Causes and Spirits: Photographs from Five Decades

Causes and Spirits: Photographs from Five Decades


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"Watch any mother kneeling beside her toddler, pointing and explaining what they are looking at. Our urge to see, and to connect, starts there." William Carter.

This book is both an autobiography of William Carter and a study of people. Carter's photographs, beginning in 1960, take the viewer on his travels throughout the world, from home to New York and Kurdistan, from Dublin to Gaza. Whether working as a photojournalist or purely for himself, Carter focuses on the gestures and expressions of people (sometimes charming, sometimes unsettling), and on streets and landscapes that often long for human presence. The subtitle "Photographs from Five Decades" might seem misleading as it implies a "typical" photobook where the sequence of images is primary. For Carter, however, it is the interplay between his photographs and writings that allows him to see into himself and his subjects: indeed he calls himself a "photographer-writer". In Carter's words, his work aims to capture the "hidden implications, eye-blink compositions, odd ironies and happy accidents" of the world.


William Carter is a graduate from Emory and Henry and completed the M.Div. at Vanderbilt University. He has served 28 years as pastor of local churches, as a district superintendent, and as a conference council director. He also holds a M.Ed. degree from the University of Tennessee and is a Minister of Christian Education. Bill lives in Johnston City, Tennessee.

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