Thursday, March 31, 2011

DUMBO Workshop

     Thanks to everyone – it was a fun day. Thanks, JoeD, for the great workshop, and thanks Dylan, Larry and Monica, for all that you contribute to making these photo workshops possible.

                                                                                                                      ©Ann Raine

     Thanks for sending your email address and thanks for your hospitality yesterday at your firehouse. It was a great visit. Here's one photo- more on the way later, but I really liked the way you were laughing in this one.

            Ann Raine

DUMBO Workshop

                                         ©Rhonda Griscti
Thanks for a great day. I learned so much and I have about 100 photos that I really like from the day. Below are a couple of my favorites.

     Rhonda Griscti

                                                                            ©Rhonda Griscti

                                                                           ©Rhonda Griscti

                                                                            ©Rhonda Griscti

                                                                            ©Rhonda Griscti

                                         ©Rhonda Griscti

                                                   ©Rhonda Griscti

DUMBO Workshop

    Thanks again for a wonderful workshop and learning experience. It was truly a good day and being surrounded by talented individuals made it even better! I truly appreciate the clear cut way you spoke about photography, techniques, and stressing how everyone should be having fun. I'm very glad to have taken part of the Dumbo workshop and will look forward to future workshops with you.

      Angelica Y. Criscuolo

Sunday's Student

                               ©Stephen Wakschal

A Photowalk is much like a photograph; having multiple elements, location, weather, access, perspective, etc.  When the elements are in sync the result is an interesting and technically correct image and when the elements in a photowalk are in sync, the result is a most rewarding experience.  This was the case with the DUMBO Photowalk with Joe DiMaggio.  All of the elements were there; Joe's intimate knowledge of his "subjects," his availability to answer questions, the access to locations we were afforded and the reception we were given.  As a group we benefited from Joe's reputation within the photography and film world.  This was a full day of "photography with photographers."  Joe's wit and humor fostered the bond between the group and set the mood for the experience.  I highly recommend this, and and any other workshop/photowalk with Joe DiMaggio.

              Dr. Stephen Wakschal

                                                                      ©Stephen Wakschal

                                                     ©Stephen Wakschal

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In This Corner The Final Chapter

Delen Parsley before fight
The first thing you learn in journalism school is there has to be a beginning, middle and end. Six years ago when I started the documentary "In This Corner" (I thought it would only take a year) I knew the film would have a beginning, middle but no end One of the protagonists in my film asked me if I was directing the documentary.  I explained the director was a combination of God, and him and I show up and watch the story progress.  On Sunday the 27th I had a Dumbo Workshop, sponsored by Adorama and ran into an old friend by the name of Blimp.  He informed me his son Delan would be having another fight at BB King's and would I be going?  I told Blimp thanks for the heads up and why did he give me so much notice?  Dylan and I made an executive decision to go to the fight. We prepped the following day and headed out for another 12 hour day. I'm going to share this with you - something magical happened that evening. For the first time in many decades, I was totally relaxed and at peace with the world. I indirectly thought, let the shit fall where it falls because I'm going to have a great evening. I let Dylan do all the hard work. Well somewhere around 3 in the morning after having a celebratory Jameson with James Moore, John Duddy, and Dylan Michael, we raised a glass to James Moore's new baby who coincidentally is also called Dylan Michael. I realized that the time they are a'changing.  I believe that this attitude change is going to stay with me for the balance of my career and I'm hoping it leads to much better filmmaking and my photography.  At least several run on sentences ago, I mentioned a beginning, middle and end.  The combination of Delan Parsley's unanimous decision Win, running into my old friend writer Pete Hamill, and grabbing a flying noisy interview with Trainer Harry Keitt, Lou DeBella, James Moore and Duddy, we now have an honest no bullshit end to "In This Corner"  Three more days of talking head interviews, two days of "B" role, and 9 months of editing and with any luck at all we'll have a completed (I want it to be great) film.

Photos ©DiMaggio or Dylan Michael



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Joe DiMaggio (the photographic slugger) checks in to say Singh-Ray is the only filter for him

"There was a time in my photographic career," says veteran freelancer Joe DiMaggio, "when I had 30 or 40 different filters in various sizes. In those days, there were several types of black-and-white film, and two or three color films that often needed a little more pop.

