Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Greetings

Would like to thank all of our great students who sent us greetings for a wonderful Holiday Season.  

The Dyna-lite alumni group has recently got in touch with us and requested a second advanced Dyna-lite studio workshop.  We will be adding it to our 2011 schedule. For those interested date will be announced in an upcoming newsletter.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Artist/Photographer Gary Nicamin 
Every time the Holidays come around I tend to get melancholy. You think of old friends, old times, and of singing Auld Lang Syne. I think of the good old days. A psychologist friend of mine tells me it's normal.  I was working with a new intern today and noticed he was removing some digital dust from a photograph of a dear friend of mine, who passed away. My friend's name was Gary Nicamin. He lived in Hollywood, Los Angeles While I'm feeling in the mood, let me tell you about Gary.  He was one hell of an amazing artist. I met Gary in 1970 and he was the photographer for Chicago, The Beach Boys, Blood Sweat and Tears, and The Turtles. He photographed all of the great sixties and seventies bands. He was also a full blown art director and master of cut and paste. When I had an artistic technical problem I always went to Gary. He also could answer any rock and roll trivia question you could think of.  Gary wore a long Raccoon coat, drove a car that was originally a taxi, and had a penchant for colorful bowling shoes (he had a closet full) which he wore all the time.  At a time when everybody seemed to be stoned on something, Gary NEVER drank or did any type of recreational or prescription drugs.  His only drug of choice was Pepsi Cola. When he wanted to get really high he would eat a chocolate chip cookie. I could spend a long time telling you stories about Gary. So for purposes of this blog we'll call this Gary Episode One.

Here's the story behind the photo; It was approximately a little after 5 AM in the morning. Gary was in his bedroom and I was sleeping on the couch in his studio. I always stayed with Gary whenever I was on assignment in L.A., and in those days it was at least several times a year - usually more. Anyway, I heard sirens screaming, so I got up looked out the window and it seemed like the building next door was on fire. I ran into Gary's bedroom - he was sitting there reading the LA times and watching the local news. I said "Gary I think the building next door is on fire." He said"calm down it's an abandoned building that is being used as a crack house."  He non-chalently, mentioned that it caught on fire frequently.  He led me to the window and we climbed through to get a better view.  I obviously took the opportunity to make this environmental portrait of Gary. Notice the bowling shoes, one of his trade marks. I loved Gary and I sure as hell miss him. A true renaissance man.
-Joe DiMaggio

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When Its Cold It's "$#*!' Cold!

A wise man once said, there is nothing you can do about the weather so just grin and bear it. That SOB must have had six layers on because it is just brutally cold. I guess it's a global warming thing. Or maybe its the ozone layer dissipating. No that wouldn't make sense then it would really be hotter. Enough of this. I'm not only running you in circles, I'm running myself in circles. I was going through a hard drive and I ran across a photo done in Tucson, Arizona, it was done with a 16mm lens severally backlit as you can see. I was under a jump while a mountain bike flew over. The key here to remember is the balance between the sun in the background and the biker's face. I took a rigid 4'x8' piece of insulation which was black on one side and chrome on the other and laid it down as a guide for the biker to hit his mark. The sun light reflecting off the chrome surface of the insulation gave me as close to a proper exposure as I could make. If I was to remake this photograph today I would consider using the Lastolight 36" super reflector. Why? It folds up a whole lot better than a 4'x8' piece of insulation,  and you don't have to drive the Lastolight back to the construction site and give it to the foreman. It just makes sense. In 2010 all cameras and all lenses are great. Its up to you, the photographer to come up with a different composition, and maybe a little different lighting. They say everything has been done before, and that may or may not be true. But as Photographers/Artists we have to come up with a different viewpoint.

To all the ships at Sea - Stay warm, I think I'm going to get on a plane and go to Tucson.
-Joe DiMaggio

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times Part II

I'd like to mention another young lady who works for Dick Blick Art Supplies. We were having an opening in our gallery and I needed to procure a wooden art stand.  When it arrived within three days of our show, it had a minor defect.  I called Blick and they FedEx'd a second one out in time at no charge and told me to keep the first one.  They also followed up with a replacement piece making the first one work properly.  Sound familiar? Again they did the right thing.

