Today Was A Catch-28!

To All the Ships At Sea –

Pretty sure most of you read Joseph Heller’s book CATCH-22.  Well today I had a Catch-28!  Called Amazon and explained my name was spelled wrong in my Amazon book listing and the publisher’s name was wrong.  They said no problem…please hold.  I was on hold for four minutes and decided I should water my basil…which I did…still on hold. With that Peter Poremba, the CEO of Dynalite called and I abruptly told him, I’d call him back.  Seven minutes into my hold,  Al Stegmeyer from Upstrap called. I also blew him off.  Their music was starting to drive me crazy so I decided to go brush my teeth.  Still waiting… I gargled.  We are now 12 minutes into the hold and I figured well… I’m in the bathroom…. Now 15 minutes into it, I decided to take a quick shower. I quickly, jumped out of the tub and wrapped a towel around me and my friend Sam Garcia called.  Also blew him off and said I’d get back.  Went outside, still waiting, I watered my tomatoes, and went back into the studio. With that JoAnne asked me where I had been?  I simply said I’ve been on hold.  Twenty four minutes later, the lovely lady told me there was nothing they could do about it and to call the Publisher and tell them to make the changes.  She said it would probably take till July to implement them.  The first line in my new book FILL THE FRAME  is six months ago, I was 20 years old.  That’s how fast life is…light speed plus.  Time is like gold – more valuable than material things.

If you want to read a great book (FILL THE FRAME) – see reviews.    Attached link to short video – http://FILL THE FRAME https://vimeo.com/220041332

Live, Love, Laugh & be Happy – hold on a minute I will get back to you.  film is 28 seconds… time is very valuable…

A Great Friend Don Nelson

 

To all the Ships at Sea-

  • 2017 has not been the greatest year for many of my friends. It’s been a great year for me but not so good for them!  My dear friend Don Nelson, one of the most powerful, beautiful human beings, with a awesome sense of humor has gone to the great darkroom in the sky, making a short detour  to Grandfather mountain where he helped thousands of photographers over the years.  He’s joined his beautiful wife Christine , and they are now traveling together into infinity.  A quick story about Don, back in the 80’s it was not uncommon for him to pop in and out of the White House.  One day he popped in giving the press secretary Larry Speakes an acorn asking him to give it to the old man.  Larry said, it just an acorn.  Don told him to crack it on the desktop (in those days desktops were made out of oak not glass.)  He cracked it and out popped a condom.  He laughed and said the old man is on his way to Andrew’s and inquired how many more he had.  Don gave him maybe 6 or 7.  Don headed back to Virginia  & maybe thirty minutes later he got a phone call from Air force One. In those days car phones looked like house phones.  A woman asked if he’d accept a call from the President of the United States. Of course Don said yes. Ronald Reagon got on the line laughing so hard and asked Don if he could get him a couple dozen so he could send them out to his friends?  Don I loved you then and I love you now.  I will come visit you at Grandfather Mountain.  Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy.  Life is great!

Don & President Reagan in Limo

The Prodigal Son Returns

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

There is no doubt in my mind that my view of the world and my view of life have radically changed over the years. At one point, I genuinely thought that I could change the world and then one day, I woke up and realized that probably was not going to happen. Every time I make a photograph, every time I make a film, down deep I think, “Gee, maybe it’ll help somebody, or maybe they’ll have a better understanding.” It can be very frustrating, and then along comes negativity. I always considered myself to be the eternal optimist and, oh my god, one day I woke up and I was a negative son of a bitch. How does that happen? Why does that happen? What happened to me? Where did I fail? Where did I screw up? What did I do that was wrong? A hundred negative things go through your head. Why, why, why? Well I’m here to tell you that on Monday, August 15th I had an epiphany; all of my sour, negative, cynical karma was sucked out of me and I was filled with absolute hope for the future of not only the United States of America but for all of the people that live in this great country. Wow, it doesn’t get better than this. I had an intimate, one-on-one conversation with the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden and the next President of the United States Hillary Clinton. I didn’t realize  that they would give me all of that time… okay, there were 4,000 people there as well, but I genuinely felt that they looked directly into my eyes, my soul, and my heart and were talking to Joe DiMaggio. I’ve maintained that all the beautiful things in the world are free; this was free and they made me believe again, the same way that Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. made me believe. What a day. I will remember it on my death bed. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Hillary.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Sam Garcia: The Big Picture