"With the advent of digital, I found myself asking 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. Turns out that my filters are often the difference between success and frustration.

"The reality is that I now actively and exclusively use what I feel are the best filters available: Singh-Ray. My relationship with Singh-Ray goes back to 1974 when I purchased my first filter to correct my underwater housing, and it worked very well. I've found Singh-Ray filters to be expertly crafted, and all their designs are definitely outside-the-box. Each one has a specific application. You may not need them all. For that matter, I may not need them all, but there are several I find absolutely essential. TheLB Color Intensifier is number one. Another is the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer. Since the arrival of DSLR video, the Gold-N-Blue is drop-dead great. Anybody who follows my work knows that I like long exposures, very long exposures. So, the next favorite filter in my camera bag is the Vari-NDvariable neutral density filter. And I've also got to mention my trusty LB Polarizer.

"This Hobie Catamaran photograph above was done with a Singh-Ray polarizing filter -- and Kodachrome 25 film -- a few years before the 'lighter, brighter' version came out. The polarizer really helped me cut glare to get all the color that Kodachrome was famous for. It was taken from the top mast on a Hobie 16. Living on the sea afforded me a window of Northport Harbor. Watching the boats pass by was like a ballet of color and contrast. I made friends with one of the captains and photographed from one boat to another, but I was soon looking for a different perspective. I tried to talk one of the catamaran captains into modifying his boat for my photo. He was interested in seeing the photograph, but had no interest at all in modifying his boat. So to solve my problem, I went out and bought a brand new Hobie 16, drilled a hole in the top of the mast and mounted my camera to the mast and used a radio control tripping device. To tell the truth, John Zimmerman from Life Magazine did a photograph of a docked sailboat from the Bosen's chair, which I always admired. His image intrigued me but I wanted to add color and motion to my version. In the final analysis, we have to thank all great photographers for the inspiration they provide us to make our own images.

"I used my ColorCombo for this image of my puppy, Ace. He's also a big fan of my filters -- he likes to lick them... although I'm pretty sure that's not the recommended cleaning method."

Although Joe and his partner JoAnne Kalish are based in New York and the Upper Delaware Valley, they travel the globe on various photo projects and assignments as well as operate the DiMaggio/Kalish Learning Center. To learn more about their many workshops and special events, you can visit their website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Ain't Hollywood It's Just a Test!

Please click the above link to see the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue filter in action!

One of the most common questions we get in our workshops and lectures - Do we use filters? If so, what filters and what brand? Let's be clear - yes, we use filters but only Singh-Ray Filters. The two prominent filters are the Gold-N-Blue and the Vari-N-Duo.  Dr. Singh is an amazing designer and engineer and is always thinking outside the box. I'm notdreaming that I can improve on his filters, but what I've done is made a modification to a step-up or step-down ring. A great deal of my work today is incorporating video into our repertoire (we've always offered our clients video on a professional level.) In the day, it was the big Sony's. Today, we're able to maintain a great relationship with Sony, but we also utilize our DSLR's because of the quality and because of their size, speed and the fact we have more lens selection. A simple raging river that was swollen by torrential rain when photographed with the Gold-N-Blue in the video mode is mesmerizing. You're looking a normal photograph and over the next minute or so, it turns slightly blue, then, a darker blue, and then a more intense blue. By the time your eyes adjust to the gorgeous blue, it starts turning into a wheat color, then a yellow and then a midas gold color. That's kind of cool! But, every time you put your hand on the filter, you tend to move the camera or photograph your damn finger! You want a seamless, smooth, Hollywood dissolve. The most simple way for me to do this was to build my little stick (it's really not a little stick.) You take a 77mm filter, you put a step up-ring on it, put the ring into a vise, pre-punch two starting poles, start your drilling, then attach the nut, finish your drilling and insert extremely small machine screws. Then you thread your eye bolt into this and coat it with 4 or 5 rubber bands, putting the filter together with the ring, put the ring onto the lens, put the lens onto the camera, put the camera and the lens on a tripod.  I only use Manfrotto or Gitzo tri-pods.  You then turn the camera on, compose and by controlling the dissolve in the filter with the rubber band, it becomes seamless, smooth and gorgeous. To change the recipe to the famous "fade to black", we simply replace the Gold-N-Blue with the Vari-N-Duo, which now allows you to go from one scene to another, or to open up or close down a scene. It's quite pretty. Yes, you can do it in final cut pro, but I'd rather do it with a camera.

