Willie May Not Be God but…

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea –

We all have good days and bad days. Today was a wonderful day.

I went to do my 2 hours in the gym and ran into a friend of mine by the name of Keith. Three weeks ago, Keith bought one of my books FILL THE FRAME.  Up till that point Keith and I just said hello and that was it. Now that he started the book every time I see him he has questions, and being the shy reserved person I am, I humbly attempt to answer (I’ve got a big mouth). He said to me you’ve been around the world, met a lot of people Who do you feel was the most outstanding person?  My answer was they were all outstanding. He asked me if I spent a lot of time with Willie Nelson? Yes, of course I said,  Willie would certainly be in my top ten or better.  I told Keith the story of a Viet Nam War Vet that lost both his legs and was at one of Willie’s Concerts.  Several of his friends pushed him up to the stage right under Willie. Two large security guards came over and asked him to leave because it was no man’s land.  He objected, they picked up the wheel chair and started to remove him.  Willie stopped singing and yelled at the security guards and told them to leave him where he was.  He then proceeded to invite him to join him backstage at the concert.  He asked me to please bring him to the trailer after the show. When Willie asks for something you just have to do it.  Willie treated him like a brother for 90 minutes after the concert and everybody was very happy (you know what I mean – was it the Tequila?) Keith then told me that about a year ago he was flying from El Paso to Houston on one of those short hop jets and sitting in first class was Willie in a pair of blue jeans and a T shirt, no hat just kicking back. In the first seat in coach was a United States Marine with one leg and in full uniform.  Willie got up, spoke to the gentleman, shook his hand, got the flight attendant and had the gentleman put in his first class seat. Willie took his seat in coach.  Even though I was not there, I will include that story in FILL THE FRAME II.  If we were all like Willie, what a great world this would be…there is still hope.

I told Pete Seeger 3 weeks before he went to his great gig in the sky that God threw away the mould when he made him.  That goes the same for Willie Nelson.

For all the people who want to see what I look like without a Beret here’s your chance.

Willie Nelson and Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland! Not!

© DiMaggio

To All The Ships At Sea –

I’ve spent 25% of my career making photographs under 1/15th of a second!  I’ve called them Time/Motion for decades.  In recent times I’ve experimented with photos over 1/2000th of a second.   Why?  Just for the fun of it.  When we adopted Ace our Pupulopus I decided to take him out for a run in the snow.

Here are a few frames I came up with at ISO 320, shutter speed 1/4000 of a second, 2o0mm lens, not shooting on continuous and panning one shot at a time. The difficult part was throwing the snowball with my right hand and picking up the camera and panning.  It’s all for fun.  There are so many photos to make out there!  Have fun with your camera even in cold weather!

Private photo classes available.

© DiMaggio

Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check or credit card (through Paypal)  https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=76BHV2D849WAS

 

Stupidity Squared

© DiMaggio

To All The Ships At Sea –

There are basic fundamental rules never to be broken.  Compositional rules can be broken as well as rules about lighting color, contrast, & density you can break all the time. No big deal!  So what are the rules you never want to break?  Turning your back on a race car – you never want to do that!  Falling out of a helicopter – you never want to do that!  Challenging authority in a security situation – you never want to do that

I digress… somewhere around 1980 I was photographing my son’s red convertible.  It was parked 5 feet below me on a cement driveway and I was on a wall above.  I became so rapped up into what I thought would be a very bizarre composition with virtually a brand new 20mm lens.  So exactly what was my mistake?  Looking through the camera I walked off the wall.  My immediate reaction as I floated in mid air was to save my camera by putting it over my head so it would not hit the car or the cement.  It was brilliant so what hit first?  My elbows and my face and then the camera and lens as it hit the cement.  Not very smart of me!   Another time,  I was on assignment at Pebble Beach Golf Course in California for the New York Times, when the Greenskeeper told me to be careful at a certain hole.  Two golfers drove their golf cart off the side of the course and dropped almost a hundred feet to the rocks and sea.  That’s another no no.  Exactly why am I writing this blog?  Fast forward to 2018, I walk into my studio to see a streak of light from a glass door hitting my office chair.  It was gorgeous.  I grabbed my camera.  I looked through the camera and it was not what I wanted, so I backed up, didn’t like it, and backed up several times while making an exposure each time.  The forth time I backed up, I hit an extremely large half-inch glass table and my body went up in the air!  What did I do?  I raised the camera up again as I  started to fall, my other leg hit the table and as luck would have it I fell  to the right of the table.  Suffice to say if my svelte body hit the table, there is no doubt, I would have been dead.  Boy was I lucky!

So the moral of this story is, pay attention, know where you are, don’t make any moves while the camera is to your eye, and don’t count on luck to get you out of a bad situation!  KISS… but don’t be stupid!

© DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

“Recalling His Adventures as a Working Photographer from the 60’s to present day. The book describes his career working for publications such as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME MAGAZINE, HBO, rapidly followed by a brilliant career in Corporate and Advertising.  It’s also about how photography has evolved over the years.”

FILL THE FRAME goes into detail about the many people he has photographed – celebrities, sports figures as well as so many others and his experiences working with them, and the stories behind the photographs.

Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check, paypal or credit card (through Paypal.)
Click here to purchase the book on paypal – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=76BHV2D849WAS

First of many Amazon Reviews – “Where have you been Joe DiMaggio…An amazing recounting of this photographers life. Each story is a touchstone to a period that resonates in our collective recollection of America.  It’s at once funny, sad, and charming, I simply couldn’t put it down.  A great read…” S. Simon Jacob

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http://www.dimaggio-kalish.com

 

 

 

 

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