FILL THE FRAME Hit Thirteen

To All the Ships at Sea,

In a world moving at light speed, yes I’ve used this saying before…  To have 4 consecutive great days is almost unheard of.  Well, I’ve had 5 great days.  It started out good and ended fabulous.  My book FILL THE FRAME hit 13 on Amazon. Sean Strub of the hotel Fauchére hosted a book signing for literary club which was extremely successful.  The one hour presentation lasted 2 hours.  I was totally honored that people came to hear me and purchase a copy of my book.  I guess I will have to start working on FILL THE FRAME II.

Excerpts from my book FILL THE FRAME…

© Joe DiMaggio

I wanted Star Trek’s William Shatner as a celebrity guest & co-host when I was hosting The Canon Photo Safari. We finally connected in 1999, for a segment being filmed in Israel. I didn’t know much about him; I was no Trekkie, but for some reason Bill had always fascinated me.

One typically torrid morning at 4:30, we set off for some far-flung location, and by 3:30 that afternoon it was even hotter. Bill and I were sitting shoulder to shoulder on a stone wall, gazing out at a magnificent ruin, when he glanced at me and said, “You know Joe, you look really hot.”

“Well, it’s warm,” I said, “but I’m not that hot.”

“Well, you really look really hot.”

“What can I say? It’s hot.””

“You know what? You also look very, very tired.”

“Well, I’m not that tired.”

“But you really look tired. You look very hot, and you look very tired. Actually, you look exhausted.”
“I’m really not exhausted.” “No, you really are exhausted.”

At that point, we paused. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, sometimes it takes two or three kicks under the table for me to catch on. I looked at the director, and said, “I’m feeling a little queasy, I’m very hot, and I’m really tired. I’d like to go back to the kibbutz, and relax a bit. Is there any way we could make up the work tomorrow?”

The director said, “Well, if you’re not up to it . . .”

©Joe DiMaggio

    © Joe DiMaggio

 

 

Nobuko

To All the Ships At Sea:

Both JoAnne and I, have some really wonderful friends such as Steve & Mary.  They invited us for a lovely Barbecue last week.  We had met Steve’s mom the year before and I was thoroughly taken with her.  Her name is Nobuko. She happened to be visiting again and I sat across from her.  As I was talking to her a tiny bit of light lit up her face like she was an angel. I absolutely had to photograph her.

When we left I kissed her and invited her to come to our studio for an informal portrait session.  She was gracious enough to come.  I spent the morning redoing the studio specifically for her.  My Japanese isn’t what it used to be but I greeted her with Ohayo gozaimasu. She was very happy. I had her sit down and we made some small talk. Nobuko is in amazing health and her eyes are the eyes of a 20 year old. They are bright, clear and they sparkle.  It doesn’t get better than that.  I am not a conventional portrait photographer.  When I find someone this beautiful I have to make the photograph.  Nobuko did all the work and I recorded her presence.

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.

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

 

Upcoming Workshop Gleason’s/ DUMBO, Brooklyn March 13th 2016

Romain-8571

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

To all the ships at sea,

Gleason’s Gym is the oldest boxing gym in the United States, located in DUMBO, Brooklyn for those not familiar with the term it means -Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Great day, great fun, great people, great photos – join us

Brooklyn Bridge ©DiMaggio 3197 e

Brooklyn Pier & View of Manhattan from DUMBO © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

 

Werner, A Beautiful Artist

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi to all the ships at sea,

Growing up in New York City, when I heard the word orchid, I knew exactly what it meant.  Orchard Street, a Street in New York that my grandpa would take me shopping on Sundays.  I don’t know, while in college, that I learned much about orchids.  I sure had my street smarts.  Let’s fast forward a few years.  I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting the most beautiful man that God put on this planet, Werner Kabitzke.  Werner was born in Germany, but as a young man, moved to Maine.  He fell in love with Maine and all of the flora and fauna that came with it.  He became an expert horticulturist, and his expertise on all things flowers was truly amazing, but his favorite were orchids, and my God, did he grow some magnificent orchids in his green house.  With his green thumb and vision, he was able to breed varieties of different orchids together to create works of art.  A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending his 88th birthday with him.  Last Sunday, he prepared himself for the trip from this planet, to the orchid gardens of Heaven.  When you read this, go home and hug your bride, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, life is beautiful and fast.  Have an absolutely fabulous Day.

©Joe Di Maggio

Kathrin, Stefan, Suzzana, Werner Kabitzke, Werner Jr. ©Joe Di Maggio

 

 

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

A Beautiful Young Woman

When we closed our studio in Manhattan, and relocated to the Upper Delaware Valley, one of the problems we had was finding great models that had flexible schedules.  I was extremely fortunate to run into an extremely beautiful young lady by the name of Luisa Weinstein.  As it turns out, her husband Michael and I attended the same high school, Richmond High School, a couple of years back.  Michael’s a great trial attorney and was the District Attorney of Pike County.  While cleaning up an old file, I came across this photograph of Luisa, just thought I would share it with you.  Luisa and I did several shoots where she was an actress, an airline attendant, an ER doctor, an EMS tech, the list goes on.  The camera really loves her.

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

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