F/1.8 and Be There

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

I’ve been working on a documentary film on Bobby Kyle for several years. Bobby is a world-class blues player and an extremely high energy person. The ability for a photographer to wait for peak action and not try to machine gun everything in my opinion is crucial. The photo of Bobby Kyle in the Blues Festival was shot with the 200mm 1.8 lens  with an exposure of  1/2000th of a second 1.8 camera Canon 5D ISO 200 single shot.

Photo Books

© Joe DiMaggio

I just received an e-mail blast from Adorama Pix referencing their photo books.  Both my partner JoAnne and I have made ten different books that we use as teaching tools. Making the photograph is what it’s all about.  In the world of digital we very rarely see our printed artwork. Adorama Pix offers us an opportunity to use our photographs and our creative sense of design and balance. To be quite frank it’s extremely satisfying to see the photograph on the printed page.  I remember in one of my high school classes, I had a history teacher that would always refer to the Gutenberg Bible as being the first work of art printed on a printing press. Here we are, 562 years later and each one of us can print our own book to our own specifications any time we want.  Yes, I was dragged into the digital world kicking and screaming and that is true but I’m like a 16-year-old kid because it’s just so magical and isn’t that what photography and film making is all about?  It’s all about the magic.

We are plan on taking advantage of this new promotion and if you’d like to go to Adoramapix.com     Sale

Offer Expires 5/23/12. Must use coupon code “PXGD1010” to receive discount (use “PXGD1010L” for leather).

Gitzo, whats old is new again

The problem is with making anything world class, tremendous quality,and so reliable that it can outlast most of the patrons that use it. Like an old pair of socks or an old work shirt, I have a problem discarding old friends. Approximately  in 1972, I purchased a large heavy Gitzo tripod. It virtually went around the world with me. It went to several Olympics, a World Series, major advertising assignments, and at the Apollo Soyuz. That tripod held a 400mm, a 600mm, and a 800 mm, and was the Rock of Gibraltar. About 10 years ago my studio manager complained that the tri pod was too big and to heavy. I procured a smaller Gitzo and two Manfrottos. They are fabulous tripods, but I missed the big Gitzo. Who knew 40 years ago, that much of my work in 2012 would be with DSLR’s for videos, I certainly did not. I decided to resurrect my first Gitzo as the new technology. I gave a call to Chris Brunngraber. I purchased the new 504 HD bridge, of course I did not tell him I was going to put it on the old Gitzo, and soon found out that my tri pod had a 150mm yoke. Two days later Chris sent me a 75mm adapter. WOW! how cool is that?! I am now able (with the help of Manfrotto) to breathe new life into an old tripod. To all the ships at sea, obviously I am not taking any thing away from the new technology. Let’s just call it a green thing. Wow I’m acually keeping up and recycling. Hell it is all good, go out and make some new photos, that’s the most important thing.

 To all the ships at sea II, in the lead photograph there are two absolutely fantastic people Ron Thompson- senor tech adviser for Nikon ” and a lot more.” Ralph Morse- the best LIFE magazine photographer when it came to the space program, and much more. A separate blog will follow

Birthday. The Bertster.

Everyday of our lives, is an important day. Six months ago I made a decision to teach a work shop at Gleason’s Gym. When my studio manager reminded me that it was my birthday I said great. I consider work a privilege and what better to do then teach photography at Glesons’ Gym. Its just does not get better then that. I knew it was going to a very special and an amazing eclectic group. From Brazil, Chili, Colombia, England, Norway, and all over the east coast. A great balance between men and women, and great help from JoAnne Kalish, Larry Malang, Peter Poremba. It was a hell of a great day. Life is funny, I was on a great natural high, and I got back to the studio. Did not check my voice mail, did not check my email, downloaded the cards, checked facebook. I don’t check it that often and I find one of my close friend died of a heart attack. It was Bert Sugar. On Wednesday, I called Bert, he answered me as usual “Uncle Joe.” I always call him the “Bertster”. I asked him how he was feeling, and he said” I have lung cancer, and have internal bleeding but that’s not the problem.” Then I asked him what the big problem was? He said, “I have F@$!#ing terminal acne.” Thats the Bertster, no matter what the dialogue is he always finds humor in it. He was loved by millions, hated by thousands, he was a true Damon Runyon character and a great friend. I will miss him, yes I will miss him… Off the record, he suffered “Cuttysheimers”, his words not mine. RIP Bert Sugar.

