This Must Make You Think and Act

© Joe DiMaggio

I have known Steve Schwartz for many years. He is an extremely fine photographer,  amateur comedian, good actor and a sweet grandfather.  Like many Americans when I viewed the Parkland Shooting, my first indication was to shut the television off.  I’ve lost a son to cancer that left a hole in me the size of the Grand Canyon.  To see children slaughtered makes me ill.  Late last night, I read something that in my opinion is not only relevant but is a motivator for me and hopefully you to get off our asses, get on the phone and e mail our Congressmen and Senators and threaten their jobs if we do not ban these assault rifles. Let me be clear, I am not against the second amendment. It was written to protect our country and our homes for defense not offense. Approximately 25 years ago, HBO asked me to do an illustration on 357 children that were killed with hand guns in a one year period.  I came up with a graphic that went on to win several art director awards. Not that it’s important and it’s not, this photo was done in camera with no Photoshop manipulation.

Steve, thank you so much for sharing this.

I’m Not an “East Coast Bleeding Heart Liberal “ “Snowflake”nor  Anti-gun!

I’m extremely sad,frustrated and angry, that another senseless shooting has taken place!
When I was very young, (6 or 7) I became a child of a suicide,my dad ended his life ,at 28,with a self inflicted gunshot.
While,he died by his own hand, I cannot place the blame on a gunman bent on mass murder.
I’m too am a victim of gun violence.
I’ll never have the opportunity for him to explain why he did it, he left his family, not with memories of children growing up with a dad,a wife growing older with a husband. What dad gave to us a life long hurt caused by his actions. As I was growing up I often worried if, I would be strong enough face life’s problems, head on ,not loose my own self worth to live past dad’s 28 years.
I’m very thankful for a good friend, Rex (Geoff,your dad )who convinced me to spend time in therapy,that helped me grow into an adult( not all the way)

I’m not crying “me too “ but I’m like folks who have faced this type of tragedy,we shall carry this misery,caused by a senseless act compounded by a 60 cent bullet.

My high school, in the 1960s had a rifle range, the members of the school’s ROTC,had regular target shooting competitions, there were no mass shootings, I cannot remember anyone being threatened by another student, with a gun a fist,but not a firearm. What has happened to our country, where,when and why did this madness begin.

I don’t believe these mass murders at Columbine,Sandy Hook,Orlando. Las Vegas and possibly the rest happened because, the shooter’s had access to a weapon  defined as an “Assault Rifle”

Sociology was never part of my formal education, as curious person,being in sales,learning to control others, with intimidation and fear to get what you want.

As human’s gained the ability to communicate, by cave drawings, story telling, the written word, stories passed from one generation to another. The constant bombardment by a 24 hour news cycle and radio,Tv,the internet is in your bedroom,how can we avoid stories of death & destruction.  There is the old newspaper concept, “If it bleeds, It Leeds”, All this mayhem has to have a pronounced affect on the human mind.

Add to that recipe,man’s built in greed, a desire to control by asserting power,wealth, elimination of those who are different, revenge, seeking that illusive “15minutes of fame”, or is it just madness. If we look into history, genocide has always been part of the story.

Every day, America is pandering to the lobbyists who don’t want to have their interests harmed yet we are doing little or nothing to stop children being murdered in places that they should be safe from any harm.

Is it possible that when Billy spends his spare time playing a video game creates virtual “Blood Lust” that he wants to taste the real thing and does so by murdering his classmates. After his friends are dead  with no other targets to destroy, in the real world, no one goes home for dinner
Are we the cause of the mass killings? Could our country soon be a 3rd world nation?

Just like gravity, its only a theory!

We must, as a nation come together and take action, to put an end to this NOW!

Fun Photography

Fun photography. Fun photography.

To all the ships at sea,

What have we forgotten?  When did we forget it?  Why did we forget it?  When did photography become so important?  When did photography become fingernails on a chalkboard?  When did it become so critical that we start to tear people apart for no particular reason?  I think it’s time to go backwards, and when we go backwards, we’ll actually go forwards, and we’ll go forwards quite a bit.  I’ve been making photographs for quite a while… and exactly why did I get started in photography?  Ask yourself that question, why did you get started?  I was on a New York set for Lights Out, sitting with some great, great, great photographers;  Kenny Regan from Camera 5, Johnny Iacono from Sports Illustrated, and Al Bello from HBO.  We started to talk about photography and we all kind of giggled and laughed.  We wanted to change the world?  No.. We wanted to show the importance of an image?  No… We wanted to tear down the establishment and build up independent thought?  No…  We wanted to meet girls?  Yep, that’s the reason.  My God we were in our teens, of coarse we wanted to meet girls.  The reality is, we wanted to have fun.  Sometimes we forget why we do things.  I’ve been with the same girl for a long time, so I don’t need to meet girls anymore, but what I really need to do is have fun.  That’s really what it’s all about; and to be quite honest, I think I’ve forgotten it.  I’ve made a promise to myself, I’ve had some of the greatest teachers in the world.  They’ve given me so much to be grateful for.  I need to take all of those tools for the balance I have left on this planet and incorporate it into having fun.  The reality is I’m not going to change the world.  A journalist asked Bob Dylan if he feel like he changed the world with the songs, and did he realize how important his lyrics were.  Dylan looked at the writer and said, “Hey man, I just play music, I play music and I’m not trying to change anything, I’m trying to have fun.”  So if Bob Dylan didn’t change the world, I probably won’t change the world either, so let’s concentrate on having fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wave© Joe DiMaggio

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Ice Spikes ©Joe DiMaggio 6942 copy

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Waterfall Snow Ice 9498 RB

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Vito Russo 1946-1990

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, working photographers make photographs for many reasons. One of the number one reasons is money, and it’s not a great motivator. Once every four, five, or six years, you have an opportunity to meet not only a great and powerful person, but a genuinely beautiful human being and you’re asked to do an environmental portrait. In this particular case, that person was Vito Russo. In my opinion, he was possibly the most powerful person on the planet, when it came to being an advocate not only for gay rights, but for pushing the envelope to seek a cure for the dreaded HIV/AIDS. I would love to tell you that we were extremely close friends, but that would be a gross exaggeration. I met him two or three times before I photographed him, and as with all great relationships, my love for him was predicated on respect. Last night at about 10:30, with my eyes starting to drip blood as I was editing 80 gigs of video (throwing out the unacceptable footage), I turned the TV on and there was Vito. Somewhere towards the middle of the documentary, up popped one of the 300 photos I had taken of him over the years. As a filmmaker, I was extremely proud that they held that photo and then zoomed in, and for HBO it was shown for an eternity. Then again, they used it at the end of the piece. Twenty-four years ago, the last thing I remember is Vito and I in a warm embrace at the end of the shoot. Photography is more important than money; it’s history, visual literacy that will not allow us to forget. Sometimes, even I forget the power and beauty of a still photograph.