Recently Published in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens Magazine Sept/Oct Issue

The Sept/Oct Issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens has a story of a Spec House make over by Blaze Makoid Architect.

The Hamptons have some wonderful residential architects to work with and certainly there are developers ready to speculate on building houses. Creating a 10,000 square foot house as economically as possible but not have it be bone ugly can be a challenge.
Photographing a house on a very grey day, one could say ‘bone ugly’ again, was also a challenge. That is what happens sometimes and you make the most of it.

Schools back and we are open for business.

Please let me know if you have any projects you would like to get photographed this autumn.

Mick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise,
at House and Garden magazine.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales

City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. Abrams

Photographing two Hamptons houses published in HC & G Architecture Issue

Photographing two fabulous modern houses, published in the Architecture issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, was helped by years of experience of the photographer and editor.  One designed by Audrey Matlock and the other by Roger Ferris, both houses are very site specific and original in design.

I have worked as photographer with Audrey Matlock a number of years ago and was very excited when I was commissioned to photograph this house by Kendell Cronstrom, of Cottages and Gardens magazine. Audrey Matlock has an extremely clean sense of design and the building lines interact with each other forming intricate layers of space and form.  Even small movements around the house would create very different visual images.

Photographing modern houses can be very fulfilling because a lot of what a photographer is doing, is highlighting the building’s form and the ideas the architect has created, utilizing natural light. The initial walk through with editor Kendell Cronstrom, decided what aspects of a house are worth capturing and what styling they may require. Then the decisions as to where to start and what to photograph when throughout the day are crucial to a shoots results. Having a good idea as to what the weather is going to do through the day determines what the light will be like in the different rooms and on the exterior of the building. Often a grey day can be as useful as a very bright day, sometimes it works well to have both, which is what happened when we photographed Audrey Matlock’s design.

 

The Roger Ferris house was designed for a young family which wanted to keep the sense of living in a meadow. The barn like vernacular was created by there being three building blocks arranged conversationally together and slightly separated with horizontal wood cladding which extend into the roof surface. When seated in the living room a panoramic view of the meadow was achieved by three walls of windows. The simplicity of the buildings and their grouping made a strong reference to agricultural life even though they are set close to a very busy Hamptons town.

Only partial story lay out is shown here for both houses.

Recently Published in CT Cottages & Garden, gardens issue

CT Cottages and Gardens May Issue features a Japanese influenced retreat garden designed by Chris Zaimer and the owners, photographed by Mick Hales.

Approaching this garden one is confronted with an enormous Rhododendron round set conventionally in a sloping lawn, however, the recent addition of a Japanese styled garden hidden on one side of the house is where the owners’ heart lies. The designer Chris Zaima collaborated with the owner to create a peaceful retreat which incorporates several Japanese garden elements but still feels it is rooted in the Connecticut countryside.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales
City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. AbramsMick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise, at House and Garden magazine.

Recently Published in New York Cottages and Gardens April Issue, Crow Hill, a fabulous Palladian house photographed by Mick Hales.

 

 Superb Palladian style American Country house of Lynn St. John combines, art, color, whimsey and architecture to die for.

Set on the crown of a hill above the Kinderhook river in Columbia County is the fabulous house of Lynn St. John, a former NYC advertising and editorial photographer, who got a start through working for Irving Penn. The strong eye of a photographer shows through with the decor and design of the interiors. The house dates back to 1839 with tall windows and high ceilings, allowing wonderful daylight to fill the rooms.

Photograph your projects in their Prime

Mick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise, at House and Garden magazine. Since then he has worked with many major book publishers and most of the shelter magazines. His photographic style comes from studying how daylight is affecting a garden or building and being at the right place at the right time.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales
City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. Abrams
Photograph your projects in their prime. Call Mick Hales and he will photograph your projects where ever they are. 518 672 0014

Mick Hales.

City Green: Public Gardens of New York, book signing and publication.

Mick Hales signing books with Jane Garmey
Mick Hales with Jane Garmey signing the newly published book, City Green: Public Gardens of New York.

After one and half seasons of photography, City Green: Public Gardens of New York, has finally been published by Monacelli Press. Written by Jane Garmey and photographed by Mick Hales the book highlights some of the wonderful public gardens in the New York area. The green spaces to those living or visiting the NYC area are such a resource, from the pocket parks like Paley Park, to the full blown internationally respected Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and Brooklyn, New York has a wonderful diverse wealth of gardens.

City Green photographed by Mick Hales
The book City Green Public Gardens of New York, published by Monacelli Press, written by Jane Garmey and Photographed by Mick Hales.

One of the great moments are when the blue bells are in full bloom in the Brooklyn Botanic gardens.

Blue bells fill the woodlands at the Brooklyn Botanic gardens.
Blue bells fill the woodlands at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. One of the rich moments in gardens around New York.

