RIP Photographer Howard Bingham by Joe DiMaggio

To All the Ships at Sea,

© Kenneth Lambert, AP

I’d like to share a story. My son Dylan came home from school from 4th grade class with a unusual request. He asked that I get Muhammad Ali to call all the kids in his class.  I told him that would not be easy.  He said please, “I’d like you to do this.” I called my good friend Bert Sugar – “Mr. Boxing”  and the “Bertster” tried to reach out to Ali, but was unable to connect.  He said, “Joe on a conference call we will phone Howard Bingham” (Ali’s photographer.)  I had met Howard a few times but we were not close friends.  We spoke to Howard and he said he’d see what he could do. He asked me, what time and on what phone number?”  I told him approximately 1:05 on Thursday afternoon & gave him the number. I figured there was a very slim chance of this happening.  I was told the call went through the speakers and sure enough It was Muhammad Ali talking to all the kids in Dylan’s grade class.

There are very few people and this goes for Bert Sugar, Howard Bingham and Muhammad Ali that would extend themselves for a bunch of kids.  I’m blessed knowing people like this.  I might add, it is mainly due to people I’ve met through photography.  Bert Sugar died on my birthday a few years ago, Muhammad Ali died this year and now Howard Bingham died December 15 this year.  I casually mentioned this story to my friend Sam Garcia and he insisted I do a blog on Howard, which I was going to do anyway.  He said you can tell your people from me, that Howard was one of the sweetest most self effacing people he had ever met.  He always remembered everyones’ name, was a genuinely sweet individual, and one hell of a great photographer.

We’ll have a 10 count tonight for Howard.  Attached you will find a short video I did in Cuba a few weeks ago at Kid Chocolate Gym.  https://vimeo.com/193916645

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

© Joe DiMaggio

Sam by © Sam Garcia

 

Michael Schumacher – Get Well Soon

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all The Ships at Sea

We are all motivated by a myriad of passions – likes, dislikes, and history. The list is infinite. When I made a decision to call my Editor and tell him I wanted to photograph the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix in Austin Texas he thought I was out of my mind. From a business standpoint his concerns were valid. So exactly why did I find it necessary to invest a week of my life into that specific race? A few reasons were I never photographed Vettel, Hamilton, or Alonso and last but not least, Michael Schumacher and I knew this would be one of his last races. When he decided to return to Formula One I called a friend, Lewis Franck a great race car writer in the U.S. and we both agreed this was not a good idea for Michael to make a comeback. We were both genuinely concerned about his well-being after his retirement from Formula One, as it’s very hard to make a come back. Both Lewis and I were extremely happy that Michael’s second retirement from Formula One left him healthy and happy. Anyone who lived on the ragged edge of F1 and the inherent dangers of open-wheel racing at upwards of 200 mph for him to leave the sport healthy and happy with seven world championships – it just doesn’t get better than that. The minute I heard the word of Michael’s skiing accident my heart stopped and I immediately called Lewis. Race Car fans, let us say a prayer for Michael that he comes out of this okay.

On a lighter moment… at pit stop practice, Michael’s F1 tub very gingerly touched my shooting vest at 55mph it did get my attention (we were both on the proper side of each other’s line.)

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio
© Joe DiMaggio

 

 

Alex Ferguson Retires

To all the shjps at sea, my first experience with soccer was meeting Pelé at the airport and following him for two weeks as he attempted to make soccer a main street sport in the United States.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

“London (CNN) — English soccer’s most successful manager — Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson — is retiring at the end of the season after more than a quarter of a century at the helm, the club announced Wednesday.

The 71-year-old Scot has managed the English club, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and loved by millions of fans around the world, from Manchester to Manila and Montreal, since 1986.

Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed his compatriot, and the 50-year-old will be confirmed as the next United boss on Thursday according to widespread British media reports.

During his 26 years in charge, Ferguson — a supporter of Britain’s Labour Party who’s renowned for dressing down players with the “hairdryer treatment” — has won more than 30 trophies, including 13 league championships.

Many fans took to Twitter to voice their appreciation, using the handle #thankyousiralex. He became Sir Alex when knighted by the queen more than a decade ago for his services to the game.

‘Thank you for everything,’ say Manchester United fans

As well as dominating on the pitch, Ferguson has helped build the century-old soccer club into a huge business operation whose progress is followed on stock exchanges around the world.

Its shares dipped nearly 5% in early trading Wednesday.

The Old Trafford club is owned by the American Glazer family, who oversaw the club’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange last August.

For the 2011-2012 season, United increased revenues by £14.2 million to £117.6 million ($182.4), the highest of any club in the Premier League.

