Ringside or Ring Sight? That Is the Question.

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© Dylan DiMaggio

The main protagonist in my film “in this corner” is Harry Keitt. Harry is a former heavyweight boxer who now trains fighters. The fighter he is working with today is “Big Baby” Miller, who on Friday night was fighting for the WBO and ____ Heavyweight championship. We called our agent and requested two ringside credentials, one for Dylan and myself. The venue agreed (I told the promoter that if we couldn’t have two at ringside that I would not cover the fight. He assured me no problem). The day of the fight, we were informed that there would be only one ringside position and one auxiliary (which was supposed to be a great position.) We picked up our credentials at 6 o’clock. I made the executive decision to have Dylan shoot ringside and I would shoot from the auxiliary position. I believe the auxiliary poisiton was approximately 250 yards from the ring. You would think that Dylan got the best part of the deal until you realize that the only fight we HAD to cover didn’t start until after 12 o’clock midnight. Someone once asked what it was like to be a professional working photographer.  I’ve heard ten photographers say the same thing, “Hurry up and wait!” And thats what you do you – hurry up and wait. Being up since 5 AM with no dinner and it being after midnight the next day which was Saturday morning, after seven hours of standing and no break, nor bathroom is not the easiest thing in the world. Well, the reality is Dylan kicked ass and took names.  For the record, ten minutes before the main event, the promoter came over and said, “Here’s your ringside credential.”  The interesting part of it is that after waiting six hours, I was cold, not an excuse – I’m not complaining… just explaining. The reality is, Dylan outshot me.

As a footnote: That is just this one time. Rest assured, next time I’m going to try and blow his doors off! The question is, well you know what the question is, but let’s be clear about one thing: I’m not hanging him up just yet. Maybe in ten or fifteen years…but not yet… I take my beret off to Dylan. Once, just once.

© Dylan Michael

© Dylan DiMaggio

© Dylan Michael

© Dylan DiMaggio

fight

© Dylan DiMaggio

Gordie Howe The Great

© Unknown

© Unknown

A very dear friend of mine reminded me that a blog should not be an obituary, and of course he is right. It’s not my fault that so many great, powerful, wonderful people have chosen to move to another plane of consciousness on my watch. Believe me, I wish they were still on this plane. I genuinely miss them. Anyone who knows me knows that I occasionally like to tell a story. Not often, but once in a while. The story that follows needs no embellishment.

While I was on assignment for SI, I was in Detroit photographing the Detroit Red Wings. I had a mediocre shoot, nothing spectacular. Sometimes that happens (all of my hockey film is at the Hockey Hall of Fame in their archives, so I have no Gordie Howe to share with you.) So here we go.

To all the ships at sea, I make it a practice of being either the very, very first one out of a stadium or the very last. I have a tough time  dealing with crowds bumping, banging, and pushing. So, if I can get out fast to the press parking lot, I get out and go. If I can’t, I like to hang out in the press room. I’m in the press room and the TV and local newspapers are gone. It’s just me and a tin bathtub of beer with lots of ice and lots of water. The door opens up and this tall, good looking guy walks in, severely backlit. He walks in and says, “Hey man, can I have a beer?” and I said, “Of course, take two!” He picks one up, pops it open, and takes a seat before I realize its Gordie Howe. Suffice it to say, I almost ____ my ____. I’m not big on getting starstruck but this is Gordie Howe, man, the one and only Gordie Howe! He asked, “May I have another?” and I said, “Take whatever you want!” He takes another and puts it in his London fog coat. (At this point he looks like the great author Vance Packard.) He filled every pocket of his jacket with beer, popped another one and said, “Thank you very much!” He walked out with a lot of beer. I said, “Gordie, why don’t you get a group of the guys and bring a tub of beer on the bus!” and he smiled. We’ll miss you Gordie. He was one funny S.O.B.

The other two photos I put in because this is a hockey blog. Anyone wanna take a guess on the kind of camera or film used? Email me at http://dimaggiokalish@gmail.com

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

 

 

 

Don’t Look Now- Somebody’s Gaining On You!

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 16: Cesar Cielo of Brazil blows water out of his mouth before he competes in the men's 100m freestyle final during Day Two of the XVI Pan American Games at Scotiabank Aquatics Center on October 16, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO – OCTOBER 16: Cesar Cielo of Brazil blows water out of his mouth before he competes in the men’s 100m freestyle final during Day Two of the XVI Pan American Games at Scotiabank Aquatics Center on October 16, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

To all the ships at sea,

I believe Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” I guess there’s a lot of sports photographers that haven’t been looking back these days. Well guess what? Al Bello is coming. As a matter of fact, he’s moving at light speed. Please understand, I’m not putting anyone down. This photographer is absolutely great. There are a lot of great photographers out there, but he’s quite special. To be honest, I never had a hard look at his webpage until last week. He has an ability to get the most out of the men and women he is photographing. What. A. Pleasure. Here is the link to his page, check him out.

http://albello.com/

Melchior the Great

Melchior DiGiacomo has had an extremely amazing career, it would be fair to say that he’s one of the finest tennis/sports photographers in the United States.  Some of his black & white work is amazing.  He’s a great street photographer and has the ability to make a fine photographs in some of the most adverse conditions.

