Sistine Chapel: The Rules

Photo © Joe DiMaggio

Back in the day a trip to Rome would be incomplete without a once-in-a life-time experience of seeing one the greatest and most popular works of art known today.  I have been back at least a dozen times, and I always discover something new in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. It was commissioned by Pope Julius the II and was painted between 1508 and 1512. Back then, with the proper credentials I was able to photograph the Chapel for fifteen minutes before it opened. Today photography is no longer allowed, and when I ask why, security explained, that they sell photos, so there is no need to take one.  Rules are rules, and we all must adhere to them. I found it very interesting that photographers with 35mm cameras are stopped but people with I phones and such were not. It seemed a bit unfair to me. I normally try to spend more then an hour trying to study the color, balance, and composition. I always leave the Chapel with my jaw on the ground, and when someone says that my photos are a piece of art I am humbly appreciative, but we all know better. Tip for today, as always pre-select shutter speed aperture, focus, over-expose by three quarters to 1.5 stops, camera on silent mode, lay the camera flat on a bench, accidentally hit the self timer button and hopefully you will have a precious image of one of the greatest pieces of art of all time. The rules are the the rules, don’t break them.

Ann Raine the Great

As a photographer and a film maker, I have the ultimate obligation to make my clients happy. They pay me and they expect to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That’s my job and I do the best possible job I can do. Of course, you always try to push the envelope or think out of the box, all of those cliches, which I interpret as putting a little of your own style into the visual medium. As a mentor and a teacher, I feel the same obligation. I take it very seriously and sometimes I go back to the studio and I wonder, “Did I do a good job, did they get it, were they able to make a better photograph?” Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t. In every workshop there are a few photographers that shine brighter than the rest. They’re not necessarily the best photographers, but they put forth one hell of an effort. Ann Raine is a California girl who’s been transplanted to the East Coast. She loves Arabian horses and she loves photography. Attached you’ll find three of her photos and a link to several more. I’d like to thank Ann for the kind words. She motivates me to do a better job. As the truth be known, I constantly learn from the students. The student becomes the teacher, and the teacher becomes the student.

“I’ve attended numerous photo-walk workshops with Joe DiMaggio over the last several years, and I keep returning for a number of reasons: Great mentoring, interesting photographic venues, but most importantly, every time I participate in one of these day-long events, I feel a freedom to experiment, a license to open up and go-for-it (photographically speaking.) I am not as concerned about getting every photo perfect as I am in pushing the limits of my skill and knowledge, by practicing and experimenting to ultimately get the great photo!”

paPA ArtSpace

About 10 years ago I had a amateur photographer ask me to accompany him to a framer’s shop in a small town in PA. He had to pick up some large pieces. We pulled up to what appeared to be a huge Brooklyn New York Factory. Suffice to say it was overwhelming. We walked up a couple flights of stairs, I looked around and there was an awful lot of space. He returned home, I went back to the studio and figured I’d never see that space again and you know what I was right. I will never see that space again.

Yesterday my partner JoAnne and I took a ride to see paPA. As it turns out it’s the same factory, whoops, no not the same! Both Ron & Yvonne Parker have taken a turn-of-the-century Silk Mill and made it into an absolutely magnificent gallery space. Oops not a gallery space but an ArtSpace. From ceiling to floor it’s drop dead fabulous! It’s drenched in beautiful available light and when the available light starts to diminish their spotlights take over. If it was empty and did not have one piece of artwork it would be amazing.  But once you add the eclectic artwork, you as the visitor take a voyage to a different time and place.

Both Ron and Yvonne are thinking way outside the box. They’ve subdivided their 33,000 square feet into three separate spaces and that’s just the first floor.  You can envision an artist’s loft in the second space which could house at least a dozen different artists all working at the same time. Actually upwards of 20 if they wanted to.The third space you could envision as an art space for music, poetry readings etc. You could put anything in there. Then there’s a space, let’s call it the boiler room that would make a perfect theatre for multi-media shows and films. The acoustics are really great. All of this on the first floor.  I will let Ron and Yvonne tell you about the rest. The outside area is large enough to put together anything from an outdoor concert to a open air art show similar to the shows in Greenwich Village. Granted it’s not around the corner but it is more than well worth a visit.  I can’t wait to see what it will look like next year. They’ll probably utilize More’s Law… They have a special opening next Saturday “Yvonne Parker and Friends” July 16

paPA website –