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

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!

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

 

FILL THE FRAME Hit Thirteen

To All the Ships at Sea,

In a world moving at light speed, yes I’ve used this saying before…  To have 4 consecutive great days is almost unheard of.  Well, I’ve had 5 great days.  It started out good and ended fabulous.  My book FILL THE FRAME hit 13 on Amazon. Sean Strub of the hotel Fauchére hosted a book signing for literary club which was extremely successful.  The one hour presentation lasted 2 hours.  I was totally honored that people came to hear me and purchase a copy of my book.  I guess I will have to start working on FILL THE FRAME II.

Excerpts from my book FILL THE FRAME…

© Joe DiMaggio

I wanted Star Trek’s William Shatner as a celebrity guest & co-host when I was hosting The Canon Photo Safari. We finally connected in 1999, for a segment being filmed in Israel. I didn’t know much about him; I was no Trekkie, but for some reason Bill had always fascinated me.

One typically torrid morning at 4:30, we set off for some far-flung location, and by 3:30 that afternoon it was even hotter. Bill and I were sitting shoulder to shoulder on a stone wall, gazing out at a magnificent ruin, when he glanced at me and said, “You know Joe, you look really hot.”

“Well, it’s warm,” I said, “but I’m not that hot.”

“Well, you really look really hot.”

“What can I say? It’s hot.””

“You know what? You also look very, very tired.”

“Well, I’m not that tired.”

“But you really look tired. You look very hot, and you look very tired. Actually, you look exhausted.”
“I’m really not exhausted.” “No, you really are exhausted.”

At that point, we paused. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, sometimes it takes two or three kicks under the table for me to catch on. I looked at the director, and said, “I’m feeling a little queasy, I’m very hot, and I’m really tired. I’d like to go back to the kibbutz, and relax a bit. Is there any way we could make up the work tomorrow?”

The director said, “Well, if you’re not up to it . . .”

©Joe DiMaggio

    © Joe DiMaggio

 

 

Some Things Never Change

XEROX AD

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

I was in the process of shooting a national ad for Xerox and I was working with a great art director named Bob Green. I desperately wanted to shoot the ad in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but Bob wanted to shoot it in Florida. Guess where we shot it? We shot it where the client wanted it to be photographed. Why? Because he’s paying the bills and it’s always sunny in Philadelphia. Oops! I mean Florida. It was a long, difficult and tedious shoot- one of those shoots where you know you’re going to get only one usable frame out of thirty images. Everything just has to be perfect and, as we all know, there is nothing perfect in this world. Well, maybe something… Pete Turner, Neil Leifer… okay, I’m just trying to be funny. Two really great photographers. The only way we could actually get the angle that the client wanted was to get a hundred and fifty foot crane and go over the high tension wires. So at this point, obviously, I didn’t want to tell Bob Green that I was deathly afraid of heights. The way I get around my problem with heights is to put a camera around my neck, and then I feel I am protected from the elements; it may not work for everybody, but it does work for me. The ad campaign went on to win an Art Director’s award. Bob was happy, the client was happy, the buyer was happy – me, not so much. Welcome to the world of photography, where everything is a compromise.

To all the ships at sea, this is part of a chapter in my new book, “Joe DiMaggio: Recalling My Adventures from the Golden Age to the Digital Age of Photography”.

Some of the most time consuming and frustrating things when it comes to advertising photography are the one, two, and three days of preproduction, the day of test shooting, the selection of models, the half day of wardrobe fitting, waiting for the right light, lens selection, the exact fit into the layout… and when you finally nail it, there’s a combination of the two R’s – rush and relief, rapidly followed by a serious cocktail or maybe two.

Then the artwork goes back to New York, and the art department decides to write the Gettysburg Address on your photograph. I’m pretty sure they could have gotten a few more words in. It’s all good.

Xerox Assignment Saatchi 495

Xerox Ad © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Upcoming Workshop Gleason’s/ DUMBO, Brooklyn March 13th 2016

Romain-8571

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

To all the ships at sea,

Gleason’s Gym is the oldest boxing gym in the United States, located in DUMBO, Brooklyn for those not familiar with the term it means -Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Great day, great fun, great people, great photos – join us

Brooklyn Bridge ©DiMaggio 3197 e

Brooklyn Pier & View of Manhattan from DUMBO © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

 

Not Dark Yet

To all the ships at sea,

Everybody knows I’m 29 years old… thank god math is not my forte.  Saw Dylan in the day, he was great then, and he’s still great.  Here’s a lyric that just blows me away, it just fits 20515, “Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear.  It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.  I was born here and I’ll die here against my will.  I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still.”

