Tripods When You Need Them You Love Them

Ralph Morse behind camera with Ron Thompson looking on © Joe DiMaggio
A few days ago, I did a blog on tripods. On April 30, my blog was “Tripods: Love them or Hate them”. I started to think about it a little more.  I looked over in the corner of the studio, saw that old Gitzo, and started to run the numbers. That tripod is 37 years old. It doesn’t look new, but it’s always worked perfectly. Pretty impressive. I looked around for a few photos and came up with a photo of the great LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Morse, an amazingly great Nikon tech-rep and good friend of mine Ron Thompson, and a very fine photographer by the name of Al Satterwhite. Ralph is alive and well and lives in Florida,  Ron sadly, went to the great dark room in the sky about 15 years ago. This photo was taken in July of 1975 at the launch of Apollo-Soyuz. For the record, I take this big bad boy out today when I want to mount 2 or 3 cameras at a time and it’s still viable. But please keep in mind I adore my new Manfrotto’s. They’re super light, easy to pack, and work very well with the new DSLRs. Talking about that, imagine if you had a DSLR and was able to shoot HD video in July of 1975! How cool would that be? Ralph was kind enough to take a young photographer by the name of DiMaggio and teach him the ins and outs of how to photograph rocket launches. He came from the old school, and while I’m at it,  he went to DeWitt Clinton High School, which coincidentally was the same school my dad went to! Sometimes it’s just a small world. 

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.

Alexis Iacono

Oh my god, I’m going to say it again, I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. Over the years I’ve had a very good friend by the name of John Iacono who has a beautiful wife, by the name of Nancy and an extremely beautiful daughter who is now acting, modeling, and doing voice over’s- pretty cool stuff. I remember many years ago having Alexis as one of my models for a photographic ad for one of the camera manufacturers. I believe we used 5 or 6 young people but even then at age 10,11, or 12, Alexis was head and shoulders above the rest not only in beauty but in presentation in how she acted and reacted under pressure. You don’t have to be much of a visionary to know that this girl is going a long way. And what a great sense of humor; she said in her last email, “But like Marsha Mason says to Richard Dreyfuss in the Good Bye Girl ‘Ask an actor a question and he gives you his credits.'”

June 5- Yankee Stadium

I remember Floyd Patterson beating Ingemar Johansson, then it was Cautious Clay (Muhammad Ali) against Sonny Liston. I think a lot of people will remember this fight- Yuri Foreman against Miguel Cotto. As most of you know, I’ve been working 5 years on a documentary and Yuri Foreman is the main protagonist along with Harry Keitt, James Moore and several other players.There hasn’t been a fight in Yankee Stadium since 1976; Mohammad Ali against Ken Norton. In my opinion, the key to any great sport’s photograph is timing, shutter speed, timing, and yes, timing again. You study a boxer and you know he throws combinations of 3 lefts, 1 right, 2 lefts, 1 right, and then a hook to the body. You try to time it. Peak action is absolutely critical. There’s a point where a glove moving very quickly stops for a millisecond on a person’s chin. In a perfect word, that’s what your looking for. As a photographer and former photojournalist, you’re not supposed to root but that’s hard not to do. On the evening of June 5th, I’d love to see 2 people win, James Moore and Yuri Foreman. A simplification of

peak action is 2.8 and be there. Yes it’s a take off of F8 and be there. Joe D
Photo© Joe DiMaggio

Simon Says

While recuperating from my bilateral duel hip surgery, I was visited by friends – Monica Cipnic (which we will talk about at length in another post) and a shortly after Simon Jacob. Simon is an amazing man. He’s not only a world class business man but also has one of the most beautiful families I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. From his amazing wife, Barrie, to all of his lovely children. It’s all good. In Simon’s case, it’s all great. He took time out of his very busy schedule to come visit me twice. We spent 10 great days in Israel with Simon and we’ll be going back this December. Remember – what Simon says, you better do. That’s me trying to be funny again. For the record, this is the 4th photograph I’ve taken with my phone but I always forget the area code.

Phone? Camera? Phone? Camera?

You have to know that most people do not want to go to the hospital and visit. Let’s be honest, there isn’t a whole lot you can do or say and most people would rather be having a cup of coffee or maybe a Jameson’s straight up. Hell, maybe they would rather be sparing 2-3 rounds with somebody, but nobody really wants to go to the hospital. What a pleasant surprise when my dear friend James Moore showed up and stayed for an hour. Everyone in the rehab gym wanted to meet James so we went down and introduced him. James is not only a great fighter and a great husband but he is one of those genuine people who really cares about his friends. He’s going to make history on June 5 in Yankee Stadium. There hasn’t been a fight held there since 1976. James will have a 10 round fight with Pawel Wolak. He’ll be leaving Brooklyn for his Pocono training camp and he will be coming to Chez DiMaggio for at least one dinner. It’s going to be a tough fight but if James fights his fight, I think he’s going to be victorious. When he digs in a right hand to the body, my teeth shake and I’m 15 feet away. He’s very strong and tough and he’s got a heart of gold. Good Luck James.