Spencer Kagan

My love of photography began at the age of 5 when my father gave me a Brownie Box Camera. His only instructions: “Be careful not to let your shadow get in the photo and press down slowly on the shutter release.”


In those days we were poor, and I would save up for a roll of eight photos and be very careful not to waste any. A roll might take me a month.


When in Africa I now shoot eight frames a second to capture a bird in flight. And I do in a few minutes on my computer what it used to take me hours to do in the darkroom.


When taking photos in Africa, time changes. We may spend over an hour just watching the elephants lining up to cross a river. They have to get everyone in order — the little ones upstream so they can’t be washed away, the matriarch in back to protect. They have no sense of time; no rush. And timelessness becomes part of the experience.


In photographing the tribes of Ethiopia, there was a different sense of timelessness. I felt honored to be with people living as they had centuries ago. I tried to capture their beauty.


My other hobby is drawing. Drawing gives me a feeling of completeness. It is like I connect to a non-verbal part of me I can’t connect to without drawing, When I am done, I feel complete. Each drawing is a surprise to me. I just follow the pen. I never have the slightest idea what will come out. The result: a surprise gift from somewhere inside.

©2020 by Artisans Etc.