Every Tuesday, savor Catherine’s evocative joie de vivre and mysterious lightness of being through subjects as diverse as Appalachian inhabitants, Tasmanian farmers, tribal people and celebrities.
Photo of the Week
This photo was taken at Burning Man in 2008. I have attended for five years now, and throughout the week-long arts-and-culture festival in the Black Rock Desert, I wade among the 50,000+ people in attendance, searching for interesting faces. I stumbled upon this girl by chance, compelled by the sense of kinetic energy in her body position. I felt as if she were about to dash off into the vast expanse of the desert. The early morning light only energized the visual moment–the light provided a sense of both time and place, resulting in psychological motion.
Image Stories Winter 2010 Edition
As I wandered through Amish Mennonite farmland I was overwhelmed by the scent of fresh New England soil and discernible brush of long grass against my legs. I felt the sensation of traveling back in time.
John Deere hired me to create a lifestyle photo shoot, capturing the use of their iconic brand in everyday life. I was unfulfilled with our current material and felt a pull to capture more of the essence of the true John Deere lifestyle. I set out with my associate photographer to explore.
We came across an old man who welcomed us back to his generations-old farm and antiquated home. I spent the afternoon documenting his extended Mennonite family with the equipment that is so deeply integrated into their daily lives. There was a sense of closeness formed by strong familial bonds and the lack of modern distractions. I was impressed by the Mennonites ability to survive ascetically, living contently off of their land. I am so grateful to the family for allowing me a glimpse into their distinct lifestyle.
At the end, I offered to do a photograph just for them, anywhere they liked. I expected for them to gravitate in front of their unique home or in front of the striking sun streaked hills. Instead the family gathered around the background they were most proud of – their John Deere 7820 Tractor.
* All Images created for Catherine Hall Studios by Catherine Hall and Curt Littlecott *
Child of Black Rock City
What is Burning Man?
Located in the vast and trackless Black Rock Desert, Burning Man is a yearly gathering of over 50,000 people that temporarily makes up one of the most densely populated cities in the entire country. Over the period of one week, the desolate ground transforms to a place filled with creative expression, vibrant energy, delusion, delirium, and freedom from cultural norms. Burning Man “pilgrims” flock from around the globe to take part in an event where the rules of society are blown away like the sandstorms that swirl through the desert.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Burning Man is the accepting nature and philosophy of its participants. Burning Man allows attendees to express aspects of themselves that might normally lie dormant under the restraints of society. Fascinated by this freedom of expression, I ventured into the once ancient lakebed, also known as “The Playa,” to capture participants as their alter egos. The following images are portraits of Burning Man pilgrims who have left their place in society to join a world of unity, madness, creativity and acceptance. Their former selves are merely shadows in the sand of the Nevada Desert.
Conor, Age One-and-a-Half
As an artist, inspiration is one of the most important elements of my work. My camera has given me the ability to explore the world and I look forward to sharing my discoveries. ln my monthly newsletter, Image Stories, I will take a moment to share some of my favorite images and the stories behind them.