                                 Bert Sugar, Playwright Budd Schulberg, and son Benn Schulberg

                                                           Bert Sugar

                                            Captain Lou Albano, Bert Sugar

Bert Randolph Sugar at his finest at Gleasons’

All photos copyright Joe DiMaggio

Approximately 10 years ago, a bright, creative young lady was kind enough to drive Jazz great, musician Hugh Brodie to our studio for a Photo Shoot. She then assisted me on a very intense shoot of Mr. Brodie. The young lady was Marisa Scheinfeld & she had a voracious appetite for photography.  Over the years, she’s come back to me many times for advice, asking my opinion on what direction to go in, where photography is going in the future, what equipment to procure and so on. Like all other interns and assistants both JoAnne and I have an open door policy because we truly enjoy seeing them succeed. It now appears Marisa is well on her way to not only a productive career but a rewarding one as well. Please see the following link.  There is an old Italian word we use for this – Mazel tov Marisa!


PaPA Opening May 28

Ron and Yvonne Parker will be hosting their new gallery, art space, at PaPA, which stands for Parker and Parker Art on Saturday, May 28. With the decades of experience that Ron Parker brings and the beauty and talent of Yvonne Parker, this should be quite an event!

Ronald Parker has enjoyed a varied career as a psychologist, professor, entrepreneur and artist.Throughout his adult life he enjoyed drawing and sculpting.  Over the last 15 years he created an interesting series called “Parker People”, which many have called “off center and on target”. Additionally, he found time to be a nationally syndicated columnist, author of one book and fifteen monographs and a performance artist (“Love Lessons” and “Lies”). As a psychologist and academician he practiced and taught at The Graduate Center of the City University of NY and Florida State University. His entrepreneurial interests included business in America, Europe and Africa. As past President of two NASDAQ companies, he managed dozens of art galleries and was the CEO of several major art publishing companies. Parker’s art includes drawing, painting and assemblages, which he creates from auto parts and found objects. The most enduring theme of his work has been the American flag, which he has included in his work for over 20 years. Over 200 flags have been created on almost every imaginable surface. A collection of his flags were exhibited during the summer of 2010 in a show entitled ‘Old Glory, New Story’ at The Columns Museum in Milford, PA. Other exhibitions include shows at Merrill Chase Gallery in Chicago, Galerie Damien in Paris, The Armory Art Center in Palm Beach and numerous other venues. He is happily married to Yvonne, an artist, with whom he resides in a converted nunnery in PA and maintains a winter residence in FL.

His current major project is developing Parker and Parker Art, ‘PaPA’, housed in a 33,000 sq foot historic building in White Mills, PA. ‘Come to PaPA, since you no doubt have been to MoMA’.”

Yvonne’s art ranges from individual works to creating total environments for homes. The words artful living express who she is and how she lives her life. Through her art she creates a world of beauty, romance and peace. Her calling is to beautify everything she interacts with. Her work has been exhibited widely, including a recent one-woman show at The Armory Art Center in Palm Beach, Florida and her solo show “Then and Now” at The Columns Museum in Milford, PA.The studio she is working in reflects the art she is creating. In Florida, she focuses on her “Fragmented Beauty” series and in Pennsylvania on her mixed-media two dimensional works and site-specific installations. Born in Europe, where she received her art education, she later studied at the NY School of Interior Design. Antonio Gaudi and Niki de Saint Phalle have served as sources of inspiration for her art and design. Yvonne lives with her husband, Ron, (an artist) in a converted nunnery in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania and maintains a studio/winter residence in West Palm Beach, FL.

Her current major project is developing Parker and Parker Art ‘PaPA’,

http://www.parkerandparkerart.com (website to be completed shortly)

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?

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.