Today Was A Catch-28!

To All the Ships At Sea –

Pretty sure most of you read Joseph Heller’s book CATCH-22.  Well today I had a Catch-28!  Called Amazon and explained my name was spelled wrong in my Amazon book listing and the publisher’s name was wrong.  They said no problem…please hold.  I was on hold for four minutes and decided I should water my basil…which I did…still on hold. With that Peter Poremba, the CEO of Dynalite called and I abruptly told him, I’d call him back.  Seven minutes into my hold,  Al Stegmeyer from Upstrap called. I also blew him off.  Their music was starting to drive me crazy so I decided to go brush my teeth.  Still waiting… I gargled.  We are now 12 minutes into the hold and I figured well… I’m in the bathroom…. Now 15 minutes into it, I decided to take a quick shower. I quickly, jumped out of the tub and wrapped a towel around me and my friend Sam Garcia called.  Also blew him off and said I’d get back.  Went outside, still waiting, I watered my tomatoes, and went back into the studio. With that JoAnne asked me where I had been?  I simply said I’ve been on hold.  Twenty four minutes later, the lovely lady told me there was nothing they could do about it and to call the Publisher and tell them to make the changes.  She said it would probably take till July to implement them.  The first line in my new book FILL THE FRAME  is six months ago, I was 20 years old.  That’s how fast life is…light speed plus.  Time is like gold – more valuable than material things.

If you want to read a great book (FILL THE FRAME) – see reviews.    Attached link to short video – http://FILL THE FRAME https://vimeo.com/220041332

Live, Love, Laugh & be Happy – hold on a minute I will get back to you.  film is 28 seconds… time is very valuable…

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.”

 

Hugh Brodie – The Truthful One

© Joe DiMaggio (all rights reserved) Jazz Musician, Songwriter, Singer Hugh Brodie in his home

To All the Ships at Sea,
     I once walked into a cocktail party of maybe 300 or so people and there was only one person I saw. He was a gorgeous gentleman with shock of bright white hair. I worked my way through the party left, right, left, right, and went up to him and said, “Excuse me my name is Joe DiMaggio. I think you’re absolutely gorgeous. I’m a photographer and I would love to do a portrait of you.” I had no idea who I was talking to at the time and that this man was a great musician, songwriter and singer.  I was astounded by his absolute persona & charisma.
     The man I’m talking about was Hugh Brodie and that was the beginning of three decades of friendship with Hugh.  Through him, I learned a lot about music, art history & communication.  We always had extraordinary deep conversations.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Brodie was an absolute visionary.  He let little get in his way and for man who did not catch many breaks in his life, he kept a great attitude. Brodie always called me brother, I called him brother and JoAnne was referred to as sister.  JoAnne has a fond  memory of Brodie leaving one evening  from a party we had. She remembers Brodie went out of his way to walk into the kitchen to say goodnight little brother to our son Dylan. That was Brodie for you!
     I photographed Brodie over the years and every time it was totally exciting. This was not because I’m such a great photographer but because his personality and soul always came through. I had the pleasure of spending that precious hour with him, on the last day of his  life before he packed his bags and went onto the the next level of consciousness.  I think back on our conversation about the sound & vibration of music, going onto infinity in the Universe and that every note and lyric lives on. This is how the whole world will remember Hugh. 
     Your spirit will always be with us.  Love you brother Brodie!

Hugh’s recent birthday celebration https://vimeo.com/204043097

© Joe DiMaggio (all rights reserved)

About Hugh Brodie – Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Illinois Jacquet were just a few of the musicians that were in Hugh’s dreams as a boy. Little did he know that he would be playing with Jacquet in the 1980’s. Yet, even before he could afford his 3 dollar lessons, Hugh Brodie would fantasize about becoming one of the great jazz musicians.

Hugh’s first exposure to the blues came when he was very young in the fields of North Carolina. He worked on his cousin’s farm and listed to the workers as they sang the blues in the blazing sun tending to the watermelon and sugar cane.

Later, in his early teens, Hugh was amazed by the way the members of the Sanctified Church in Newark N.J. used music in their worship. Hugh was astonished when he witnessed fellow worshipers being overcome by “the great creator” from their toes to their head. These experiences planted the seeds for Brodie’s future music. They created the life experiences and burning hunger that Hugh needed to create music about the spiritual world. Hugh wanted to play music so badly that he begged his father to buy him a sax.  Tenor Sax

Times Herald Record – Hugh was a storied jazz veteran. When asked to describe himself, he first says, “I am a creator,” then, “I am a searcher.” He played tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, sang and scatted. He was cousin to the great Ella Fitzgerald. Hugh devoted his entire life to jazz, developing his own sound, creating his own music and executing his own unique musical visions. He was taught and encouraged by the greats before him and he, in turn, passed on his collected knowledge, to those who played on the bandstand with him or, who sought him out at his home in Monticello, NY. He has many recordings to his credit, played with the famous Illinois Jacquet big band, traveled the world, produced his own music and appeared in movies and modeled throughout his life.

