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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Shooting From the Inside Out 2

Hi to All the Sips at Sea,

While working on an essay called America, I came across some college students at the U of A who were heavy into mountain biking. We did all of the classic cliché photos and then I decided we can do better. So I took one of the small Canon cameras with a 15mm lens and a remote cord and put it at the end of a painters pole and was actually able (for a  millisecond) to get the camera under the tire as the young man did a wheely.

 

All the Best,

Joe D

You can now follow me on Twitter @dimaggio_photo
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Amgen Tour of California

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

Sandy is quite the writer. With all his experience, imagine he’s only 21 years old. Remember you’re only as young as you feel. Enjoy this article he wrote below. Although my photograph is not from the Amgen Tour of California as he speaks about, it does put my mind in a place of determination.

All the best,

Joe D

Before I start writing on today’s subject, I must apologize for being absent for almost 5 weeks. I took my flu shot as I was supposed to, but I learned when they say the elderly are most susceptible, they are not lying. I’m thankful I took that shot, as it might have been more severe.
Anyway, I am back and excited to write about America’s Premier Road Race… The Amgen Tour of California.
This year, it is a story of grit, determination and desire to move forward in the face of what to others might seem as insurmountable obstacles: the sport stunned by an overwhelming scandal, major sponsors withdrawing support and the fear of public condemnation. Faced with all this, two young ladies Kristen and Kelly marched on. Their leadership and entrepreneurism may prove to bring about the greatest racing competition yet.
For the first 7 years. An estimated 17,500,000 viewers, not to mention the additional millions that have seen it on 5 continents, have viewed the race live on the roads of California, according to the Highway Patrol.
This road statistic is based on 2.5 million people standing by the roadside each and every year. The race, in its first 7 years has ridden through 91 cities, towns and villages. The 2013 race will showcase 13 more host cities for the first time.
As far as California goes, the ATOC has introduced to the world, via TV and Social Media, not only familiar vistas such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood and sensational seascapes, but it has traversed many never-before-seen mountain peaks, vineyards and historical monasteries along the vast expanse of the Golden State that beckons tourists yearly.
As a rule, the race has traveled from North (San Francisco) to South (San Diego County). This year in the interest of diversification and new geological challenges, the race will start on Sunday May 12 in Escondido and 742 miles later on May 19th will end in Santa Rosa.
The international field will consist of 13 of the world’s top teams and almost 150 riders. In stage one, they must climb Mount Palomar, an effort that is compared to the arduous Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez .
The second stage will see the riders going from the 100 degree heat of the Desert through the San Jacinto mountains and finishing atop the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Parking Lot… one of the toughest climbs anywhere giving the viewers a different look at the resort communities of the Coachella Valley.
Stage 3 starting in Palmdale will follow the route of the Famous Furnace Creek 508 though Santa Clarita.
Stage 4 has been part of earlier Tours. The riders will have an opportunity to enjoy cool ocean breezes after sweltering through the heat of the Desert. Like Stage 3, the Santa Clarita-Santa Barbara is a route used in the past. However, this race it is run in a reverse direction… South to North.
Stage 5 is from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach tracing the route used successful in the 2006 race, but again reversing direction. Avila is a picturesque harbor town with quaint shops and a beautiful Beach.
San Jose, the only city to take part in every edition of the ATOC, will be Stage 6. It will feature an individual time trial with a unique twist at the end… the most difficult sprint finish in the History of the Tour… the 3-kilometer climb up Metcalf Road (from Sea Level to 1000 feet in elevation attacking several pitches of at least a 10% grade.
Stage 7 starts in Livermore and concludes on the Summit of Mount Diablo. The experts predict that it is more than likely; the Tour will be won, or lost on the climb to the Peak.
Once again Stage 8 will capture the beauty of the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the final stage starts in the Marina District and concludes in picturesque Santa Rosa.
The State of California is home to over 30 million cyclists. Professional Cycling should not be damned, or abandoned because of the inconsiderate acts of a few selfish “win at all costs” individuals.
The ATOC stands as beacon for an untarnished, clean competition. Annual, the almost 800 mile event has been an example of what it is to go all out and do your best.
To paraphrase the late Grantland Rice who once wrote, “It’s not who wins, or loses, but how you play the game that counts!” The ATOC symbolizes competition you can trust and is worthy of support.

