Ross Hall was a man of the mountains and a photographer of the heaven he found there.
A nationally recognized and locally revered photographer, Hall devoted his much of his life to capturing Inland Northwest winter landscapes and those who inhabited them.
First published in 1933 by the New York Times, and later by Life and National Geographic, Hall’s work focused on anthropomorphic natural formations that encompasses the Northwest. In the 1940s, just a decade after beginning the bulk of his work, Hall was named by Eastman Kodak as one of the top 10 scenic photographers in the country.
But he did more than capture landscapes. Like any true Northwest spirit, he skied them, too.
“He was on snowshoes at an early age,” says Dann Hall, son of Ross Hall and curator of the Ross Hall Collection in the photographer’s adopted hometown of Sandpoint.
“Dad and mom started skiing in the mid-’30s right after moving here,” says Hall. “They went to Chewelah and tried to bring skiing to Sandpoint, becoming original stockholders in Schweitzer.”
It was a tough hobby to be passionate about, says Hall, because in the ’30s skiers still had to hike the mountains before they could ski down. But the mountains were such a big part of his life that he loved every bit of it.
The Ross Hall Collection at Hallans Gallery, 323 N. First St. in Sandpoint, houses 60,000 negatives and numerous prints available to the public. The gallery is open from 11 am-5 pm, Monday through Saturday.