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

 

 

Young Pup

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

Back in the day I coined the phrase, “Standardization and simplification,” when it came to photography. Another phrase I coined was, “Shoot it when you see it, because you’ll never go back to photograph it again.” Everything I say is my opinion, not fact- I get it. I was on a Sports Illustrated assignment to photograph the largest white shark that was going to be caught on rod and reel- 3427 pounds (hadn’t been caught yet but they had been fighting it off the coast of Montauk). I had just left a TIME Magazine assignment when a phone call came that told me to go to Montauk. I changed my clothes, my photographic gear, got my foul weather gear and left for the 70 mile drive where I would meet a fishing boat to take me the balance of the 30 miles to get to the fish. Ten minutes after leaving, I realized I left two electronic flash in my darkroom. When it hit me, I lifted my right foot and went to hit the break and said, “No ____ way!” but I kept going. Did I need the flash? Yeah, I think so. Pushed the film anyway, made the photo, and it ran in TIME and accidentally in Newsweek- not my fault. Also the DailyNews and Newsweek. I think somebody syndicated it.

Yesterday, I had a very special appointment in Manhattan. I canceled a shoot to make this appointment. Right before I got to Route 80, I saw a magnificent sunset. (You know what, they’re all magnificent. But this one was special.) I looked to the left, was going 70 mph, looked straight ahead and knew it would be gone in five minutes. I looked and found that there was a turn off for an exit. I hit the brakes, made the turn off, went two blocks and wound up in the parking lot of a bar. No photo. Drove down a very narrow road of very expensive homes; the photo was still up and running but too many trees and homes were in the way. Went another mile down the road, found an opening, got out jumped over a 1 foot fence that said “No trespassing.” I recalibrated the ISO and started to shoot before the first dog came out barking, followed by the second dog barking and doors opening. I went back to car and said, “I knew this was a bad idea..” Drove some more, saw an opening for a PRIVATE YACHT CLUB ENTRY MEMBERS ONLY, but made believe that I didn’t see the sign. I drove another two or three football fields down to the end of this beautiful lake and there was my sunset, waiting for Joe DiMaggio. Also waiting for Joe DiMaggio was a police officer in a shiny new SUV. Did I have my seatbelt on? No. Was it shining? Yes. I made an executive photographic decision and drove past him like I was a member. Got out, recalibrated the ISO and made the photo. First time going back fora photo. Was it worth it? I think so. Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks… woof, woof, woof. Ice photos were thrown in, shot it the day before. Video to follow.

Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Good News, Bad News

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the boxing fans and ships at sea,

The good news is this was voted one of the most dynamic boxing photos of all times. Sport Illustrated cover, Time Magazine photo of the year. Bad news? Every boxing photo taken after that had to exceed it. Not so easy. Right place, right time, right light, right exposure, right angle; twenty plus years of experience and a little bit of luck, too. Of course, my dear friend Gerry Cooney hates the photo. The first time he walked into my studio, he walked over past me without saying a word, stood in front of the photo, shook his head and said a few words in Gaelic which I can’t repeat. I said, “Gerry, ___ happens. You never see it coming.” He said, “You are an ____ hole.” I saw that one coming. I looked back at him and said, “Then why didn’t you duck?” We obviously never talk about the photo. Attached you will find a short film on Gerry, you may find it answers a few questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2ch7NQ5n_o&sns=em

A.J. Foyt: Four Time Winner of the Indy 500

aj foyt B&W

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

I’ve had the privilege of shooting the Indy 500 twenty plus years in a row. I missed a few years, went back and did three more.  I vowed the next one would be the 100th anniversary. Well, I’M NOT DOING IT!  Why? It’s not the priority it used to be. I hope it’s a great, safe race, and hope there’s a new winner. Here are a few snaps of the great A.J. Foyt. The photo of A.J. hitting the linkage was during the third pit stop where his crew could not free the shifting linkage. The sight of A.J. coming down the pits, pulling his seat belt, and helmet off, and jumping out of the car while it was still rolling absolutely horrified me. I don’t think you could do that today, but I love the photograph.

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

The Closest Finish, circa 1982.

Third Greatest Indy 500 Photographs in the last 100 Years

S.I. Indy Third Greatest Photograph in 100 yearsR

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

Most photographers spend the majority of their time building their photographic reputation for decades. Occasionally the sun, the moon and the stars are in perfect alignment and a photographer will come up with their definitive photograph that particular day. Like many things in my career, I’ve had some amazing mentors who taught me the ins and outs of a venue like the Indianapolis 500 Raceway- Rex Miller, Jim Arnett, Jim Schweiker, Chuck Robinson, Ron Thompson… to name a few. On this particular day, I was on assignment for Sports Illustrated. I had a game plan, photographing the start from the crow’s nest. At the end of twenty laps, I ran down to turn one where I “accidentally” cut a small hole in the fence (I do not recommend this), shot another thirty laps, then worked my way around to turn three and then into the pits. I started from the last pit and worked up to the first; halfway back the gasoline alley, I climbed the pagoda to shoot the finish. It was the closest finish in the history of the Indianapolis 500 up to 1982. I had a great assistant- Rex Miller’s, son Geoff Miller. A little bit of luck? Lots of practice, lots of preproduction. Know your spot, know your focal length, know your exposure. Don’t freeze, make your photo, get on the learjet and bring it back to New York. This is another short excerpt from my memoirs, not the whole story. To all the ships at sea, great shooting and have a wonderful day. Joe D.