 

 

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The Junior Tennis Foundation (JTF) will recognize four integral members of the tennis community on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. during the 28th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Mel DiGiacomo has been a staple at the US Open for the last 44 years. Whether it is down on the court, in the stands or directly alongside the players, DiGiacomo is there with his camera in hand. In addition to the US Open, DiGiacomo has traveled the world to photograph a variety of sports and events.

The North Bergen, N.J. native currently lives in Harrington Park, N.J., where he has proudly resided for the last 40 years. 

“It’s remarkable that Harrington Park, a 4,800 person town, has two residents in the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame,” DiGiacomo said. “Neil Amdur, the former sports editor for The New York Times and me.”

DiGiacomo began his career at CBS as an usher and worked his way up to production supervisor for “60 Minutes.” After working for CBS for ten years, he decided to become a photographer when he was 27 years old.  

“My friend photographed my semi-pro football practices on the weekends and I always made fun of his photos,” DiGiacomo said. “One day, he joked ‘if you’re so good, get a camera,’ so I bought one, put it together and told him that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

A year later, DiGiacomo moved to England to photograph rugby, then moved back to the United States and photographed hockey at Madison Square Garden. 

“A publisher hired me to make a hockey book,” DiGiacomo said. “Gene Scott, founder of Tennis Week magazine, saw it and wanted the same thing, only for tennis.”

DiGiacomo didn’t play tennis and, at the time, had never seen a tennis match. As someone who was familiar photographing football, DiGiacomo began shooting tennis matches with a football lens. The different lens gave him a new perspective to the game, which made him take photos in a way no one else did.

“In those days, you could get close to the players,” DiGiacomo said. “I used to shoot everything in black and white and in a very photo-journalistic style, which was another thing people hadn’t been doing.”

DiGiacomo’s photos have been featured in several publications including, Sports Illustrated, Tennis Magazine, Newsweek and Life Magazine. His new style of shooting and vivacious personality greatly influenced his fellow photographers.

“He’s a wonderful person to be around because he is so friendly,” Bob Litwin, a close friend of DiGiacomo’s said. “Even with really famous people he becomes a friend, not just a photographer.”

Throughout DiGiacomo’s time at the Virginia Slims Circuit and US Open he interacted with several professional players, writers and fans including Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Martina Navratilova and Mary Carillo. 

Outside of sports, DiGiacomo photographed a number of weddings, specifically tennis weddings. The first wedding he shot was Jeanie Brinkman’s, the director of the Virginia Slims Circuit. 

“I didn’t think too much of it,” DiGiacomo said. “Then, 20 years later, I was asked to shoot Jimmy Connors’ manager Karen Scott’s wedding, and more stemmed from there.”

Pam Shriver, a former professional player, Richard Evans, a longtime tennis writer and Gene Scott each requested DiGiacomo for their big day. 

DiGiacomo values all of his work, but is most proud of the impact he has made in Antigua photographing the tennis tournament at Curtain Bluff. In his first year shooting there, he noticed the ball boys and girls had bare feet, so he followed them home to their village, Old Road. 

“I ended up doing a book that had nothing to do with tennis, but also had everything to do with tennis,” DiGiacomo said. “I was down there for tennis, but I went into the village to document their stories.”

The proceeds from DiGiacomo’s photographs go into the “Old Road Fund” to benefit the children in the village. When the fund earns enough money, it goes toward helping the children attend college. 

DiGiacomo has always supported tennis and the people he has met through tennis. He raised both of his children to become tennis players because he values being part of the tennis community and enjoys that tennis is a sport his kids, who are now adults, can play for years to come.    

“I owe a lot to tennis because it changed my life,” DiGiacomo said. “It has given me so much, my family too.”

mel-martina_navratilova

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Baseball: Shooting from the Inside Out

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3nexjT6O4Lg

To all the ships at sea,

We’ve heard the comments; there are no new photos. We’ve heard it numerous times. My god, I’ve probably even said it myself. It’s our job as photographers and filmmakers to always try to come up with a new variation of a theme, and every once in a while we may stumble across a fine photograph. After a certain period of years, we may even be able to predict that it will indeed be a fine photograph and not just another snapshot or cliche number 377. As photographers and artists, all we can do is continue to try. If you have a moment, please stop and check out my new Adorama TV video, subscribe to my blog, TV show, and all the other good things.

Thanks, Joe D

Amgen Tour of California

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

Sandy is quite the writer. With all his experience, imagine he’s only 21 years old. Remember you’re only as young as you feel. Enjoy this article he wrote below. Although my photograph is not from the Amgen Tour of California as he speaks about, it does put my mind in a place of determination.

All the best,

Joe D

Before I start writing on today’s subject, I must apologize for being absent for almost 5 weeks. I took my flu shot as I was supposed to, but I learned when they say the elderly are most susceptible, they are not lying. I’m thankful I took that shot, as it might have been more severe.
Anyway, I am back and excited to write about America’s Premier Road Race… The Amgen Tour of California.
This year, it is a story of grit, determination and desire to move forward in the face of what to others might seem as insurmountable obstacles: the sport stunned by an overwhelming scandal, major sponsors withdrawing support and the fear of public condemnation. Faced with all this, two young ladies Kristen and Kelly marched on. Their leadership and entrepreneurism may prove to bring about the greatest racing competition yet.
For the first 7 years. An estimated 17,500,000 viewers, not to mention the additional millions that have seen it on 5 continents, have viewed the race live on the roads of California, according to the Highway Patrol.
This road statistic is based on 2.5 million people standing by the roadside each and every year. The race, in its first 7 years has ridden through 91 cities, towns and villages. The 2013 race will showcase 13 more host cities for the first time.
As far as California goes, the ATOC has introduced to the world, via TV and Social Media, not only familiar vistas such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood and sensational seascapes, but it has traversed many never-before-seen mountain peaks, vineyards and historical monasteries along the vast expanse of the Golden State that beckons tourists yearly.
As a rule, the race has traveled from North (San Francisco) to South (San Diego County). This year in the interest of diversification and new geological challenges, the race will start on Sunday May 12 in Escondido and 742 miles later on May 19th will end in Santa Rosa.
The international field will consist of 13 of the world’s top teams and almost 150 riders. In stage one, they must climb Mount Palomar, an effort that is compared to the arduous Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez .
The second stage will see the riders going from the 100 degree heat of the Desert through the San Jacinto mountains and finishing atop the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Parking Lot… one of the toughest climbs anywhere giving the viewers a different look at the resort communities of the Coachella Valley.
Stage 3 starting in Palmdale will follow the route of the Famous Furnace Creek 508 though Santa Clarita.
Stage 4 has been part of earlier Tours. The riders will have an opportunity to enjoy cool ocean breezes after sweltering through the heat of the Desert. Like Stage 3, the Santa Clarita-Santa Barbara is a route used in the past. However, this race it is run in a reverse direction… South to North.
Stage 5 is from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach tracing the route used successful in the 2006 race, but again reversing direction. Avila is a picturesque harbor town with quaint shops and a beautiful Beach.
San Jose, the only city to take part in every edition of the ATOC, will be Stage 6. It will feature an individual time trial with a unique twist at the end… the most difficult sprint finish in the History of the Tour… the 3-kilometer climb up Metcalf Road (from Sea Level to 1000 feet in elevation attacking several pitches of at least a 10% grade.
Stage 7 starts in Livermore and concludes on the Summit of Mount Diablo. The experts predict that it is more than likely; the Tour will be won, or lost on the climb to the Peak.
Once again Stage 8 will capture the beauty of the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the final stage starts in the Marina District and concludes in picturesque Santa Rosa.
The State of California is home to over 30 million cyclists. Professional Cycling should not be damned, or abandoned because of the inconsiderate acts of a few selfish “win at all costs” individuals.
The ATOC stands as beacon for an untarnished, clean competition. Annual, the almost 800 mile event has been an example of what it is to go all out and do your best.
To paraphrase the late Grantland Rice who once wrote, “It’s not who wins, or loses, but how you play the game that counts!” The ATOC symbolizes competition you can trust and is worthy of support.

Johnny Eye

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

One of the greatest sports photographers of our time, is John Iacono. I like to think of Johnny as the guaranteed man,no matter what the situation, whatever the weather conditions, lighting conditions, hot or cold, near of far, Johnny always delivers great photographs. There is no doubt in my mind that he has to be the nicest guy in the world. So much for Leo Durocher “Nice guys finish last.” Johnny finished first , most of the time. I’m proud to call him my friend. We’ve worked on many assignments over the years together and it’s always a pleasure.And not for anything, ya gotta love those brown eyes.

p.s. I don’t think he was happy with me sticking a camera in his face.

All the best,

Joe D

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

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Things ARE Bigger in Texas

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi To All the Ships at Sea,

As photographers sometimes we tend to forget what it takes to make a fine photograph. There are other times, we stumble on a rock and the camera goes ‘click’, and something appears in the camera that looks good. You spend “x” number of decades trying to become more proficient at your visual literacy, and then one day you wake up and say “I’ve arrived! I’m good, actually I’m damn good.” Usually, within the next 72 hours, you wind up falling on your face. And it’s a brutal memory that you’re not as good as you think you are. I was fortunate enough to get a full-blown credential to the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas. And to say I was a little excited is an understatement. On the same level, if I’m honest with myself I had some pretty big butterflies. It’s been awhile since I’ve been around Formula 1. I’ve gotta tell you, the above photograph brings you just a handful of really great people in Texas, who went way out of their way to help me do my job. I take my beret off to all of those great people, and I thank you to the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to come into your home and make some photographs. Please don’t succeed from the nation, we need Texas.

Joe D

http://www.adorama.com/
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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