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Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments
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  • Jerome Maupoint's first book
  • Beautifully presented
  • Hardback
  • Sister title to Stolen Moments 2
  • Almost out of print - grab it while you can

This collection of more than 150 photographs by Jerome Maupoint celebrates the art of paragliding in all its wonder.

From the privilege of discovering our world's wilder side, in deep among lush mountains and high and dry over arid and endless plains, to the excitement of pulling into high-G aerobatics.

From the wordless but knowing exchanges with strangers in far-away lands to the camaraderie of flying and travelling with similarly obsessive souls.

Stolen Moments is a book for the few who already know the joy of free flight, and for the many who are yet to experience it.

REVIEWS

'All Jerome's images are shot with a remarkable sense of balance and wholeness: a novel and a radio sticking out of a pilot's harness exactly encapsulate the art and science of our game, the pilot drifting, blurred, past Mongolian nomad totally define the magic of travelling to fly.

'Maupoint's unerring sense of harmony makes these images - and there isn't a dud in the whole collection - into a visual hymn to the unique privilege of free flight.'

Joe Schofield, Skywings Magazine

A review of Stolen Moments by Hugh Miller

I first met Jerome in 1998, when he was living in an abandoned school house in Annecy with a motley crew of other young, impoverished and excitable pilots - David Eyraud, Alex Gignoux and Greg Blondeau. 

On the rare occasions that the fog generated by four chain-smoking, espresso drinking French twenty-something-year-olds actually lifted, you could make out Planfait take-off from the squat's window which was held together with those essential ingredients in any pilot's home and car maintenance kit: ripstop nylon repair tape and dyneema line. 

The rudimentary living conditions (a few mattresses scattered on the floor, no heating, stake-like splinters from the split floorboards threatening to impale you at any moment) combined with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of the four pilots to make me feel like I'd just walked into an ashram for a paragliding cult.

Escaping a hectic and hot-tempered conversation about the latest directions in acro flying, Jerome took me to the kitchen, flicked a switch on his home-made lightbox, and let me into his world of images.

What struck me straight away was the depth of his photographs. Sure, the compositions were unique, the light perfect, the focus and exposure spot-on, but each of the 24 x 36 mm transparencies said so much more than the sum of its parts.

Through the harsh glare of the lightbox, Jerome's images evoked many of the emotions I'd felt in ten years of flying - and lots I'd yet to experience. There's a big difference between looking and seeing, and there are very few photographers who truly know how to communicate through the medium of camera and film, but Jerome was speaking to the very heart of what makes me want to go flying.

Anyhow, this translated into me groaning and swearing profanities for a good hour or so until I managed to convince Jerome that Cross Country magazine would serve as a fine home for much of his future photography.

Over the next six years, no package arriving in our editorial office excited me more than those from Jerome. Not only did many of our main features depend on his work as the cornerstone for success, but each time his slide sheets arrived I just couldn't wait to see what wonders in our world this quiet, nomadic photographer had unearthed. 

From the abundant beauty of his home-site of Annecy to the rich humanity and spirituality of India, his submissions always had me drooling for more.

It's a myth that a good photographer is simply born with talent, and that each image comes easily. 

When I traveled with Jerome to cover the World Air Games in Spain in 2001, I gained an insight into the extraordinary lengths he will go to capture an image. He often had us flying long into the evening, scratching hopelessly weak wafts of the last breaths of the day's thermals so he could take advantage of better light. 

He'd stop our car's CD player and shout at me to brake hard, opening his passenger door before I'd even come to a halt to chase after an old Spanish shepherd and his dog herding their flock across the dusty road, before crouching down on one knee like a sniper to capture his perfect shot. 

While following the flying tasks, I would often be in the grip of fear, wrestling a 10 m/s thermal at 5000 m over the Sierra Nevada mountains in a tight gaggle of 30 pilots, with Jerome in the middle of it all, letting go of his controls to lean out of his harness and shoot the competitors circling over the harsh backdrop of parched peaks descending into tight canyons.

This book records Jerome's work to date, written and edited by himself. It starts with a celebration of the mountains and skyscape of his home, Annecy, and then pays homage to the close friends who have helped make many of Jerome's most memorable images. 

Stolen Moments then leaves home comforts behind and travels to four of the wilder destinations for a travelling pilot: the frontier sites of northern Brazil, inner Mongolia, the Indian Himalayas and Morocco's Atlas range. The journey ends with a section simply titled Perspectives, which captures as colourful kaleidoscope of Jeromes images as possible.

Hugh Miller

Editor, Cross Country, 1998-2003

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