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Freeze Frame

May 20, 2007|Jessica Gelt

To the human eye, water is constantly moving. To stop it is to stop time, which is essentially what photographer Andrew Hall does when he sets the duration of his flash to 1/8,000 of a second and snaps a picture of water as he pours it into a tank. "Working with the elements is so exciting," says Hall, who uses a similar technique to capture the capricious qualities of fire, smoke and gas. "The strobe captures water as a solid. It almost looks frozen."

After moving from London to Los Angeles in 2005, Hall, 44, set up his studio in a former cosmetics factory in Atwater Village. He takes his pictures in total darkness, controlling what he can, including the method and speed of the pour, as well as when to activate the flash. "It's something I just feel," he says. "It's so exciting--you never know what you're going to get."

Hall calls his work "low tech"; he pours the water himself using a glass or a dropper and then stands beside the tank with a remote shutter release attached to a 4-by-5 format Sinar camera loaded with old-fashioned film. "I find that film handles this sort of thing much better than digital," he says.

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To see more of Andrew Hall's work, go to www.andrewhalleditions.com.

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