Enjoy Midwest scenery year-round

October 27, 2016

For me, photography has always been a fun hobby. For years, I’ve enjoyed taking pictures and sharing them with family and friends on Facebook and Instagram.

Over time, people began suggesting that I publish my photos, perhaps in a coffee table book, on note cards or in a pictorial calendar. Though flattered, I didn’t know how to respond. Never had I considered growing my hobby into a business.

The magic of the Midwest is captured on every page of the 2017 calendar.

The magic of the Midwest is captured on every page of the 2017 calendar.

Never was that my aspiration, so I deflected the early suggestions to publish my pictures. For starters, I had no idea where to begin. Besides, I was already busy working full-time at a job that I love.

Continued promptings, though, aroused my curiosity. After talking with a few trusted friends, I created a website to respond to people requesting to use my pictures in magazine, on corporate websites or as home décor.

Eventually, I began exploring options to self-publish, and that led me to discover a specialty publishing company that would allow me to print high-quality products at a very reasonable price.

To test the waters, I recently ordered a limited supply of 2017 calendars. Though I won’t be promoting them heavily, I am offering them for sale to family and friends. For anyone who might be interested, here is information on 1) the calendars, 2) the purchasing process and 3) my online gallery of favorite photos.

2017 Photo Calendar

The large space allows you to plan and to mark important events.

The large space allows you to mark important events.

Printed on sturdy, high-quality paper, the 11” x 8.5” landscape calendars are spiral-bound and hole-punched, making them ideal for hanging in your home or office.

Each month features a vibrant, colorful photo of scenic landscapes, historic buildings or seasonal colors around the Kansas City area. The format of the large, monthly calendar allows you to mark birthdays, remember anniversaries, plan vacations and schedule other important events.

As the new year approaches, I can envision the calendars making great gifts for family members, college students away from home, business contacts, friends and others who would enjoy the Midwest scenery year-round.

Purchasing Information

Reasonably priced at $19.95, each calendar can be shipped (for an additional $3.50 in postage costs) anywhere within the United States.

Orders may be placed using this two-step process:

1. Click on this PayPal link to make a purchase: paypal.me/DuaneHallock/23.45.

2. Send your postal address to me at duane@duanehallock.com.

You may also make a purchase via Facebook Messenger if you would prefer not to use PayPal.

My Online Photo Gallery

You may browse through a few of my favorite photos at duanehallockphotography.com. There you will find my photos available in a variety of formats – digital downloads, prints and even framed and mounted pictures. I especially like the look of the home décor products where the pictures are printed on canvas, metal or professional-quality photo paper.

I’m grateful for the many friends who have encouraged me to take this journey. And I’m thankful for the photographers, both amateur and professional, who continue to inspire me with their works on Instagram and other places.

Speaking of Instagram, I’d be happy to connect with you there if we’re not already following each other. You may find my profile at instagram.com/duanehallock. Thank you..

The colorful calendars will brighten your kitchen, hallway or work place.

Year-round the colorful calendars will brighten your family room, kitchen, hallway or work place.

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Duane Hallock Photography: Finding Beauty in Plain Sight

July 12, 2016

Written by Hope Malone-McPheeters

Originally published at PromoteKC

Downtown in the morning rain

The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

I first stumbled upon Duane Hallock’s photos on Instagram. His colorful bright pieces of all my favorite spots in Kansas City are beautiful. Having just moved back to KC after 13 years, I was seeing places that I had not seen since childhood, but now, seeing them with a wonderful new perspective through his pictures. Duane captures these places, places, like the Nelson Art Gallery, the Plaza, West Bottoms, in different angles and light, showcasing the beauty of these sometimes taken-for-granted spots. I quickly followed Duane on Instagram and was happy to see that we were mutual friends with several people- his photos were spreading and at that time I hoped I would be able to find his prints. Last month, Duane launched his new website where now everyone can enjoy browsing and purchasing prints, canvases, and digital downloads.