All Great Men are Born in March

Over the last two decades, I've had the extreme pleasure of calling Bill Shatner a dear friend. Out of all the people I know, Bill Shatner is probably one of the most sophisticated, well-read people I've had the opportunity to meet. If you had an opportunity to see Bill in Boston Legal, you would believe that he was on camera for all 44 minutes. He's that strong and that powerful a figure, and the combination of his improvisation and his unique voice adds so much to that particular character. He may only be on screen for 10 of the 44 minutes, yet he literally steals the show. William has the ability to laugh at himself. I one time made a mistake and complimented him on his huge comeback. He came close to taking my head off. "Comeback?" he said, "I've never left!" The strength will carry him on and on. I've had an opportunity to watch him direct. He has great style and never raises his voice. He doesn't have to. He is a true entrepreneur, and an extremely giving individual who supports several different charities. The flagship charity being the Hollywood Horse Show, wich will be held again this year on April 30.  Along with his beautiful, creative, intelligent wife, Elizabeth (an accomplished world class horse woman and fine arts photographer), the two of them will continue to ride from sunrise to sunset. Last but not least, with all due respect, he is an absolute lunatic behind the wheel of an automobile. The man just loves to race! I can't wait to see him on Top Gear. I've had the pleasure of racing with him, and like everything else in his life, he's competitive with & doesn't like to lose. Happy Birthday, William! I know you're going to continue the ride for many more years.

Your friend, Joe D.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't take the tags off!

     When I started my blog, it was done for only good purposes. Where I could impart some of my photographic expertise to my fellow photographers. The blog was never designed to be an obituary or take on a persona of a bully pulpit.  Unfortunately, several very dear friends and loved ones have passed in the last 2 years, and they need to be remembered.  The social networks are designed as tools to communicate your ideas, your beliefs, your likes and your dislikes. There is no doubt in my mind that I am at least 10 years behind the curve. But that's okay. We all can't be visionaries. I'd like to tell you a little story about someone who, in my opinion, is a brilliant marketer who has learned how to manipulate public relations and genuinely knows how to control the social media. I receive a minimum of 1 email every 10 days or so from him, wanting to show me his new products, his new designs, and his wonderful products. He wanted me to be his friend on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Twitter, and email marketing utilizing ReachMail. There is no doubt in my mind that this individual believes that he is a visionary and a renaissance man. And that he's doing great work for his clients or customers. When you really get down to it, Scott Jordan, CEO and founder of ScotteVest, is in the service business. At least, that is the impression he gives you. Unfortunately, this is where Scott Jordan comes apart at the seams-a lot like his products. If it's one thing I've learned in over 4 decades as a photographer-filmaker (yes I'm in the service-oriented business), nothing is perfect. So when a client of mine is unhappy with my work, you can rest assured I am extremely unhappy. At this point, there is no right or wrong. Without any hesitation, my unhappy client is made happy again. If it requires a re-shoot at my expense, so be it. Whatever is necessary, I will do. Virtually no questions asked. That's my job. Mr. Jordan says he does the same thing. In reality, he does not. He explained to me that he would be very happy to give me a refund on my vest as long as I didn't take the tags off of it. Well, I'm too old to run around New York City with 3 tags hanging off my new ScotteVest. Mr. Jordan doesn't have to live up to my expectations of how business should be done. I'm not so naive to believe that anybody should be held accountable to what I believe in. But for God sakes, stop sending me these damn emails! No, I don't want to be your friend, and I don't want to Twitter you. And considering you come off as a friend of the environment with American products, somebody needs to remind you-plastic is not a good thing. And your plastic cards in every pocket is detrimental to the environment. Do you think one card made out of biodegradable material would suffice? Or maybe you could have a free envelope and mail them back to you so you could send them out again. Not very practical, but it sure as hell would help out the post office. You also leave something out of your brilliant marketing, your excellent overall advertising, your extremely slick expensive heavy-duty four color brochure, and all of your social media- you don't tell people about your washing instructions. And what you can and can't do with the zippers. Until, of course, they've taken the labels off your particular product. When push comes to shove, I guess it's my fault. Every once and a while you forget the old adage: Buyer Beware. Mr. Jordan, in my humble opinion, you make garbage. I happen to be in a major department store. Saw a vest for 19 dollars. Bought it as a throw-away. It is 20 times better product than your vest. Just my opinion. To all the ships at sea, Buyer Beware!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Long Vigil, A Great Read!

