To all the ships at sea, the world class photographer JoAnne Kalish has just accepted a position at the local college. Not so local, it’s in New Jersey. Princeton, NO, Rutgers, NO, but what the hell. We know she’s a great photographer and we know she’s a great teacher and the head of the department is of the belief she’s going to woo all of those young photographers. Good luck JoAnne.
To all the ships at sea, My California agent always tells me never tell anybody how old you are. I guess he’s never been on google. When I was born, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president of the United States. World War II was still on (I was in Gander Bay at an Army/Air Force base). My dad was flying B-17s. I’ve seen a lot of stuff, the last four years that have been extremely strange, or extremely strange to me anyway. I had an opportunity to spend a day with Joe Biden and I have to tell you, he’s an honest, straight-forward, no bullshit, intelligent, guy who’s had one hell of a tough life. We both have something in common, we both lost a son. He lost two. In the last 20 years I’ve been doing a lot of praying and meditating. I’m going to spend the next year or more praying for my brothers and sisters that have the pure luck to live in the United States of America. The world believes that we are the greatest country. I believed it for a very long time. I’ve had a few doubts lately, but hopefully in the next few years with a tremendous amount of work and bringing together ALL of us, we are going to be great again. Good luck Joe. I know you’re going to roll up your sleeves and work 18+ hours a day. I do not envy you, but you’re in my prayers. There is one very funny photo of our new president. I don’t explain photography, but it’s just funny.
To all the ships at sea, we received a query from Jane Mangini looking for a photographer to photograph a new record cover and publicity photo. It was a recommendation from another musician we worked with over the years. Jane was open to having me photograph it or JoAnne. JoAnne, being the very laidback person that she is, said “screw you, I’m gonna do the shoot!” being the sweet, lovely, caring partner, I said “okay”. The studio was set up for a private showing of our new artwork. I had just put away all the strobes and backgrounds. I reformulated the studio, broke out all of the lights, and became JoAnne’s boy Friday (from JoAnne’s work station she just said “I can’t believe the things you say!”) Jane has been with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for many years. She’s not only beautiful but she is one hell of a musician. Her energy level is literally off the charts. You know when you get an email at 4:20 in the morning, enough said! Here’s JoAnne’s take and a few of my favorites.
Honesty is the best policy. After over a half a century of making photographs and paintings I can tell when someone is not particularly happy with something that I generated for them. My philosophy is very simple; if my client is not happy, then I am very unhappy. My motivation has never been money. My motivation is to generate the best possible image (and words) for the client. You have in your repertoire some of the finest landscape photographers on the planet today. Landscapes are not something I normally do with any regularity. There is a very small waterfall twenty miles from my studio that I use for prayer and meditation. Especially in the times we now live in. 90% of the time I am there alone and I love going on rainy days, snowy days, icy days, any day that would keep the average person home reading a book, or watching television. After your generous gift of the two filters, I decided I would incorporate them the other day in my photography. There are two photos that will be part of an exhibition at MoMA in South America, and part of the permanent collection at Sloan Kettering (they’ve been saving my life for the last six years). Approximately five years ago I made a conscious decision to remove all of my sponsors on all of my social media platforms. I also decided maybe it was time not to do workshops, lectures, magazine articles, etc. That decision may or may not be cast in bronze today. I don’t know. Please see a few photographs taken over the last 72 hours. There are hundreds of filter manufacturers and probably all of them are considerably less money than Singh Ray, but there is an old adage; you get what you pay for. So if you have an $1800 lens and you put a $9 filter on it (an additional air glass surface) which was not designed as part of the optical formula well, guess what’s probably going to happen. Put a Singh Ray on that same lens and it may not have been designed for that specific piece of glass but man it looks great. I have also been using the Singh Ray color intensifier.
Mark Joseph, one of the finest writers of our time (New York Times Best Seller list) and I have been friends for over 5 decades. This is absolutely one of the sweetest things he has ever done for me. Abraham Lincoln, James Brown, and Joey D! It doesn’t get better than that! Please check out the two links below.
We here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
One of the biggest criticisms of photography is potentially you can have 100 originals. Yes, that can be true. However, we make a limited edition of a certain specified number which is usually 10. With a painting there is one of one.
I promised myself that I was going to have fun everyday for as long as I’m on this damn planet. My painting has now taken up 50% of my time, and guess what? I love it, it’s fun. I don’t have to wait for a model or worry about where the light is. I don’t need a tripod or monopod. All I need is a little bit of paint, a canvas or piece of paper. Hell, I’m having fun. Take a quick look at three paintings that were just added to Saatchi’s art collection.
To all the ships at sea, sometimes I just get so tired of throwing the proverbial bull. I find it extremely difficult to talk about my work. Even with my big mouth it ain’t easy! I walked past JoAnne’s half of the studio and caught a glimpse of these four photos. I don’t know where she’s going but they look great. See you on the road, Joe D.
To all the ships at sea, I seem to spend two or three hours at night seeing myself getting on an airline and winding up in Africa, Israel, Northern Italy, Malta, and then the proverbial shit hits the fan and I’m not going anywhere. Please enjoy these three photos.
To all the ships at sea, it seems that we never really appreciate the greatness of people until it’s too late. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is probably up there with the greatest women in the last 100 years. Just barely 5’2″, her power, her strength, her intellect, her caring for her fellow men and women was absolutely gigantic. she broke down barriers and was able to change our society for the better. It may have something to do with the fact that she was born on March 15th. The ides of March, many great women seem to be born on that day. Eva Longoria, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and JoAnne Kalish. Many people don’t realize that JoAnne has had many firsts in her illustrious career. First woman hired by Sports Illustrated, first woman allowed in the NHL penalty box, first woman in the pits at the Indianapolis 500, first woman to shoot NFL football, and first woman indoctrinated into the National Hockey League hall of fame (as a photographer). Her work appears in over 50 countries throughout the world. Her iconic photograph of Will Barnett is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Today would have been Peter B. Kaplan’s birthday. Anyone who knew Peter also knew there were 2 Peter B. Kaplans. One was an amazing height photographer who had testicles the size of NYC (I’m deathly afraid of heights but I deal with it.) The other Peter B. Kaplan was a notorious advocate for photographers copyright protection. Peter stood up against SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME MAGAZINE, LIFE MAGAZINE and dozens of advertising clients who impinged on his copyright. This made Peter on one level a serious prick, who was the thorn in many art director and art buyer’s butts. On the other level, he was someone who actually helped other photographers get their fair due whether it be in federal, state court, or in arbitration.
Somewhere around 1974, Peter called me and wanted to borrow a Nikon F, a remote cord, and a 16mm lens. He had seen a photo I had done with a Gitzo monopod and a 14 foot aluminum extension paint roller, which I had used at the Indianapolis 500 to get to places with my camera that you couldn’t get to. I lent Peter the camera, lens, cord and pole and he went out to use it to photograph Lady Liberty’s Torch.
Depending on what side you were on, Peter was a great photographer, or a miserable son-of-a-bitch and always a great advocate for the photographic community. To me Peter was just my friend…