images of homes and buildings recently.

I happened upon this lovely cottage when we were visiting Connecticut last fall.   I knew it had the potential for an interesting home portrait.

Cozy Cottage RAW file_ ©GSHaile  This is the image just as it came from the camera.

Cozy Cottage RAW file_ ©GSHaile This is the image just as it came from the camera.

The image just as my camera’s sensor recorded it with no processing at all is a RAW file. Many cameras only give you a JPG file that had been compressed and lost information.   RAW files give you much more leeway to make changes and be creative.

Then the work (and fun) begins. To makeover this image:

  • I cropped out the bit of the house to the left, the little bit of car on the right, and some  of the road in front.  There was still some of the house on the left remaining when I got the proper crop so I added greenery over it, extending the wooded area.
  • There was still a bit of the road in the bottom right corner and I turned that into leaf strewn gravel like the rest of the foreground.
  • The messy power lines were removed.  (One of the most time consuming parts of the image.  Someone should invent a magic filter to take out power lines. 🙂 )
  • Color and saturation adjustments were made throughout the image, both globally and selectively.  Painting in brightness and contrast selectively gives more depth to the image.
  • The dark area to the left of the cottage seemed empty and my eye kept going there, expecting to see something.  I tried adding a bench but that didn’t really do what I wanted.  So I painted in a trunk to anchor the greenery there.
  • The sky was bright and colorless. It’s subtle, but I added a hint of blue to the sky to convey that bright, hazy October sky.
  • The window on the door had something covering the middle panes and I restored the glass in that area.
  • The roof of the firewood structure had the green tarp hanging down which wasn’t very pleasing, so I worked some magic and made it go away.
  • Finally I did some digital painting all over the image to take it even further from the realm of a straight photograph.

All of this makeover was done in Adobe Photoshop.  Sometimes, I also use Corel Painter.

The final image is much more what my eyes and my mind saw when I first came upon this lovely cottage. Not as much a makeover, as bringing the life back to the original image.

Cozy Cottage ©Gail Haile The final painting of this quaint cottage in Chester, CT.

Cozy Cottage ©Gail Haile
The final painting of this quaint cottage in Chester, CT.

Connecticut River Valley Colors

The Connecticut River Valley, specifically Chester, CT,  is where I was born.  It’s where my father’s family lived and farmed for generations.  On a perfectly picturesque day a couple of weeks ago, we met with old friends and enjoyed a steam engine ride along the shores of the Connecticut River, traveling past small towns whose names play a large role in my family story. Part of the trip included disembarking from the train and boarding a riverboat for a cruise along the Connecticut River, offering a wonderfully different perspective than the train.

The fall colors were putting on a show and I took the opportunity to continue my play with long exposures.  Either the camera or the subject and sometimes both, were moving during the exposure to create these impressions of that beautiful day along the Connecticut River.

Have you been able to get out an enjoy the fall colors?  What are the fall colors like in your area?

Connecticut River Valley Colors ©Gail S. Haile

Connecticut River Valley Colors ©Gail S. Haile

Connecticut River Colors 1 ©Gail Haile

Connecticut River Colors 1 ©Gail Haile

Connecticut River Colors 2 ©Gail Haile

Connecticut River Colors 2 ©Gail Haile


spent a few days in the Adirondacks  with 2 photographer friends at the end of August.  While hiking, (I need to interject here that hiking with photographers is a different sort of hiking…walk 5 minutes, find something interesting, shoot for 10 minutes, or more, walk 5 minutes, shoot for 15 minutes, and on like that. )  So, while hiking, I kept seeing all these single leaves and was drawn to capture them.

It wasn’t until I was reviewing my images that the thought occurred to me that these were early signs.  Yes, we all know that fall is coming and the leaves signal that to us.  We readily see the large overall change in the color of the forests that will be here in a few weeks. But unless you looked closely, you could have missed these single leaves, early signs of the next phase.  In our lives there are often small, barely noticeable signs that we are moving into a new phase.  Sometimes we may not notice them, other times, we may choose to ignore them but signs are there nevertheless.  Just something to ponder.  🙂

Would you please share this with anyone you know who might be interested in my work?  Thank you!

Reflections: Works in Progress

Today’s post begins a new category of blog posts, Works in Progress.  I’ll share bits of what I’m working on so you might see how it develops.

For some time now, I have been fascinated with reflections.  Colors can be stretched and morphed to beyond their true being.  Light and color shift shape and size depending on your point of view, becoming something new, creating something different.  Even without my camera in hand, I’m always watching and noticing reflections and being intrigued with the abstractions that are created.  With camera in hand, I’ve spent hours recording the ever changing colors reflected in a harbor’s waters at sunset or the city reflected in a highly polished floor.

I’ve been pondering why I am so drawn to these ephemeral visions.  They are transitory, fleeting beings.  When I photograph them, it occurs to me to wonder what I am actually photographing.  It doesn’t actually exist, it’s not a physical thing.  It only exists because I notice it and if I record it as an image, is it then a “thing” ?

I’m still working out what makes reflections so interesting to me but a few weeks ago, as we were driving home from dinner in a downpour that turned to snow by the time we arrived home, I was mesmerized by all the reflections on the dark, wet pavement. I took some time to write about them that night.

A few of my rambling thoughts:

Is my interest because reflections, in their ephemeral nature, reflect the nature of life?  Moments of our lives are like those reflections, fleeting, snatches of times, gone too quickly without our control. They can change quickly depending on our perspective. those small, fleeting moments can hold such beauty if we are open to seeing it.  How we view them, our attitude, filters the scene and our memory of it.

An interesting thing happened that rainy night as the rain turned to snow.  The roads no longer reflected the colors and shapes.  As the slush covered the road, the vivid  colors, the distinct shapes, were muted or gone altogether.  What is the “slush” in our lives that causes us to not see and hold these fleeting moments with all the beauty they hold?

All food for thought.  It’s a work in progress.

Just a few of the many reflected moments that I’ve captured so far:




Fall Flowing by: Mandala Monday: 11-11-2013

Today brings more mandalas created from my time in Root Glen, a fantastic garden and arboretum near my home.  I talked about Root Glen in my post last weekalso.  There is a small stream that meanders through the Glen over rocks and under bridges.  I was intrigued with the colors and textures in these leaves that were on the side of the stream as the one inch of water in the stream flowed by.   I must admit that browns and similar colors are not my favorite so I did not expect to like these mandalas so much.  That is often the fun of it, though… you never can completely know what to expect.  I hope that the texture and depth and even the colors of these show  up adequately in this post.  I look at each one filling a 22″ screen and love all the detail, all from some “debris along the rocks” .  It does depend on the point of view that you choose.

Golden Canopy: Mandala Monday 11-4-2013

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been able to be more present for the spectacular fall season we’ve had this year.  One of those moments was an hour that I set aside from a busy day to enjoy the light and colors with a photographer friend.  We met in a very special garden and arboretum on the campus of Hamilton College.  The Root Glen is a very unique place and if you ever find yourself in this part of the world, you really should visit.  If you can’t visit, read more about it here.  The college website states that “the glen contains some 65 species of trees, dozens of shrubs and scores of varieties of flowers.”  It is beautiful at any time of the year and I really don’t make it a point to get there enough.

One of the things that caught my eye, were the leaves on the Beech trees.  Beech trees are very prevalent in this part of NY state, are tall and stately, and have some of the last leaves to drop.  I loved the way the light filtered through the golden canopy of beech leaves and thought, just maybe, they might make some interesting mandalas.   I was so glad that I made the time to experience the Glen even for a few minutes.