While teaching a class that started at Grand Central Station and ended at Times Square I had one camera and one lens, a 16-35. Did not imagine I’d be doing any portraits. Even though the 16-35 is not a portrait lens, this is an environmental portrait of a gentleman from London. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
A quarter of a century ago, you couldn’t walk the streets of Dumbo unless you had an armed guard. It has now become one of the most chicy-chic places in the metropolitan area. Multi-million dollar construction— oops, I used the wrong word. I used the m word when I should have used the b word. What a great place to make photographs. Join JoAnne and myself on the late afternoon/early evening of Thursday June 13th from 4-9. Check it out on the Adorama Workshop site. It’s all good, it’s all great, it’s all magic. One opening left for the rodeo workshop.
Born 3/18/1929, traveled to the Superbowl in heaven on 4/27/2013.
Every once in a while when I’m chopping wood I miss a piece by an inch or two. It’s usually a relatively small piece and I hear myself screaming “Don’t give up on it!” and it’s the Coach telling me to never give up. With one minute left in a game, whether we were ahead by 20 points or behind by 30 points, he would tell us “Always give one hundred percent all the time and when you don’t, that’s the time you’re going to get hurt. Not only physically, but mentally. The bottom line is, failure’s not an option; never give up and always give one hundred percent.” and the words absolutely, totally ring true. On Sunday morning, I gave a workshop at Grand Central Station and traveled across town to Bryant Park and Times Square. When I got the students together I told them “I’ve got bad news for you. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to teach this class, and I was a millimeter away from just packing up and leaving.” (I had gotten there 2 hours prior). Then a voice came to me; it was the Coach and he told me “Big Joe, complete your responsibility and teach this class.” I told the students that because of what he taught me, it was going to be the best class I would teach all year. I think that it was. Thanks, Coach; you’re still motivating me and you will continue to motivate me until I join you.
I received an assignment from HBO to do an illustration on hand guns in America. There were approx 357 children killed with handguns the year of the assignment. The photo editor gave me carte blanche to do anything that I wanted to the photo. What you see is a multiple exposure done in the studio with a real 357 magnum with 6 dyna-lites against a clear background. Person holding the gun was silhouetted, then I rewound the film and shot the american flag on top of the silhouette (effectively, there was no exposure there) and by over exposing the corners by 2-3 stops I blew the flag out and just left the hand with the American flag wrapped around the gun. The photo won a few awards when and when people see it today they presume it was done in Photoshop, but it was done in the camera. Entitled 2nd amendment (I never put titles on work).
Two days ago the Senate knocked down the gun bill. Photographic blog, not a political blog…I must watch my language. They should all blank, blank, blank and be totally ashamed of themselves. How much money do they take on the side from gun manufacturers and the NRA? We are taking the greatest country in the history of all mankind and we’re turning it into a third world country. The English couldn’t beat us, the French couldn’t beat us, the Germans couldn’t beat us, the Russians, the Chinese, the Koreans. We’re going to destroy ourselves. anybody who knows me, I love to be happy but with what’s going on today in this world, I’m sorry, we need to get with the program. Go out and make a photograph of your wife…your children…we’ve got enough guns. If you want to shoot something, make a photograph. For the record, I own 6 guns so I am not ANTI-guns. Camera: NikonF 55micro and a grease pencil. Exposure: 1/90th of a second at 22 and 1/90th of a second at 5.6.
Much to my surprise, while I was going through the CORBIS archives on the Formula One photographs on the Austin, Texas race, there was a shot of the back of my head and my ponytail photographing Scuderia Ferrari, Fernando Alonso, and of course the beautiful American flag on my back. It was an honor to be assigned to shoot the race. I take my beret off to Luca Bruno, a world-class shooter who captured this moment. He knows a great ponytail when he sees one.
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.
Had another great workshop in Central Park. We had a very special group of photographers that got along extremely well. I saw some wonderful photos that were made by many of you. A great time was had by all. Thank you Monica from Adorama for putting these workshops together.
My dear friend Monica Cipnic asked me if I would come and do a few programs for the Adorama Inaugural Street Fair. My answer was, “Of course!” She put me in contact with Brian Green, who is Vice President of Marketing. Two phone calls, one email, and we were ready to go. To say the program was successful is really an understatement. They had over 9,000 attendees and it was a great cross-section of photographers, beginners to well-seasoned pros. And the bottom line is: It was a lot of fun. I managed to squeeze in 3 separate programs, and from the response on Facebook, that was pretty successful. (Notice how I’m throwing around all those high-tech, modern things like “Facebook”? You didn’t think I knew what that was, did you? If it’s good enough for Lady Gaga and President Obama, who am I to say it’s not cool?) Hopefully, this will be just the first of many. Thank the powers that be for the opportunity.