Layers

The self and the ego

Who I am

Who I was

Who I will be

where I am

Where I was

Where I am going

The self and the ego are entwined by memory and illusion. The memory of who you think you used to be, the memory of who you want to be. The illusion of who you used to be is based on the memories you hold onto, which are a mix of pop culture, photographs and stories people tell. The person you project is often the illusion of the person you wish to be. But it’s not usually the same person when you peel away all influences, layer after layer. The core. The self.

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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.

Emerging; A Collection of Fine Art Nudes

“When women pose thoughtfully and artistically – in nothing but their bare skin – they find themselves. They discover that they are truly alive. They become a Nude.”

~David Allio

The French Academy in the 19th century viewed the depiction of the nude as the ultimate measure of an artist’s skill. Today, I too regard the nude as a measure of my own skill and maturity. As I worked on each of these, I watched myself grow and found an identity as an artist. I present an obsession of female nudes inspired by masters of paint, Ingres, Titian, Bougereau and Velasquez. I incorporated their selection of rich colors, symbolism and chiaroscuro lighting to create my own works of art.

The results are an honest appreciation for beauty, expressed poetically by the artist.

I have studied the nude as a subject for nearly a decade. In this time my work with the subject and photography has grown immensely. I’ve produced a beautiful Moleskin Monograph to showcase a selection of my work. Each image is available as an 8×10, limited edition giclee print, on Hahnemüle fine art paper. These prints will soon be made available on Saatchi Art online as well as http://www.MelodyHallFineArt.com. If interested, please message me for details.

Thank you all very much for your support and kind words. I couldn’t have chosen a better career than creating art for people.

Emerging Book

Change is the Only Constant

I’ve never been stable, physically. I moved around all my life, itching for change. Instead of working against the grain, I am embracing it. I know I’ll never be one to settle. It’s not in me. I’ll always seek out enlightenment, knowledge, tools and adventures. It’s become more than a way of life, but a change in life. Accepting what I do naturally as a gift and using the travel time to draw out that non moment, the unconscious moment in between thoughts and actions. Breaking the cycle.

Longing to Be Me Again

Longing

Longing to be me again is something I often catch myself doing. Reminiscing the days when I was social, when I wore make up and cared about what people thought. Sometimes it’s nice to just dress up and be complimented. These days there is more quiet in my diet and less chatter. I introvert some times of the year, reflect on my growth and think about where I want to go from here.

Duality has taken me to many places in and out of my mind. I always end up back where I start. Some call it full circle, I call it refueling. Gathering my-selves and estimating our worth. I’ve learned so much and feel like I’m just beginning. Not starting over, just moving in a different direction. Changing my sway, my swagger… but still to a beat. The music never stops for me, it just changes tempo.

 

Where the Wild Things Art

Where the Wild Things Are

I’ve been working on evolving  my Duality work. This is the latest test shoot. Some details still need to be worked out, but it’s coming along quite well. Back to my roots and working on shooting these in film.

Duality: A Visual Essay

Here’s a mini essay about my Duality project. It’s been a challenge and a blessing. Through my project, I have done so much inter-personal work. It’s been an eye opener about myself and people around me. You really get to understand the human psyche and see through peoples actions and intentions. It’s left me feeling raw and humbled.

She’s Like Day & Night

Day & Night

 

This is my second image from the newest Duality series. There’s a lot more going on in this scene, I’ve illustrated my own day and night habits.

I try to think logically in the mornings, it’s hard to wake up but I know I need to get my work done early before my distractions start chiming in. This side of my brain has loads of common sense and tends to be straight forward, well organized and rational. I tend to be a little more OCD in this mindset. It’s how things get done around my house. This is the stress inducing Melody, she speaks her mind and isn’t afraid of offending anyone.

While the night time is for my right brained activities. I stay up very late and work creating until I’m exhausted and pass out. I research projects endlessly, brainstorming my ideas for the week. I work without concern for organization or logical thinking. It’s all imagination and vision when I am in this mode. I tend to be more emotional when I am creative. I reminisce and use my past experiences to drive my work. This Melody is more prone to stay inside for a week while she creates her newest masterpiece. She doesn’t care for the general public and finds the inside of her home and her garden a bubble from the rest of the world.

