Kevin vs Kevin

© DiMaggio

To all the Ships at Sea

I genuinely believe as human beings we tend to bitch and moan about things that we shouldn’t bitch and moan about. I guess the simple way to look at things is “what can you do about it?  When I relocated from New York I had hundreds of trees on my property. Four very large beautiful oaks had to be taken down due to the proximity of the house and two more were taken down in building the barn. I took down the minimal amount of trees because they are so beautiful.  I have a very large birch tree maybe 70 feet, very close to the house. It did not bud this year so I presumed it was dead. I received a quote of  “$1,200 – $2,000” to cut and remove it. In relocating to the upper Delaware Valley,  I have learned to use a chainsaw quite well and yes it is quite dangerous but this is really too close to the house for me to deal with.
A friend of mine suggested calling kevin, not realizing I had hired Kevin ten years ago and had a really good experience when he did a job for me. Kevin showed up and said, “I don’t think this tree is dead and I don’t think it has to come down. Let’s wait until late spring of 2018 and then we’ll consider maybe taking down.  The cost will be $150 dollars.”  It’s good know kevin.  I could put the savings into a new Canon lens.
I  have 2  beautiful Herman Miller office chairs and one of the seats snapped.  It sounded like somebody shot off a 45 in the studio.  I did some research and decided I would epoxy the crack.  After buying what I believed to be the best epoxy for the seat, there was a warning on the types of material it would not work well on,  so I called Herman Miller to find out the type of polymer they use for their chairs. The lovely young lady said she can’t give out that information as it’s proprietary but she would transfer me to the head of repair.  A gentleman got on the phone and explained to me that I should not in any way attempt to repair the seat as hundreds of people failed doing just that. The reason is the seat flexes up down left right depending on the weight of the person sitting. I’m not exactly a lightweight!  A young man asked me for the number of the chair for the warranty and explained it was good for twelve years. He looked up the purchase date, it was 2000.  Unfortunately, it was out of warranty and at that point the gentlemen said, “Mr DiMaggio I will ship you out a replacement seat at no charge, with complete instructions on how to make the necessary exchange.”  Would you like to guess his name? It was Kevin!  So Kevin the Great meet Kevin the Magnificent.  Hell, my cousin’s name is Kevin and he’s a wonderful guy!   If I have another child, in another life, I’ll name him Sue, no Johnny Cash already did that!  I’ll call him Kevin!  Always remember life is great.  Hope to see you on the road again!

For the Pure Fun of It

To All the Ships at Sea –
As a working photographer I tend to forget what motivated me originally to take my first photographs.  A fat check of blank, blank, blank is a good thing but to be honest, when the check is cashed and the money is spent is that only what it’s all about?
Over the years I’ve realized that some of the most best photos I’ve taken were for the pure enjoyment of making that photograph and capturing that feeling, moment, or crazy idea in my head!  Understand I know there are people who spend hours and days photographing butterflies.  I’ve only attempted this maybe twice – not usually my thing. When I was on the phone with a gallery I was working with, I stepped outside and a butterfly flew by and landed on a flower.  All of a sudden I wanted to grab a camera and record what I saw but obviously couldn’t.   After I hung up with the curator I went outside and sure enough that butterfly was still there and I had another chance.  I went inside got my camera and took a few shots.  Maybe it wasn’t as good as the one I initially saw and I wouldn’t exactly call it a great photograph but I got a kick out of making it for the pure fun and enjoyment of just following this butterfly around to see if I could capture that shot again.   So there you have it…

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

JUST FOR FUN!

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea –

It’s almost impossible to have a flat sea. I believe the proper expression is flat calm or dead calm – not a ripple to be seen.  I took advantage of this anomaly to make a very simple photograph.

I came up with a concept 20 years ago of standardization and simplification or KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid.) I had an opportunity to study art in Japan and you find out that less is more.  This was not an assignment. This was just for me.

I will make a 30 x 40.

Eye Chart with an “E”

 


To All the Ships at Sea –

I’m pretty sure the human species including myself takes a lot for granted. The one thing I’ve not taken for granted is my vision.  I don’t mean my vision for fellow man, I mean MY EYES.  Oops… I really mean my EYE.  Since age 5 I haven’t had vision in my left eye.  Well, I had my first surgery on my left eye since I was a kid.  Yesterday, I went for my 24 hour follow up and they tested me and much to my surprise I can now see the big “E” and the second line F and P, the third line not so much.  I guessed at the Z but did not see the T and the O.  Dr. Liegner tells me that it is a huge improvement and considering my eye was still dilated from the surgery he said it would only get better.  I can now look at my watch and read the time.  Who knows where I may go after this?  Maybe I can learn how to play the Piccolo or become a juggler?  Nah, I better stick to photography.

As I mentioned before I am the luckiest guy on the planet.  I will share my first photo with my new vision.  It’s a fun photo.

Live, Love, Laugh, and Be Happy. All the Great Things in Life are Free…

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

JUST FOR FUN!