     Over the years, I've read hundreds and hundreds of books, but I've only read three cover-to-cover in one sitting. The first was To Kill the Potempkin and Mexico Bente Uno, both written by Mark Joseph. The third was Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil, written by Jerome Charyn. Someone once asked me how I could tell a great photograph, and I said to them it's when I bite my bottom lip and under my breath I scream "I wish I made that photo!" That's how I feel about Jerome's latest book. I wish he wrote this book 30 years ago. It would have really helped me understand Joe DiMaggio the Yankee clipper as applicable to my relationship with him as a photographer and member of the press. I found myself screaming "Oh My God I understand now!" Hell, if Joe D. was alive today, he'd understand himself a whole lot better! (A quick antidote- I was photographing a Gerry Cooney fight in San Fransisco for Sports Illustrated and somewhere around 3 o'clock in the afternoon in an almost totally empty cow palace. DiMaggio walked in ringside, sat down in his seat alone. I was approximately 40 feet away setting up a remote camera. I looked over, smiled, no particular response. I went back to where my camera bag was, took out a 300 mm 2.8 lens, focused on a chair near DiMaggio, flipped it to a vertical, looked over the lens before I moved it, glanced at DiMaggio-we made eye contact- and I made 3 frames. Before my finger hit the shutter release to make the 4th, DiMaggio, without saying a word, mouthed "THAT'S ENOUGH". It might as well have been an earthquake.) Mr. Charyn, thank you so much for clearing this up for me. You have written one hell of a great book. I'm going to buy a dozen copies as gifts.

Joe D.

Monday, March 14, 2011


At 3:21 yesterday morning a very beautiful American Irish Lad was born by the name of Dylan Michael Moore to two beautiful parents James & Leanne Moore and Leanne Moore.  It is their first child.  His height, weight, and arm reach to be posted at a later date.  The three things that are for sure is he's beautiful, an American, and a chip off both blocks.The Irish Eyes are Smiling.  The only thing that could have been better if if he waited to be born on March 17.  Okay, Leanne just joking...   Dinner and a family portrait will be arranged soon.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Joe DiMaggio The Long Vigil by Author Jerome Charyn

Over the years I've had the pleasure of attending literally hundreds of gallery openings, book signings and great cocktail parties for no particular reason.  It's a New York City thing.  Tuesday evening I attended one of the greatest book signings I've ever had the pleasure of attending.  The party was staged at Goldman McCormick PR firm.  One of the principals is a young entrepreneur by the name of Ryan McCormick. I have a dear friend by the name of Bill McCormick and we go back to my Sports Illustrated Days and a mutual friend by the name of Gerry Cooney.  As luck would have it Ryan turns out to be Bill's son.  Talk about a small world.  Ryan's partner is Mark Goldman and the two of them are setting New York on fire. 

So let's get to the meat of the party -  Peanuts, popcorn, Cracker Jacks and beer.  It doesn't get better than that and the hot dogs were Kosher.  It's another New York thing. The two hosts of the party - Lenore Reigel is a charming, intelligent, and talented woman and her life partner author Jerome Charyn is not only a brilliant writer but a very lovely person as well.  Jerome has just finished a book titled Joe DiMaggio The Long Vigil which I can't wait to read. The party was hopping and jammed to the hilt with a lot of great writers and other artists. Like the man said "it's all good..."

Studio Photo © Joe DiMaggio

                                                             Author Jerome Charyn & Myself © J. Kalish

with Lenore Riegel  © J. Kalish

with Ryan McCormick © J. Kalish

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Fighter:The Real Story

Last night Christian Bale and Melissa Leo won academy awards for the fighter.  Over a 5 year period I had an opportunity to photograph Mickey Ward the real fighter. Mickey is as tough and as dedicated as they come.  He has no fear.  An amazing athlete.  His brother Dickie had some problems no one got in between him and his brother. I've just completed a multi-media show on the brothers.  I will be posting it in about a week.