To be continue...

Monday, November 29, 2010

It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times Part I

My best friend, and partner tells me that my blog should be used for photographic information only. Even though I have the utmost respect for her,  I'm sneaking behind her back on this.

Recently, I've had some good experiences with companies that stand behind their products. For instance, I had a 13 year old ladder that had a lifetime guarantee and it just broke. I called Home Depot and  told them my ladder broke. The customer service person said the company was out of business and they no longer carry those ladders, but if I'd like to come in they'd give me 50% off a new ladder. So I went in and picked out a ladder. Much to my surprise when I went to checkout, there was a green sticker on the ladder and the cashier said it was paid for. The manager saw fit to make sure I left a happy camper. This young lady understood that she's not just selling ladders but is selling a service, and a happy satisfied customer translates not only into future sales but the best advertising in the world, which is word of mouth.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Theres dumb and then theres me

To all the ships at Sea,

My partner and my son decided they have to have iPhones.  I tried to resist strongly for a while but figured if they had to have one there was something to it.  It was something I just did not want to do, but figured maybe I was behind the times.

Our son insisted that my iPhone be encased in a heavy duty Otter box case because I am sometimes tough on my phone. I guess that was a good thing because yesterday I went to physical therapy for almost two hours then came back and decided to take me best friend Ace for a three mile walk. Getting into the car I decided to take his bell off, but my hands were full so I placed my iPhone on the roof of the car. I drove the four and half miles home, went in, and went back to the studio for some editing work. Dylan was just back for a visit after  being out at sea for a month filming tuna fishing. He took the car downtown to get the mail, I didn't think anything of it but he was gone for an hour and a half. He walked in and said something to the effect that there was a minor problem with an iPhone.  Told him that if he broke his company iPhone I was not going to replace it (he has the iPhone 4). He then began to tell me on his trip back he heard a scratching sound and then a thump, the phone hit one of the struts on the roof rack before it decided to fly out at 60mph on route six. My son looked into the rear view mirror when he hit the bump and he saw the phone hit the pavement and preceded to do a Nascar tumble, all this time I'm thinking its his phone, and I'm not happy. Then he informed me it was my phone. He handed back to me a phone without a mark on it, the case was a little chewed up but it worked perfectly. It wouldn't allow me to make any phone calls but with ATT that was normal.

If you are crazy enough to buy an iPhone I strongly suggest you buy an Otter box case. By the way I've dropped it three or four times without any problems. What the hell does this have to do with photography? You forgot my iPhone is a camera. Next week I'll tell you a story about a Nikon F, Yankee  Stadium and a Volkswagen. The Otter box case is drop dead stupendous, it is more than enough protection I will ever need to protect my iPhone camera.

Signing off,
-Joe DiMaggio

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hip graduation

As most of you know I  had bilateral hip surgery late April. I've just been informed that I have graduated from my physical therapy. I have been taking physical therapy at the Drayer physical therapy institute.

Dear Mr. Drayer:
I've just been handed a patient satisfactory survey. In filling it out I realized that I would be unable to tell you how I feel about your company. I think it needed more of a letter. In the past 30 plus years, as an internationally known photographer and filmmaker, I've had the pleasure to work with several Fortune 500 companies- IBM, Apple, ATT etc.

Let me get to the point, I judge a corporation not by its logo, color scheme or proximity to a major road. The most important thing is service and people. You're a lucky man. every person that i have ever dealt with at Drayer has been 100% helpful and wonderful. what you have are great people and that's what makes a great company.  the interesting part to me, is NO not in their vocabulary from the Senior PT gentleman Chris Ferlo, to the young female receptionist.

If you were a public company I'd buy your stock. I presume their passion and their understanding must come from the top man at the company and that's you.

