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.
To all the ships at sea, I remember the first time that JoAnne photographed Richie Havens at a great club called My Father’s Place. What was so outrageously cool about clubs like that is that you could be literally five feet from a superstar. So for the cost of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, life was great; at least before the no photograph rules. I remember I was so jealous; I was in California and she was with Richie. Richie invited JoAnne and her friend into the dressing room, signed some autographs, and was just plain Richie, which means he was just a great guy with a great attitude; never a prima donna. Super voice and super guitar.
JoAnne is on assignment in Florida, so I thought I’d put up one of her underwater shots. It was taken with a Nikonos 4, a Nikonos strobe, and I believe the original was done on Velvia 50 in Bonaire. I like the photo so I put it up. To all the ships at sea, go out and make a photograph. Have a great Tuesday.
I had an opportunity to teach at the University of Arizona. It afforded me time in the desert, in the dead of winter to photograph some interesting characters. Here’s a young man taking a short cut. I had no idea he was going to do this. The lesson of the day is to make sure your camera is ready to go. Pre-select shutter speed, aperture, color balance, ISO, type of metering, and exposure compensation. The next part of the equation would be experience and some would say luck, I believe you make your own luck. This photo was taken with a 35 mm camera, a 100mm Macro lens, ISO 50, shutter speed 1/500 f/4, single exposure.
Over the years I’ve had two major printers. One was Par Excellence in Shreveport Louisiana, the other was Ken Leiberman in New York. There is no doubt Ken was and still is a great printer. If you’re going to have a show at MOMA, or a San Francisco gallery, he may be your choice. Par Excellence is unfortunately out of business. My partner and best friend JoAnne Kalish is a master printer “and one hell of a great photographer,” she produces some impeccable “Giclee” prints to die for. As great as they are they just are not a photographic process per se. Without telling JoAnne, I made 60-20×30’s, and 12-16×20’s. They are awesome and if you would like to come by our Learning Center to look at them, make an appointment and I will gladly show them to you. The key is – the blacks are black, the white are white, and the skin tone is dead on, it does not get any better then that. Info on this photo is, Shutter Speed-1/10 second, Lens-100 mm macro, ISO speed-50 and it was taken on the new Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod 190cxpro3.
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