Capturing the Moment

Garry Winogrand‘s perfectly timed photo reminds me of the day I was photographing on the street and captured an unusual moment similar to his. See my image below Winogrand’s.

 

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Some of the” first impression” feedback I’ve received on my image above is that I caught this guy just as he fell, crashing to the ground, as in he’s fallen from a building. I admit it does look like that at first glance. In reality he was heading my direction with his companions, suddenly stopping on the sidewalk right in front of me, where I was standing in an alcove, and started breakdancing – one reason the image lacks clarity – the element of surprise! Rather than delete the image because it wasn’t sharp, I focused on the authenticity of moment. It is one of my favorite street photography images.

Photographer Eric Kim writes: ”

If you want to get a deeper insight into street photography and take better photos, I feel it is very important to study the work of the street photographers who came before us and paved the way for the rest of us. Not only that, but reading the quotes and words by these influential street photographers is a great way to train your mind to take better photos as well. Below are some of my favorite street photography quotes that are concise, inspirational, and have influenced me in one way or another.”

“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them.” – Bruce Gilden

After he unwound his tangled limbs and hopped up off the pavement, I got to know something about him, not as a subject but as a person. His name is Wanderer. He has a son by the name of Madison. He and his friends travel by box car around the country hopping off at towns along the way to leave their mark on the world – graffiti. I instantly liked him and his gang, who at first looked intimidating, but in reality turned out to be really sweet guys who shared a common passion. They were in no hurry to rush off, but hung around with me for a while talking with me about themselves as though we were friends reconnecting after a long absence and catching up. I suppose that to them, I was one of many people across the country that create a sense of community for  them wherever they go… one moment at a time, connected by thousands of miles of track.


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Moments – Obstacle Turned into Opportunity

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Sequin, Texas 2011 – In the fall of 2011 I was teaching four subjects in a Texas middle school. The one I enjoyed the most also offered unique challenges. That class was 6th grade fine arts; which encompassed visual art, drama and music.  I was so excited to teach that class because I love those subjects; the job was made for me.  My feet barely touched the ground, until reality set in.  It turns out that there were many obstacles in my way.  One of those obstacles was that I had nearly no supplies.   I was left agonizing over how to teach music without instruments.  I had no trouble teaching visual art and theater arts, using minimal art supplies.  For music I knew I wanted to have the students make their own instruments, but I was at a loss as to just how I would do this.  I wanted to build instruments that would be fun, unique and offer interesting challenges for this age group.

The answer came to me unexpectedly over Thanksgiving break.  I liked to relax on Sundays with a wonderful weekly TV show called “Texas Country Reporter” with Bob Phillips.  That day Phillips was interviewing a colorful gentleman who built cigar box guitars.  I had never heard of cigar box guitars before, and leaned closer to the TV, entranced by every word.  I had found my solution!  I spent the following weeks educating myself on cigar box guitar construction.  I built one and shared it with my students, who absolutely loved it.  The added bonus was that it offered a teaching opportunity to explore the instrument’s link to American history.

Unexpectedly, cigar box guitar building took on a life of its own.  After I left teaching, I continued to build guitars and sell them.  Some are even owned by performing musicians.  Ultimately, though, it helped to motivate me to pursue my dreams of creating art; both in a visual and a musical form.  I have gone on to reconnect with my creative side, long held dormant. I am growing as a musician and as an artist and crafts person.  I don’t know what is in store for me next on this journey, but it has helped me to meet some wonderful people, develop my creative potential and bring music back into my life.

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Cynthia playing an original song titled “Just Trippin” one of her cigar box guitars, which was made from an Oliveros box – sanded, stained and steampunked.

Here’s the cigar box ukulele that Cynthia created especially for me with a maritime theme. More about Dinan cigar box creations at Cigar Box Nation and on Facebook.

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Moments Contributor – Cynthia Dinan from  Sequim, Washington. She has worked as an educator, a luthier and now designs and builds custom cigar box guitars and ukuleles.

Paper Bag Hats by moses

It was nine years ago, while visiting the Mingei International Museum in Escondido California, that I viewed the collection “Crowning Glory” – Paper Bag Hats by moses. I was absolutely fascinated by his creativity recycling paper bags into extraordinary works of art. For some reason, I’ve had moses’ quirky and haute couture millinery creations on my mind this past week, so I decided to see what images I could find online to share with you, so you can enjoy them for yourself.

“Moses created more than 250 hats from paper bags contributed by merchants in his Hawaiian neighborhood. Made in a project room of the local library during the 1980s, the hats are imaginative, amusing and timeless sculpture.

Moses eventually gave up making hats, he had developed tendinitis or carpel tunnel. Living in a van along the shores of Oahu prompted him to donate these to the Mingei International Museum, Escondido, California.” View Laura Reilly’s Photo Stream of more Paper Bag Hats by Moses.

Read the brief article The Bag Hatter – artistic paper bag hats by Moses by Dona Z. Meilach.

“The Sun Rook hat alone (lower right image) took over 100 paper bags to create.” Jaime Zollars – Paper Forest

It pays to keep searching. I eventually stumbled upon moses’ daughter’s website. Kira Od, an artist and sculptor, has 255 images posted on her site of her father’s paper bag hats. All but thirteen hats were photographed by moses. All of moses’ hat have names. I would love to know the story behind each hat, their names and the local people modeling them, but we are left to using our imagination to create our own stories from his astonishing creations. Click on the photo below to enter Kira’s photo collection of Paper Bag Hats by moses.