Brighter Days Ahead…

To All The Ships At Sea,

Well the week started out with a dark cloud in the sky.  Not good…WRONG!  It turned out to be the best week I had in a long long time.  My agent from California called and I have an assignment in Boston.  JoAnne worked with our stock agency in Europe and we sold 3 photos.  My new book FILL THE FRAME HIT #13 on Amazon, I got in 5 days in at the gym, lost 4 lbs, won $2 on Lotto, ran into an old friend of mine that sings opera and made one or two interesting snapshots.  No Pulitzer, no Picture of the Year but what the hell, I’m having fun!  Topped it off with a great group of people at the Hotel Fauchére.  My one hour Q & A lasted almost two.  It was a ton of fun, great questions, great people. Can’t wait to do it again.  Life doesn’t get better than that – (okay next time I could win 2 million in the Lotto.)  If that happens, I’d take that 2 million, give half away and gift myself the availability of working for the next ten years on my pet projects.  Attached a few photos from my book.

Live Love, Laugh, & Be Happy

Joe D

Mark Christopher © Joe DiMaggio

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.

Will Barnet: One Hundred and Five (I Wish)

Will Barnet Artist © JoAnne Kalish 576e

© JoAnne Kalish and self portrait Will Barnet

My partner, Joanne Kalish, received an assignment to do a portrait of Will Barnet. The first two sittings were canceled by Will. When JoAnne questioned the artist, he confided in her that he was not comfortable. Most great photographers know everything about shutter speed, aperture, sharpness- all of the things that are not that important in a photograph. JoAnne has the ability to make a total stranger comfortable and gets the best of the best.

They say the third time’s the charm. Will asked that there be no lighting, per se, and no assistant, pomp or ceremony. JoAnne went to Barnet’s studio armed with just one camera and two lenses and came away with the definitive greatest photograph that had ever been taken of Will Barnet. How do I know that? Will Barnet told JoAnne six months after the photo was taken that this was his all time favorite photo and the best photo ever taken of him. He’s not only been photographed by thousands of photographers but also at least fifty of the best photographers in the world.

Today would have been his 105th birthday. No photographer likes to take a backseat to another photographer. I love the photo so much that I actually purchased one from JoAnne and it hangs above my desk. We also now have a framed 40×60 called “Will Barnet at 100” that came from the National Academy Museum and School. Over the years, I’ve collected eight or nine pieces of Will Barnet’s art.

imgres

JoAnne introduced me to Will and we had lunch and dinner together a few times. I have to say, he was one of the most amazing people that God put on this planet. At lunch one day we started to talk politics- not a good subject. I said, “What we need now is a new WPA (Works Project Administration)” and Will sipped his tea and said, “What a good idea, I headed the WPA as applicable to imagery.” I was sitting with a man who was at the forefront of the WPA.

WPA-USA-Sign

To all the ships at sea, I’d like to end this blog. One of the biggest thrills of my life was when Will Barnet looked at my portfolio. He looked at me and said, “You are not a photographer, you are a painter.” That will be one of the things I will always remember when I check into the darkroom in the sky.

Artist Will Barnet & Photographer JoAnne Kalish

Artist Will Barnet and Photographer JoAnne Kalish ©DiMaggio

 

Happy Birthday Gerry

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, 

I would like to share a little story about my 35th birthday.  Gerry Cooney showed up at my studio and delivered a beautiful birthday gift.  The box was unbelievably light, but it was wrapped beautifully, it had a beautiful card. I opened it up, and it was a black negligee, size petit.  I said, “Gerry, I’ll never fit in this.”  He said, “you’ll figure out something to do with it.”  So Gerry, happy 29th birthday… oops, I mean 39th birthday, oops.  You’ll always be forever young.  In writing my memoirs, I have four chapters on Gerry Cooney, my publisher is insisting I get them down to one reasonably large chapter, which I will do.

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoAnne Kalish                                                      One point low blow.

 

Peter of Dynalite

©Joe DiMaggio

When I think of the name Peter Poremba, I think light.  For most of Peter’s adult life, he has been involved in perfecting electronic flash and photo-education.  He is head and shoulders above all of his competitors.  An extremely creative business person and always thinking out-of-the-box.  His clientele always comes first.  He’s also a very nice guy, has a beautiful wife and a gorgeous daughter.  It doesn’t get better than that.  While Peter and I were at a design meeting at Sartek with Carl Saieva, I was explaining mixed-light and how I utilize it in my photography.  I did a quick and dirty portrait of Peter, which is the lead shot of this blog.  It was shot with an 85mm lens, but in actuality it was done with a 11mm to 16mm zoom.  I just wanted to have a little fun with the crop.  Hopefully there’s a little bit to learn about perspective.  I’m certainly not saying you should throw away your portrait lens!  But in a pinch, one camera, one lens, two batteries, two cards, and a little imagination… Oh, did I forgot the light?  The most important thing!  On our trip back, we made it through Suffolk,  Nassau County, and Queens in light-speed.  Unbeknownst to us, we got three and a half miles from the GWB and there was an overturned vehicle and three trucks with three workmen drinking their coffee and smoking cigarettes while working on the side of the road.  Peter would tell you it took 59 minutes, I would tell you it took an eternity.  Then again, I’m a little older than Peter.  Time is very valuable.  Joe D signing off!

Dynalite’s Website

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio