Sunday, March 6, 2016


Please let this serve as my small tribute to a big man.
Paul Maloney, an exceptional photographer and gentleman, died February 13, 2016.

Once upon a time in early 1995, Paul was at the same art event as Alfred Eisenstaedt and I.

During that time period, photography was my passion. While technical tripod aspects escaped me, shooting from the hip didn’t!  Gripping my camera like a revolver, I got a high from slinging the lens to my eye fast enough to catch a fleeting whatever.
Eisenstaedt was my favorite photographer because I loved how he slung a camera in the way of an old west gun slinger. With his combo of natural light and action, Eisenstaedt saved for us some of history’s most memorable seconds!  One of his most well-known photos happen on V-Day; an unknown sailor kissed a young woman, and yes, Eisenstaedt caught The Kiss.

Months before Eisenstaedt  died, a Denver art gallery held a photography showing of his work.  
Of course I had to go!

Watching people whirling around the 97-year-old Eisenstaedt as though he was cake top decoration kind of bugged me.  His face and body were both slumped in a chair. No interaction with anyone. So I stepped close to him, bent down so he could see me and asked, “Mr. Eisenstaedt. Would you mind if I gave you a hug?”

He straightened up, looked at me and said in a drawn out way, “Vat! You wandt a KEE-ESS?”

I thought to myself, “You sly ol’ fox you.”  And you bet. Gave him a kiss!

Paul Maloney must have heard this exchange, for he captured the shot…of me…giving a kiss…to the man…famous for “The Kiss.”  

Kind, generous Paul, later sent me the photos and negatives - with a note apologizing for “being out of focus.” HELL! I could have cared less about a bit of a blur. I was hand springing happy that Paul, a historic photographer in his own right, caught a historic shot.

Paul’s workable philosophy about photography is well documented: “Photography is the SEA of Life. To navigate the SEA, I employ the OARS.” S — Spontaneity, E — Emotion and A — Action. O — Observation, A — Anticipation, R — Reaction and S — Simplification.”

So I figure using his observation skills, Paul got an anticipation of a possible emotion, which kicked in his spontaneity of reaction that caught the action. The simplification? Because Paul, like Eisenstaedt, was quick on the draw, I have a treasure; something no one can ever take.

And that’s my small tribute to a big man.

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