Up Up & Away!

To All the Ships At Sea –

Putting together a sports/action program.  Fell in love with the blue skies and the F-22 Raptor shot with the Canon 5D Mark IV and the 100-400mm zoom.  Great package!

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Sixty Seconds vs Sixty-One Seconds

© Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea,

All athletes love to finish the season with a win.  It’s a great way to finish and makes next year’s start all the better. Well I’m still riding the luck and winding up 2017 with a great assignment, potentially it could turn out be a major change for a lot of people.  Before I fill you in on an exceptional new heavyweight boxer,  I will tell you a story about a one hour photo session with Mike Tyson,  former heavyweight champion of the world (see more details Tyson chapter in my book FILL THE FRAME  link below.) 
It is very rare when more than one publication comes together to glean a photo but it happened here.  I negotiated for INSIDE SPORTS Magazine, a one hour shoot with heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, which was to be at 5:30 am at the Plaza Hotel.  He shows up with an entourage and his body guard tells me I have 60 seconds to take the photo not 60 minutes.  As I prepare to do a verbal dance with him he looks at his watch and goes 57…56… I pick up my camera (the lights and background were set up 2 hours earlier.) My first 9 frames – there’s a technical word we use in photography, “sucked.”  The bodyguard said 28… I stopped shooting, and look at Mike and I ask if he was angry and he said, “Yes.”  I said, “Why don’t you scream?” I stepped back and he did, while I made 2 frames.  It became an iconic portrait of Mike Tyson.
An old friend Randy Gordon, also known as the “Commish,” now on SiriusXM radio with another longtime friend boxer Gerry Cooney,  gave me an assignment to photograph heavyweight Michael Coffie’s first professional fight with a follow up later this year with a studio portrait.  I drove to the Sands Hotel and Casino for a 6:00pm start, got there at 4 and like all events, you play the game, hurry up and wait. The credential desk didn’t open till 5:45 or 6:00 and start turned out to be at 7:00.  My fight was scheduled for the 3rd and was moved to the 7th. I photographed the undercards just for practice.  How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice practice practice.” As the fight was about to start I looked into the ring and asked my buddy how much this guy weighed, he said 240. There’s only one heavyweight.  Before I know it, the fight starts and lasts 61 seconds. Not much time to get the definitive action photo. Got the punch, good news, bad news, didn’t really see it.  Note, my position. I hope the studio session goes a little longer than 60 or 61 seconds. But like a good boy scout, you always have to be prepared.  Hope to see you on the road again…  For those of you who want to know…Canon EOS 5D Mark lV 24-70 1/1600 sec f/3.5

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Front Cover FILL THE FRAME

“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 as well as 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

Win Number Two for Boxer Khalid Twaiti

To All the Ships At Sea –

Most of you know I have been photographing boxing for a long time.  I also have been working on a film titled IN THIS CORNER and it has been one of my ongoing projects.  Over the years, I have photographed Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Arturo Gatti, Gerry Cooney, Larry Holmes, and the list goes on.

While working on my film at Gleason’s I met a young man by the name of Khalid Twaiti over a decade ago. I believe he was 10 or 11 years old at the time.  He had fire in his eyes, passion in his soul and determination in his heart. He is also very bright young man.  Khalid has ten years at Gleason’s with an amazing amateur record.  He has a great trainer by the name of Don Saxby who also has the same passion dedication and heart. Not only is he a great trainer but a surrogate dad in and out of the ring. Khalid’s mom, dad, family, and friends are very much behind him. Put that all in the world’s largest blender and what comes out I believe to be the next lightweight champion of the world –  somewhere maybe between 118 and 127. Khalid will probably need another 36-40 months but will become Champion. There is no doubt in my mind.

Please enjoy the short video and stills from his recent fight in Brooklyn. https://vimeo.com/233877446

Please consider purchasing my book FILL THE FRAME “Recalling My 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 I have 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.)  

My Friend Jim Morton

© Photo by Jim Morton

A friend, Jim Morton Sr., a really good photographer did this portrait and I would like to share it.

This is what Jim wrote me when he sent it along.  “I was asked to photograph our local Fire Department.  They needed head shots for their department folders and a group Image of all current firemen and the Mayor along with the chaplain of the Department.

After doing the formal portraits I asked if anyone would like to do some pictures with their fallout gear on in the engine bays.  All of the firemen said they would like to do it so it was time to have some fun.  I used the Dynalite Baja B4 with the Dynalite 47 inch Grand soft box. I asked Captain Eric Pearson to sit on the front bumper of the new department Pumper.  When looking through my viewfinder I noticed his reflection in the grill, and asked him move forward about 3-4 inched so his reflection would be seen completely.  I never told him why I wanted him to move because I wanted to surprise him when the image was printed.

