To All the ships At Sea
Please see paragraph from Merri Ansara Director at Common Ground Travel Agency.
Dear Joe and JoAnne,
First of all, Congratulations to us all for President Obama’s announcement today to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. It has been visits like yours that have helped change the view of ordinary U.S. Americans towards Cuba and our relations with Cuba.
Now I’d like to offer all my personal thank you to all of our friends who went to Cuba with us under our People to People license. You had first-hand experience in making this happen.
Our next trip to Cuba will be April 13 -20 2015. We hope you decide to join us.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that ALL of my brothers and sisters would like to thank you for your service. Without the heroism of all of the armed forces, we would not be able to live in the greatest and freest country in the history of mankind. I thank you and everyone in the country thanks you. To all the ships at sea, the next time you see a man or woman in uniform, thank them for their service. They will give you back the warmest and kindest smile you’ve ever seen.
This blog should have been put up June 6, 2013
There are many people who judge their wealth by how much money they have in stocks, bonds, bank accounts, the size of their automobiles and how many summer homes they have. I’m not going to question them for the simple reason I am one of the richest men in the world. There are only 8 or 9 people who can verify that. I became this wealthy because of great friendships. The oldest living friend I have , since Will Barnet has gone onto his studio in the sky at 101 years old. It now brings me to Jess Weiss my second oldest friend. The great part is he’s alive and well. The first time I stepped into his office I noticed there was a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt thanking him for his bravery and next to the letter was the Silver Star, Purple Heart and several other Medals which unfortunately, I’m not familiar with. That was approximately 20 years ago. I said to Jess, “my God you’re a hero” and he looked at me and said, “no I’m a coward.” Like most true heroes they never speak of the war. They lived it and bled with it and it’s imbedded in every fiber of their being forever and probably will remain with them to the next level of consciousness. He explained he saw 3,000 men die that day and during the balance of the war about another 7,000 men. He never elaborated on why he received all the medals he did. Jess was there for me when my mother, father, my son and my brother died. His words of wisdom, his teaching allowed me to go on and not give up. That translates into an infinite amount of money. Obviously the money is meaningless but the friendship is worth everything. So on the 69th Anniversary of the D Day Invasion I take my Beret off to my dear friend Jess Weiss. Monday he will be attending a dinner held by the French consulate and will be giving a short speech on Omaha Beach. I hope they’re not disappointed because Jess is not only one of the bravest men I know, but one of the humblest as well . God is truly in him. The French Government has just bestowed this Medal for Jess’s outstanding service 69 years ago on Omaha Beach. Thank you my friend. All Americans and all Frenchmen thank you.
Hi to All the Ships at Sea,
I received an assignment from HBO to do an illustration on hand guns in America. There were approx 357 children killed with handguns the year of the assignment. The photo editor gave me carte blanche to do anything that I wanted to the photo. What you see is a multiple exposure done in the studio with a real 357 magnum with 6 dyna-lites against a clear background. Person holding the gun was silhouetted, then I rewound the film and shot the american flag on top of the silhouette (effectively, there was no exposure there) and by over exposing the corners by 2-3 stops I blew the flag out and just left the hand with the American flag wrapped around the gun. The photo won a few awards when and when people see it today they presume it was done in Photoshop, but it was done in the camera. Entitled 2nd amendment (I never put titles on work).
Two days ago the Senate knocked down the gun bill. Photographic blog, not a political blog…I must watch my language. They should all blank, blank, blank and be totally ashamed of themselves. How much money do they take on the side from gun manufacturers and the NRA? We are taking the greatest country in the history of all mankind and we’re turning it into a third world country. The English couldn’t beat us, the French couldn’t beat us, the Germans couldn’t beat us, the Russians, the Chinese, the Koreans. We’re going to destroy ourselves. anybody who knows me, I love to be happy but with what’s going on today in this world, I’m sorry, we need to get with the program. Go out and make a photograph of your wife…your children…we’ve got enough guns. If you want to shoot something, make a photograph. For the record, I own 6 guns so I am not ANTI-guns. Camera: NikonF 55micro and a grease pencil. Exposure: 1/90th of a second at 22 and 1/90th of a second at 5.6.
