The Five F’s

© Joe Dimaggio

To All The Ships At Sea,

Fall, foliage, falls, forty yards, fun.  KISS….

Photographers complain about their lenses, the number of frames per second, contrast, color, structure, and the biggest complaint –  they’ve got nothing to photograph.

All photos were taken within forty minutes, forty yards from each other and done for one reason only –  It’s the last “F”… pure fun!   Unless you’re in a war zone you want to be having fun with your camera.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Pure Gold Boxing Brooklyn Part B

© Marilyn Paulino

To All the Ships At Sea –

When all else fails, get off your ass and make some photos.  It’s a good thing.  No words today… Why? I’m getting off my ass to make some photos.  Khalid Twaiti is still undefeated and Marilyn Paulino is a fine photographer.

Hope to see you on the road again… Joe D

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Try not to Pack Murphy When You Leave for A Shoot

To All the Ships at Sea –

You would think that after half a century of assignments for TIME MAGAZINE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, HBO, advertising for Saatchi and Saatchi, J. Walter Thompson and the list goes on… that I’d have no problem doing a 2 hour shoot at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. Piece of cake right?  Not so much!  Why?  That’s what I am going to try to explain.

I decided to use my Google for directions to the theatre.  Didn’t really have to, because I knew how to go.  The computer sent me through some Queens and NYC side streets to get to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel ( yes I know its not the name anymore). You enter on Joe DiMaggio highway.  So what normally would take 2 hours took 3.  Why should I complain – it was an 8 o’clock shoot and  I was there early because  I wanted to shoot some street photography. Brooklyn’s changed quite a bit and mostly in a good way.  I made friends with a few NYPD officers and they gave me some tips on where to shoot.  I left the bulk of the equipment in the car and shot with one camera and one lens on the street.  I returned to my car and changed gear for the shoot.  I put everything together and realized I left a 10 cent Alan key on the staging area in the studio.  I went to business #1 and they told me to go to an auto parts place which then sent me to  Sears.  I Proceeded to explain my problem to 2 lovely people.  Finally, one gentleman came back with the proper key and I took out my wallet out and he said just remember to shop at Sears!  I was now ready to do my shoot.  I got there and was supposed to have full media credentials.  However, I was told it was now limited to 4 people and I was not one of them!  I talked to the Director of Public Relations and he was kind enough to let me shoot in a neutral corner against a post which was fine.   Kings Theatre is a very difficult Boxing Ring to shoot.  It’s very small which is good, but it’s only 8″ off the ground vs. 4-5 feet off the ground.  The end result of my take is acceptable – not earth shattering.  Pre-Production is always the key whether you are an amateur, semi-pro, or pro. Do everything to avoid Murphy getting into your camera bag or brain.

You have to be positive, go with the flow, standardization and simplification!  Enough with the  clichés?   As Willie says, “See you on the road again.”

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Yesterday and Today

© Joe DiMaggio

 

To All The Ships At Sea –

What never ceases to amaze me is how when I’m thinking in terms of the new digital revolution and editing photos that go back a half a century,  I come up with a photo of JoAnne Kalish at The Apollo Soyuz launch with the famous and now infamous  Tiltall tripod with the 600mm, 800mm, and 1,000mm lens on two Tiltall tripods.  I still have the aluminum mount,  the case and the two leather bags.  If you look in the lower right hand  frame you will see a piece of my camera.   She’s sitting on an aluminum case – yes, still have that too.  Hidden under her right thigh is a Nikkomat camera without a lens on it – don’t try that today!

Last but not least notice the Cranberry juice cocktail bottle filled with water – no plastic containers for us!  We were even green back then!

The other photo is of JoAnne shooting in Baja California Scammon’s Lagoon photographing the whales mating while we were on assignment for Jacques Cousteau. That Tiltall was buried at sea as salt water and sand destroyed it!  So where are the photos of the whales?  Unfortunately, they were never returned.

