Monday, February 28, 2011

Eddie Kirkland Rest in Peace

August 16, 1923 - February 27, 2011

Eddie Kirkland 
Photo © Joe DiMaggio

Sometime in 1923 a male child was born in the Island of Jamaica.  He went onto being one of the greatest Blues Players of our time.  Yesterday in Tampa, Florida Eddie Kirkland was killed in a car crash. Eddie's gone but the music will go on forever.  My dear friend Bobby Kyle introduced me to Eddie several years back, I had an opportunity to not only photograph him but my son Dylan was able to shoot some great HD footage on him - some pretty powerful stuff.

The world has lost another great artist.  Our prayers go out to the Kirkland family.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

There is a God.

                                                   ©Joe DiMaggio
Gene Smith
12/20/1918 - 10/15/1978
If you follow this blog, you know I tend to be wordy, and repeat myself. You've heard me say I'm the luckiest guy in the world, and that's just true. I had an opportunity to assist Gene Smith back in the day and I can't tell you how much I learned. In the last 20 years I felt guilty because I didn't execute in a way that Smith would be proud of my work. I made photographs for clients that wanted and needed to control the situation. When pushed too hard, I resigned several clients, which in today's market, would be just crazy. It's only in the last few years I'm starting to go back to what Gene taught me. I hope it shows in my documentary film making. There is no doubt if Smith was alive today, he would be doing films rather than stills. The bottom line is he was the greatest, period, end of discussion. Nobody was better. I don't think we're going to see anybody better. Yes, Smith was a God! Thank you, Gene and I miss you everyday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sometimes good things happen with no particular rhyme or reason. I have a good friend by the name of Victor Goretsky. Victor had an opportunity to work with a very talented, powerful young lady by the name of Lenore Rigel. Her life partner  is author Jerome Charyn, an absolute brilliant writer,. I received an invitation to the reception celebrating his new book Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil. Of course, I will absolutely be there. Now just for the record, it will be held at Goldman and  McCormick Studios. How many people out there believe in bizarre coincidences? Normally, I would not click on the studio web page, but I did and noticed that one of the principles looked very familiar. The reason he looked familiar is because his dad, Bill McCormick and I have been friends for over 35 years. You know, you can't make this stuff up. I haven't seen Ryan since he was 5 years old. It should be one hell of a party! I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Singh Ray: The only filter

 © 2011 Joe DiMaggio

A cool hello to all the ships at sea. There was a time in my photographic repertoire where I had 30 or 40 different filters and different sizes. In the day, there were several types of black and white film, and two or three color films you wanted to add a little pop to. Since the advent of digital, I found myself saying "Who needs filters anymore?", especially with Photoshop. Like many other things I've done over the years, if I wait long enough, I'll prove myself wrong. The reality is that I now exclusively use the best filters money can buy, and that's Singh-ray. My relationship with Singh-ray goes back to 1974 when I purchased my first Singh-ray filter to correct my underwater housing, and it worked very well. For the most part, Singh-ray filters tend to be custom-made. All of their designs are definitely out-of-the-box. Each one has a very specific application. You may not need them all, for that matter I may not need them all, but there are few absolute essentials. The LB Color Intensifier is number one. The second is the Singh-ray Gold-N-Blue. Since the advent of DSLR video, the filter is drop dead great. Anybody who follows my work knows that I like long exposures, very long exposures. So, the next filter in my camera bag is the variable neutral density filter. Singh-ray has a filter for everyone's application. It's interesting to see the reaction to students when I lend them a filter. Invariably, the following workshop they've gone out and procured that filter. For the record, I'm not a big HDR shooter, but someone needed a sample of HDR and I knocked one out utilizing my Singh-ray LB Color Intensifier filter. I also used that filter on my Ace puppy. By the way, he loves licking that filter!

 © 2011 Joe DiMaggio

 © 2011 Joe DiMaggio

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fabulous Fabio

On a recent trip to Israel I had an opportunity to meet Bellina from Kata Bags. Bellina is Director of Production at Kata. She was kind enough to give my partner JoAnne Kalish, myself and friend Simon Jacob, a tour of her facility. While we were there Bellina asked if both JoAnne and I would like to be judges in their Dream Bag Contest which we were very happy to do. 

At the time, I mentioned to Bellina that I had an idea for a utilitarian photo vest. She was gracious enough to pass my ideas along to Fabio Prada. Fabio is based in the Northern part of Italy near Milan. Fabio is the Chief Design Engineer of the new line of Manfrotto photographic apparel. Fabio and I have spoke several times over the last few months. He agreed to entertain some of my ideas for the vest.  Fabio invited me to meet him at the Manfrotto Photographic conference when he was in town. He graciously told me how much he liked my original Photo Kilt which was sold in Europe 15 years ago. Just for the record, I did not come up with the name Photo Kilt (someone else's idea)  but did design the product. Fabio pulled out all the stops with the new Manfrotto, photo Jacket/Vest (see below.) Actually it's a complete photo system in one, including rain gear, poncho, shell and two proprietary back packs which are out-of-this-world.  For that matter the complete new line is awesome. The new Manfrotto apparel line will be available by March 1, 2011. You can rest assured, I will be treating myself to a new jacket.

A Very Special Person

Every once in a while you come across a very special person. One of my student's Ann Raine, has had an extremely versatile career. Her travels have taken her all over the world. She's as comfortable in a high level meeting with a Fortune 500 Company as she is making environmental portraits on the streets of NYC. I've recently asked Anne to become one of the the new board members for our DiMaggio/Kalish Photographic Retreats, along with Brian Struble and Larry Malang.