Tapping into the human condition

I spent the last 10 years hiding away from people. I am awkward in social situations. I spent so much time alone thinking, that I forgot what it was like to connect to people. I may have even lost my empathy and compassion for people outside of my family. I’m not sure what happened to make me disconnect.

 

Now, all I think of is how I am going to turn my camera around and capture all the things about being human that I’ve been missing. How can I tap into humanity, connect with people again, on a whole new level.

All of these feelings I have are essential for empathizing with others. It’s basic emotions that bring people together… longing, love, pain.

If I had never experienced pain, would I have empathy? I f I had never been alone, would I know what it’s like to long? How can I use my past experiences to connect to people genuinely? How can I create a portrait of a human condition with the tools I have been given?

Then I wonder if all of this is out of some selfish need to feel relevant in the world, satisfying the unconscious.

What is really important to me now?

My son, my parents, my friends and their families. Teaching my son culture and humility, humbly. Helping people in need, not with money, with kindness and my two hands. Being genuine, real and not living through my ego. Building bridges and relationships with people. Being kind and having good intents..showing my son how to be transparent with his actions.

How can I use my own life experiences to bring awareness to causes that I hold close to my heart?

After speaking with Ed Kashi, something clicked. Was it his words or his tone? I think it was his genuine desire to understand my situation as we talked. He had questions to better understand me and where I was coming from. Then, he shut his mouth, and allowed me to speak. He listened. It was a moment in my world where I felt like someone was hearing my voice, I longed to be more like him… more human.

Finding my voice in photography has been a journey. Chasing my dreams, one after another… never giving up completely. I have had a very diverse path in getting here, and it’s taught me a lot about life, myself and relationships. I am learning to have the courage to let go and allow myself to enjoy the small moments along the way.

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Where I am and where I belong

That is a double edged blade in words. I’ve moved across the nation to be with my family and reassess my business and organize my thoughts. It’s been heart wrenching. The city of New Orleans has changed so much. And without my best friend Lance there, it seems pretty pointless. I didn’t realize how much I was depending on him, his friendship… just being alive. I think his death is still one of the hardest things to deal with. I am glad to be home during all this. I wouldn’t be able to do it alone in Cali. At least here I have my family, my son and support. I know Lance is here. Or at least I tell myself that.

These images are a few double exposures I captured last week in New Orleans. You know I’ve been combing them, looking for any sign of Lance. We used to walk these streets every weekend as high school kids. Talking about living together one day, writing down numbers to rentals. That was a lifetime ago. I can’t seem to shake the memories, as clear as yesterday. I hope he’s adjusting and knows how much everyone loves him. Still can’t believe he’s gone. That city is empty without him, like a broken heart.

 

For Sale; Los Angeles, City of Gold

I have  made a set of 5 black and white images of Los Angeles and printed them using an archival method on 23 karat gold. The gold sheen is beautiful when the sun hits. Each image captures a part of Los Angeles that is lost in the mayhem of street signs and clusters of buildings. It’s all a part of my lost cities I’ve been working on. I am debuting it with Los Angeles.

There is a limited run of 5 each. It takes about 3-4 weeks to make each image. They are all hand crafted and unique. These 5×7 images are all mounted, matted and framed before shipping. Each image is 150.00 plus 25.00 shipping (within the USA). If you are interested in the entire set, $700.00 shipped, in the U.S.A.

Please let me know if you have any questions before purchase.   info@melodyhallphotography.com

They can be purchased here.

http://www.melodyhall.bigcartel.com

 

 

 

Actual Image

I finally fell in love… with downtown Los Angeles

I’ve been visiting one of my oldest friends, Reese, in Los Angeles again and recently fell in love with downtown. Reese has been trying to get me to come up for months..maybe years, I can’t remember. I ended up coming for a friend’s re-branding soiree of their studio and met an amazing amount of talented folks. I had such a great time, I keep coming back. I spent the other day on Spring Street at the Social Trust. I got to hang out and watch a fashion shoot take place. It was refreshing and reminded me that I am talented and can also find my niche here.