About Duane

Duane started his photography hobby when he was in the 4th grade. He continued to hone his skills throughout his lifetime, taking photography classes throughout his education in college, but he found the classes too mechanical and continued his passion by finding a more artistic vision for his photos. Somewhere along the way, Duane lost his focus and “only shot the obligatory events like birthdays, graduations and family reunions” until a major, life-changing event took place. Duane developed melanoma and lost his eye-sight in his left eye. This changed his outlook and realized that as his eye-sight decreased, his vision increased. He sought out beauty in the ordinary around him and this beauty is now reflected in his photos.

www.duanehallockphotography.com

Downtown InterstatesWith his new website, he has one goal: allow people to see old things in new ways, and to become more aware of the incredible beauty that is often hidden in plain sight. His photos are unique and highlight the extraordinary in the ordinary. Though he grew up in Colorado and has lived in Tennessee and Oregon, he has seen many beautiful parts of the country, but states that he has “found nothing more beautiful than the subtle beauty of the KC metro area.” His photos, listed under Kansas City Favorites, reflect this beauty and he is now happy to share.

What started as a hobby, became a passion and now a wonderful way to promote our great city and favorite spots! Follow Duane on Instagram, read more about him on his blog, and support this local photographer by purchasing prints at www.duanehallockphotography.com These photos are sure to make great additions to homes and gifts for those of us that love all things Kansas City!


PromoteKC.com is a local website that promotes Kansas City and the surrounding region. It focuses on causes, local businesses, cool people, and fun things to do.

In addition to being a contributing editor at PromoteKC, Hope Malone-McPheeters and her husband own a digital media company specifically designed to help small business, makes and entrepreneurs in KC with their web presence. Check out their website at http://digitalwebetc.com/. Hope is also the director of Ella’s Hope, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote autism awareness and support families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

 


The Evolution of My Blogging Adventures

January 7, 2016
One of my favorite Instagram photos shows the downtown skyline of Kansas City. You can find more of my pictures and follow me at https://www.instagram.com/duanehallock/

One of my favorite Instagram photos shows the downtown skyline of Kansas City. You can find more of my pictures and follow me at https://www.instagram.com/duanehallock/

After five years of blogging, I took an extended break from posting on this site. It was not a deliberate decision. It just happened.

During this time I still blogged, but I shifted from a verbal to a visual format, migrating from this WordPress platform to Instagram.

Upon reflection, I’ve identified reasons why I found myself sharing my pictures rather than my words. Those reasons include:

  1. Better engagement. When I began blogging, I thought this would be a good way to connect and converse with others. Perhaps it was my writing style, but I found myself posting monologues rather than engaging in conversations. In retrospect, I realize that most people are like me – they are more naturally drawn to colorful pictures than to columns of gray type.
  2. Too snarky. I realized my blog posts were starting to have an edge of cynicism and sarcasm. At work, I was enduring wave after wave of reorganizations that left most of us confused and disoriented. Many of my unpublished posts were written during this time of chaos. Those unshared writings were my attempt to make sense of what was happening. While they were cathartic, they were best left confined to the pages of my private journal rather than being shared publicly in a blog.
  3. Creative expression. The seemingly-endless corporate restructuring slowly sapped much of my creative energy. In this world, we each have a unique voice that gives us something to share with others. On a personal level, I felt compelled to expand my options for doing that. Photography provided a creative outlet that gave me renewed energy and purpose. Instagram provided a much-needed platform for my creative expression.
  4. Positive optimism. As my Instagram adventure progressed, I found myself focusing on the beauty in the world surrounding me. I discovered that within the ordinary I could always find something extraordinary. I’ve long believed that whatever one focuses on will expand. I chose to focus on the beauty surrounding me, and the more I looked for it, the more of it I found.
  5. Connecting, not dividing. Photography transcends the barriers of language, geography, politics, religion and other divisive elements in our world. Words are too easily used as weapons to divide and destroy. For me, sharing photos provided a way to unite and to build bridges where fences had once been erected.

Writing and photography are not mutually exclusive. I will keep writing, and I also will keep snapping pictures. In the weeks and months ahead, I anticipate finding the appropriate balance between both.

The renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Besson once said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” If a picture is worth a thousand words, then, by my math, I believe that my first 10 million words will be my worst. I’ll keep plodding along, though.

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What Do You Stand For? Against?

November 4, 2014

This political season, I’ve heard too many candidates talk about what they are fighting against. Too few describe what they’re running for.

In sports, I always prefer to be with fans who cheer for their team rather than against an opponent. One demonstrates good sportsmanship, whereas the other results in a demoralizing drain on energy.

I prefer to be around religious people who strive for enlightenment rather than ranting against darkness.

I prefer to be protected by a police force that works for law and order, rather than merely fighting against crime.

I prefer being with friends who are quick to give a compliment for someone’s benefit rather than engaging in malicious gossip against other people.

