Category Archives: Photography

Just Give Me Something

By Larry H. Spruill

Giving Alms

I saw her at the market
She was accompanied by her angels
who shielded her with their wings
from the blazing solar flames
She was engaging, enchanting
A smile graced with pearls
Soft eyes hushed by green mango leaves
Then she spoke…
“Just give me something…”
I replied,
“Such as I have I give unto thee.”
I reached into my purse…
Gave her my offering…
The she said,
“You may have me.”
I raised my camera
and closed
the shutter
unto life.

African Words for My Camera

By Larry H. Spruill

Africa sings colorful words for my camera
abstract poems with delightful rhymes
African people, places and things
weave epic images of surreal ambivalence
poverty and prosperity
wisdom and ignorance
hope and despair
good and evil
life and death
and everything in between
listening and looking
at a romantic African panoramic view of
what was and is…
ancestors, ancient patterned rainbow cloths
weaving the past and present and posterity
cotton symbols laden with proverbs and riddles
scarified faces offering collective
social security numbers and mass IDs
amulets and exorcisms
chants to the living dead
intertwined with bellowing drums
and pounding feet in a nocturnal dance
lamenting a proud and potent past
succumbing to internet cafes
replacing village PO boxes
with living
with no chief
no Vodun priest
no sun, moon and stars
just kilometers and kilometers of cyberspace
cluttered with virtual villages and towns

Africa gives me colorful words for my camera
portraits with divergent angles, textures
and brilliant fujichrome skies
and scarlet mud floors
to pour libations of welcome
to a New Age
bursting with radical shifts
sometimes comfortable
most times tenuous
frightening blips on the global screen
changes blinking in milliseconds
on 35 millimeter plastic strips
recorded transformations
carefully worded and framed
for me to see…to read…to share…
to understand the mystery of how
dust becomes mud pots and
mud pots become dust
before my camera’s eye
Africa sings colorful words
with a melodious heart
of ballads and blues
lyrics just for my camera.

Looping my Stills

The Reel Keeps Rolling

I photograph Africa because I cannot erase the legacy of slave trading and bondage that rooted me and mine in the west. Through photography I can capture and keep Africa with me in the land of my captivity and cultural transformation.

Any day and time that I wish, I can move to Africa just by thawing my frozen Fuji-chrome moments of its people, places and things. The brilliant colors faithfully come alive and beam the flow of life in my eyes. The heartbeat rhythms and pace are played back in my ears. The sweet and pungent aromas are fresh in my nostrils. The silky texture of Asante kente delight my fingers. The sizzling peppers anesthetize my taste buds. The distant come closer. The faint become clear. The unseen become evident. The forgotten becomes mortal.

My African stills become animated flesh, blood and bone experiences of what was and is and must always be in my life. These are my living images capable of skillfully touching those who wish to share the potent journey of my camera vision – my photographed moments in Africa. My silent reel of African stills pump life into my marrowless bone dry narrative of life in Eden.

Larry H. Spruill

Camera Vision

Mastering Daily Visual Analysis

Creative photography is the art of mastering the skill of visual analysis – the separating of our enormous world into 35 millimeter parts in order to understand our universe in ways that make sense for oneself and perhaps many others unable to see what one has seen and imagined at a particular stage in their lives.

This way of living and seeing must be rehearsed daily. The eyes must dance over the landscapes with the regularity of the fingers of the most masterful cellists. Camera Eyes scan the world as a two-edged scalpel, reducing the visible and hidden to manageable images capable of storage, creative expression, review and presentation as a personal world view. This plastic portfolio becomes ones visual autobiography written with light and technology. Camera Vision is living to really see.

Larry H. Spruill