Global Digital Explorer
Photographer Jeff Hall infuses his travel photography with context and story
In the 1980s, Hall met a graduate of Cal State Northridge who had earned a degree in photography. Seeing Hall's work, he encouraged him to pursue it.
"We went shopping together and I bought a new camera, a Canon F-1. I began shooting at that point, mostly to get pictures for my wall."
In 1989, Hall entered the travel business and began taking pictures during his own travels. The opportunity to visit these locations and take photographs thrilled him. While many fantasize about leaving their jobs and traveling around the world taking photographs, Hall had a job that provided him the opportunity to travel and create images that others only dream about.
"These trips came about as a result of my work with a company called G.A.P. Adventures," he explains. "After I first met with them, I went to Zimbabwe and Botswana and had a great trip. I came back and started marketing their products here in the United States, and that began a long-term relationship. So every year, I get to pick one of their trips to go on."
The Observant Eye
Halls uses his photography to share his personal experience of the places he has visited. He shoots with an eye for the all-encompassing landscape and will follow it up by filling his frame with a telling detail. "You really can't tell a story and get the essence of a place with a single wide shot," says Hall. "Although there are times when you need that wide shot, there are details that many others miss. Sometimes it's color, patterns or textures. I'm not quite sure what it's going to be, but when I see it, I'm attracted to it.
"I've often been accused of looking the wrong way, while there's something big and beautiful right behind me," he adds.
Yet it's this attention to detail that helps Hall create images that stand out. It's his willingness to find an image even under difficult circumstances that enables him to come away with photographs that others miss.