For this image I was inspired by Dave Hill. His composites have been pushing me to try harder. Occasionally I look back on the photographers that have influenced me over the years, and I find something new. Some new technique I never noticed before… it was confidence this time. The confidence to create an image that I am not experienced at. This was my first transitional composite. Going from day to night in one frame is exciting for me. It shows me how far I’ve come in the last year. My concept is evolving and all I have to do is work hard and maintain this balance.

Thank you for checking out my progress. It’s going to be a fantastic fall, stay tuned for another installment of Duality by Melody.

Duality Film Still #1

 

Split Personality

I’m just an average man, with an average life
I work from nine to five; hey hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone in my average home
But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone

Rockwell is all that is going through my head as I edit this image. Rad. I am working on the Duality series again. I figure it needs a little closure or a end of some sort. Since I go through life like a movie still, frame to frame, I thought it was on;y right to shoot these in wide screen format. Duality as a movie…. treatment and more stills to come!

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

Nietszche, Apollonian and Dionysian Poles

Apollo & Dionysus
du·al·i·ty  (d-l-t, dy-)
n.
The quality or character of being twofold; dichotomy.

In Greek Mythology, Apollo and Dionysus are Gods, born from Zeus. Apollo, the God of the Sun, represents music, intellect, logic and reason. Apollo is often seen with a bow and arrow or a lyre. While Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, is the God of the Earth. He represents the bliss of life with wine, agriculture and fertility. Often depicted with wine and a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. I grew up celebrating Bacchus in New Orleans, we celebrate life, abundance and the ecstasies of living. I fled to California at a young age in search of order.

For me, duality is an inner struggle, something non tangible that keeps us questioning our identity. For some there is a balance, for others an extreme. I am learning to let both sides of my mind live together in a harmonic balance. I’ve been working on my dual sides for the past few years. It has become my creative spiral, from which I draw inspiration from. I struggle with anxiety, hyper-mania and depression. I believe this came about after living such a lavish life in my teens and twenties, the balance was bound to take place.

After surviving my own great tragedy, in which I came very close to death, I withdrew from society and became agoraphobic. I began the long journey of getting to know myself. I was taught about art, history and the creative spiral. I dove into it head first and have landed firmly on my feet.

My spiral is about the inner conflict, the light and dark or Apollo and Dionysus. I have gained the insight to balance my two halves, to create my ideal person and bring peace to my life and those who know me. Since I cannot live without one or the other, I must learn to live with both my yin and yang.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) defines the two and believed that we must have a balance of both order and chaos to be the best possible person we can. Once the scales tip to one side or the other, the tribulation is inevitable. Both traits are required to live a balanced life.

Apollo’s powers of control, blocks creative instinct and spontaneity. There would no longer be that gut feeling, just logic. Without some control, the chaos would get out of hand, therefore leading me on into the depths of emotion and depression.

The individuality of Dionysus makes me original, it feeds my creative side. It makes my art mine. While the analytical side to Apollo helps keep me from excess. It helps to moderate and balance my intuition and reason. So that I may not fall again, but be successful in all areas of life.

Life is full of cycles and learning to balance the scales will bring us closer to leading a fulfilling life. This is why I believe it is urgent that we know ourselves, our limits and how to stimulate some chaos… it gives order a reason to be.

Works Cited:
Co-Operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition, by John Heron

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.

Nude Collection

Hall_M_01 Hall_M_02 Hall_M_03 Hall_M_04 Hall_M_05 Hall_M_06

I am a firm believer in learning as many new tools as possible, in order to convey my work. During the last few months, I was exposed to a handful of new printing and experimental processes that have helped find voices for my photography. I studied painting, charcoal and all aspects of photography, in order to be a well rounded artist. It has given me new avenues to explore and sheds new light on old work.

In this collection of images, I have taken my digital study of the nude and created one of a kind pieces of tangible art. These nudes, taken in ambient light, are traditionally printed, using Van Dyke Brown chemistry and the sun. Once they have dried, I infuse Batik wax and a warming pigment with heat, also known as encaustic. This makes the paper translucent and the ink feels sealed and protected.

My goal is to provide original mix media art in a classical style, with a classic subject. Once matted and framed, they look as if they were made a hundred years ago. Each one has it’s own subtle differences, brush strokes and blemishes. They all smell like the batik wax, “spices from the New World”, is where my mind takes me. I think the scent and character of the flaws adds to the overall feel of the presentation. Old world techniques mixed with modern ideas and tools.