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

All Great Lions go to Heaven

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An immensely popular lion known as Cecil was killed recently outside of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, and authorities are trying to find the hunter said to have lured the animal beyond park boundaries before shooting him with a crossbow.

The 13-year-old black-maned lion, who wore a GPS collar and was part of an Oxford University research project, was found skinned on private property adjacent to the vast Africa wilderness preserve.

The death of Cecil, beloved by Hwange’s staff and its frequent visitors, cast a pall over the preserve, and left many stunned in disbelief.

Reads a comment from a frequent visitor on the Hwange National Park Facebook Page: “I am so saddened to hear about Cecil. I do hope that his murder is not in vain. Hopefully, the investigation will shine a light on the person who lured him out to kill him.”

Fueling the anger is that Cecil did not die immediately. The wounded lion was tracked for nearly two days after it was shot, and ultimately dispatched with a rifle.

According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the hunting party used an animal carcass to lure Cecil outside the park boundary. Because the cat wore a GPS collar, it was simple to trace its final movements.

Though many lions have been killed after being lured to legal hunting zones with bait, authorities maintain that this was an illegal hunt. They’ve arrested two men belonging to the hunting party, but are still seeking the trigger man.

The hunter, who reportedly paid about $55,000 to kill a trophy lion, was  a member of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association, but that group stated viaFacebook that the hunter was “in violation of the ethics of ZPHGA,” and that his membership has been suspended.

Part of the statement reads, “The ZPHGA reiterates it will not tolerate any illegal hunting or any unethical practices by any of its members and their staff.”

Cecil had become accustomed to visitors in Hwange National Park. He was often spotted on the main road by visitors, and had become a park icon and its most photographed animal.

His loss leaves a void in his pride that will be filled by another male lion, and that could jeopardize the health of Cecil’s 12 cubs, as a new lion establishes his dominance over the pride. (New males often kill cubs to encourage the female to mate.)

While the investigation continues, the incident has reignited the debate about the wisdom of trophy hunting in general, but especially near protected wilderness areas.

-Pete Thomas

Article

©Brent Staplecamp

©Brent Staplecamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter, Paul, and Mary… God do I miss Mary.

One of my first photography assignments was to photograph Peter, Paul, and Mary.   I will never ever forget it.  For all you technical wizards out there wanting to know why this photo is square, I shot it with a Mamiya C3, 180 mm lens, Tri-X Pushed to 1200, processed in Aquafine, and printed on #3 paper.  Imagine what you could do today… who would believe it?  They start at ISO 1000 today.  Mary Travers controlled the concert.  She was one of the strongest women I have ever met, and one of the most beautiful.  Long live the music, it will go on forever.

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe Di Maggio

You May Not Believe in God

 

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

I consider myself extremely lucky, and without plagiarizing Lou Gehrig, I’m one of the luckiest people in the world.  I’ve received 3 doctorate degrees over my years of traveling this blue marble they call the Earth.  Another reason I consider myself very lucky is I have great friends.  The majority of them are either scientists or artists, but all of them, to a man and a woman, are considerably smarter than I am.  It’s a good thing to have highly intelligent friends because I never stop learning.  What the hell does this have to do with God?  When you look at a lion in the middle of the jungle, and you look into the lion’s eyes, it’s one of the most amazing visions you’ll ever see.  The lion will look back at you, and you will feel terror, fear, love, and respect at the same time.   But the majesty, the beauty, the strength, is off the charts.  The lion didn’t get the name “King of the Beasts” because it was a flea.  I would like to share with you a few photographs.

Under normal circumstances, I would try not to judge my fellow man.  But I’m going to make an exception on this low life piece of s*** who chose to wound a beautiful animal, and then take a half a day to kill it.  If I could get my hands on him, I’d put an arrow to his thigh close to his groin, and watch him take a day to die.  God forgive me for a bad thought.  In case anybody hasn’t figured it out, we are killing this planet.  Everyday, we’re killing this planet.  There’s an old cliche, people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks, so in the interest of being open and above board, there was a period of time in the 70’s that I would fish for large game fish.  Every ounce of those fish were eaten and nothing went to waste.  The only reason that this even happened is because I was filming for Sports Illustrated, HBO, Discovery Channel, etc., etc., etc..  99.9% of every fish I caught was tagged and released.  For the record today, if I go fishing, I fish with a camera only.

©Joe DiMaggio

©JoAnne Kalish

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

_D6C9008 copy

©Unknown