Gazette Sea Foam

Lady's Island photographer captures the overlooked outdoors

November 1, 2010 

Thanks to Coosaw Point residents for sharing the story of a neighbor's special perspective on life.

They write:

Alex Spencer first picked up a camera as a teenager. Yet it wasn't until he owned and operated a photo lab in the 1980s that he got serious about taking pictures.

Although he has shot the occasional wedding and anniversary, Spencer still considers himself an amateur. His experience, he says, comes from trial and error, much of it gained through the past two years as he traversed -- sometimes in sandals through snaky marshes -- his neighborhood at Coosaw Point on Lady's Island, capturing digital images of "things most of us normally overlook."

During the past two years, Spencer has been undergoing cancer treatment, a struggle he says contributed to the emotion and viewpoint that helped shape his photographic style and served as inspiration and fuel to take on and complete the task.

"It is my hope," he said, "that these pieces will allow people to tap -- if only for a second -- the energy, the feeling I receive from the beauty of Coosaw Point. They also represent my internal reflections on life and what is important."

Alex and Linda Spencer recently hosted the first formal exhibit of his photography and original art at the Coosaw Point River Club. The show contained 30 original photographs culled from his library of some 250. Approximately 10 of the 30 were taken especially for the exhibit.

The impetus for the project was the suggestion by a friend that he create a book of Coosaw Point photography.

"I loved the idea immediately," Spencer said, "because I had a desire to share with Coosaw developer Robert Gallant my appreciation for his vision and his gift of Coosaw Point to all of its residents. I wanted to express to Robert that I 'get it,' and convey how it felt to me.

"I created the book -- 'Reflections of Coosaw Point' -- for Robert."

Gallant, an avid outdoorsman, has been assiduous in preserving Coosaw Point's natural environment and habitats.

Many of the book's photos are accompanied by quoes that Spencer believes enhance the visual experience.

While Coosaw Point residents will find the photography especially meaningful, he suggests anyone who enjoys nature, photography and art will appreciate the collection. Individual pieces are for sale, as is the book, with 10 percent of proceeds contributed to Friends of Caroline Hospice (www.carolinehospice.org).

"It really stretched my imagination finding beauty and wonder in the intimate details of nature, finding that 'Aha' moment, and expressing my feelings about the past two years," he said.

Alex Spencer may be contacted at lds24293@yahoo.com.

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