Robert Hallock grew up in the Pioneer Valley of west-central Massachusetts. For many years he 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.
Hallock's interest in photography started with his first camera, which was given to him when he was about 10 years old. His interest and activity level grew more intense following a summer course on darkroom techniques in the early 1990's.
He has taken workshops and had gallery shows more recently.
Hallock'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 does not issue numbered editions, but does sometimes retire negatives to limit the availability of individual prints.
Bob and his wife Norma have two married sons and live in Leverett, Massachusetts.
"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," says Hallock. "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.
"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."
Hallock invites communication about any aspect of these pages or his work: firstname.lastname@example.org