Friday, August 14, 2009

Catherine Hall, Photographer Extraordinaire

Catherine Hall takes extraordinary photographs. We recently went to see the Robert Franks exhibit of 'The Americans' at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Catherine Hall's images of Appalachia are even more powerful. Yes, she's that good. Here's where you can see more of her editorial work and here is some of her wedding work.

Catherine and I have had an ongoing dialogue about the unique characteristics of the still and moving image.

A still image, which reflects a single moment, allows you to fill in the blanks and project your past experiences and future hopes onto the picture - when it is done well. As it always is when Catherine Hall is behind the lens. 

The moving image which can include voice, ambient sound and music, is excellent for telling a complete story, and for showing motion and emotion. The movie is the narrator that explains what went on, who these people really are and what the times they lived in were like. For example, when your grandchildren see your wedding movie, they will come to know you exactly as you are today - vibrant, young, happy, in love. 

They will see the full range of emotions as your husband jokes with the groomsmen and then nervously glances at his watch moments before the doors open and you appear. How he strains to catch the first glimpse of you. How he audibly catches his breath and utters "Wow!", then wipes a tear away as you and your father approach. How he accepts your hand and folds it into his own. How he whispers at the altar, "You are so beautiful".

Each medium provides a unique interpretation of an event or a person. They go hand-in-hand and together can provide the whole picture.

2 comments:

Catherine said...

A wonderful post and very eloquent description of the differences between still and moving picture. As a still photographer, I particularly like what you said about photography - "A still image, which reflects a single moment, allows you to fill in the blanks and project your past experiences and future hopes onto the picture - when it is done well." This is something that we all strive to do. I appreciate your candid description that makes me realize one of my subconscious photographic goals.

Also, thank you for your kind words and support. As always, you are an inspiration.

J Sav said...

What a happy coincidence. You inspire me, too!