In 2013, Hugh was awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation,” by the Jazz Foundation of America. It said in part, “Your artistry and recordings have reached to the spiritual and emotional core of the true jazz experience.”
Hugh had a strong, infectious spirit. His influence and music will live on and on.
A celebration of his life and music will take place at The Falcon, RT 9W, Marlboro, NY on a future date.

The Ultimate Backstage Pass! With Blues Musician Bobby Kyle Saturday June 10, 2017

© Joe DiMaggio

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY for a VERY SPECIAL EVENING with LIVE MUSIC, MULTI-MEDIA and an INTIMATE PERSONAL CONVERSATION, INCLUDING Q & A with BLUES MUSICIAN BOBBY KYLE. 

Workshop will be limited to a small intimate group only.      Early Sign up cost before April 18 $200 (see Paypal link below)

Come join Joe & JoAnne at the DiMaggio/Kalish Learning Center (in the Upper Delaware, Milford, PA) with musician Bobby Kyle for the pre-release of his new Blues Album ”IT’S MY LIFE.” Both Joe DiMaggio and JoAnne Kalish, two internationally known credentialed, photographers, will be joining forces with Bluesman Bobby Kyle to bring together and very special evening and unique experience on Saturday June 10.

Joe and JoAnne have been photographing and filming Bobby for the past 20 years. As part of the evening Bobby will talk about what it takes to write and produce music, the state of the music business today, and what it means to be an artist. We will listen to some of Bobby’s music and his upcoming album, along with a multi-media presentation. Afterwards, there will be portrait session, in the studio and a private acoustic set. Autographed CD’s will be available. This is not a photo walk in Central Park but a special evening and a once and a lifetime unique opportunity.

Wine and cheese will be included. Hours 6-9  

For more information & Paypal link – 

© JoAnne Kalish

Tulips and Mias Lips

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

I usually come home with fresh flowers at least once a week. It’s a luxury that JoAnne and I really enjoy. Well, this week she beat me to it and brought home some beautiful tulips that were very tightly closed. I looked at them and watched Mia, our kitten, who decided to eat one of the tulips- I guess it’s a kitten thing. I decided to move them to another geography. There I saw some backlight and took some photos, then decided to segregate one tulip and make a few more photos. Think of it this way: it’s springtime in January. I normally don’t photograph flowers, but what the hell- I’m having a little bit of fun.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Zero Degrees or %@*!!$ Cold!

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

If you’re anywhere near the East coast, you’ll know that it was beautiful. Then it got cold, then brutally cold, and then the ice came. Well last spring I packaged up all of my winter garb and I put it someplace. Did I write it down in the computer? No. Did i put a label on it? no. Did I put it in the same place? No. I found it, but I found it very, very late. In photography, I’ll tell you “standardization and simplification” – simple, clean, elegant. Also, repeatability. You should be able to go to your insurance shot and as soon as that’s done you should be able to throw caution to the wind and be able to do some crazy fun stuff. Oh yeah you’ve gotta have fun with it. Its all about fun and hopefully generating a new image, or maybe new just for you. New hasn’t been done in 40 years. So when it comes to protecting the cameras, we do that. Or I do it. Make sure they’re all in the trunk so that they’re all the same temp as outside. Tripods, the same thing. Clothes, the same thing. Three, four, five layers. Headgear, eargear, nosegear and gloves. Well, I couldn’t find my stuff so I borrowed some of JoAnne’s scarves and stuff. Not good. The lesson is pretty simple. Repeatability- put it in the same damn place all the time and if you think you’re gonna meed it in January then get it ready in September. Attached are a few photos… yes, I found my stuff. Want to know where it was? The last place I looked! It’s always in the last place I look, think about it.

© Joe DiMaggio; words by Sam Garcia. Where are the two right gloves?

Everybody knows that I’m a Canon photographer, so I very rarely get specific about a camera and a lens. In this particular case I’m going to talk a little but about it, I took out my Canon 5D Mark IV, the 100-400 zoom, a relatively midrange Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, two batteries and two extra cards. That’s it, nothing else other than my trusty cell phone. When climbing on the ice, you really want to have a cell phone with you. What I forgot was that the night before I had a house guest and that he plugged his phone into my charger. Where am I going with this? Well, you know where I’m going with this. It starts to snow and it snows very heavily. I’m not paying attention, I’m just shooting. I’m not making excuses, I’m just explaining. I looked down and the camera was covered in a beautiful coating of white snow and the lens had white snow. It was kind of a pretty picture. Then I looked down to see my itsy bitsy camera bag covered in snow. I reached into my pocket to take a photograph with my iPhone and up popped a thermometer saying “aint gonna happen fella, you dont got enough juice.” It’s one of those snapshots that I have in my brain but not in my other camera- get it? My other camera? I believe an iPhone is a phone, not a camera… other people, not so much. Again, preproduction is the key to a successful shoot. This includes gloves, mittens, scarves, batteries and yes, a cell phone- if I had fallen,  I would  have needed that phone for more than just taking a snapshot of the snow falling down on the camera and  the lens. Don’t leave anything to chance. Remember- Murphy is sitting on a rock waiting for you.

