Nobuko

To All the Ships At Sea:

Both JoAnne and I, have some really wonderful friends such as Steve & Mary.  They invited us for a lovely Barbecue last week.  We had met Steve’s mom the year before and I was thoroughly taken with her.  Her name is Nobuko. She happened to be visiting again and I sat across from her.  As I was talking to her a tiny bit of light lit up her face like she was an angel. I absolutely had to photograph her.

When we left I kissed her and invited her to come to our studio for an informal portrait session.  She was gracious enough to come.  I spent the morning redoing the studio specifically for her.  My Japanese isn’t what it used to be but I greeted her with Ohayo gozaimasu. She was very happy. I had her sit down and we made some small talk. Nobuko is in amazing health and her eyes are the eyes of a 20 year old. They are bright, clear and they sparkle.  It doesn’t get better than that.  I am not a conventional portrait photographer.  When I find someone this beautiful I have to make the photograph.  Nobuko did all the work and I recorded her presence.

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.”

 

Will Barnet: One Hundred and Five (I Wish)

Will Barnet Artist © JoAnne Kalish 576e

© JoAnne Kalish and self portrait Will Barnet

My partner, Joanne Kalish, received an assignment to do a portrait of Will Barnet. The first two sittings were canceled by Will. When JoAnne questioned the artist, he confided in her that he was not comfortable. Most great photographers know everything about shutter speed, aperture, sharpness- all of the things that are not that important in a photograph. JoAnne has the ability to make a total stranger comfortable and gets the best of the best.

They say the third time’s the charm. Will asked that there be no lighting, per se, and no assistant, pomp or ceremony. JoAnne went to Barnet’s studio armed with just one camera and two lenses and came away with the definitive greatest photograph that had ever been taken of Will Barnet. How do I know that? Will Barnet told JoAnne six months after the photo was taken that this was his all time favorite photo and the best photo ever taken of him. He’s not only been photographed by thousands of photographers but also at least fifty of the best photographers in the world.

Today would have been his 105th birthday. No photographer likes to take a backseat to another photographer. I love the photo so much that I actually purchased one from JoAnne and it hangs above my desk. We also now have a framed 40×60 called “Will Barnet at 100” that came from the National Academy Museum and School. Over the years, I’ve collected eight or nine pieces of Will Barnet’s art.

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JoAnne introduced me to Will and we had lunch and dinner together a few times. I have to say, he was one of the most amazing people that God put on this planet. At lunch one day we started to talk politics- not a good subject. I said, “What we need now is a new WPA (Works Project Administration)” and Will sipped his tea and said, “What a good idea, I headed the WPA as applicable to imagery.” I was sitting with a man who was at the forefront of the WPA.

WPA-USA-Sign

To all the ships at sea, I’d like to end this blog. One of the biggest thrills of my life was when Will Barnet looked at my portfolio. He looked at me and said, “You are not a photographer, you are a painter.” That will be one of the things I will always remember when I check into the darkroom in the sky.

Artist Will Barnet & Photographer JoAnne Kalish

Artist Will Barnet and Photographer JoAnne Kalish ©DiMaggio

 

Jazzman Hugh Brodie

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© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

There are many people out there that have been to our photographic retreat and jazz workshops, and you all know the words and music of world class jazzman Hugh Brodie. Brodie’s cousin was Ella Fitzgerald – I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree. Now I’m going to tell you a secret, and you’ve gotta promise me you’re not going to tell a lot of people, but I’ve been to three of Brodie’s eightieth birthday parties. My guess is that Brodie is 90-something. God and nature haven’t been really good to Brodie. He recently had a couple of falls,  had some serious back problems, and had heart surgery. Thank God he didn’t get acne! With all that, he’s still one hell of a beautiful human being. To celebrate his recent birthday, some of the greatest jazzmen on the East coast came together to play for Brodie. What they actually did, in my humble opinion, was make him one of the happiest people on the planet. He laughed, he cried, he smiled.  He was truly ecstatic. For one moment, I was thoroughly convinced he was going to jump up onto the band stand and start belting out some really great music. It was close but it didn’t happen; there’s no doubt that he was singing and playing inside that beautiful heart and soul. Time for me to put down the No. 2 pencil and let the photos speak for themselves. Harvey, thanks  an awful lot

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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.

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

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© 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

 

A Beautiful Young Woman

When we closed our studio in Manhattan, and relocated to the Upper Delaware Valley, one of the problems we had was finding great models that had flexible schedules.  I was extremely fortunate to run into an extremely beautiful young lady by the name of Luisa Weinstein.  As it turns out, her husband Michael and I attended the same high school, Richmond High School, a couple of years back.  Michael’s a great trial attorney and was the District Attorney of Pike County.  While cleaning up an old file, I came across this photograph of Luisa, just thought I would share it with you.  Luisa and I did several shoots where she was an actress, an airline attendant, an ER doctor, an EMS tech, the list goes on.  The camera really loves her.

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

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

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