Month: June 2013

Travel Photo Thursday: “Finding Vivian Maier”

Travel Photo Thursday: “Finding Vivian Maier”

“Street photography.”

What is it? Who does it?

Wikipedia says that:

Street photography is a genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. ‘Street’ simply refers to a place where human activity can be seen, a place to observe and capture social interaction. The subject can even be absent of any people and can be that of object or environment where an object projects a human character or an environment is decidedly human.”

Fast Food IMG_4594

Henri Cartier-Bresson
(CEA Flickrstream Photo)

Although I don’t consider myself a “street photographer” per se, this photo which I took in London four years ago certainly qualifies as “street photography.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson (photo at right),  Louis Stettner, and Garry Winogrand are just three of the world’s most famous street photographers.

But who’s ever heard of Vivian Maier, someone that could be described as a “closet street photographer”?

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Driving My Dream (Rental) Car

Driving My Dream (Rental) Car

I thought my first sports car, a 1956 Austin Healy 100, was going to be my “dream car.”

Auston Healy 100-4
(Matteo X Flickr Photo)

It turned out to a car owner’s Nightmare From Hell, falling apart, bit by bit, over the year that let it tormented me before I sold it off.

If I made a sharp right-hand turn, I had to reach out quickly, grab the driver’s side door and pull it shut before it was whacked off by a passing vehicle. It had no side windows, the dual carburetors never stayed in sync, and the transmission kept locking up.

My next car was a 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. Its ebony body had sculptured into firm, flowing, sexy curves by Pininfarina. Its twin-camshaft engine purred. It had a strongly-build soft-top with real class roll-up side windows. It drove like a dream.

But like most sports cars of that era—British or Italian—it was temperamental, and spent a fair amount of its life with me in the repair shop. After three years, and just before embarking on a year and half overseas assignment in the Air Force that would require me to garage it at home, I reluctantly sold my Alfa.

But thirty years later, I had an opportunity to once again drive an Alfa, and in its country of birth, Italy, to boot.

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Travel Photo Thursday: Finding The Familiar in Foreign Lands

Travel Photo Thursday: Finding The Familiar in Foreign Lands

Teddy Bears, Munich Toy MuseumOne of the joys of travel is discovering the new and unfamiliar.

But another joy of travel comes when stumbling upon something very familiar in a land that had seemed quite “foreign” to you.

Toys speak a universal language of love to children, and to adults who have found memories of their childhood toys.

I smiled when I wandered into Munich’s Toy Museum and I saw these two stuffed bears snuggled up against each other. They reminded me of “The Teddy Bears Picnic,” a song I used to hear sung over the radio when I was very young.

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So when you’re “on the road,” keep an eye out not just for whatever you’ve never seen before in places where you’ve never gone before, but for those small but important things which will transport you back home while you’re away from home.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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