 

 

 

 

Bobby Kyle’s New Album IT’S MY LIFE

Photo © Joe DiMaggio

Photo © JoAnne Kalish

 

To All the Ships at Sea –

There are 2 questions I’ve been asked thousands of times.  Am I related to Joe DiMaggio #5 The Yankee Clipper?  The second question is do you ever work together with the great JoAnne Kalish on the same assignment?  The answer is yes, we have on several occasions.  When it comes to JoAnne and myself – I say black she says white.  I say go she says stay.  I say red she says green. It makes for a great relationship because we agree on almost everything!  Not! Well, I don’t know about JoAnne but it keeps me on my toes.  People think she’s a mild mannered laid back easy going woman. Not! She’s as tough as they come!  Many a sports photographer who tried to muscle her out of a position found out that women have elbows too and their’s are a lot harder and sharper then men’s.  I’ve seen one or two men actually go down!  You shouldn’t push a 11o pound photographer around!

Where am I going with this?  JoAnne and I have a wonderful friendship with one of the greatest Blues Musician in the World -also  inductee to the Blues Hall of Fame. His name is Bobby Kyle. He’s a great writer, singer, guitarist, arranger and his music transcends Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues.  Bobby’s got about 6 or 7 albums and his most recent album is drop dead fabulous!  He just keeps getting better…If anyone is close to Monclair, New Jersey this coming Sunday November 5, 2017 he has two shows (I think 7 and 10pm) at Trumpets which is a great venue. He will be having a Release Party for his new album IT’S MY LIFE.”  I had the pleasure and privilege of photographing the cover which is a pretty good photo.  JoAnne on the other hand got the photo that was used on the CD inside and I kind of like her’s better. I did notice something about Bobby which is that he always shows us his good side. Interesting…I don’t believe I ever photographed him from the other side!  Could have something having to do with him looking into the frame rather than out of the frame.  By the way, he has his own chapter in my book FILL THE FRAME.  He will be at another venue in Philadelphia called the Twisted Tail (November 11) in about a week & you can check out his Facebook page for more information https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=bobby%20kyle%20%26%20the%20administers

If anyone wants to check out what I wrote about Bobby Kyle here’s a link to purchase a signed copy of my book FILL THE FRAME.  AND ALWAYS PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT THE ARTS INCLUDING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!  Here’s link to http://www.bobbykyle.com/index.htmlBobby’s website as well 

Book is $20 plus $4 shipping. You can pay by check, paypal or credit card (through Paypal.)  

 

GREAT DAY TONS OF FUN!

 

PhotoPlus at Jacob Javits Center

DynaLite’s Peter Poremba


To All the Ships at Sea –

Yes, I’m late with this blog… the last few days have been a little crazy.  Let me extend a thank you to my dear friend Peter Poremba, for hosting me at the DynaLite booth at Photo Plus.  It’s a little known fact that Peter is a great administrator, and the ultimate source of studio/location lighting. Yes that’s him in the tutu.  As the truth be known, it was actually my Tutu but since  I gained some weight the tutu no longer fits me. So, Peter agreed to put the tutu on to help promote my book FILL THE FRAME!  I would like to thank all my friends who came by to say hello and all the new people who stopped by to purchase my book.  By the way, the new battery operated Baja is very sweet and shoots TTL.  Like I always say DynaLite is the best lighting equipment ounce for ounce, pound for pound, dollar for dollar.  Not a commercial a fact!

“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.)  

Front Cover FILL THE FRAME

Fragile Beauty at Chelsea Film Festival Oct, 21 1:30



To All the Ships at Sea,

Anyone within 50 miles of NYC should consider spending a half hour to see an absolutely new style documentary by Alan and Wendy Kaplan.  It’s not same old same old.  It’s a new vision straight out of one of the finest photographers I know and anyone who knows Wendy will tell you she’s an extremely shy, caring loving person and but you get her on film watch out!  She becomes a tornado!  I loved the film I’m sure you will too.  Joe D

Old Dog New Trick (New Light)

