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Conversations with Duane Hallock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Duane Hallock.

Duane, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My adventure with photography began in the fifth grade when I bought my first camera. Somehow the world looked more enchanting through the viewfinder of my Kodak Brownie. After shooting a roll of film, I’d take it to the corner drugstore to be sent off for developing and printing. Then, I’d have to wait several days for the black-and-white prints to be delivered so I could actually see what I’d shot.

In college, I took photography classes where I learned about f-stops, film speeds, and apertures. We developed our film in dark rooms that reeked of horrible-smelling chemicals. Then, under the red safelights, we would make prints, achieving various effects by manually dodging and burning the light as it shone through the negatives onto the photographic paper.

I learned the mechanics of taking pictures, but I wanted more. I wanted to understand lighting, composition, and perspective. I yearned to experience photography as a creative form of artistic expression. After college, I sporadically shot photos to document events such as a volcano erupting, U.S. presidents campaigning, and babies being born. But somewhere along the way, I lost my focus and I only took pictures on obligatory occasions such as birthdays, graduations, and family reunions.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Everything changed, though, when a doctor informed me that I had melanoma. He showed me pictures of a large, well-developed tumor growing on the retina inside my eye. Within days, I was in Boston receiving treatment from a team of highly-specialized doctors, led by a world-renowned ophthalmologist from the Harvard Medical School.

Over time, my treatments were successful and today I am cancer-free. But the disease took its toll. I lost sight of my left eye. As I adjusted to my new reality, I made an important discovery. As my eyesight gradually faded, my vision actually increased. With the vision that remained in my one good eye, I began seeing things I’d previously taken for granted. I discovered incredible beauty that had always surrounded me, though “hidden” in plain sight.

My passion for photography was rekindled as I discovered extraordinary beauty in seemingly ordinary places. My photography hobby helped me to become more aware, more mindful, and more grateful for the wonderful world in which we live. Today, I enjoy sharing my photos with others – not to impress anyone with my creative abilities – but rather to spark the creative spirit deep within each of us. I hope to inspire others to discover and appreciate the beauty that abundantly surrounds us.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I officially retired in 2019 after devoting my entire career to nonprofit organizations, working as:

* Senior Vice President for Business Development at a large suburban medical center

* Vice President of Marketing for the United Way of Kansas City.

* Marketing Instructor at Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

* Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for a multi-state region of the American Red Cross.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I grew up in Colorado, went to a private college in Tennessee, and moved to Kansas City from Oregon. I was surprised to find such incredible beauty here in KC and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. My photography hobby has prompted me to be more mindful and to discover the beauty that has always been “hidden” in plain sight.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jennifer Rebarchek

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa

    January 22, 2022 at 3:04 am

    I love this story! When Mr. Hallock posts photos I learn all I can, not only from a photographer’s standpoint, but about his perspective on life.

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