 

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Seven Dollar Tripod

© DiMaggio

To All the Ships At Sea –

In a half a century of photography I’ve accrued at least 20 tripods.  One of my all time favorites was a $69 Tiltall which was a hand-made tripod that was made in a  garage in New Jersey.  It was made from aluminum, light weight, and had a built-in-head and was very strong. On the other end of the spectrum I have a 20 pound large Gitzo, circa 1975 – probably $500 back in the day. This tripod could hold a 300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8, and a 600mm f/4 on a custom bar, and all at the same time!

Why am I telling you this?  I’ve recently been working on a project for South America – call it a self-assignment.  I decided to go to Sandy Hook and photograph surf and rocks.  The first part of the day I shot everything handheld with a great little camera, a Fuji X-T2.  I decided to go back to my car for Velbon tripod with slik head which I bought at a garage sale for $7.  This tripod weighs nothing, elevates to my eye, and doesn’t mind salt, water, and sand.  This proves the point – you don’t need to throw a ton of money into a photograph or a project.  I used a neutral density filter made by Singh-Ray which allowed me to get the numbers I was looking for.  Unfortunately, the end result was not as good as I would have liked. What was the excuse?  Bad light, bad seas, bad angle?  It certainly was not for a lack of trying.  There are times where you just don’t come back with the goods! Many people want to talk technical.  I very rarely speak technical. What will kill a camera is to drop it on cement.  Second to that is salt water, salt spray and beach sand.  Put them together it’s like dropping your camera on cement so you want to always protect your camera.  At the end of the day clean it and the tripod must always be washing in fresh water.  That’s as technical as I want to get.

© DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

Gutenburg (He must be rolling over in his grave)

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at Sea-

Honesty is the best policy, BS, black and white lies are unacceptable. Why you ask? Because you can’t remember what you said!  So, if you start with the truth, follow up with the truth, and end with the truth, life will be fine.  Unless, of course, your truth is incorrect then you’ve accidentally lied.

What the hell am I babbling about?  I thought of writing my memoirs 25 years ago, started the protocol 15 years ago, and rewrote it at least 3 times. In the final analysis it seemed to be lacking certain aspects of my life, which simply means the publisher cut it in half!  Hell my life is not “Gone With the Wind” it’s the culmination of half a century put down in 380 pages.  Wow, who would have thought?  Today with the advent of not only self publishing the ability to go fo Africa for a month come back, build and publish a magnificent,  small, coffee table book of your adventures how great would that be?  You can do one of your trips to Asia, Rockaway Beach, New York, or Disneyland in Florida.  You can do a gorgeous photo book of your daughter’s first soccer game, your son’s Bar Mitzvah, your niece’s 5th Birthday. What’s absolutely great about this digital world is that you can put a book together in half a day, and it might take 5 days to have it on your door step. What you’ve done is what photography was designed to do and that is record. That special light, that special moment, you’ve frozen it in time, and the beautiful part is, it’s yours, you did it. It doesn’t get better than that! I have many wonderful friends who live in Israel, such as my brother Amir an extremely knowledgeable tour guide I met while hosting the “Canon Photo Safari,” with special guest William Shatner.  Amir was born in Israel and he introduced me to a dear friend Simon Jacob who became another close friend.  Simon and his very large  beautiful family recently moved to Israel full time.  My partner JoAnne and I put together a book that we titled  “The Land of Milk and Honey” of our trip to Israel.  You will not find it on the New York times best seller list, that’s for sure, but we shared it with our friends and that’s our New York best seller list!  We could have had 4 or 5 companies print the book,  all of them acceptable and 1 or 2 of them may have saved us a few dollars. But, we chose to go to the best of the best, which is AdoramaPix. Cover to cover with great quality – well worth the investment. There is a difference between looking at the back of your phone or looking at a book of your memories of a wonderful trip.  Call up my dear friend John at AdoramaPix. He will start you in the right direction. I genuinely believe you will be so happy with the results and will have something, on printed paper, that you can look back on, to cherish and share those special times in your life!