Sincerely ,
Joe DiMaggio

Just to bring everything full circle Chris has offered me a health maintenance program which I jumped at, so my relationship with Drayer will continue for a long time.
Great people, great leadership, great attitudes. WHAT A PLEASURE ITS ALL GOOD.

A photographer has to have some basic fundamental skills in lighting, composition, impact, structure and dynamics that all come down to visual literacy. The other thing a photographer has to have is a great personality and he has to understand and emphasize with the people he is photographing. For the most part you become an amateur psychologist. The personnel at Drayer have a wonderful understanding of the individual problems that people go through not only physically but mentally. The key with my family at Drayer is they genuinely care, they understand and they're there for me. They're there for the high school student who hurt their ankle the senior citizen who broke a hip, the police officer who dislocated his shoulder.

The reality is they are really amazing people who are motivated to help people. You just couldn't get a better group. Thank you to the crew; Chris, Nancy, Christina, Ryan, Penny, Toni, Tracey, Carol, Jess, Stacy, Connie, Danielle, Chrissy, Jean, Scott, Kevin, Dale, Laura, Denise.

You guys are great,
-Joe DiMaggio

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There have been turning points in the new millennium. The first and foremost turning point was the attack on September 11, 2001 The World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the heroic crash in Pennsylvania.  Up until that point, travel was relatively simple and straight-forward but today travel has become more difficult and rightly so. A bright traveler has so do everything they can  to minimize the shock of intense scrutiny at the airports, ship terminals, train stations and so on.  So the first consideration, is to pack two weeks early.  Once you've done that, cut this in half. If you think I'm joking I'm not!  Forty eight hours before the trip cut things back again.  Like most modern day travelers, you will be traveling with a laptop computer - obviously carry on. I also strongly recommend a carry-on camera/video bag and incorporate your personal and mandatory items in that same bag.  For instance, in a side pouch of your camera bag you want to carry a tooth brush, contact lenses, mouthwash (under 3 oz), and maybe a change of underwear just in case your luggage gets lost and any prescription medication.  The concept here is for you to be mobile and self-contained. 

Now as a traveling photographer, in the new millennium zoom lenses are not only acceptable but in many cases as good as prime lenses and relatively fast. For instance  a 16-35mm, 24-70 and 70-200, and two camera bodies. With that you've got two travelers covered with almost anything you'd want to photograph on your trip.  Always remember extra batteries and a battery charger.  If you recall, when I told you to cut back on your clothing here is where you don't cut back on.  You want to double the number of flash cards you think you need and  if you think you need 6 take 12 cards.  This is also a good time to increase your compact flash size to 16 gig UDMA cards and if you're anything like us and you're shooting video, you will need large fast cards.  Last but not least, you will need an in-the-field downloading unit.  Also, In your luggage you'd want to put a small light carbon fiber tripod and a monopod.  Last but not least carry a strong zip lock bag and before you get to security put your jewelry, coins, wallet, phone, etc into it.  Much easier to do then in dribs and drabs. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


Photo© Joe DiMaggio

Every once in a while the moon and stars become aligned and the world is a great place to be.  This is one of those times. I just came back from 3 consecutive assignments and all clients were extremely happy - that's the moon. JoAnne and I had three successful, actually great workshops - that's the stars.  To put them in perfect alignment a bright, talented and good friend  asked us to contribute to his new company by the name of EXPLORER H2O. Suffice to say, we are honored to contribute to H2O aligning both moon and stars.  The new company will be all about the cruise ship industry from both passenger and personnel standpoint. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patty Smith

I was driving back from a gig in Montauk Point at 1 AM and heard two back to back songs from Patty Smith. It kinda blew me away and got me thinking. I photographed them several times, but of course that was film. Trying to find the negatives was not going to be easy. My filing system leaves a little bit to be desired, okay it leaves a lot to be desired. I did come across a work print, which i put in my Epson scanner. I'll continue to look for the negative. I guess this is Joe D. just reminiscing. But that is not a bad.TRIX at 1200, 85mm 1.2 500 of a second at 1.4. That's it. Signing off Joe D.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You can't Have Enough Backlight

