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

RIP Ralph Morse

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To All the ships at sea,

I tend to be redundant; I also tend to have a pretty good memory. I also realize the journey I’ve been on for the last 5 decades could not have happened if it wasn’t for some amazing people, great friends, and generous photographers. My dear friend Ron Thompson introduced me to Ralph Morse at an Apollo march. Ralph was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.   He not only had a great eye and a great passion, he was a true innovator. The old cliché; you think you’ve done something original, but it was done 100 years ago. Guess what, Ralph was a true innovator; he came up with photographs no one ever did. He literally took me under his wing, and with no hesitation, taught me everything I needed to know on how to photograph an Apollo Saturn 5b Rocket.   At the time, I had no idea that he went to the same High School that my dad went too, Dewitt Clinton, and they were probably there in the same class. I also had no idea that Ralph generated one of the most famous photographs on the day of Babe Ruth’s farewell at Yankee Stadium, the same day that one of my other heroes Nat Fein won a Pulitzer Prize. I could go on and on and on. I will share one of Ralph’s funniest stories. He was photographing a Gemini launch   got back to his hotel to find the director of photography wanted him to go to Moscow Immediately. Ralph packed up all of his gear and his clothes and flew to New York. A messenger, who accepted all of Ralph’s film, gave him new film, and a small suitcase of clothes met him there. He immediately flew to Moscow to find that he had all the film he needed, all the cameras he needed, but he had summer and spring clothes… it was the dead of winter. Ralph was there for over several weeks, he made an executive decision to purchase a fur coat. When he returned to the New York office and submitted his expense account, the bean counters went crazy, rejecting the (I don’t know the exact number, but we’ll call it $1800) coat. They demanded Ralph redo the expense account. The total with the fur coat was $6200. When he redid the expense account, the total came to $6800. He attached a small note to a paper clip for the accounting department that said, “Find the fur coat.” On my return from my recent trip to Cuba, I was actually in Florida when Ralph passed. Unfortunately I didn’t know. Ralph, you will be missed everyday. Thank you so much for being the person that you were. On my next trip to Israel, I will put a prayer in the Western Wall for you.

RIP Ralph Morse

1917-2014

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

©JpeDiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

©JoeDiMaggio

The Tomcat

© Joe DiMaggio

There are rules, and there are new rules. The new rule is to never look backwards, instead always look forwards. I’m starting to get it; it takes a while but no one ever said I was a fast learner. While searching the archives for my new book, I stumbled across a story I did for Time Magazine on the last F-14 Tomcat that was to be built. The story was very important to me, but I had no idea how important it would actually be. I absolutely fell in love with the Tomcat. I believe the basic design was done in 1966 and it’s been improved upon and modified scores of times ever since. When you talk to pilots about two planes, their eyes will light up; one of those planes is the P-51, and the other the Tomcat. I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Chuck Yeager at the Reno Air Races and he watched me climbing out of the P-51 Precious Metal. Without me asking a question, he smiled and said “You know what I like about that damn plane? You can fly it 300 feet off the ground, hit the stick and make a hard left around a barn. With these damn new planes, if you want to do that you’ve got to fly to a different state before you can make a left”. We both laughed. I will follow up on Precious Metal next week. To all the ships at sea, let’s go out and make some photos. Check out my Adorama TV show.

http://youtu.be/7DjOy2hN5NI

http://youtu.be/H48CJGZXijo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3YFNXjr-5M&feature=plcp

Photo above: Canon film camera; yes, I don’t remember which one, 14mm lens, on top of a cherry picker, ASA (ISO) 64, 1/15 of a second, at 2.8

Photo below: Canon camera, 300 2.8 lens, ISO 64, 1/100 of a second, at 2.8

© Joe DiMaggio

Adorama Inaugural Street Fair

 

My dear friend Monica Cipnic asked me if I would come and do a few programs for the Adorama Inaugural Street Fair. My answer was, “Of course!” She put me in contact with Brian Green, who is Vice President of Marketing. Two phone calls, one email, and we were ready to go. To say the program was successful is really an understatement. They had over 9,000 attendees and it was a great cross-section of photographers, beginners to well-seasoned pros. And the bottom line is: It was a lot of fun. I managed to squeeze in 3 separate programs, and from the response on Facebook, that was pretty successful. (Notice how I’m throwing around all those high-tech, modern things like “Facebook”? You didn’t think I knew what that was, did you? If it’s good enough for Lady Gaga and President Obama, who am I to say it’s not cool?) Hopefully, this will be just the first of many. Thank the powers that be for the opportunity.

Joe DiMaggio