Hope to see you on the road again,

Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

 

You Thought You Were Out and then They Pulled You Back in Again

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

We had an extremely successful holiday workshop in NYC. Everyone had a great time, it doesn’t get better than that. As we were strolling to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral we ran into a few demonstrators in front of Trump Tower. Under normal circumstances I would be very wordy right about now, but unfortunately I just had an old visit from our old friend Murphy. yeah, Murphy stopped by and fried my iMac so I’m working on JoAnne’s laptop which is a little uncomfortable so I am going to wish you a very merry Christmas, happy New Year, happy Kwanzaa, happy Chanukah. Happy, happy, happy! Live, love, laugh and be happy. Oops! And don’t forget, smile. It’s like the flu- it’s contagious! Did I say that?

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

Holiday Time in NYC

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Winter Fun

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

What I strongly recommend at this time of year is an ice breaker. We are rapidly coming up on the winter solstice and the temperature at the falls drops to five below zero at night. It makes for some very beautiful ice designs. Please remember to keep your camera and lenses in an extremely cool place before you take them out in very cold weather when photographing in the wintertime. I recommend transporting the camera and lenses in the trunk of your car, especially if you are driving any distance. This is because you don’t want to know what will happen when your camera transitions from the seventy-eight degree interior of your car to near-freezing temperatures. You won’t need a fog filter, that’s for sure! Common sense is a great ingredient when making a photograph.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Dick Drew: A Great Shooter, Happy Birthday

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

I’ve been extremely fortunate in photographing several Olympics. The first Olympics I photographed I met a great photographer by the name of Dick Drew. For whatever reason that I do not recall, I think we were being punished and we had to photograph a soccer game in a monsoon. If I have it right Dick and I built a little tent, crawled in it, and shot through the tent. Wow… I hope that’s right. So, to my dear friend whom I don’t see very often, happy birthday. And for god’s sake, stay dry! Check out Dick Drew on the Internet- really a fine, fine photographer.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Kid Chocolate Alias Eligio Sardiñas Montalvo

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

In all my previous trips to Cuba, we never put boxing on our people-to-people trips or our humanitarian trips. On this VIP trip (Joe and JoAnne) Havana was seen up close and personal. I asked where the boxing gym was and they all said Kid Chocolate. Not wanting to be argumentative, I said, “Si!” Of course I know Kid Chocolate as Peter Quillin, a middle weight from Chicago. Well, there was another Kid Chocolate and that Kid Chocolate had a total of 152 fights and 136 wins. Kid Chocolate is now the name of the boxing gym in Old Havana. Of course, not doing my research properly, I showed up at the gym on a Sunday. I go to Gleason’s on Sundays all the time… well Kid Chocolate is not open on Sundays, so two security people who spoke a little English said to come back mañana. Sure enough we returned mañana and the security people, recognizing us from the day before, took us through the back door. I have to tell you, this was the smallest, darkest, and most cramped boxing gym I’ve ever been in- and I’ve been in a lot of gyms, some in bars and even in private homes. They didn’t have a ring! I spoke to the manager of the gym. We talked a little bit and I gifted him a few of my boxing photographs. We also met all of the boxers that were going to work out that day (all boxing in Cuba is amateur and amateur only- it wasn’t that way in the 20s, 30s and 40s, but it is that way now). My initial reaction was, ”Wow, this venue is impossible to make a good photograph in.” As one of my old friends would say, it was “o’dark 30.” JoAnne stuck her head in and said she’d sit outside. Well, we walked two miles to the gym and I wasn’t ready to walk two miles back so I said, “Let’s make a few frames.” I switched to black and white, went to jpeg fine and shot everything with a 24mm lens. I looked at a few of the images and they seemed to be acceptable. When I went out to get a breath of fresh air, JoAnne was meditating; I asked her if she would like to come back in and she did. Being the seasoned pro that JoAnne is, she made sure she knew exactly where I was shooting and made sure to stay out of my frame as I made sure to stay out of her frame. The two of us danced around this extremely small, extremely hot, extremely  dark gym and guess what? The photos turned out to be just fine. Fast forward a week later (the first time we got to a computer) and I looked at JoAnne’s work and I have to tell you it was amazingly great.I loved her images, which shouldn’t surprise me. I’d like to share these images with you as well. There’s no doubt we are going to go back. As a matter of fact, I may look for an angel or two to see if we can go back and make a documentary on Cuban boxing. The number one trainer is Carlos Manuel Miranda La O and the associate trainer is Michell.

Please take some time to read this Wikapedia page on the real Kid Chocolate from the 1930s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kid_Chocolate 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish