There are reasons for each of us to make photos. Now I now that there are more then one reason and when we work we may have a few in our mind. This is normal behaviour and I am proud to say I suffer this photographic discovery illness. I learned along time ago that if you wear your heart on your sleeve, you have to be able to live with the bumps and bruises that will happen to it. For certain shooters, the heart on the sleeve is the only place to have it so that one stays in touch with your inner self and be conscious of how life is effecting you in the here and now.
Maybe I sound like some kind of metaphysical spiritual Zen practicing fool. Yeah, probably am but life has showed me that it will outlive me and I will not survive my death. So I choose to search for the reason to live and a reason to die. For me, besides loved ones, it’s making photos. The difficult thing is to accept your place in the universe. I had a friend Bill back in 1971. He was a photographer and he said to me one day, “Don, I don’t know anyone that takes photography as serious as you.” I thought that was such a nice thing to say because it meant that he saw me and my heart and my love of what I was doing was obvious. I was proud to be considered a serious shooter. We would go to NYC for the day or Philly Center City and Bill would call me, “Your the Man on the Street Donald Springer.”
I was only home from Nam for like 6 months and I was a bundle of C4 waiting to explode. Bill mentored me in many aspects of photography that I wasn’t aware of. He introduced me to Krause, Winogrand, Ding McNulty and many more people that I didn’t know I loved and respected. He took me to Minor White and all these experiences made me feel like I wanted to not only diffuse the C4 but unload it from the baggage I would carry for my life. We were friends for like 18 or so months and then one day Bill told me that he was moving to California with his sister Terry. I was completely heart broken. I didn’t know how my photography would survive. I was really depressed. One day I got a card in the mail with a picture of the rear of a Volkswagen Beetle going over a hill and the sunrise in front of it. That was the last time I heard from Bill.
I realized some time later that what I feared losing was inside me and I must be strong to make my photos and get them out there and never let anything take away the value the image has for me. I also learned that we as humans let alone shooters share an experience of photography and part of the responsibility is to support others regardless of whether we like or dislike their work.
So, I am in a kinda dead/alive period. I don’t mean depressed cause I ain’t and I know the difference cause my Dr at the VA is a good shrink and I feel comfy with him. But photographically, I am looking for a connection to something I can’t reach. I hope youse like music, I do.
I feel like Native American Flute or Gregorian Chant. Thats what my feelings sound like. So now I have to find those sounds in my photos. Sometimes I do and sometimes I might get close but no cigar. Fine, I stopped smoking 3 years ago so I doin need any cigar anyways.
I think photos make a reality that I would prefer to live in. I mean it’s just satisfying to me because my photos bring me pleasure that’s hard to get any other way. I see things that maybe exist or not or even on different planes.
The minister above with his Holly Family book in a spirit way, well kinda freaked me out but I made it anyways because I’m a shooter and a shooter with a camera in hand, on the street, ain’t noting better in life.
So I guess right before I die, I’ll make sure I have many photos of me that will live on and my ancestors will know that looking at them, they are my preferred way of life, in more than one way.
Bear with me as I weed thru these emotions and thoughts. It’s hard for me to take life light and even harder for me to not LOVE and LIVE photography with all that I am or ever will be.
shooter out …………………………………………………………………………………………..