We walked around all over downtown, I felt great. I was comfortable. It was a side of LA I had never been introduced to. I was finally hanging out with the right people and doing the right thing. I loved the old architecture, I could walk around all day. I love old shit. I ran into old acquaintances, a crabby old man and met new friends, the kind you keep around because they are like little slices of fried gold. And who doesn’t like gold? They are talented and creative and they want my conceptual input… I was stoked. I’ll be back next week and eventually permanently.

So now Los Angeles, because of a good friend and some talented kids on Spring Street, I have a fond place for you in my heart. You made me feel alive and I can’t wait to see you again.

Newsflash

a little good news

While I was roaming the aisles of nerds and celebs for Comic Con San Diego, 2013….. I came across a newspaper. Inside is a picture of a girl, taking a picture of my work at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. It totally made my day, week and just made Comic Con actually cool. I’m always surprised when others relate to my work. It’s actually pretty scary. The work is titled, “Searching”, it’s a really dark scene. About searching for someone after they have left us for good. Some days the search never ends in my little hollow heart. I love you Makai and still find myself searching for you out of the corners of my eye.

The Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco

 

I graduated on the 24th of May with a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Academy in San Francisco. On my way to being a Master Printer. An image I composed last year made it into the Museum. It’s hanging until June 6th I believe. My mom, son, and oldest friend Lance came to wish me well. Super thankful for times like these. Just wish my dad were here too. I love you poppa.

Going back in time with Vietnam

 buddha_fenced

A five hour drive south of Saigon will land you in the heart of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The canals and waterways are a lifeline for the Vietnamese farmers. Their goods are carried to the floating markets via water. Hidden between thick jungle and a maze of canals you can find beautifully aged temples. The ruins and reminders of French architecture still haunt the land, what remains slowly crumbles back to the earth. A visually stunning country, filled with colorful, friendly people.

**All of the images on this site have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

am I coming or going…

up or down

Sometimes I am not sure which way is up and who is down. Thankful I am for these moments, they bring me a little peace once I have returned. Here I find myself looking up at a ladder, leading to a bell tower. There is beauty and life in this seemingly lifeless building. I find myself in the most amazing places sometimes. I like the emptiness of life here at the old police headquarters.
*** All images have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

opportunity

open door

As I go through life I look for these small opportunities, casting light on my mission. This day I found many little surprises in the Marina area of San Diego. Once there was light and probably bookings going on in here, maybe a lady in a pencil skirt and peep toe heels typing prisoner files. After all it was built at the end of the 30’s. I really thing that must have been a grand time. I imagine myself roaring through the 1940’s, Hollywood crime booming. Ahh, the good ole days.

*** All images have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

Lucky 13

cell 13

I imagine the man that spent his days behind these numbers. Wondering what his crimes were and when he was incarcerated. This jail was built in 1939 for downtown San Diego. It was used until the eighties and abandoned ever since. It is being stripped apart, sold and chopped up into (haunting) retail venues.

*** All images have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

Colors of Prison

colors of prison II sm wm

A great place for photography is the abandoned San Diego Police Headquarters. Built in 1939 and used until the mid 80’s. This is now under construction for a new retail space. There are still a few rows of cell blocks and plenty of toilets to view. The place is quite large and I imagine it goes underground. We found a few good places to photo shoot, oh how I wish to do a fashion piece here before it’s remodeled.
Enjoy it while there is still a bit of history left. San Diego is experienced at wiping away all traces of yesteryear for the sterile use of today.

*** All images have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

Have you ever witnessed someone get dragged by a car?

Whilst in the archives, I grabbed out my random guy getting taken for a ride on Centre St in Hillcrest. The younger man started a fist fight as I was walking by. I pulled out my handy dandy Canon and started shooting. He even looks up at me while giving the old guy a bloody lip. I must say, when he wouldn’t let go of the car, as it drove away, I was in shock. I forgot I was even taking pictures, then grabbed one as they drove past me. The younger man’s legs dangling in the street. Kiddies, don’t do drugs, please.

*** All images have been taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.

burn baby burn

Griffith Park Observatory

A few years back I lived under the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Los Angeles had just gone through a rigorous remodel with the observatory. Due to an accidental fire, it almost went up in flames. As I stood on my roof, wondering if I should evacuate, I decided to capture a moment. This moment is now burned into my memory and one of the last reminders of living in Los Angeles.

*** These images were taken by Melody Hall and are copyright.