All the Best,
For anyone who didn’t know, Ann Raine was a great photographer, an absolute lovely human being, and a brilliant business women. She had the unique ability to adapt to any and all situations. Last Saturday she made an executive decision to take a long trip. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone she touches on that trip will fall in love with her. We’ll still be able to talk to her – it’ll just be a slightly different conversation. It’s a little known fact that she was the first member of our Board of Directors – she of course, will continue to be on the Board. When we have our meetings, she will have a vote.
She paid me a compliment once and thanked me for everything that I taught her. In reality, she taught me more. Many of you including Dennis Wheeler, Hugh Brodie, Bobby Kyle, Brian Struble, Larry Malang, David Kenny, Linda Pederson, Dan Horton, Jeff Thomas, John Dryzga, Ralph Mocciola, Monica Cipnic, Dylan, JoAnne Kalish, Lourdes Merson and to be quite honest with you a few hundred others would like to wish you an amazing journey.
Keep that smile on your face and your camera close to your heart. Remember to open up 2 stops for back light.
All the Best,
As a man or woman makes the journey from birth to death along the way they meet people who change their life. It’s given with our parents and family. There are maybe 8 or 10 people who radically changed the direction of my life other than my parents of course . Today I will just talk about one – Will Barnet who passed away November 13 at age 101.
My partner JoAnne Kalish had an assignment to photograph Will and she did these amazing and iconic portraits of Will and they became close. One day Will invited us to lunch and on that day I learned more about art, art appreciation and art history in a very short period of time then any other time in my life.
There will only be one Will Barnet – He was a warm, kind, generous, exceptionally talented, and a humble human being. I’ve been known to say the greatest things in life are free. On New’s Years Day 2012 Will Barnet gave us a million dollar gift by merely calling to wish us a Happy New Year. My God does it get better than that?
To all the ships at sea, until all of the photographs are found for my new book, you’re going to see an awful lot of blogs like this. For about ten years of my life, I spent two or three months a year teaching workshops at The U of A, and I had an opportunity to work with one of the greatest fire departments in the United States. Men and women who are dedicated to saving lives; every day knowing that they would be willing to trade their life to save yours. It takes a very special person to do that. I doubt very much that I could ever be able to do something like this, certainly not on a regular basis. It would me remiss of me to say all of our fire departments and firefighters are extremely special human beings. You know I’m not a big Photoshop guy, but I played a little bit with this.
Equipment: Canon D30, 200mm 1.8, ISO 100, 1/640 of a second, f2.8
One of the first things I remember being taught was that Americans live in the greatest country in the world. It is the longest standing Republic, and we are truly a free country. If any of you have done any traveling, you realize just how great a country we have. There are certain basic and fundamental rules; rules that never change, rules that are not open for discussion. Most of these rules are extremely simple and to the point. In a Democracy, the right to freedom of speech is imperative; it’s basic. But respect for fellow human beings should be part of the protocol, and respect for the President of the United States must be mandated. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent; whether you agree or disagree with policies, you must respect the office of the presidency. If you don’t like what’s happening, you should take your inalienable right to vote and vote the president out of office. In my opinion, Mr. Neil Munro was totally disrespectful to the President of the United States, and he should have his credentials removed from the White House press corps. To add insult to injury, Munro didn’t have the common sense or courtesy to apologize during or after the incident. I don’t expect anyone to live up to my standards, I will share this with you. The above photograph was sent to George W Bush after the events of September 11. I sent him a letter with the photograph, and I said to him in this letter that this photograph was for his personal archives, and that while I did not vote for him, I certainly respected him as the President of the United States. Next week, I will send president Obama my lady liberty photograph and tell him that I respect him and the office.