Ernest “Red” Hallen (1875–1947) was an American photographer, noted for his 30 years of work as the official photographer of the Panama Canal.
Hallen was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1875. After spending six years in Puerto Rico and two years in Cuba, he was appointed as the official photographer of the Panama Canal by the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1907. Hallen was contracted to capture “… a series of photographs… about once a month… to show construction progress” to satisfy both Washington and the American public. In addition to showing the construction and progress of the Panama Canal, Hallen depicted the day-to-day life of the “Zonians” – Americans living in the Panama Canal Zone – and its development over the course of the years. Throughout his 30-year career, Hallen produced between 12,000 and 16,000 images, each with a “strangely satisfying aesthetic experience” portraying life in the Panama Canal Zone. For his service to the Panama Canal Zone and as an employee of the Isthmian Canal Commission, Hallen was awarded the Roosevelt Medal with two bars.