To all the ships at sea,

Sam Garcia © Sam Garcia

Sam Garcia © Sam Garcia

Never let it be said that Sam Garcia has one hell of a sense of humor. He recently sent me a self portrait that he did all by himself with his new Leica Q. What I love about the photo is that he is so giddy! Take my word for it, this is Sam being giddy. I like the photograph. Sam takes any opportunity to remind me that I should consider becoming more flexible, no doubt he has a point. I’ll recognize the point but I’ll be damned if I’m going to change. Wow, that doesn’t sound too good, does it? Let’s move away from the words, and get to two great photos by the 2016 winner of the Pulitzer Feature

Photography winner, Jessica Rinaldi  (© Jessica Rinaldi Globe staff two photos below)

Strider © Jessica Rinaldi Globe Staff 21e

 

Strider © Jessica Rinaldi Globe Staff 20eIn the interest of cutting to the chase, my two favorite photos are #3 and #11, as presented in the online Boston Globe article. (https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2016/04/18/winner-pulitzer-prize-feature-photography-strider-wolf/uwzY0ncftt9uO50Ay5MaEO/story.html)

University of Missouri School of Journalism vs. Captions.

 

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

 

A Cole Miner’s Daughter… No, that’s not right

©DiMaggio-Kalish

©DiMaggio-Kalish

While working on an add campaign for a Fortune 500 company, I did an environmental portrait of an American Indian, and they loved it, rapidly followed by an American Cowboy.  We then broke things up by doing a photograph of the Empire State Building on a very cold, rainy, foggy night, which yielded a fine image.  The creative director at Saatchi came back and wanted to change it up, and he wanted me to do a photo of an American laborer.  After two weeks I submitted three photos, he didn’t like any of them.  The following week, I submitted three more, he liked those even less.  I became extremely frustrated.  Any assignment photographer will tell you they would rather have a AD and CD with a firm story board (with approval of the end client) with very little leeway on the initial concept, but a lot of leeway on how you stylize a photograph.  It’s called a compromise.  We got in a, shall we say, small argument.  I was very frustrated, and decided was that what I needed to go was some serious manual labor, which in my opinion, is extremely healthy.  It will also stop you from getting arrested for attempted assault and battery.  Being dedicated to your art form is one thing, but doing hard time?  Unacceptable.  Stepped into the studio, looked at a full length mirror, readjusted my Dynalites, asked my best  female friend, JoAnne Kalish, if she would be kind enough to make a photograph…  client loved it.  Is there a moral to this story?  When — is not working — change it up.  If you want to see the complete story without any restrictions or censorship, in six months you can pick up my new book on visual literacy.

To all the ships at sea, grab a camera and a shovel, go have a ball.  It’s all good.

 

A Great Voyage

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

One of the greatest advantages of being a working photographer is the travel.  I’ve been blessed and lucky to literally travel around the world more than once.  When you travel, you meet people, and 90% of the time, the people you meet are unbelievably fabulous.  In 1984, I had he privilege of being one of the pool photographers for the Olympics in Los Angeles.  It allowed me to meet up with many of my old friends from SI and work with George Long, John Iacono, John Zimmerman, and the list goes on.

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

Hi Joe,

I miss Gary, too.

I’d buy the book, but I have to sell about 20 photos to pay for it!!

Take care and stay well,

Alan

I met an extremely bright and creative (at that time he was assisting) photographer by the name of Alan Levenson.  Suffices to say, Alan when onto an unbelievable career in photography, and he’s now one of my favorite portrait photographers.  His environmental/corporate portraits are great.  Alan was kind enough the other day to purchase one of our new books, “Halloween.”  I will attach his email to the bottom of this blog.  Alan lived through the last part of the Golden Age of photography.  His words are to the point and unfortunately, quite true.  But who knows.  In moving ahead in the digital world at light speed, we, as a group of photographers, may transcend time and in going forward, we may go backwards.  Now, if that sounds like I’ve been drinking in the afternoon… I haven’t.  As a matter of fact, to all the ships at sea, I’ve decided to put the alcohol down for six months to a year.  Well… like Lloyd Bridges said in Airplane, “Looks like I picked a bad week to quit amphetamines.”

