A couple of years ago, I attended a day long seminar in the Boston area. Ruth Clegg was one of the three speakers. I was inspired by her work and her approach to photography. She incorporated printmaking into her world, not just the darkroom kind of photographic prints but the process of creating prints by making impressions on paper. At the time, I’d never seen anyone do that with photography, only with stencils. I loved the quality of those carefully crafted prints.
What also inspired me about Ruth’s work was her sense of experimentation. A great deal of her time is spent on the water in Rhode Island as well as the Adirondacks. She shared with us a project that she had been working on to photograph underneath the water while in her kayak. I was excited to be able to see the result of the project recently at the View Center for the Arts in Old Forge, NY. I loved the work so much, I’ve been to see it twice.
What inspired me about Ruth’s exhibit is the uncommon view she provided of a world we don’t normally see. The quality of light in the images, as well as her choices for printing, were also fascinating to me.
If you are anywhere near Old Forge, NY, even within a 100 miles or so, treat yourself and see her exhibit before it closes October 16. If you can’t make it in person, enjoy a selection of the images here.
View Art Center-Under & Over, exploration of Adirondack pond life. Ruth AB Clegg
“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 Valenti. This 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 Prints available.
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.
Did you see the water patterns last week? I told you I couldn’t choose, so here are some more for you to enjoy.
The water flowing out of the hot springs often causes elaborate and unique patterns in the rock and sand as in the first four images. Some of the colors result from the minerals and thermophiles in the water and others are reflections from the sky.
Strong sunlight striking a mountain stream created the abstract patterns in the final four images. When you first look at the stream, it’s easy to overlook how many colors are actually there.
Do you have a favorite from this group? Which one? and why?
Wildlife abounds in all forms in Yellowstone. I’ll share some of those images next time.
My favorite patterns in Yellowstone were those made by water. In the last couple of posts, I’ve shared images of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, both panoramic images of the grand scenes as well as images of patterns created by the trees of those parks.
I am a water person. Everything about water fascinates me and being near water connects with something deep in my soul. Water is found in all forms in the parks from the snow and glaciers that cover the high peaks, to the rushing streams and waterfalls, to the steam rising from the hot springs.
Those hot springs provided some of the most interesting colors and patterns. Some of the colors were present due to the minerals in the water, others were evidence of thermophiles that thrive in hot environments. Whatever the source, I was fascinated with the gorgeous colors and patterns I saw.
I had a hard time choosing just a few water patterns, so next time I’ll share a few more.
Can you choose a favorite?
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 One, shared 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”.
Fall Water Colors-01-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-02-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-03-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-04-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-05-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-06-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-07-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-08-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-09-©GailSHaile
Fall Water Colors-10-©GailSHaile
Please feel free to share my blogs with your friends and family and thank you always for reading.
Seneca Lake is one of the largest of the 13 Finger Lakes in New York state. (Look at a map of NY and you’ll see why the group of lakes is so named.) I spent last week on the shores of Seneca Lake at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Most of my time, however, was spent inside a classroom learning how to paint digitally using Corel Painter. (I’ll talk more about that wonderful class another time.)
It’s a good thing that I love working with Painter so much, because spending beautiful upstate NY July days indoors when I was 100 yards from a lake would not be my normal choice. But in the evenings, I took the time to get closer to the water and enjoy the summer breezes, the activity of the boats and the fishermen (and women) and the colors and light of the lake and to just play with my camera.
What are you doing to soak up these summer days?
Wispy clouds brush the sky with color over Seneca Lake in the NY Finger Lakes. Seneca Lake Colors 1 _©GSHaile
Reflections of sailboats lit up by the setting sun. Seneca Lake Colors 2 _©GSHaile
What a difference a few minutes makes. Light changes rapidly at this time of day. Seneca Lake Colors 3 _©GSHaile
Loved the shapes and colors of these lily pads as well as the clouds reflected in the water. Seneca Lake Colors 4 _©GSHaile
Light dances from the lake onto this colorful picnic table. Seneca Lake Colors 5_©GailSHaile
Many years ago, I read the remarkable book, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride. I’ll leave it to you to check it out and see what “color of water” refers to in that unforgettable story. But the phrase has always stuck with me and it came to mind last week when I was in the Adirondacks enjoying a warm-ish spring day, photographing details and patterns as the forest comes out of it’s deep freeze.
Water, in all it’s forms, was everywhere.
Thick, dense, white fog floated above the streams early in the day. Where snow had melted from the forest floor, there was still a coating of whitish ice but the colors of pine needles and twigs beneath showed through. The lakes were half water, half ice. Expanses of water reflecting the blue sky were interspersed with expanses of grayish ice in varying stages of melting. Two feet of white snow covered one trail but was so close to melting that we just kept sinking into it. Water was flowing and dripping everywhere.
The phrase, “the color of water” came to mind as I observed all these different forms of water and the variety of colors being presented.
Here are just a few of the water forms and patterns that I witnessed that day along with some mandalas that deepen the experience of the colors. Perhaps you will be able to tell which images provided the source for each mandala?
Color of Water 1 ©GSHaile
In some spots, the snow is gone from the forest floor but a thin coat of ice remains giving a hazy, unfocused look to the pine needles underfoot.
Color of Water 2 ©GSHaile
A patch of ice on the parking lot asphalt takes on a bluish cast from the sky reflecting in the highlights.
Color of Water 3 ©GSHaile
Water streaming down to the lake from the snow melt creates interesting patterns in the sand.
Color of Water 4 ©GSHaile
Reflection of the sky and trees in a patch of melting ice on top of Fourth Lake.
Color of Water Mandala 1 ©GSHaile
Color of Water Mandala 2 ©GSHaile
Color of Water Mandala 3 ©GSHaile
Color of Water Mandala 4 ©GSHaile
Piseco Lake is in the southern portion of the Adirondack mountains of New York state. It’s a place that holds memories of many special times with our family. For ten years, each summer, we rented the same cabin for a week, the same cabin that looks out on this view.
I’ve been working for some time with images of water as well as long exposure images. Several weeks ago, I made a point to drive up to Piseco Lake to try and capture that beautiful spot and the feelings that it holds for me. I was rewarded with a spectacular light show that evening, not a showy sunset but gentle, quiet colors that better suited my feelings about Piseco. There’s another word for twilight that I just love. It shows up in Scottish stories a lot … the gloaming. The colors that night were exactly what I always envision when I hear that word.
The first image is a straight photograph with a “regular” exposure, that stops any movement and freezes the moment. In the second two images I played a bit with a longer exposure, about a second or two, and moved the camera while pushing the shutter. For me, the long exposure images have more emotion embedded in them and are closer to expressing how I feel about that place. Does one of these speak to you more than the others?
Piseco Twilight ©Gail Haile
Piseco Twilight 2 ©Gail Haile
Piseco Twilight 3 ©Gail Haile