Live, love, laugh, and be happy.  Go out and make some great photos and print a book or two you’ll be happy you did!

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Canon Photo Safari on Location in Israel

Habanero Peppers

© Joe DiMaggio

To All The Ships At Sea -I would hope that the early photographers circa 1838 never complained that they’ve had nothing to photograph! The most common complaint I’ve heard from both amateur and pros is they’ve nothing to photograph.

You don’t have to fly to Africa, Asia, or Europe to make photographs. There are many potential photographs to be made within just a short distance away.  We recently had a Mexican theme party for the 4th of July. Traditionally the party is at the end of May. Why you ask? Well, because we’re usually invited to several 4th of July parties so we have ours in May. Have a problem with that? Thats why you weren’t invited!

A few days after the party I realized we had peppers left over. I love the color, and structure. I decided to make a few photos with an LED flashlight.  It was for fun. Like I told my friend Bill Shatner, if your not having fun why do it? So go out, have fun and express yourself, and push yourself to think out of the isosceles triangle.

© Joe DiMaggio

$500 Dollar Prints vs $50 Dollar Prints

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea –

As mentioned previously,  I no longer have any sponsorship with any photography company My choosing not theirs!  That puts me in an interesting position – I can say what I want, when I want, and to whom I want. That’s a good feeling!  Anybody who knows me, knows that I’ve been doing that for the last 50 years.  Obviously in the world of business, I never want to hurt anybody either. Its not a good thing. So for all intensive purposes I will not mention the lab that makes the $500 dollar plus prints. The lab in question is approximately 30 years old, and even by today’s standards, damn expensive!

Fast forward to now, I’ve made over 250 prints with AdoramaPix.  My best friend/partner JoAnne Kalish, who by anybody’s standards is a world class color printer, was very apprehensive, at first,  that I’d turn my work over to AdoramaPix.  She challenged me, and without knowing it she challenged AdoramaPix. The first three of four prints she printed and compared them to the AdoramaPix prints. Other than the nurturing she would give my work, the reality was the AdoramaPix prints were equal to or better than what we could produce given the budgetary considerations and the overall cost of paper and ink. The bottom line is, I have made many great prints from AdoramaPix and at very reasonable prices.

Live, love, laugh, and be happy!

I urge you to have some fun and go out and make some great photos!

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

 

The British July 7th

To all the ships at Sea-

Doug and Terry, yes the infamous famous amazing Doug and Terry owners of the Phoenix House. Two extremely bright and creative people really out did themselves this July 4th. Did I say July 4th? I meant July 7th. One unbelievable, one hell of a party, by Doug and Terry’s standards it was intimate. 100 200 people intimate. I desperately wanted to wear my tuxedo but somehow, someone must have washed the tuxedo with hot water and over dried it in the dryer because the bloody thing was to damn tight. I begged JoAnne to stop washing my tuxedos. Anyone who is anybody and everyone who is somebody was at this party and I was privileged to be invited thank you Doug thank you Terry hope to see you next year for my 4th of July party in late may 2019.

B/W Love the Color

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at Sea-

Recently I had the opportunity to photograph my friend John. A great guitar player, vocalist and leader of the former band Pig Vomit with Howard Stern. Much to my surprise, who knew that Walt Disney was in his band?  Man, I’ll have to check the internet to see if that’s right.

I think the photo would be great with TriX film rated at 1200 in Acufine, at 74 degrees, for 6 minutes of exposure, one stop over – intentionally, and printed on a #4 piece of paper. Yes I know, there’s a good possibility that nobody knows what the hell I just said. Oh yes, I forgot the light red filter (a red filter indoors with stage lighting –  how many stops do you lose?)  Okay, you caught me I have been drinking in the afternoon! To simplify all this, get a digital camera, shoot the photo,  FILL THE FRAME, and its all good. Live, love, laugh, be happy and stop drinking in the afternoon!

Attached you’ll find a half hour radio show I did for CBS sports in Philadelphia (on July 8th.)