January 24, 2012

Tucson. May, 1987

Jumping pictures. Philippe Halsman was the master, getting everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Salvador Dalí, Albert Einstein to the Duke and Duchess of Winsor to oblige. It was my late friend Dali who got me started on them when she introduced me to Rome back in 1980. She put it pretty simply: “Would you rather have a picture of you in front of the Colosseum or a picture of you mid-air in front of the Colosseum?” The answer was obvious. And it’s become more obvious over the years as I look back over my photos. It’s the jumping pictures (in Paris, Washington, DC, Istanbul, wherever) that are the most interesting, to say nothing of the most amusing. Look at Simon and David here in Tucson Mountain Park and tell me they’re not having fun. (I had only just met David so he gets extra points for being an especially good sport.) It was easier to time these (1-2-3-jump!) with film in a no-wait SLR camera. There’s a delay with digital that often results in crouching or landing poses, so now I sometimes have to be satisfied with a simple ta-da pose of extended arms and hands (see title banner above). An easy compromise to accept.

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