Easy to Destroy, Difficult to Build

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

When you slip a CF card into a digital camera, you plan on going out to make a great photograph and that’s a great motivator.  Question remains, can we do it? The answer is, yes, we can. There’s truly only one judge of YOUR photography that counts, and that’s YOU. If you can satisfy yourself and you’re happy then you’ve accomplished what you set out to do and no one, I mean no one, can tell you different. We have had thousands of people, that we’ve taught in our workshops, lectures, Photowalks,  and the majority of them want to be critiqued. The simple fact of the matter is, it’s the most difficult thing in the world to do. Here’s my analogy: Imagine standing on a sidewalk, holding a beautiful piece of Murano Glass, and you pick it up and smash it onto the cement. I’m not sure I could do it, but there’s no doubt that it can be done. You look down and there are thousands of shards of colored glass in hundreds of different angles and pieces. My question is, how many of us, could make that piece of Murano Glass?  The simple answer is, there are only a small amount of artists in the world that could make it. They take 20, 30, 40 years to perfect their art and their trade. By now you’re asking yourself a question, what the hell does this have to do with photography? That’s also simple, go out, perfect your style, make it YOURS. Put your heart, soul and passion into it. Don’t let anybody, smash it on the sidewalk.

Did anyone slip me serious pills this week?

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

All the Best,
Joe D

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Love Gitso, Love Manfrotto, Love Walls

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

Jeff Cable is an exceptionally fine photographer, and to say the least he is well traveled. Check him out and enjoy his blog below-he’s a good dude. You can follow his blog at http://jeffcable.blogspot.com.

All the best,

Joe D

Las Vegas – The Strip at Night
Last Friday, I returned from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most of my daylight hours were spent either presenting or in meetings, but I still managed to get out for a couple of night shoots along the famous Las Vegas strip.

On my first night in town, I met up with my good friend, Matt Sweetwood (who is the President of Unique Photo in New Jersey) and we had an awesome dinner. What is the best way to work off dinner? Take a walk around and shoot some photos, of course! (Photographer’s note: I shot this photo with a 6 second exposure to create the light trails from the cars. I timed this exposure so that the cars were turning towards me. I found that the curved lines were more appealing than straight lines. Since I was not planning on shooting at this time, I did not have my tripod with me. I set my camera on a nearby wall and used the 2 second timer on the camera to avoid any camera shake.

Tranquility and A Neutral Density Filter

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi To All the Ships at Sea,

The majority of my photo life has been one deadline after another. Sometimes days, sometimes hours, and occasionally minutes. Approximately once a month, I try to take a half a day off, and kick back with my camera. So Happy Friday. Camera used for the above was a 5D Mark 3, 24-105 F4, tiffen 4x neutral density filter. Boy I miss black and white. Processed in Silver Effects Pro 2.

Joe D

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Chinese New Year

"Chinese New Year", 2012, ©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

Hi to all the ships at sea,

Hi guys, we have a very special day coming up-it is February 17th. It’s the celebration of, the year of the snake, the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year holds a special place in my heart. That’s the first date I had with JoAnne-so it’s officially and unofficially our anniversary. If you’ve never celebrated the Chinese New Year before or photographed it-it’s just awesome and so much fun. Come join us-see the link for Adorama.

Joe D

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Visual Literacy

 

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, I remember having a conversation with Alfred Eisenstaedt and the topic of lighting came up. Ron Thompson, a Nikon tech rep, said “Everybody knows that Sam Sam the Umbrella man invented the photo white umbrella sometime in the late 40s”. I had no reason to doubt it, but Eisy chimed in and reminded us that there’s nothing new in photography; when you think you’ve discovered something for the first time, it may have been done by someone else at an earlier date. Ten years later, one of my mentors, Paul Laddin, gifted me a book on early portraiture, and in there around 1898 was a photographer with a white umbrella and a flash gun in front of it. So what does this teach us about photography? We all strive to be unique and be the best that we can be. Sometimes we succeed, and other times, well let’s not go there. Negativity is a bad thing. I stumbled across this image I made in Tucson, done with a Canon A? camera, 15mm lens, Gitzo monopod, pickup truck, and safety harness. I believe the numbers were 1/15th of a second at f16, ISO 25. Go out and make some great photos, it’s all good. Joe D

 

A Great Photo By Barbara

© Barbara Lawrence

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of taking a small, elite group of photographers to the rodeo for a sports and action workshop, which always involves environmental portraits. It started in the learning center, and after an hour of multimedia shows we went off to the ranch, and the weather was gorgeous. Then along came Murphy. The rain was so hard, they postponed the event by an hour and 15 minutes. While students were hiding in my automobile, I decided to put them in one of the barns. Barbara made this wonderful photograph while waiting for the rain to stop. For me, watching another photographer constantly looking and communicating with, in this case the cowboys, the wranglers, the owners, etc, is great. And the icing on the cake is one fine photograph.  Here’s an email that I received from Barbara;

“I had a great time and also have many dreadful images. Interesting how the color of the light changed as the riders moved around the ring.

I think that my favorite was the man in the barn doorway. I have several with wonderful light. These are almost untouched, except for black and white in Lightroom”

Smokin’ Joe

 

© Joe DiMaggio

I remember the first day that I photographed Smokin’ Joe Frazier; March 8 1971. Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world, fighting the great Muhammad Ali (off a three year hiatus from boxing). To say the least, it was considered  the fight of the century, with Frank Sinatra shooting ringside for Life Magazine. I’ve been known to say “The next time I’m in Vegas, I’m gonna jump onstage and grab  a microphone—not”. over the years, Frazier and I became casual acquaintances. Joe was a true gentleman. There are very few people that ever had a bad word to say about Joe. I asked him if he would be kind enough to allow me to interview him for my documentary In This Corner, and he agreed. We met at the iconic Gleason’s Gym. Honesty is the best policy, and as far as the interview went it was two warriors talking about the good old days, and from that we talked about the future of boxing in the new decade. The interview became very personal, and that is not the proper way a documentary interview should go. I looked at it yesterday and a tear came to my eye. When I get my head put on straight, I’ll do a second and a third blog with some action photography. Yes, I know this should have been done November of last year, but it took me that long to actually find the images I was looking for. So much for my filing system. To all the ships at sea, some photography, for that matter all photography, is timeless. On that note, go out and make some great photos. Joe D.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

I Really Did Invent the GoPro—NOT

© Joe DiMaggio

We always want photography to be fun; if it’s not fun then why do it? On an assignment for Sports Illustrated on the first great woman drag racer of our times, Shirley Muldowney, I spent a week with her and it was just pure fun. It was after her horrific crash in 1984, yet she maintained a light, airy persona and was genuinely warm, friendly, and cooperative; until I mentioned that I wanted to mount a camera on the nose of her Top Fuel Dragster. In many ways, Shirley was a hero to me. She was a great spokesman for the sport, and a great role model for women. On the first run with the camera mounted on the nose of the Dragster, the torque and power snapped a quarter twenty bolt and the camera fell over and almost hit the cement. The safety wire stopped it from becoming a photographic hand grenade. On that note, let’s always remember; safety first, photography second. After talking with her engineer we decided to take the nose cone off and bolt the camera directly to the rail. The camera we used was a Nikon F with motor and a 16mm lens. Photos were taken on Kodachrome 64 with an exposure of f16 at 1/60 of a second, tripped with an old fashioned module light.

© Joe DiMaggio