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

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©Unknown

 

New York City Subways

To all the ships at sea,

Anyone who’s travelled to Italy, France, Germany, etc., you have to love the rail system.  It’s amazing, it’s great, it’s cost effective, it’s safe.  The NYC Subway System may not have the luxury, but if you have to get from point A to point B, it’s a great choice.  Unless of course, you have a Mercedes Limo, a driver, and security… but even with that, sometimes with the traffic, you’re better off with the subway.  I love photographing in the subway, it’s a little known fact that you’re allowed to photograph/film in the subway as long as you don’t have a tripod (double check the law.)  A dear friend of mine, Bill DeSmedt, author of “Singularity” and “Dualism,” attached is a portrait I did of him, notice the sign behind his head.  That puts it into perspective.  While you’re at it, check out his books, they’re quite good.  The other graphic is just me having fun.  Sometimes we forget, photography is about the fun.

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

 

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

The Greatest Things in Life are Free

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It never ceases to amaze me the greatest things in life are free.  A little tiny pat on the back, a smile, an acknowledgment that you’re doing well.  But the advent in the digital world, many free things are forgotten.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received a visit from Peter Poremba, the CEO of Dyn-alite, his beautiful wife, and his equally beautiful, charming daughter Olivia.  I’ve know Olivia since she was born.  She’s amazingly beautiful and bright.  She made this get well card for me, which is out being framed as we speak.  Olivia, thank you so much.  Peter and Conni, you done good!  A few snaps of Olivia taken approximately seven years ago, and her puppy Harley.

 

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio