Gale Gatto grew up in Detroit in a time of racial unrest and industrial pollution. The need to find a better place was an early one. With the larger world a depressing place, she was drawn inward, focusing on tiny beauties and personal accomplishment. As soon as she was able, Gale left Detroit and found mountains. She currently lives in Evergreen, Colorado.
As a teenager, Gale spent a large part of her free time at art museums – envying the artists’ abilities with pen, brush, and chisel. She discovered photography. At last, her own vision could be transformed into a tangible reality. The limitations of film became a wonderful challenge. She began to study seriously. She is still studying by constantly taking seminars and otherwise working to improve her skills.
Perhaps it was looking at all that art that gave Gale her unique perspective. She has an almost innate ability to shape and frame an image. The insular, intimate beauties she was able to find growing up translated into a love of macro photography. The flowers of her rose garden were a particular source of inspiration. While preferring natural light to artificial made it more difficult to capture macro flowers, the successful images glow from within.
Gale first showed her work in Taos in the 1980s. The national forest was her backyard; mountains and the exquisite light of New Mexico filled the horizons. The macro flowers translated into landscapes with a macro edge. Living on the Rio Grande migratory route brought many beautiful birds in front of her lens. With film (full frame was all there was!), large lenses enhanced the details of the image. Those same large lenses led to photography of the four legged critters who lived near her home, and were found in the numerous national parks she visited with her cameras.
The next step was landscape photography. When Gale purchased Hasselblad’s Xspan, her whole outlook changed. Using this unique camera in its “pano” mode, Gale began capturing images which illuminated and illustrated their natural setting. Ask her today, and she’ll tell you that the panoramic shot reflects the way our eyes see – that rectangle of light which is our field of view.
When digital photography caught up with film, Gale reluctantly abandoned her beloved Hasselblads (although the Xspan is still in her camera room!). But Gale found great new scope with digital. Without changing her camera technique developed in over 25 years in the field, she now prints in her own studio (without the nasty chemicals). What a joy!
Showing her work whenever she can, Gale has garnered many awards. Her favorites are those where she competes against different media. Winning “Best of Show” in 2009 for her photo of Evergreen Lake (Paint Sculpt and Shoot at Evergreen Center for the Arts) was very special. Winning the contest in Golden, Colorado commemorating the town’s 150th anniversary was awesome – by public vote, her image was chosen to be turned into a two story banner.
Look around you. The beauty surrounds us. It is everywhere, if you can just see. Gale has the eyes to do so and the cameras to capture the vision. Intimate backyard beauty can be as great as that of our awe-inspiring national parks. And think about trees – difficult to capture but a satisfying accomplishment.
Gale recently acquired a GigaPan, which is based on technology employed by NASA for the Mars Rover. It gives her the ability to shoot immense landscapes with a robotic head and sophisticated software to stitch everything together.
Gale invites you to share her vision – the sweeping landscapes and the tiny details. Light…color…form.