© JoAnne Kalish
While I was in Australia, I decided to do a walk about. Invariably, when you start a trek like that, you’re going to run into inclement weather. In a rain forest very close to Cairns, Australia, JoAnne captured me during a storm on my walk about. Ok, if you don’t believe that, raise your hands. Wow, thank God you all raised your hands. JoAnne was shooting an ad campaign and needed a model for a test and used me. Never going to be on the cover of GQ! It was shot right outside the studio, the studio lights were still inside, obviously being protected by the rain????? It’s a special type of rain, it’s called hose rain. Sometimes a photo isn’t what it appears to be. But I do try to keep my sense of humor. I did get the hat and coat in Australia. It’s pretty amazing stuff, it’s an oil cloth. I hope it still fits. To all the ships at sea, keep your powder dry, your legs crossed, and a bit of lip gloss never hurt anybody.
Hi to all the Ships at Sea,
As many of you know first hand and the rest on the internet, you know I was dragged kicking and screaming into the digital world. When you are weened on Tri-X D76, and always striving for a number 2 negative, or shooting a cover with Kodachrome25 (25!)… So when a very bright, intelligent, dear, lovely woman, my friend Monica, basically told me to get with the program or get out of the business. I listen to people I respect, it may not have been my idea but in the final analysis it’s a good idea. On three or four occasions I did blogs on Adorama pix, and I’d like to do another one. Ken Lieberman, is probably the greatest color printer in New York City and has been that way for a long, long time, and his prices are equal to his quality…and then some. If you need a photograph for the museum of modern art you wanna go to Ken Lieberman-in my opinion, for the majority of “us” other photographers (my English teacher is not happy) If you want to treat yourself to a 20×24, have one made at Adorama Pix. I think, I know you will be blown away. On that note, I just opened the book I did on Formula 1 and it totally blew me away. I sent a digital copy to Dennis Wheeler, who IS in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art and he absolutely loved it. In a few weeks I will share the book with you. So a big thank you to Herman, John and all the people at Adorama Pix. I don’t know how they do it, but they do great work.
All the Best,
Visual Impressions with Joe DiMaggio, Sponsored by Adorama
Adorama Learning Center
Approximately three decades ago, I had the pleasure of going to Sylvia’s for the first time with Gordon Parks. Suffice to say, it was a great meal, great conversation, and Sylvia was just so warm and beautiful. Two years later, American Airlines called me to do a photoshoot at Sylvia’s. I walked in; she not only remembered me, but gave me a hug and a kiss. Over the years, I’ve sent hundreds of my friends from all over the world to Sylvia’s. But I was a bad boy; I hadn’t seen Sylvia in over twenty-five years. I walked in with my son Dylan and Dylan’s close friend. They were on their way to Vietnam, so I thought I’d take them out for dinner before going to the airport. I walked in, I didn’t see Sylvia, and my heart stopped. I went to the young lady behind the counter and asked “Is Sylvia here” she said “Yes, she’s sitting in the back.” As I walked over to Sylvia, I smiled and said “Sylvia, you probably don’t…” she stopped me and said “Hi Joe, how are you? Haven’t seen you in a long time.” Hugs and kisses for everybody, including Dylan and his friend Moe, and of course, a great meal. I planned on seeing her in about a month, but I guess that’s not going to happen now. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll see her on the other side. Sylvia, have a great trip.
© Joe DiMaggio
To all the ships at sea, working photographers make photographs for many reasons. One of the number one reasons is money, and it’s not a great motivator. Once every four, five, or six years, you have an opportunity to meet not only a great and powerful person, but a genuinely beautiful human being and you’re asked to do an environmental portrait. In this particular case, that person was Vito Russo. In my opinion, he was possibly the most powerful person on the planet, when it came to being an advocate not only for gay rights, but for pushing the envelope to seek a cure for the dreaded HIV/AIDS. I would love to tell you that we were extremely close friends, but that would be a gross exaggeration. I met him two or three times before I photographed him, and as with all great relationships, my love for him was predicated on respect. Last night at about 10:30, with my eyes starting to drip blood as I was editing 80 gigs of video (throwing out the unacceptable footage), I turned the TV on and there was Vito. Somewhere towards the middle of the documentary, up popped one of the 300 photos I had taken of him over the years. As a filmmaker, I was extremely proud that they held that photo and then zoomed in, and for HBO it was shown for an eternity. Then again, they used it at the end of the piece. Twenty-four years ago, the last thing I remember is Vito and I in a warm embrace at the end of the shoot. Photography is more important than money; it’s history, visual literacy that will not allow us to forget. Sometimes, even I forget the power and beauty of a still photograph.