But it lost the top spot as the world’s most valuable sports franchise in this year’s Forbes list to Spanish soccer club Real Madrid. Forbes valued Manchester United at $3.17 billion, still ahead of Barcelona, another Spanish soccer club, and two U.S. outfits, the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball and the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

Ferguson will bow out after the club’s last game of the season, an away match against West Bromwich Albion, on May 19, according to a statement from Manchester United.”

Formula One Austin, Texas

Three Time World Champion Sebastian Vettel © 2012 Joe DiMaggio

To All The Ships at Sea

Yes, I know I’m many blogs short – I’ve been running around a lot.

As I’m writing this blog I am watching the warm up lap of the final Formula 1  2012 Series.  Last week, I had one of the greatest weeks of my life, as I had an opportunity to get back into photographing the F1 series that  I started with many years ago. Whoa…I have  to stop… as the current world champion Sebastian Vettel,  just spun out on lap number two damaging his race car. Both Alonso and Massa, from Ferrari, got great starts and Alonso just passed Massa and Webber to take second place.  When I called my agent six months ago, I told him I wanted to do the Austin Texas F1 inaugural race.  In all due respect he told me, I was out-of-my-mind.  He said, “you’ve been away for quite a while and the chances of you getting a credential are slim to none.”  Much to everyone’s surprise F1 keeps impeccable records and they checked my past credentials and not only gave me a credential but gave me a full blown credential with ALL access!

As I shaped up at the credential center I ran into an old (long time) photographer friend from Mexico. He asked when was my last race as had not seen me in years.  I said, “1991 and he replied, “that was 21 years ago.”  Not until he said that, did I realize in the world of photography and F1 that was an eternity.  If you ever talk to a Boxer before he gets in the ring or an actor before they go on stage they will confide in you they have butterflies. When I stepped into the pits it took about 30 seconds and the butterflies were gone and I felt I was home again. A week before I left for Austin I went to the closest interstate to practice high speed pans.  I worked on both my inside and outside pans.  I looked at my photos and picked the top thirty and got a base for what shutter speed I needed.

There is no doubt I will write more on F1 before the year is up. I’d like to end this by saying every person I met in the international and national Press as well as all the Texans I met were great and did everything they could to get me up to speed.  The international photo brotherhood is alive and well. I’m cutting this short as I need to get back to watching the race finale.

Jenson Button F1 © Joe DiMaggio

Vettel ©2012 Joe DiMaggio

Alonso © 2012 Joe DiMaggio

Felipe Massa © 2012 Joe DiMaggio

Smokin’ Joe

 

© Joe DiMaggio

I remember the first day that I photographed Smokin’ Joe Frazier; March 8 1971. Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world, fighting the great Muhammad Ali (off a three year hiatus from boxing). To say the least, it was considered  the fight of the century, with Frank Sinatra shooting ringside for Life Magazine. I’ve been known to say “The next time I’m in Vegas, I’m gonna jump onstage and grab  a microphone—not”. over the years, Frazier and I became casual acquaintances. Joe was a true gentleman. There are very few people that ever had a bad word to say about Joe. I asked him if he would be kind enough to allow me to interview him for my documentary In This Corner, and he agreed. We met at the iconic Gleason’s Gym. Honesty is the best policy, and as far as the interview went it was two warriors talking about the good old days, and from that we talked about the future of boxing in the new decade. The interview became very personal, and that is not the proper way a documentary interview should go. I looked at it yesterday and a tear came to my eye. When I get my head put on straight, I’ll do a second and a third blog with some action photography. Yes, I know this should have been done November of last year, but it took me that long to actually find the images I was looking for. So much for my filing system. To all the ships at sea, some photography, for that matter all photography, is timeless. On that note, go out and make some great photos. Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Sometimes good things happen with no particular rhyme or reason. I have a good friend by the name of Victor Goretsky. Victor had an opportunity to work with a very talented, powerful young lady by the name of Lenore Rigel. Her life partner  is author Jerome Charyn, an absolute brilliant writer,. I received an invitation to the reception celebrating his new book Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil. Of course, I will absolutely be there. Now just for the record, it will be held at Goldman and  McCormick Studios. How many people out there believe in bizarre coincidences? Normally, I would not click on the studio web page, but I did and noticed that one of the principles looked very familiar. The reason he looked familiar is because his dad, Bill McCormick and I have been friends for over 35 years. You know, you can’t make this stuff up. I haven’t seen Ryan since he was 5 years old. It should be one hell of a party! I’m really looking forward to it.