This was not the original image I had in mind but once I saw it, I knew it was the shot.”

 

Bobby Kyle: “It’s My Life”

Blues Musician Bobby Kyle

Blues Musician Bobby Kyle © Joe DiMaggio

The great John Dominis was one of the greatest sports photographers of our time and one of my idols. After many, many years of having John give me advice, one day he turned out to be Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated. I will share two of his mantras . The first: Anybody who can shoot sports can shoot a flower, they don’t move; a tree, they don’t move; a building, they don’t move. If you can shoot sports you can shoot anything.” Which reminds me of a line from “Dodgeball”: “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” There I go again, trying to do stand up… The second lecture Dominis gave me, and I quote, “If you ever shoot a frame for me with a 15 mm lens, I will blank blank blank.” For purposes of the blog, I’ll leave it out.

What does this have to do with Bobby Kyle? Bobby is a world famous blues player. Every lesson I learned in photographing sports I bring to music. Peak action, sharpness, depth of field- all of these things come together. His new album is totally, absolutely amazing. It’s his heart,  soul, and his life. It’s great. In about two months, I’ll put up a sample of the album. But not right now.

2nd Amendment, I don’t think so.

Hi to All the Ships at Sea,

2nd AmendmentI received an assignment from HBO to do an illustration on hand guns in America. There were approx 357 children killed with handguns the year of the assignment. The photo editor gave me carte blanche to do anything that I wanted to the photo. What you see is a multiple exposure done in the studio with a real 357 magnum with 6 dyna-lites against a clear background. Person holding the gun was silhouetted, then I rewound the film and shot the american flag on top of the silhouette (effectively, there was no exposure there) and by over exposing the corners by 2-3 stops I blew the flag out and just left the hand with the American flag wrapped around the gun. The photo won a few awards when and when people see it today they presume it was done in Photoshop, but it was done in the camera. Entitled 2nd amendment (I never put titles on work).

Two days ago the Senate knocked down the gun bill. Photographic blog, not a political blog…I must watch my language. They should all blank, blank, blank and be totally ashamed of themselves. How much money do they take on the side from gun manufacturers and the NRA? We are taking the greatest country in the history of all mankind and we’re turning it into a third world country. The English couldn’t beat us, the French couldn’t beat us, the Germans couldn’t beat us, the Russians, the Chinese, the Koreans. We’re going to destroy ourselves. anybody who knows me, I love to be happy but with what’s going on today in this world, I’m sorry, we need to get with the program. Go out and make a photograph of your wife…your children…we’ve got enough guns. If you want to shoot something, make a photograph. For the record, I own 6 guns so I am not ANTI-guns. Camera: NikonF 55micro and a grease pencil. Exposure: 1/90th of a second at 22 and 1/90th of a second at 5.6.

All the Best,

Joe D

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Goodbye Old Friend

Photo © Joe DiMaggio 

Well I guess it’s time to take my Beret off for the last time for an old friend Kodachrome Film.  Yes, it’s true that I’ve not shot a roll of Kodachrome in 10 years but in the beginning, I was not only weaned on Tri-X but Kodachrome I and II.  When it came to color film, my film of choice for over 30 years was Kodachrome 25. I will never forget the look on the Director of Photography, for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, John Dominis’ face when I turned in 100 rolls of Kodachrome. At the time, I had finished up an assignment photographing the Wittington Brothers, who coincidentally inherited 900 million dollars and won LeMains in their class.  It was a feature piece I was working on and I did not have a drop dead deadline so I chose to shoot with Kodachrome. Another fond remembrance, was Max at the old, old B and H  I had a standing order with Max of 100 rolls of Kodachrome 25, 100 rolls of Kodachrome 64, 50 rolls of Velvia 50, and 50 rolls of Fuji 100.  There would be a line 2 deep at B and H at their 4 cash registers at the time.  Max would see me come into the store and yell, “Sorry I kept you so long waiting, Mr. DiMaggio, your order is ready” and everybody on line got very unhappy as I moved to the front of the line.  I really liked Max. 

Both JoAnne and I certainly don’t have an exact count of our photo archives, but we have to have over 1 million, two hundred thousand photos.  We probably will still be making scans from Kodachrome for many years to come.    I guess I had this roll still lying around because it was a 20 exposure roll and not 36 frames