It’s been over 16 years since Gary A. Haines, photographer extraordinaire, opened Grizzly Creek Gallery in historic Georgetown, Colorado. Thinking back, he never really expected that this would be how he spent his years of retirement, yet he couldn’t be happier.
A native Coloradan, Gary grew up in the foothills and eventually became a firefighter for South Metro Fire Rescue, serving for 32 years. During this time, he married his lovely wife, Gay, and they had a son, Stewart. After his years served, the family finally had a chance to move up to the mountains - a place of serenity after the busy years of firefighting and city living.
While he may have been a city boy, his love of the Colorado landscape and wildlife led him to develop a hoppy for oil painting during his time with South Metro. Simply a hobby, he explains that developing techniques, such as the perfect shadowing effect, is what eventually led his eye when he began to play around in the field of photography.
More than 20 years ago, he began messing around with original film cameras and fell in love with the art form. To this day, he still shoots almost all of his images on original panoramic film - something rarely seen in these days of digital.
Haines is one of the last true purists. This means his photographs are never retouched. What you see is what he got. Patience, luck, and lighting make his landscapes look almost unreal. Looking at a Haines portrait is like looking through his lens at the exact moment the image was captured.
Sharing the breathtaking views and wildlife he has encountered over the decades, not only in Colorado but also from around the world, has been a highlight in his already fulfilling life. He is constantly met with “oohs” and “aahs” when visitors to Georgetown stroll into his gallery.
As he says, “it’s what makes all the time, traveling, and work to run a gallery worthwhile. Nothing feels better than seeing one of my portraits touch someone to their very core.” You know you must be doing something right when this happens almost on a daily basis.
Keep an eye out for more blogs highlighting photography tips for amateurs, new images, products for home and office, and of course, stories of Gary’s amazing adventures.