As a garden photographer, timing is essential, to be on location at the right time for the garden and for the daylight can cause exciting travel moments. I remember one shoot I did for House and Garden Magazine of the Tea House at Marble House in Newport, I drove like crazy to arrive before the sun rise, but it was worth it as the Tea House and Marble House were lit with the warm first light.  Sometimes you have to make the most of what ever weather a particular day offers, because the travel to get to a garden involves complicated schedules.

John Rosselli and Bunny Williams were kind enough to host the signing at the John Rosselli Antiques show room, March 20th 2018. Even though there was another North Easter coming into the city that evening, all the books on hand sold out. Be sure to get your own copy of the book so you can find a nice garden the next time you have time in NY city.

 

How to create a Juxtaposition in your photography; City Green.

City Green photographed by Mick Hales

How to create a Juxtaposition in your photography.

Mick Hales recalls photographing the book City Green: Public Gardens of New York published by Monacelli Press. Written by Jane Garmey.

Battery Park at the Southern tip of Manhattan is filled with memorial gardens and a wonderful place to spend a lunch hour.
The juxtaposition of the trees and the buildings emphasizes the scale of park in the city.

Photographing gardens in New York City means the borrowed landscape is likely to have a variety of buildings in the background. Not a bucolic background, but often thought provoking. This was especially the case when photographing the World Trade Center Memorial Garden, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the High Line and Brooklyn Grange. All of which are surrounded and sometimes overwhelmed by high rise buildings.

 

The World Trade Center Memorial Garden is so powerfully surrounded by high rises and sunken waterfalls in the center that sometimes realizing that it was a beautifully designed simple garden was hard to capture. When using a juxtaposition of size, ie the huge skyscrapers of the financial district and the relatively low height of the trees, the difference in scale places an emphasis on the fragility of the living trees. This is extended by the design of this memorial by the deep two stage waters falls which exaggerate the height and depth of the memorial, the falling water symbolic of the passing of life.

The World Trade Center Memorial Park.
The trees of the World Trade Center Memorial Park are dwarfed by the PATH building and High Rises.

Another form of juxtaposition I like to utilize is photographing into the light. This can be technically challenging as it can create flair in the image if light goes directly into the lens, however if that can be avoided, it often gives strong form to the subject and as long as there is enough fill in the shadows form an exciting image.

World Trade Center Memorial Garden
New growth in the trees is Juxtaposed with the man made skyscraper.

Similarly, juxtaposition between a fragile natural form and that of a rigid man made form can set up interesting conflicts which emphasize differences within an image. The reason we do this in photography is that although we are capturing something which is in reality normal we are trying to show it or explain it more deeply by contrasting its contents or surrounding. Creating a visual question which the viewer has to take time to evaluate and go deeper into the photograph to fully comprehend. We are holding the viewers attention and giving information which we experienced as the photographer in front of the actual experience or happening so the viewer can receive that it as well. As photographer we are trying to tell a story to some else which we have just seen and experienced. Juxtaposition is a great tool to capture attention.

 

Get your copy of City Green; Public Gardens of New York, and find out how to use juxtaposition in garden photography.

 

Mick Hales

 

www.mickhales.com

 

City Green:Public Gardens of New York. Mick Hales recalls photographing the book. Part one- Getting in Early.

Wave Hill Aquatic Garden
The Aquatic garden at Wave Hill comes into its fullness later in the season and is a great place to learn about water planting.

Mick Hales recalls photographing the book City Green: Public Gardens of New York published by Monacelli Press. Written by Jane Garmey.

Getting in Early.

Photographing landscapes and gardens for the book City Green: Public Gardens of New York, gave me a chance to really explore the richness of NYC gardens open to the public. New York has a wealth of different gardens as well as parks, which add to the quality of life for New Yorkers and visitors.

When Photographing gardens the most important times are early morning and late afternoon. If it is a day with clear sky and very strong daylight it is much harder to photograph, especially in the middle of the day, the contrast is too high and colors are washed out. Most gardens are a combination of different shades of green which in a soft even light can read as many different hues, but in harsh light plants loose their subtlety and appear very reflective or dark.

Getting into the gardens early in the morning for City Green proved to be more difficult than I had expected. Many of the gardens required extensive clearance to enable me to photograph with a tripod.

Scheduling in advance means you have to deal with whatever weather the day gives you. I had to travel from Columbia County into New York City, which was around 120 mile drive, to arrive before the sun got too high, and too strong to shoot, which meant leaving home around four in the morning.

With some of the locations I would arrive after the long drive, anxious not to miss the early light in the garden only to have to wait hours for a garden’s PR person to come into work.

I have now published around 40 coffee table books and recognize that acquiring access is one of the major issues to it’s success. One of my favorite books which I wrote as well as photographed is called Monastic Gardens. We photographed in monasteries in France, England and America for the book. I spent a long winter writing letters asking permission to photograph inside monasteries. These days e mails help to speed things up but people are still very busy and it can take a long time to arrange a shoot.

Gardens change so quickly that a day or two can make a huge difference in their appearance. A burst of hot weather, which often happens in the spring, can push bulbs and spring flowering trees to cycle through blooms in days rather than two or three weeks.

I remember traveling to photograph the garden of Oca, in Portugal, for House and Garden magazine, the night I arrived there was a sudden freeze and snow fall. The garden was destroyed when I got up to shoot in the morning, it looked the antithesis of a Portuguese garden and I came away with very little exposed film. That is a long way to go to return empty handed.

Gardens are fickle and photographing them takes a lot of patience. The number of times a gardener has said to me, ‘I wish you had been here a week ago the blooms were terrific, now a lot are over.’ I would wish they had told me two weeks ago that the blooms were coming in and I would have changed my schedule.

Get your copy of City Green; Public Gardens of New York, and find out about the wonderful gardens waiting to be seen the next time you have some time in NYC.

West Side Community Garden from the book City Green.
Springtime is especially beautiful in New York with thousands of bulbs in bloom.

Mick Hales

City Green: Public Gardens of New York. Flower Magazine Preview.

Landscape Photographer Mick Hales, latest book City Green:New York Public Gardens, can be preordered through Amazon Books. Interiors photography in New York City is published in New York Living: Reinventing Home by Rizzoli.
Recently published books of Mick Hales Photography City Green: New York Public Gardens by Monacelli Press and New York Living: Reinventing Home by Rizzoli.

Flower magazine comments on upcoming City Green: Public Gardens Of New York. In the March April Issue. In Bloom Books. Garden Photographer Mick Hales

A new book takes us on a tour
of the lovely green spaces of New York City, from pocket gardens to more expansive ones, and celebrates the ingenuity and spirit of their creators and keepers

THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY defines the phrase urban jungle as “city life, especially the unpleasant parts of it,” such as traffic noise, pollution, and huge concrete buildings. New York City certainly has all of those, and they affect even the casual tourist. But it also possesses wonderful pockets of respite from all that—many more than

the city’s crown jewel—Frederick Law Olmsted’s 843-acre Central Park. City Green, captured by the talented garden photographer Mick Hales, takes us on a tour of 25 verdant spaces in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. It’s a celebration of the ingenuity that urban gardens demand when short on acreage. Consider Paley Park, tucked between two buildings on 53rd Street just o Fifth Avenue, with its wall of water that drowns out Midtown tra c. At no more than one-tenth of an acre, it still makes a statement (and is perfect for an alfresco lunch). Not just creating but also keeping green areas green can be a challenge in a city tight on space. Writer Jane Garmey chronicles the determination of Upper West Side residents to protect their community garden from development, which resulted in a vibrant, self-funded, and well-tended space. The book also takes us to those gardens that are more luxuriant in space and pedigree, such as The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River, and Wave Hill in the Bronx, which was once a private estate. With this book in hand, even the most ardent naturalist can brave New York City in ne form.

City Green: New York Public Gardens. is now available for preorder through Amazon Books.

Son designs addition to his father’s Classic Hampton’s House

Miles Jaffe adds to a Norman Jaffe house

Published in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens

Miles Jaffe remembered as a child the house his father designed as a two bedroom vacation house for the family. Now Miles, faced the challenge of redesigning it into a four bedroom family home, nearly forty years later. ‘In the end I created an addition which was simply a reflection of the existing building’  Miles writes.
To photograph the result was a real pleasure as the two designs fit together like a glove, like father and son.

Photograph your projects in their prime.
Mick Hales.
Copyright © Mick Hales 2017 All rights reserved.

Recently photographed in Florida- Spec House decorated by Lisa Kahn

One of the greatest pleasures of working for talented designers capturing their work is to see what is going on in different parts of America. Lisa Kahn decorated a Spec house by the architects KUKK from Naples, Florida.

Fountain fitted rills line the entry to this bay side house.

The property sits right on a lagoon with a boat birthed up behind it. The house is large and spacious, appropriate for the Florida weather with high ceilings and large roof overhangs. To decorate a house of this size with no incoming furnishings from a client’s previous property takes a lot of everything, from beds and chairs right down to napkins and flatware.

Swimming pool and falling wall fountain abut the exterior kitchen dining area.

Lisa Kahn enjoys working with spec houses because she gets the freedom to do what she wants- as long as it is in the budget. As she has been very successful in this area with spec houses in the past  the developers are confident she will create a great interior. The colors are quiet and harmonious creating a peacefulness in the house.

Beautifully chosen fabrics by Lisa Kahn add to the quiet feeling of the house.

When photographing a house like this, I like to use as much available light as possible, to reveal the house’s design elements.

Natural light pours through the shower stalls into the bathroom. All enclosed with light green tile work.
A guest bedroom on the upper floor has a green color scheme.
Bringing together soft colors of green and blue create a layered feeling.
Kitchen colors come together with marble and ceramic matches.
The high ceilings enable plenty of open space in the kitchen area.
Final details of matching colors with furniture and exquisite elements.