You begin on the street, and you always return to the street.
I got my first (real) camera so long ago, that I shouldn’t even remember it, but I do. I remember every single button and dial and the feel of its machinery, as well as its sound and smell. It was a Pentax K1000, and I worked hard to get it. I added a few lenses, the cost of which, I thought then, would completely wipe me out, but I wanted those lenses so bad. Had I known then, what I know now, I would have sacrificed one of those lenses for a cheap flash and a short cable so that I could have gone off-camera.
I continued to work, and this led to my acquiring a small darkroom and several failures at black and white processing. I say home, but I wasn’t even home. By this time, I’d already left home and was staying with the family of a girlfriend. I wasn’t old enough to vote, but I was working and passionate about the craft of photography. Her family was extremely kind and unimaginably patient with me as I took over their bathroom to process my film. Eventually, I figured it out, and then I began to experiment. I never did grow into the Alfred Stieglitz or Ansel Adams (or anything in between) that I imagined I’d become, but I think I found a voice. My voice, then, was a voice on the street watching everything. Listening to everything. Hoping for anything. That voice lives still, I hope, in everything I do.
It’s been a long time now that I’ve been taking pictures. I’ve been sidetracked by kids, marriage, career, false starts and broken dreams, but 2 things have been constant, and one of those is photography.
I celebrate the young lady above. I don’t know what she is working on, but she is working. Her eyes tell a tale of engagement so complete that neither I, nor the world, exists at the moment of her own creation. For me, photography and music have allowed the same diversion, the same level of altercation, because that is what creation is, an altercation with what is supposed to be, but is as of yet, not.