Talk About a Small World

Hi to all the Ships at sea,

On a recent trip overseas, I and a young gentleman, who attended one of my lectures, discovered that we both know about 15/20 mutual friends. Furthermore, we were probably in the same press room for an awful lot of fights and baseball games, so please let me introduce you to Sheldon Saltman. He’s got some great talking points. The following football photo has nothing to do with Sheldon’s blog, I just decided to post a football photograph.

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Sheldon Saltman:
I do not know about you dear reader, but as I write today’s column, my eyes are still blurry and maybe a little cross-eyed from watching so many different sports over the past week. It started with NBA Basketball and not to be left behind, there were some terrific College Games. You would think that would be enough, but then the NCAA Football Bowl season began. When I was a kid, it was easy. We only had the Orange, Sugar, Cotton and Rose Bowls. Today, it is quite different! I think I counted over 35 actual Football Games with the title “Bowl” as part of their name. You couldn’t name them all, even using both your hands and taking your shoes and socks off. I believe, every sponsor in this down economy that had extra cash lent his/her name to a Bowl Game. My Dad, the old footballer who was in the meat business, always thought there should be a “Sausage” Bowl. I didn’t see that one. But Dad if you are looking down don’t hold your breath. I think there probably will be a “Kitchen Sink” Bowl”, before one entitled “Sausage”. Nevertheless, there were some great games and some exciting record chases. One of those was that of Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings chasing the record of Eric Dickerson. In 1984 while playing for the Los Angeles Rams. He ran for 2105 yards. Peterson was closing in and Eric was interviewed on many shows about how he felt about Peterson possibly breaking his record. Eric’s answer was simple and honest. Eric said, “I hope he continues to have a great season, remains unhurt and his team does well. I hope he does not break my record.” This past weekend, Eric’s prayers were answered. In a game against Minnesota’s arch-rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Adrian ended the season just 8 short of Eric’s record, accumulating 2097 yards. For the moment, I am sure Adrian is heartsick. However, when he understands that in the long history of the NFL only 5 others have run for 2000 yds., or more, in a season, he will realize his achievement. O. J. Simpson was the first to do it in 1973 with 2003 yds. Realizing that I had been with the Los Angeles Lakers Organization during the 1971-72 season, I was bombarded by questions about the Los Angeles Clippers 17 game win streak. I thought about what Eric had said when he wished Peterson all the best, but not the record. The Clippers are good and they have captured the imagination of the Basketball World. The reason I was asked so many questions was during the ’71-’72 season when the Lakers won 33 straight games. After losing to the Golden State Warriors on October 31, 1971, they did not lose again until January 11, 1972. It was the Milwaukee Bucks with Kareem Abdul Jabaar who did them in. The same Kareem who would lead the Lakers to many more titles. However, the Lakers’ first title was in the ’71 season under Coach Bill Sharman. Bill, himself a Hall-of-Famer as both a Player and Coach worked with such intensity that he completely lost his voice. Today, at 86, he still whispers to communicate. That Laker Team was loaded with Hall-of-famers: Wilt Chamberlain, the only man to ever score 100 points in an NBA game. Jerry West whose shooting style today remains the NBA logo and Elgin Baylor with his famous “floating-in-air” shot. Carrying on that 1971 wining legacy is Pat Riley …at that time, probably the best 6th man in the NBA. He didn’t look like the suave executive of today. Instead, he had long flowing hair with mustache to match. But before every game he would take anyone he could find in a game of H-O-R-S-E. I never beat him. Today’s Clippers may also have one, or two potential Hall-of-Famers.

But for now, I breathe a sigh of relief. For the Laker Record, that I enjoyed as part of the organization, still stands.

All the best,
Joe D

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Things ARE Bigger in Texas

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi To All the Ships at Sea,

As photographers sometimes we tend to forget what it takes to make a fine photograph. There are other times, we stumble on a rock and the camera goes ‘click’, and something appears in the camera that looks good. You spend “x” number of decades trying to become more proficient at your visual literacy, and then one day you wake up and say “I’ve arrived! I’m good, actually I’m damn good.” Usually, within the next 72 hours, you wind up falling on your face. And it’s a brutal memory that you’re not as good as you think you are. I was fortunate enough to get a full-blown credential to the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas. And to say I was a little excited is an understatement. On the same level, if I’m honest with myself I had some pretty big butterflies. It’s been awhile since I’ve been around Formula 1. I’ve gotta tell you, the above photograph brings you just a handful of really great people in Texas, who went way out of their way to help me do my job. I take my beret off to all of those great people, and I thank you to the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to come into your home and make some photographs. Please don’t succeed from the nation, we need Texas.

Joe D

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