The combination of severe backlight, high key, and a half to three quarters of overexposure will give you some very dynamic photographs. It is simple, straight forward, and works all the time. I was finishing up a three mile walk with my puppy and I stumbled across this American Flag blowing in the wind. There are a few variations here. The lead shot is my favorite. They were done with a 17 to 50, 2.8 Sigma lens. At the end of a fall day the sky was gray. By blowing it out, we now have a white sky. Cropping in the camera is mandatory, moving it as close to possible and cutting down the air space between flag and lens is also critical. Have fun with the shutter speed. You could also fill it with flash. It's a fun little project.
All Images Copyright Joe DiMaggio  ©

Use it or Lose it!

One of the biggest complaints JoAnne and I hear from amateurs and pros is that they have nothing to photograph. When I hear that sometimes my jaw clenches, and if I'm not careful, I could break a tooth. The reality is you could spend half a lifetime in your backyard and never make the same photograph twice. Let's beat up two more cliches, Practice makes perfect. The other complaint I hear is that, "I don't have enough time in the day to make great photos." My answer is, MAKE THE TIME! One of my students, Larry Malang, asked if I would do his portrait for his webpage. Of course I would be happy to do his portrait for a $1500 sitting fee. Larry thought that was fair. We spent about 20 minutes in the studio, had several usable frames. Oops! I don't mean frames I mean digital images. Sometimes I fall back to  ASA. Okay, I know it's ISO. One of the reasons I jumped at this photographic opportunity is because he is an extremely bright and creative gentleman. He has been reincarnated several times. I find his face and his intensity charming. Larry, the check is in the mail right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time to Re-Boot

The whole concept of social networking sometimes leaves me in a tizzy. I've been told that when you put things out on the internet, someday it may come back and bite you on the ass. That has not bothered me from day one. So why start worrying about it now! Many photographers and filmmakers who have joined me at the Learning Center know that I like to have a work station outside, especially in great weather. In the Fall, the upper Delaware Valley can be gloriously beautiful, with vibrant colors and crisp air. It is a great time to be alive. But every once in a while, there is an instant and severe LM storm. In my dear friend, Bill DeSmedt's book "Singularity" there is a passage, " When all else fails, re-boot." So here I am re-booting. As soon as I figure out how to upload the HD video, you can see some of the outtakes, which are pretty funny! By the way, which way to the life boats? To all the ships at sea. Signing off
Joe D.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Love Simple

I love simple, probably because I'm not that complicated. On my first trip to Japan, I was working on a extensive essay with and extremely bright anthropologist. The articles that we did turned into a small book. We went up North of Tokyo about 150 kilometers to experience a Japanese tea ceremony/ Tea House, and also a Japanese garden. I was very taken with the fact that the garden, approximately 150ft long by 70ft wide, had three rocks and a bed of pebbles. After spending the better part of 45 minutes I finally got with the program, I figured out that within the simplicity of this garden was complication. It is all about allowing your mind to be part of the artwork, because that is true art. The experience drastically changed my attitude towards simplicity in my photography, and film making. Granted, there are times that my photos do not meet those standards, not because I haven't tried, they just didn't work out. The photo above is a photo that is specifically taken for me. I was thinking about that Japanese garden when I made the photograph. Tune in next week for Patty Smith. Signing off, Joe D.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bert Sugar aka Bert The Great

Good friends try to keep their requests for assistance down to a minimum. Every time I've asked Bert Sugar for a favor, he's always come across. There is an old italian word for bert. He's a real "Mench" You can tell how good my Italian is. Bert joined me and Dylan yesterday as Gleasons Gym to interview Oscar De La Hoya. Bert being the profesional that he is, made a few executive decisions. We managed to get through the day unscathed and with all of the information we needed for our film "In This Corner". Oh my God, that's the name of the blog! What a coincidence! As day was winding into early evening, Bert wanted to go for a cocktail. Anyone who knows Bert, has to get used to three things; his fedora, his cigar, and his double Chivas Regal neat. I'm pretty sure that's scotch whiskey! So we left Gleason's and strolled over to a lovely little wine bar, 7 Old Fulton. It was way to early for dinner, and way to late for lunch. It was perfect timing for us to kick back and exchange war stories. Bert just returned from Miami, where he helped our mutual friend Angelo Dundee re-open the 5th Street Gym, after having been closed for 17 years. Boxing is coming back to Miami in a big way.The principles at the restaurant were of Italian heritage from Triest. The decor was beautiful, the food spectacular, and a genuine warm place to go with some friends  for a cocktail and dinner. I affectionally call Bert the "Bertster", and he calls me Uncle Joe (don't ask.) It was a great day, a hell of a lotta fun. That's it, Signing off. - Joe D.

All Images Copyright © Joe DiMaggio

Monday, September 27, 2010

Timex keeps on Ticking

It appears that the world is moving at light speed. Or maybe it's warp speed. I'll have to ask Bill Shatner which one is faster. Yesterday, my partner JoAnne Kalish found an old jewelry box. Yes i said Jewelry box, of mine. In the jewelry box was a fifty year old timex watch. So I looked at it, decided to wind it and guess what. It worked! So I set the time and checked it twelve hours later. It was dead on. In a drawer I very rarely go to, I have about fifteen plus watches. Guess what, I don't use any of them! Of course I keep time with my iPhone. Probably, my most expensive watch, $700. As we all know the iPhone can't make a decent phone call. Like a friend of mine said, "It's not the phone's fault it's AT&T" The bottom line is I can't make to many phone calls, but it does keep good time.
Joe D. Signing off.

All images Copyright © Joe DiMaggio

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Montauk in September

All Photos © Joe DiMaggio 

Four days off after a major corporate shoot and film for Galvanic Printing, see my vimeo page. Anyone who's been to any of my workshops, lectures, or our DiMaggio/Kalish Learning Center knows that they hear the same thing over and over. Less is more. Both JoAnne and I receive many questions about the quality of photographic products. My answer is relatively simple. Whatever works for you, and whatever you can afford is what it's all about. Let's remember the photographer makes the photograph. One of my long-time assistants Larry Malang asked me "Are Canon and Nikon lenses better then Sigma's?" My answer was very simple. "Canon and Nikon make great glass, and so does Sigma" One thing about Sigma glass that is really impressive, is that the lenses work very well with severe backlight. I shoot a lot of  backlight because I love it!  I took three new lenses with me to Montauk for a well deserved four day busmans holiday. The 8-16mm , the 17-50mm  f/2.8, and the 70-200mm. I use all of these lenses specifically for video. As soon as I can cut some footage, I will post it on Vimeo. In the mean time, here are a few photos that are severely back and side lit.  Utilizing the new lenses. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that they have great color and great contrast. Great shooting.
Joe D.

All Photographs Copyrighted Joe DiMaggio  ©

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog?

To blog or not to blog, that is the question. The reality is, I've had two major assignments in the last month. My first priority is to my clients. I love all of you guys, but business before pleasure. This is really great business. I had an opportunity to work with a dear friend, Dennis Wheeler, Dennis was not only the creative director but art director on a major shoot for John Moss of Galvanic Printing. Dennis was commissioned by John to generate a wall mural to compliment his new Hidelburg press. Dennis will do all the design work and the actually assembling of the collage in both the foyer and in the press area. My job was to photograph the stills and Dylan Michael will generate the HD video. There are very few times when you have all of the stars aligned in the right direction. Any time I can work with Dennis, John, & Dylan it's a great thing! The creative juices flow the way the ink flows on the paper. The combination of this assignment and my first four consecutive days off in Montauk Point, I feel great! So if anybody would like to borrow a lens, now would be a good time to get in touch with me. NOT! I was totally fascinated by the empty ink cans and we will incorporate those graphic designs into the final layouts. So thanks Dennis, John, & Dylan. It's all good. I'll have a lot more to say about this in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Johnny Eye, aka John The Great Iacono

I'm blessed to have great friends. I'm also blessed to know some of the finest photographers of our time. John Iacono has had an illustrious career with Sports Illustrated, that spanned almost six decades. When he started at SI, his hair was really really dark. Johnny is not only a great photographer, but he's probably the best liked person in the business. He never raises his voice, he never breaks out into a sweat, he never tenses up, and he always comes back with a great photograph.
John is also a survivor. He's been injured numerous times in the course of his work. John, Dylan, and myself had dinner recently and he took a few snaps of me and I pass them along.

It was the best of times

Every once in a while, the stars and the moon align perfectly, and an elite group of photographers get together and share the beauty and the camaraderie of a photo shoot.
What would make it better is not a real photo shoot, but rather a feature film called "Lights Out," for FX. We were all contracted to do something that sometimes we have a hard time doing. And that's to make great photographs, ring side, at a boxing match. By now, you're wondering if when I got up this morning, I drank a half a bottle of white lightning, followed by a crackpipe. The answer is no, I'm stone sober! And I just heard from the other side of the room, JoAnne said, "That's scary!" She's in the other corner.
Our elite group consisted of myself, Joe DiMaggio, John Iacono , Teddy Blackburn, Will Hart, Ken Regan, Craig Blankenhorn, and Al Bello.

The next time you wanna have a 16hr day, call any one of these great photographers, and they will give you the proper direction as applicable to not only your equipment, and your dress, but the overall attitude required to spend over that amount of time for a shoot.

© Photo Joe DiMaggio

Monday, August 23, 2010

2.8 And Be There, Version II

Hi guys & gals,
and to all the ships at sea-

Yankee Stadium, Yuri Foreman/Cotto pre-press day, waiting for credentials. 2 hours to kill, decided to do some environmental portraits in and around the stadium. Ran into a beautiful Cuban musician, by the name of Luis. Asked for permission to shoot a few frames, 300ml, 2.08, ISO 100, 1,000/2.8, works for me.
In this case, shot several verticals and then moved to horizontal. Also, asked and was granted a model release. Subsequently, I have hired Luis on other shoots as liason/interpretor for the Cuban/Spanish/Mexican brothers & sisters in the Bronx. It's all good.

© Photos Joe DiMaggio

2.8 And Be There

I don't know who's the first photographer to say "F8, and be there." I believe the first time I heard it was 1965, but don't quote me. Many great photos were taken "F8 and be there," I'd rather think in terms of "2.8 and be there."
In the case of this spontaneous, informal non-lit environmental portrait of Tony Sirico, alias Paulie Walnuts of The Sopranos, while photographing the Yuri Foreman/Miguel Cotto pre-fight press conference, and weigh-in. Tony was chatting up a few of his "Gumbas," I was moving to field level at Yankees stadium, picked the camera up, 300ml, 2.8, Gitzo monopod, ISO 800, 500/second at 208 (clean foreground and background) focused on eyes, 6 frames, before we stopped to just shoot the proverbial. He's a Brooklyn boy, and he's one of my pisanos.
What we learned here, is always to be ready. Camera, card, charged battery, pre-select the focus point, pre-select the shutter speed and aperture, pick the camera up, tweak the focus,
push the damn button.

2.8 and be there, man.

© Photo Joe DiMaggio

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tricks of the Trade: 360 Degree Video

Recently, I had the opportunity to do a 360 degree panorama in an extremely tight space. I stripped everything down to a bare minimum and decided to triple-shoot it, HD video, with three different cameras. A medium large, DSLR, a Hero Go-pro, and an iPhone 4G. I discarded the iPhone immediately because I couldn't fabricate a bracket fast enough. The Go-Pro and the DSLR were placed flush on a lazy susan, which I quickly fabricated from two pieces of wood I had in the studio, and a teflon/ball bearing LS. I didn't have time to embed a 1/4 20. So I reached into my bag of tricks, took out a piece of modeling clay, and temporarily cemented the camera to the lazy susan. Clean, simple, inexpensive...Oh yeah, and it works. When you try to remove the camera, it's almost like it's cemented to the turntable. But once it pops up, a little bit of denatured alcohol, and it's clean as a whistle. Don't get it in the hole for the 1/4 20! It will take a little time getting that out.. and as we all know, time is money.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photoshop Vs. A Pruning Tool