Alan Levenson Webpage

 

©Alan Levenson

©Alan Levenson

©Alan Levenson

©Alan Levenson

Mary Ellen Mark, a Great Photographer

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

To all the ships at sea,

Mary Ellen Mark was not one of my closest friends, but I did have an opportunity to work with her on several occasions, I truly respected her ability as a great photographer… not as a great woman photographer, but a great photographer.  In my opinion, her images were powerful and they never needed a caption.  Suffice to say, the photographic community has lost an extremely fine talent.

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

©MaryEllenMark

Indy 500 Month of May

10 Greatest Indy Moments Indy Finish © Joe DiMaggio

10 Greatest Indy Moments
Indy Finish © Joe DiMaggio

S.I. Indy Third Greatest Photograph in 100 years © DiMaggioIt’s the month of May, and the Month of May means the Indianapolis 500. Sports Illustrated, selected one of my photographs as the third greatest photographs in the last 100 years of the Indianapolis 500.  As we know Sports Illustrated, is the definitive expert on all things photographic and sports oriented. Now at this point, I have to take my humility and modesty, and for a few seconds and put them aside. Personally, I think it’s the best photograph in the last 100 years. Putting that photograph aside for a moment, let me share one of my favorite photographs of the Indianapolis 500.  In 19?? AJ Floyt passed the start-finish line (before the days of radio transmission) screaming at 185 miles per hour, waving his arms.  At the next lap he came into the pit  – there was no speed limit and he came in at 150mph and slammed on his brakes. He screamed at the top of his lungs that he only had two gears and his linkage was hung up!  There was nothing his crew could immediately do, so he got back in the car, went back on the track (while still screaming I add.) He made another lap, and came back in; only this time he took his belt off. By the time he hit the brake box, he had jumped out of his number 14 racer, removed his helmet (almost knocking me over), grabbed a hammer, and started to beat the linkage to death.  When he was satisfied, he put his helmet back on, & jumped back into his car.

A.J Foyt Indy © Joe DiMaggio

A.J Foyt Indy © Joe DiMaggio

Don’t Wait 38 Years to Look at Your Take

What’s interesting about photography is that you spend the first five years learning all of the basic fundamental rules.  Things like; F-stops, apertures, depth of field, depth of focus, the geometric progression of 1.4, and you make five or ten mistakes a day everyday, for the next ten years.  Then when you hit year twenty, you think, who the hell are you, and in reality, well… it’s not for me to say who you are, what you are, or where you’re going.  You try desperately to perfect your visual literacy, and communicate your vision with the rest of the world.  You’ll probably have to die before it’s ever recognized on certain levels, and then believe it or not, it may be too late.  Unless of coarse you believe that you’re moving to another level of consciousness, which I choose to believe.  Not afraid of dying, just hope there’s some developer left in the tank when I get there… or maybe 100 terabytes of space in the hard drive.  In 1977, Sports Illustrated gave me an assignment to cover the World Series.  I shot approximately 30 roles of film.  They were sent into the lab, processed, they ran what they ran, and then the film came back with my X-Number on it.  They sat in the file waiting for me to return from Greece where I was for a month shooting an advertising assignment, and then two weeks off in Santorini.  By the time I got back, there were several more Sports Illustrated assignments that year.  The long in the short of it is, I never saw the film until 10 weeks ago, so what you’re about to see is 38 years old.  It’s been 38 years that I had an opportunity to look at my take.  As my good friend Willy Nelson and Ralph Brandofino would say, “You better take some time to smell the roses.”  Three first pitch home runs by New York Yankee, Reggie Jackson.

To all the ships at see, smell the roses.

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio