Pete Turner – The Great!

Pete Turner © Tim Mantoani

To All the Ships At Sea,

In my opinion the greatest color photographer in my lifetime has to be Pete Turner. Turner was a visionary who thought outside the box before people even knew what the box was. What he could not photograph, he found a way of building, designing, and enhancing to make it work. As a snotty, wet behind the ears, photography wanna-be back 5 decades ago, someone in my photography lecture asked me the question, “Who do you think is the greatest photographer?” I looked the person in the eyes and then everyone around him and said, “there are only 2 great photographers, Pete Turner and Joe DiMaggio. Looking back at it “ I can’t believe that came out of my mouth! Yes, Pete Turner was correct. Not me so much. It was a cocky and silly reply and in retrospect, totally unacceptable.

I will share this – I’ve cursed Pete Turner virtually every night for as long as I can remember. One day, JoAnne and I were at a cocktail party in New York City sponsored by Aperture and Pete and his lovely wife Reine were there. I went over with JoAnne to say hello to Pete. I said Pete, “I just want you to know that I curse you every night.” Turner looks at me like I have 3 heads and asks me, “Why?” I said, “Let me explain, when JoAnne asked me to take out the garbage, I said son of a bitch!” “I bet $#$@&*! Pete Turner doesn’t have to take the garbage out every night!” His wife chimed in, “Really?” “Pete has to take the garbage out every night as well.” And we all laughed! In my opinion no one can come close to Peter Turner’s talent. He was the best color photographer EVER!

Heaven will be a lot more colorful from now on.

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

 

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

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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Neil Leifer, One of a Kind

There’s no doubt that Neil Leifer is one of the all time great sports photographers.  I’m pretty sure he has at least half a million Sports Illustrated covers alone, and I think it’s fair to say that there aren’t any weak ones.  Neil came up with what I consider a great documentary on four photographers who have photographed every super bowl.  Photographers and filmmakers should have great hand-eye coordination and should always be in the right place at the right time.  Neil knows how to do that, but he goes one step further, he’s a visionary.  I would imagine hundreds of photographers would have said, “Wow, I wish I would have thought of that.”  He thought of that and made it happen.  His film is called Keepers of the Streak features the only four photographers in the world that have covered all 48 Super Bowls, starting from one in 1967 to 2014.  It stars Walter Iooss, Mickey Palmer, Tony Tomsic, and John Biever.

 

©NeilLeifer

©NeilLeifer

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Saint Patty’s vs. Chinese New Year

To all the ships at sea,

Everybody knows about Murphy, my god, yesterday was Saint Patty’s day, Murphy was all over the place.  When you combine Murphy with a senior moment (even though I’m an adolescent immature senior), you come up with Oh my God I forgot.  I wrote a beautiful note to Terri on the quality of her photographs but forgot to post them on the blog, consider them now posted.  Terri you have my apologies.

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

 

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

 

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

 

©TerriShadle

©TerriShadle

 

Joel Kleiner

Joel Kleiner, there’s a word for Joel in Italian.  It’s called mensch.  Joel’s been with me on over a dozen photo safaris.  He’s an absolute sweetheart, and a very accomplished photographer.  On our last trip to Cuba, he took his lovely bride Susan, and we all had a great time.  Joel tagged me on Facebook, so now I guess i’m “it.”  Be careful Joel… I’m going to have to tag you back.  Photogrphy is an awful lot of fun.  I think I’ve learned not to take myself all that serious.  Life is good, it’s all good, take it one day at a time.  Thank you Joel.

Joe D.

 

©JoelKleiner

©JoelKleiner

Yukiko and Tom

©YukikoLaunois

© Tom  Sobolik & YukikoLaunois

To all the ships at sea,

Both JoAnne and I absolutely love going to any art gallery, museum, or photo show.  If you allow your mind to open up to new ideas, it can be a tremendous inspiration to your own work.  We were invited to the opening of Yukiko’s work in Westchester county at the Martin Stankiewicz gallery.  I have to tell you it was a fabulous show.  Both photographers, diametrically opposite in style, but tremendous talents.  To say nothing of the Prosecco, that was very dry, and that’s me trying to be funny.  Over my X number of decades in photography, Yukiko was probably my favorite editor, and definitely the toughest.  When Yukiko gave me an idea, or a critique, I listened, and I executed on her recommendation, and then of coarse, I did it my way, the combination was extremely successful for both of us.  Life is good.  I purchased one of her pieces that was typical Asian composition (I studied art in Japan, less is more).  Yukiko’s work is so strong and minimalistic.  If you have the opportunity, see her show, it’s worth the ride.  If not, she’s having a gallery show in Manhattan, more to follow.  I would be remise if I didn’t say that Tom is a fabulous photographer. He’s been across the block quite a bit and he’s taken his Black Star routes and added a fine art twist.  Excellent photographer.  It’s all good.

 

Artists’s Statement: Tom Sobolik

This exhibit is the result of artistic larceny.  The exhibit also grew out of the 34-year photography friendship between Yukiko Launois and me.  We met in1980 when Yukiko was head of the photo library at the Black Star photo agency and I, a fledgling photojournalist, went to work for her.  After a career as a photo editor for Black Star and Corbis, Yukiko became  a photographer herself in retirement.  My career was a photojournalist and a corporate photographer through Black Star.  About 10 years ago I began switching my emphasis to landscape photography.

I was inspired to winter scenes by Yukiko occasionally sent of snow in Central Park.  Photographing purely for her own enjoyment, she would “publish” them by home-making greeting cards and sending them to friends.  I loved the photos and was drawn to the harmony, simplicity and grace in them juxtaposed to the stark contrasts and harshness of winter.

Without knowing the Picasso quote, “Bad artists copy.  Good artists steal”, I began unconsciously pilfering the sensibilities I drew from my friends photos.  After seeing the early results I became much more aware of Yukiko’s influence on my winter work and I began unabashedly helping myself to all I could of her vision.  This show is some of the evidence of that thievery.  It is a collaboration because Yukiko is complicit in my embezzlement.

 

Artist’s statement: Yukiko Launois

I am first and foremost a photography editor.  That was my career and I never took a photograph myself until after my retirement 10 years ago.  Then I began editing the real world and putting my choice on film.  I am an observer of nature and I try to choose the purest beauty in it.

My idea of beauty is influenced by my upbringing in Japan.  As a girl I learned classical Japanese arts including calligraphy and flower arranging.  I rebelled against the classics and fell in love and married a French/American photojournalist, moving to New York.  But Japanese aesthetics remained in my DNA.

Taking photographs is my pleasure.  I do it for my own enjoyment and could never have seen myself as one of the many world-renowned photojournalists whose work I edited for Black Star and Corbis.  Pressure and deadlines are not for me.

Even so, when I am happy with a photograph I like to share it.  So I make note cards with my favorite images and send them to friends.

I was flattered when Tom asked me to do a joint show.  I was blown away when I saw some of his snow pictures.  His less-is-more kind of approach looked very Japanese to me.  I didn’t know I inspired him to do the work but my old editing instincts told me our photos would look good together.

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Yukiko Launois and JoAnne Kalish ©JoeDiMaggio

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Yukiko Launois ©JoeDiMaggio

 

©JoeDiMaggio

Tom Sobolik ©JoeDiMaggio

Yukiko Launois ©JoeDiMaggio

 

©JoeDiMaggio