Joe Hoover
by Dr. Lew Deitch
Antelope Golden Abyss by Joe Hoover - Antelope Canyon AZ Ahha!art Artist of the Lens

One of the often-heard critiques of a realistic painting is that it looks photographic. There are those in the art community who believe that the camera alone is capable of capturing an image and rendering it in an artistic manner. This is as far from the truth as stating that a painter who renders a life like image with brush on canvas could have been supplanted by a camera lens. In both cases, true artistic talent is required.
 


Joe Hoover is one of those rare artists whose primary tool is the camera and not the brush. He is a decorated air force combat cameraman who documented intense action during a three-year period of the Vietnam War. Also to his credit are a long list of cinematography titles for both Hollywood and the world of advertising. He is a Cannes Film Festival nominee and co-winner of the Cleveland Film Festival’s Cris Award. During his career, Joe has produced film segments for such noted names as Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, the United States Army and the Kennedy Space Center. He has also served in the roles of producer, director and cameraman for a variety of prime time TV specials, television commercials, public service announcements as well as authoring two novels and serving as photographer for other authors.

But putting aside his stellar qualifications, Joe Hoover is also an artist who captures the varied essences of the natural landscape, animals or people, rendering for posterity glimpses of moments that would otherwise have been lost. Not only does he rely upon his years of military and commercial experience, but he also possesses an innate sense of artistry in composing his photographs. Joe is a perfectionist when it comes to capturing light and shadow, utilizing a level of precision that one could liken to that of a scientist. There is a symmetry and sense of drama in his landscapes that transport the viewer to the site.
 
In essence, he has drawn upon his combat training and professional talent as a documentary photographer to make each of his photographs speak for itself. It is here that his true artistry is seen.

Joe’s photographs are rendered in a variety of formats. He often shoots in black and white in the tradition of such greats as Ansel Adams, or his images appear in brilliant, yet natural color. On occasion, he will enhance a black and white image by hand painting in the color, utilizing a tradition that was once the only means of rendering color to film. Regardless of how the image is produced, the photographs of Joe Hoover evoke a variety of emotions from his audience. Most of his landscapes simply leave the viewer enthralled or mystified while other images may amuse or even provoke outright laughter.

A favorite subject medium is the great Southwest. Joe Hoover often travels to remote areas seeking out distinct landscapes such as canyons, mountains or even caverns where the play of light and shadow will render memorable images. Today he works both with film and digital imagery in the ever-changing world of technology, but never loosing sight of his artistic goal of telling a story through capturing a moment in time.