I have the utmost respect for the computer mavens who can make the sun rise and fall with Photoshop, and believe me-- I don't say that lightly.We all have to know what we are good at. I would like to believe that I am a good photographer/film maker/designer. But I'll tell you- My Photoshop skills are limited, because that's the way I want it.

Recently, I stumbled across a momma bird hatching 4 eggs, I shot with 3 cameras over a 5 day period. Two hours into the shoot, I realized that I was losing 70% of my photos because of dead branches and vines in the way. I proceeded to do a "Joe DiMaggio Photoshop," which consisted of a 6ft ladder, and some pruning shears. I cleaned up the composition. New idea? I don't think so!

In 1968, I was at my first Indianapolis 500, turn one, eye-level shot, 33 cars, chain link fence, snip snip with the dikes, bend chain link, lens through chain link...Great photo.

I guess there's nothing new under the sun.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tricks of the Trade: Simple is Always Better

On a recent photo safari, I noticed one of the advanced students had a polarizing screen on in a very deep shade situation, with no reflective surface, attempting to do an environmental portrait. What I suggested- He remove the polarizing screen, he said, "It's stuck."
I said "No problem," I tried to muscle it off... It didn't work. I went to my small Kata backpack to retrieve a rubberized jar lid remover. And for whatever reason, I forgot. And then it dawned on me- what I had carried for over 20 years at SI & Time, I always carried a pair of rubber gloves. (Occasionally, a rubber chicken.)
Ok, it was a real chicken.
Concept of rubber gloves- Fingers and palms can be used to remove filters, parts of the camera,etc.. And if you get a flat, you don't get dirty hands.
Oh, by the way, they're only about $1.50 a pair. They also come in handy if you want to hold up the camera store. The obvious problem with that is- there are no more camera stores! Spend $1.50, get a pair of rubberized gloves, keep one in each bag, someday it will come in handy.

© Joe DiMaggio 2010

Joseph- August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Joseph.
I love you,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

© Joe DiMaggio MMIX

Blogs were not intended to be obituaries. Then again, young men are not supposed to die. Val Kosenkov was one of the most sweet, lovely people I have ever met. Unlike some of my friends that I've known for twenty, thirty years, I knew Val for only five years. His lovely daughter, Kristyne, was my studio manager, and recently came back to help on the cutting of a new documentary. Val had a beautiful smile, great disposition, and would go out of his way to help a stranger. God did not make many people better than Val, but for whatever reason, he chose to take him at a very young age. I know all the cliches, and I don't particularly like them. Things like, "He's in a better place."
I will always remember him, and I will remember him often and fondly.
So Val, continue on your voyage because death is not the end, it's a new beginning.
Your friend,
Joe DiMaggio

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Third Man In

We've all heard the expression, "The third man in the ring". Man people who don't follow boxing don't realize how important that third man is. When I saw Arthur Mercante Jr. step into the ring and saw that black arm band, it really got to me. His dad, Arthur Mercante Sr., went to school with my father and I met Sr. 40 years ago. There is no doubt in anyones mind that he was the greatest boxing referee of all times. He was the class act, nobody better. When Arthur Mercante Jr. took charge of the Cotto- Foreman fight, it was amazing. He never let the control slip away from himself. Like his father before him, he handled himself properly, like a gentleman, and with the power of his convictions. There was no doubt in my mind that Arthur Sr. was looking down with a gigantic smile on his face and was so proud of his son. I take my barret off to both of them.

