To all the ships at sea, I have an assignment today; no other words.
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.
Anyone who’s been to any of my workshops or lectures knows that I always demand pre-production. Our ability to do as much research as possible so we’re able to execute the best possible photograph with the least amount of Murphy-ism (Murphy-ism; whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) is absolutely critical. Machu Picchu is one of the most spiritual places I’ve ever had an opportunity to visit and photograph. I took a very large class of over twenty students there for the mentor series, which worked out great for me because it was on my bucket list. Despite all the preparation, pre-production, and research, I still managed to get altitude sickness. The best way to describe altitude sickness is it makes seasickness feel like a mild pinprick on your index finger. I’m pretty sure it was the worst feeling I’ve ever had; I never want to do that again. I did not properly acclimate in Cusco at 11,000 feet. Coca tea, oxygen, and coca leaves become your best friends.
PS, always visit a doctor before you take this kind of a trip. There are some simple medicines that could have prevented this from happening, and I chose not to take them. I try to keep my drug intake to one baby Aspirin, two Aleve, and one martini.
PPS, notice the rain cover for my camera.
To all the ships at sea,
We’ve heard the comments; there are no new photos. We’ve heard it numerous times. My god, I’ve probably even said it myself. It’s our job as photographers and filmmakers to always try to come up with a new variation of a theme, and every once in a while we may stumble across a fine photograph. After a certain period of years, we may even be able to predict that it will indeed be a fine photograph and not just another snapshot or cliche number 377. As photographers and artists, all we can do is continue to try. If you have a moment, please stop and check out my new Adorama TV video, subscribe to my blog, TV show, and all the other good things.
Thanks, Joe D
I’ve been using electronic flash from the beginning of my career. In the 70’s I standardized by using Dynalite strobes. There is no doubt, in my mind, that Dynalite, pound for pound, penny for penny, is the best electronic flash system you can get. Broncolor is really cool, but it’s very expensive. I had an opportunity to experiment with a new product: Rosco lightpads. Rosco is a LED continuous light source that comes in many different flavors – 20×24, 12×12, and even circles.
Photo © MMIX Joe Maggio