©DiMaggio

To all the Ships at Sea,

 There are times in a a person’s life that may result in an earth shattering major change.  In a couple weeks I am scheduled to experience one of these changes.
You see, I am blind in my left eye.  I was born with crossed eye and had surgery at age two to uncross my eyes.  At three I developed lazy eye syndrome. I had a second surgery and a patch on my right eye to try to make the lazy eye work properly.  Somewhere around 5 years old I got German measles.  During that time a nurse accidentally left the blinds open which destroyed the vision in my left eye (or so I was told.)  So, I have been blind from age 6 until today.  Most people rarely notice because my left eye does follow light.  A couple years ago, I started having problems seeing through my right eye.  I was told I had a cataract.  After seeing six specialists, I was told no one would do surgery on me because I only had vision in one eye which was quite devastating.  Well,  two years have passed and my vision has gotten worse which would be a problem for anyone let alone a one eyed photographer.
A friend of ours, Ken Ferris, a fine cameraman, had cataract surgery.  JoAnne happened to run into him and in conversation mentioned to him about my eyes.  He said I had to see his eye doctor!  I figured it was just another waste of time and money but JoAnne insisted.  A couple days later I ran into Ken at the gym.  He said you have to go see my eye Doctor, his name is Dr. Liegner!  Well Ken was pretty convincing.  JoAnne wanted to accompany me to the office to meet this Doctor.  I told her I was old enough to vote and could go by myself but once again, she insisted and she explained that she would not be sitting in the waiting room!  They ran me through approximately two hours of tests with a thorough and efficient staff.  I was then told the doctor was going to be in in a few minutes.  He came in and asked me, “How do you see out of your left eye?”  I said,  “I don’t, I’m blind in that eye.”  He then asked how about your right eye?  He then explained that my right eye is now 20/400 and pointed out the cataract and the damage in that eye to JoAnne.  First thing I’m going to do is explain to you that you left eye is perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that eye.  With that I became even more confused.  He said,  I’ll simplify it, and explained that I did not lose my vision to German measles, I lost my vision in my left eye because my brain would not comprehend vision in the lower left where my eye pointed and that part of my brain said we’re only going to look through the right side.  He then told me he could do a procedure, so I would have close up vision in my left eye and in two weeks after he would do another procedure to give me 20/20 vision in my right eye! I will see colors and shapes like I’ve never seen.  The only drawback would be that I would see things 12% smaller as I’ve been wearing glasses all my life and then joked about something else probably looking smaller as well.
Well this Doctor is a true visionary and I’m truly excited and looking forward to my new lease on life!

© DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

 

Jake LaMotta The Boxer that Inspired “Raging Bull”

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea –

After the last half a century I’ve spent several days with Jake LaMotta.  He was kind enough to give me an exclusive interview for my documentary film “In This Corner.”  Before agreeing to this interview, he turned me down many times. My dear friend Bert Sugar, suggested that I offer him a bottle of wine, a $25 cigar, an autographed photo, and dedicate the film to his two sons that passed, that might work. Well Bert, was right and Jake agreed to the interview.  JoAnne and I met Jake at nearby P.J. Clarke’s where we spent the entire afternoon.  During the interview Jake was extremely intense and honest. Honest to a point, that I was not comfortable using the whole interview!

I would like to give you a short excerpt from my recent book FILL THE FRAME.  Jake and I happened to be sitting together in first class and in front of us was Boxing Promoter Bob Arum and his beautiful wife. As we sat down Jake looked at me and said,  “you have a lot of nerve sitting here.  You #$@&%* my wife!”  He went on to a point where I was getting genuinely concerned.  He was deep into his 70’s but probably still could take my head off.  I’m a lover not a fighter!  Uh oh, I think Jake, would have taken this the wrong way!  Luckily Bob Arum turned around in his seat and said, “Jake, Joe D did not screw your wife, he was not old enough to screw your wife and didn’t even know her!”  We all laughed and proceed to have our martinis and champagne. That was when first class was first class!  Now you’re lucky if you get a warm coke and some dry roasted peanuts. When things finally calmed down I asked him who the greatest fighter was of all time?  He looked at me like I had no brain in my head and said, “You have to be kidding, what planet do you live on? There was only one and it was Sugar Ray Robinson.”

Jake had over 100 fights.  His career spanned over 13 years.  He fought the greatest boxer of all times Sugar Ray Robinson, six times and beat him once.  I strongly recommend if anyone in heaven, runs into Jake you treat him with the utmost respect. Stay far enough away so that he can’t hit you with a combination because if he hits you,  you will wind up in hell!

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio “In This Corner”

Jake LaMotta © Joe DiMaggio “In This Corner”

Photographer Joe DiMaggio and Heavyweight Boxer Jake LaMotta

Pete Turner – The Great!

Pete Turner © Tim Mantoani

To All the Ships At Sea,

In my opinion the greatest color photographer in my lifetime has to be Pete Turner. Turner was a visionary who thought outside the box before people even knew what the box was. What he could not photograph, he found a way of building, designing, and enhancing to make it work. As a snotty, wet behind the ears, photography wanna-be back 5 decades ago, someone in my photography lecture asked me the question, “Who do you think is the greatest photographer?” I looked the person in the eyes and then everyone around him and said, “there are only 2 great photographers, Pete Turner and Joe DiMaggio. Looking back at it “ I can’t believe that came out of my mouth! Yes, Pete Turner was correct. Not me so much. It was a cocky and silly reply and in retrospect, totally unacceptable.

I will share this – I’ve cursed Pete Turner virtually every night for as long as I can remember. One day, JoAnne and I were at a cocktail party in New York City sponsored by Aperture and Pete and his lovely wife Reine were there. I went over with JoAnne to say hello to Pete. I said Pete, “I just want you to know that I curse you every night.” Turner looks at me like I have 3 heads and asks me, “Why?” I said, “Let me explain, when JoAnne asked me to take out the garbage, I said son of a bitch!” “I bet $#$@&*! Pete Turner doesn’t have to take the garbage out every night!” His wife chimed in, “Really?” “Pete has to take the garbage out every night as well.” And we all laughed! In my opinion no one can come close to Peter Turner’s talent. He was the best color photographer EVER!

Heaven will be a lot more colorful from now on.