The Sea, She Moves Me

poop pool 3 1200 w children's pool 5 1200  14_4_Hall  
The Sea is one of the most beautiful elements in nature, something to be respected and preserved. I grew up near the Ocean and it has been a part of my earliest memories from childhood. It scares me, soothes me and sings me to sleep. It can be strong and nurturing like a mother or cold and lonely as the night. The Sea is where we got our start and it is where my obsession lies.

In this collection of digital images, I capture the movement of the sea after the sun goes down. During these magical moments, the long exposures allow the water to change into a mist.  The effect of the misting water around a stable item like a cliff or pier, the viewer can see the magic and emotionally relate to the environment. As they journey through my images, the viewer can see how moods are affected by the environment and weather.

My goal is to show the power and beauty of the ocean, after hours. Most people leave after sunset and don’t get to witness the beauty after dark. The ocean and reminiscent light leftover from the day, put on a magical show that can only be captured in a camera.

West Coastin’

Crystal Pier Right Crystal Pier Left Coronado Bridge

 

Hi Ya’ll! I’ve been working on a water obsession of mine and am coming up with some keepers! I love the movement of time captured in a single frame. I’ve been visiting local piers in the San Diego area. Here is Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. The last one is of the Coronado bridge, all I can think of when I drive over it… Ron Burgundy. You stay classy San Diego.

Aquatic Butterflies

BirchButterfly Birch Butterfly Birch Butterfly

 

Kai and I went down to Scripps in La Jolla. He loved the aquariums, he is a true Aquarius. Here are some of the jellyfish we encountered dancing a ballad. They look like underwater butterflies. I love them, they make us smile.

Ocean View

Image

Image

This is off a marker comp I did today for my Illustrative Portrait class. It’s a commercial class, this is as if a client gave me a billboard sketch to shoot. It is a pretty large composite, probably 15 or so pieces of photos stitched together. The golf course is actually abandoned mostly, Sea Mountain Golf Course, grass is dry and the view was not quite the same. Amazing what a little technology can create. It was actually fun once I had all of the pieces, I like to shape up a scene and give a flat environment some life and pop!

In The Pink

Last year I was flipping through Flickr and came across some of Brooke Shaden’s images. There’s one with red fabric and in the tags, she wrote “a square piece of fabric”, or something like that. Instantly I wanted to know how she did it. So instead of researching the web like a smart person, I just grabbed one of my prop fabrics, some clamps and ran outside. I got this on a ladder and on my first set of shooting. The amount of images is so many layer, but it was a great learning experience. I got so involved in the post processing and kind of pushed myself out of my normal quick edits.

I have always been wanting to shoot a Bouguereau inspired image. I love the flowing materials and softness in his skin tones. I think it’s a personal project I will have to maintain after graduation.

The Wait

 

OK! Working on my finals for my Contemporary fine art class at AAU. It’s been a very busy week. My brain is everywhere and I am sitting here waiting for it to come back and settle down. I took this image at a family friend’s house, it was his birthday so we enjoyed some Patron and ran around the orchard. It was a beautiful day!! Wish you were here!

Movie Poster Composite Work

Here are a few of my composites from Fall ’11. I chose to work on movie posters as a final for my Photoshop class at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. It was my first time actually shooting for composite and placing all the details in the right spots with Photoshop. All I can say is I am no longer afraid of layers.

miss melo’s finds of the day…

Went on a mission looking for old hotrods that were still works in progress. I found these gems at Back County Bootleggers Metal Fabrication
I lucked out and am going back for part two. There’s also a huge vert ramp in the back. enjoy…

*** Image taken by Melody Hall and is copyright.

Dark

The graveyard in Old Towne, San Diego is pretty old. It is in the “birthplace” of California. It’s got white wood grave markers, like white picket fence. It runs under the street too, so you are really just driving over indian graves and disrespecting the dead.

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

Figure-scaping

legs

This image is another in the series on figure-scaping. It is all relative in the theory of Equivalents. Mr. Minor White, besides having a great name, had great ideas.

*** This image was taken by Melody Hall and is copyright.

Prince Makai of Wailau Valley

Makai & Mai

Here is a self portrait of my chihuahua and I. I used 2 softbox hot lights, tripod and a timer. I found it best to take Makai’s picture while holding him. He makes the perfect photo assistant!

Here we are on Makai’s family’s homepage!

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

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