Photos © Dylan DiMaggio

Not The Outcome We Wanted

June 5 2010 will go down as a day I watched two people I genuinely care about lose their fights; James Moore and Yuri Foreman. That's the bad news. The good news is they both fought with tremendous courage and pride and neither one of them gave up. The first thing they teach you at the University of Missouri School of Journalism is to never get involved with the people your photographing or filming on any level, period. I've not only believed it but I've told scores of other photographers and filmmakers the same thing. What a hypocrite I must be, I did everything I could do not to get close to either one of these guys. Even though the relationships are radically different, I would've loved to had seen them succeed in their goals. Success is a good thing. Winning is a good thing but I guess we all have to learn from our non successes. I can't use the f word because failure is not an option- it's never an option. I've spent 5 years working with Harry Keitt, James Moore, Yuri Foreman and several other very bright, talented people.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alexis Iacono

Oh my god, I'm going to say it again, I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world. Over the years I've had a very good friend by the name of John Iacono who has a beautiful wife, by the name of Nancy and an extremely beautiful daughter who is now acting, modeling, and doing voice over's- pretty cool stuff. I remember many years ago having Alexis as one of my models for a photographic ad for one of the camera manufacturers. I believe we used 5 or 6 young people but even then at age 10,11, or 12, Alexis was head and shoulders above the rest not only in beauty but in presentation in how she acted and reacted under pressure. You don't have to be much of a visionary to know that this girl is going a long way. And what a great sense of humor; she said in her last email, "But like Marsha Mason says to Richard Dreyfuss in the Good Bye Girl 'Ask an actor a question and he gives you his credits.'"

June 5- Yankee Stadium

I remember Floyd Patterson beating Ingemar Johansson, then it was Cautious Clay (Muhammad Ali) against Sonny Liston. I think a lot of people will remember this fight- Yuri Foreman against Miguel Cotto. As most of you know, I've been working 5 years on a documentary and Yuri Foreman is the main protagonist along with Harry Keitt, James Moore and several other players.There hasn't been a fight in Yankee Stadium since 1976; Mohammad Ali against Ken Norton. In my opinion, the key to any great sport's photograph is timing, shutter speed, timing, and yes, timing again. You study a boxer and you know he throws combinations of 3 lefts, 1 right, 2 lefts, 1 right, and then a hook to the body. You try to time it. Peak action is absolutely critical. There's a point where a glove moving very quickly stops for a millisecond on a person's chin. In a perfect word, that's what your looking for. As a photographer and former photojournalist, you're not supposed to root but that's hard not to do. On the evening of June 5th, I'd love to see 2 people win, James Moore and Yuri Foreman. A simplification of
peak action is 2.8 and be there. Yes it's a take off of F8 and be there. Joe D
Photo© Joe DiMaggio

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Photographic Community

What I'm about to say has absolutely nothing to do with F stops, apertures, depth of field, or depth of focus. It has to do with the photographic community, how I was brought up in it and how it translates to 2010. When I started (x) number of years ago, there was an unwritten law that you would always try to help out a fellow photographer. As the age of the computer and internet arrived, things became a little less personal. I don't believe anybody made a change in attitude with malice of thought but there was obviously some changes. Maybe it had something to do with business becoming tighter and tighter. To be quite honest, I really don't know. Yesterday, I had an hour and a half conversation with one of the greatest photographers of our day, John Iacono. Johnny Eye stated at Sports Illustrated when he was 16 and I think he's now 29, maybe a little older. We've been friends and neighbors for a long time and Johnny is just one of the nicest people God put on this earth. In case I didn't mention it, he is also a great photographer. Earlier yesterday, I ran into another great photographer, Marty Rosengarten from Ringside Photos. Marty is a world class boxing photographer. There's an old Italian adage for someone like Marty, he's a mench. Marty was kind and generous enough to make a photograph of me with my dear friend Yuri Foreman. In the five years I've known Yuri, no one has ever done that- so Marty was the first. Exactly what is the purpose of this blog? What I'm trying to say is the family/community of photographers is alive and well. Thank you Marty, thank you Johnny, thank you Yuri.

Photos © Marty Rosengarten