I prefer having colleagues who work for fulfilling the company’s mission rather than sniping against inane policies and procedures.

When we decide to be either for or against something, we are actually determining whether we will tap into positive energy that builds, or into negative energy that destroys. Granted, when someone stands for something, he or she usually is against the antithesis of what they are for. The corollary, though, is not always true. People can be against something without knowing what are actually for.

What do you stand for? What do you stand against? Your answers will define who you are as a friend, as a professional and even as a person.

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Do You First Notice How We’re Alike? Or Different?

October 14, 2014

When you first meet someone, what do you first notice?

Do you see ways we are different? Or do you focus on things we share in common?

Earlier in life, I tended to see first the differences between others and myself. With maturity and experience, though, I’ve learned instinctively to look at those things which make us alike. Life is so much better that way. Here’s why:

Advantages of focusing on commonalities

  1. Collaboration. Instead of thinking win-lose, I am able to begin visualizing partnerships where we can create synergy. Through collaboration, we all come out ahead and are able to create something none of us could have achieved on our own.
  2. Confidence. When I refrain from needless comparisons, I am able to recognize and celebrate strengths and competencies wherever they are found—in me or in someone else. The non-competitive stance makes me more secure in who I uniquely am, allowing others to feel more confident in their interactions with me.
  3. Growth. I’m walking along the same “life path” as others, though perhaps we are at different places along the way. Our shared journey creates opportunities where we can learn from each other. We can encourage each other through the difficult times. We can grow together and reach new horizons.

Disadvantages of focusing on differences

  1. Isolation. The more I focus on the divisions that separate us, the higher the walls become between me and the rest of the world. It would become very lonely to be incarcerated inside those walls.
  2. Competition. Seeing differences in others prompts us to make value judgments. We constantly evaluate which one of us is better, smarter, richer or stronger. We inevitably compete for superiority.
  3. Inferiority. When we notice differences first, we operate from a deeper sense of insecurity and inferiority. The more we compare ourselves with others, the more inadequate we tend to feel.

A favorite quote comes from the late Maya Angelou who said, “In minor ways we differ, in major we are alike.”

I choose to focus on the major areas of our shared life experiences. I will also notice and celebrate the minor areas of difference where we are diverse and unique. Those differences, when shared, strengthen everyone.

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Every Act of Creation Is First an Act of Destruction

October 1, 2014

Creating something new usually requires us to let go of something old. As Pablo Picasso said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”

Transitions are painful because they destroy the status quo, pushing us beyond our comfort zones. Times of change are most excruciating for those most deeply vested in the old way of doing things.

New Growth

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso

Like many companies, my employer (the American Red Cross) is undergoing yet another major, national reorganization. The details have yet to be finalized, but one this is certain: Things will change. Dramatically!

We are in that phase of the creative process focusing on “destruction” (to use Picasso’s word). Within a few weeks, however, we should learn the details of the “act of creation.”

Uncertainty abounds. The winds of change continue to howl around us. Though I’m uncertain of many things, of this I am certain: Those who thrive in the new reality will be those who embrace Picasso’s wisdom. They will understand that something is being destroyed so something new can be created.

Not everything makes sense, but I’ll sort through the confusion and figure out how to succeed in this new reality. As I move forward, I’ll keep reminding myself of what Henry Miller, the American author, once said: “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.”

The futurist Alvin Toffler paralleled Picasso’s sentiment when he said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

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I Took a Sabbatical

September 30, 2014

I took a sabbatical from blogging. Actually, I never quit writing. I just quit posting.

My Journal

“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” – Cecil Day Lewis

When I began blogging more than half a decade ago, I gave myself permission to post when I had something to share, and to refrain when I did not. That has worked well for me. Now that I’ve returned to blogging, I’ll still adhere to that rule.

I often write my unedited thoughts in a private journal where they can incubate. Journaling helps me to sort things out, especially during times of transition and confusion. At least ninety percent of my writing is done only for me. I write to understand, and therefore I’m usually the exclusive audience. Although I am a professional communicator, only a small fraction of my writing is shared with others.

In a noisy, cluttered world, we sometimes need to be comfortable with our own solitude and silence. In a fast-paced society that demands immediate results and constant production, we sometimes need to stop and catch our breath.

We need sabbaticals to replenish our energy. We need downtime to incubate ideas. We need periods of silence to nourish creativity that would otherwise wither in the arid atmosphere that permeates where we live and work.

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