Don’t Wait 38 Years to Look at Your Take

What’s interesting about photography is that you spend the first five years learning all of the basic fundamental rules.  Things like; F-stops, apertures, depth of field, depth of focus, the geometric progression of 1.4, and you make five or ten mistakes a day everyday, for the next ten years.  Then when you hit year twenty, you think, who the hell are you, and in reality, well… it’s not for me to say who you are, what you are, or where you’re going.  You try desperately to perfect your visual literacy, and communicate your vision with the rest of the world.  You’ll probably have to die before it’s ever recognized on certain levels, and then believe it or not, it may be too late.  Unless of coarse you believe that you’re moving to another level of consciousness, which I choose to believe.  Not afraid of dying, just hope there’s some developer left in the tank when I get there… or maybe 100 terabytes of space in the hard drive.  In 1977, Sports Illustrated gave me an assignment to cover the World Series.  I shot approximately 30 roles of film.  They were sent into the lab, processed, they ran what they ran, and then the film came back with my X-Number on it.  They sat in the file waiting for me to return from Greece where I was for a month shooting an advertising assignment, and then two weeks off in Santorini.  By the time I got back, there were several more Sports Illustrated assignments that year.  The long in the short of it is, I never saw the film until 10 weeks ago, so what you’re about to see is 38 years old.  It’s been 38 years that I had an opportunity to look at my take.  As my good friend Willy Nelson and Ralph Brandofino would say, “You better take some time to smell the roses.”  Three first pitch home runs by New York Yankee, Reggie Jackson.

To all the ships at see, smell the roses.

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

 

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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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

©JoeDiMaggio

Ice Spikes ©Joe DiMaggio 6942 copy

©JoeDiMaggio

 

Waterfall Snow Ice 9498 RB

©JoeDiMaggio

 

Cuba: Through a Photographers Lens – The Photographers

 

Cuba © Joe  DiMaggio-3975 e

© Joe DiMaggio

Cuba: Through a Photographers Lens with Joe DiMaggio and JoAnne Kalish. The last time I was in Cuba, Bill Clinton was President of the United States. The last thing that I want to

do is talk politics. For the last fifty plus years we’ve maintained an embargo on Cuba. If you’d like to know my personal view, give me a call.

It seemed in the attached photos that every time we had someone taking a group photo of us, we were eating or drinking our way through Cuba – but this was hardly half of it and not true. We had an extraordinary group who knew their photography and were very aware of our history and the culture of Cuba as well. We met and spent time with many wonderful Cuban people. We left with concerns about our new friends on that beautiful Island ninety miles off of our shore.

There are no excuses, as I still have not done a reasonable edit on my personal photographs.  I hope to have them done before November 17 as JoAnne and I will be leading another People to Exchange to Cuba from Miami.  We are close to to filling this trip up, so please keep in mind that if you’d like to join us – please let us know as soon as possible. Some of these photos I posted are obviously not all mine.

I’d like to thank all the photographers who joined us and all the wonderful Cuban people that made it such a very special trip. Also thanks to the people behind the scenes as well who worked diligently to make it work smoothly and as successfully as our trip did.

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Cuba John Huntington 4434e

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Cuba © Joe  DiMaggio-4532 e

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe  DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

Photographer/Photo Editor – John Dominis Rest in Peace

John Dominis

John Dominis

To All The Ships At Sea

On more than one occasion I’ve made an announcement on the loss of a very special human being. As a young man I wrote a letter to John Dominis, staff photographer at LIFE Magazine and much to my surprise I received a beautiful letter back and phone call. Like all great talented people, most of them are genuinely humble. John was the epitome of this.

It was several years before we had an opportunity to meet in person and nothing changed. Still one of the greatest photographers of our time and a helluva great person. I guess I’ve learned to celebrate someone’s life and not go into a morbid funk about their loss. Having said that, I will share a story with you. John Dominis turned out to be my Photo Editor at Sports Illustrated.  When he took over he called me into his office and asked me what lens I used which was a total shock. When I told him it was a 16mm Nikkor (or was it a 15mm Nikkor I don’t remember?) He told me never to use a full frame fisheye on an S.I. assignment again or I will hear the words – you’ll never work for this book again. That was a side of John I had never seen before – stern, to the point and no bull – his way or the highway. About a year later, he gave me an assignment which may have been the longest assignment I had ever had at S.I. It was in excess of 3 weeks and covered 8 states from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to SaltLake City Utah, Reno Nevada, with a stop in Atlanta, Georgia and I forgot where else. I was doing a story on the Wittington Brothers who had just won Le Mans and were in the process of breaking the speed record in a WWII P51 Mustang. After three or four days of delays Bill Wittington, also known as the Wildman, said, “okay let’s go now.” I sat in the back of the P51 where the radio used to be. He said there was room for me, one camera, one lens, and some film.  He also suggested I take an ID in case we crash. I looked at my assistant and said give me the F2 with the widest lens we have. He handed it to me and the next thing I knew we were at 900 feet doing a snap roll  (it got my attention.) It was not lost on me that I had the full frame fisheye which if you bend off it’s axis it will just look like a super wide angle lens.  When the assignment was over, I turned in all my film and heard nothing. It was a future bonus piece so there was no deadline per se. A few months later about 1 AM the phone rang and John Dominis was on the line. He said, “I just wanted to tell you I just edited your Wittington Story and it’s one of the finest stories to go past my desk. You did one hell of a great job and I did not want to wait to tell you. By the way, what lens did you use in the cockpit?”  I said, “John I think it was an 18mm.” Dominis said, “I helped design that lens and that was no 18mm. Didn’t I tell you not to use that lens? It worked for this but don’t ever use it again.”  That’s my story.

If you want to see a some really fine photography check out John Dominis’ work.  He’s right there with W. Gene Smith, Alfred Eisenstadt, Carl Mydans and one of the all time greats.

© John Dominis

© John Dominis

© Joe DiMaggio
© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio