Willie at the Austin Opera House 1978

The reason this shot is here is because it led me to my General Theory of Photography. Like Plato, I think Essence (or Idea) comes first, before Existence can come into Being. (There has to be the Idea of “Chicken” before a literal Egg that will manifest into one can exist.) Good photography will reveal underlying Essence, showing Soul, or Spirit, when all we’re really doing is recording light reflecting off atoms and molecules. In this way, much as a magnet under a piece of notebook paper covered with iron filings will reveal an invisible magnetic field, existence will sometimes line up just right and reveal the invisible underlying Spirit….That’s when the photographer wants to push the shutter button. Does anyone doubt that the woman holding up her hands is feeling, literally, the Muse? So, good Photography reveals underlying Essence, rendering the intangible tangible. That’s the Theory……

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