Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bass Guitar for Dummies

Photos © Joe DiMaggio

There is no doubt in my mind I’m blessed with extremely bright and creative friends. I’ve know an awful lot of bass players in my day but Everett Boyd is special. There virtually isn’t anything he can’t do with a stand up bass or electric bass.

We did a photo session one day and I took him to one of my favorite outdoor studios called the Tunnel (or at least I call it the tunnel.) I asked him for a few different looks, and voila! We came up with the cover of Bass Guitar for Dummies Book.

Everett is now the key bass player for the Bobby Kyle Band. Everett will be one of our models for my upcoming workshop on How to Photograph Musicians and How to Make CD Covers. Soon to be posted on our site.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

30 Years and Counting

Back in the Apollo days, it was a great time for photographers. As a matter of fact, the comradery between photographers was equal to the competition between the photographers. It may have been the end of the golden age of photography and the very beginning of the cold, calculating, digitizing of photography. Al was never a close friend but he was, and is, a great recorder of light, action, stories, and now a very accomplished filmmaker. You learn in our business, you have to respect the competition. Respect is paramount in any relationship, or for that matter it may be the only critical part of a relationship. Al e-mailed me a multi-media show he did which is absolutely awesome called The South in the 60's and I’d like to share it with you. I’m hoping Al and I will have the opportunity to work together in the near future. Check him out; check out his books, he’s an old school heavy weight. Joe D
Al Satterwhite -
Al Satterwhite film -

Ron Thompson, Anthony Donna, Director of Photography Time Magazine- Arnold Drapkin, Ralph Morse, Joe DiMaggio &

Monday, February 8, 2010


All Photo©Joe DiMaggio

The old cliché how do you get to Carnegie Hall, is practice, practice, practice. Cliché’s become that way because they're true. I spent a couple of decades becoming proficient at a certain type of photography and have rules that never, ever change.

At one point in my photography I had one camera designated for Kodachrome 25, another camera designated for Fuji 100, and a third camera for Tri-x, rated at 400 (but I really exposed it at 200.) Why? Because you never want a thin negative. I always wanted to print on number 2 paper. So you spend all of this time learning the zone system, and of course you can't really use it, unless you're shooting a 4x5 or 8x10 view camera. Well then along came digital. So, what do I do? I set the ISO to 50 and I shoot all day at 50. It never dawned on me that I should change it. Of course I know I can change it, but I just didn't. That's the way I looked at digital for the first few years. Now, on the same CF card, I'm shooting 45 shots the equivalent of Kodachrome 25, 60 shots equivalent to an ISO of 50 (for when I used Fuji Velvia), 18 at Tri-X 400, 28 at ISO 800, 1600, or even higher.

What I'm saying is we all have to get with the program and change in order to grow. Bathe yourself in the new technology. Move on and upward - it's exciting. I feel like I'm 16 and I'm re-shooting everything that I've ever done and having a ball doing it. Every once and a while, I even get paid for it. It's all good. Joe D

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Standardization and Simplification

One day I was teaching a class and I came up with a saying, standardization and simplification. To be quite honest, I don't know if I heard it from someone else, or I actually made it up. What do I mean by standardization and simplification? By this I mean, know your equipment, keep it to an absolute minimum, make your insurance photographs, and once you've nailed that then you can experiment. Less is more. Simple, straightforward, composition: it will never fail you. When I visited Japan I was initially very surprised when I visited a Japanese garden. There was nothing there. The anthropologist I was with, took me by the hand and showed me what was there. Very simple, basic, and to the point. Once you see it, you'll never forget it. It's all about visual literacy. So, go out and make some great photos.

Blues Player Eddie Kirkland © Joe DiMaggio

Signing off,
Joe D

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Brian Struble

Copyright Brian Struble

There is an old adage that the student becomes the teacher and the teacher becomes the student, or something like that. Brian started out as a student and I believe went to four workshops. One day I had lost my assistant due to a conflict in scheduling and Brian was kind enough to offer his expertise, not only as an assistant, or second shooter but also as an IT expert. He is well accomplished across the board and when he assists, more times than not, the workshops tend to be better. Brian invited me to a bicycle race but unfortunately, I had an assignment on the west coast. He sent me some photos that he shot. I was so blown away that I incorporated some of his photos into a presentation I did for Adorama. My studio manger passed a comment something to the effect of "why would I put his photos in my presentation" and my answer was "his photos are great and why not?" I'm not the end all of all photography.

Photos Copyright Brian Struble