Robert Hallock and his Photography

Options: main home page, Black and White entry page, Color entry page, Technical comments

Black and White galleries: #1 New England, #2 Abstractions, #3 Plants, #4 New England II, #5 Massachusetts, #6 Reflections, #7 Abstractions II, #8 Ripples in Sand, #9 Delicacy, #10 Natural Designs, #11 Nature's Graffiti, #12 Massachusetts II.

Color galleries: #1 Plants, #2 Fall Foliage, #3 Green, #4 Scenics, #5 Small Scale.

Biographical Information:

Robert Hallock grew up in the Pioneer Valley of west-central Massachusetts and for many years has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he holds the title Distinguished Professor and is Director of the Laboratory for Low Temperature Physics and a member of the Condensed Matter Physics Program. He has served the University in various capacities, including chairmanship of a number of major committees, eight years as Head of his department and one year as Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. His academic interests include teaching introductory courses to undergraduates, one-on-one instruction of graduate students in a laboratory setting, and experimental research that explores phenomena at temperatures near 460 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. More than thirty graduate students have received Ph.D.'s under his direction. His credentials as a physicist include graduate degrees from Stanford University, numerous research publications, research support from the National Science Foundation, and a number of awards and fellowships, including an A.P Sloan Fellowship early in his career, the Chancellor's Medal awarded by the University, the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, and a J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. He has also chaired and served on a number of national and international committees.

Bob's first camera was given to him with he was about ten years old and he has been interested in photography since that time. His interest and activity level grew more intense following a summer course on darkroom techniques early in the 1990's. And he has taken workshops and had gallery shows more recently. Bob's photographs are black and white or color, with negative formats of 35 mm, 6 x 7 cm, and 4 x 5 in. His 4 x 5 wooden field camera is a favorite when high definition detail is desired in a large print, or when it is necessary to adjust the plane of focus to properly capture the image. The smaller formats are used for more spontaneous situations, or where portability is important. His general activity is in black and white, but when the fall foliage is ablaze, color film is often in the cameras.

Bob and his wife Norma have two married sons and live in Leverett, Massachusetts.

Personal Statement:

"One of my favorite images is one my grandfather took in 1925 of my father and uncle as children fishing in a creek in rural central Pennsylvania. He used an old 8 x 10 glass-plate field camera. Somehow the light was perfect and he caught the moment. For me, getting the right light, capturing what I see, and bringing that visualization to fruition in the final print is what photography is all about. Doing that is a deviation from my usual activities as a Professor and physicist. Photography is a form of expression at once different from but similar to scientific research. It is different in that there is no right or wrong, and the results are good or bad according to the judgment of individual observers. It is similar in that proper utilization of technique and attention to detail are important and make a noticeable difference in the final product."

"My eye is often drawn to images that one might ordinarily overlook in the course of everyday activity; for example, a hinge on an abandoned barn, a fern by the roadside, a doorway, or textural details. I also am drawn to images that may have a smaller hidden image within them, something that may interest the careful observer. I like to create photographs that may convey something serene or tranquil. I like to find beauty in unexpected places and try to capture it. Often I photograph close to home with no advance plan. I just head out with the cameras and stop when something feels right about an area or location. Some days are terrific with a number of captured images that perhaps later result in one satisfying print. Other times, when nothing works for me, yield no images at all. But on many days there is only the dream, as responsibilities and obligations prevent anything but the thought, 'The light is sure wonderful right now.' And in all cases, I strive for the right light. We are blessed in the Pioneer Valley in New England with ever changing lighting conditions, to the pleasure and frustration of all who photograph here."

Bob invites communication about any aspect of these pages or his work:

Robert B. Hallock
Department of Physics, Hasbrouck Laboratory
University of Massachusets, Amherst, MA 01003