The Tomcat

© Joe DiMaggio

There are rules, and there are new rules. The new rule is to never look backwards, instead always look forwards. I’m starting to get it; it takes a while but no one ever said I was a fast learner. While searching the archives for my new book, I stumbled across a story I did for Time Magazine on the last F-14 Tomcat that was to be built. The story was very important to me, but I had no idea how important it would actually be. I absolutely fell in love with the Tomcat. I believe the basic design was done in 1966 and it’s been improved upon and modified scores of times ever since. When you talk to pilots about two planes, their eyes will light up; one of those planes is the P-51, and the other the Tomcat. I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Chuck Yeager at the Reno Air Races and he watched me climbing out of the P-51 Precious Metal. Without me asking a question, he smiled and said “You know what I like about that damn plane? You can fly it 300 feet off the ground, hit the stick and make a hard left around a barn. With these damn new planes, if you want to do that you’ve got to fly to a different state before you can make a left”. We both laughed. I will follow up on Precious Metal next week. To all the ships at sea, let’s go out and make some photos. Check out my Adorama TV show.

http://youtu.be/7DjOy2hN5NI

http://youtu.be/H48CJGZXijo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3YFNXjr-5M&feature=plcp

Photo above: Canon film camera; yes, I don’t remember which one, 14mm lens, on top of a cherry picker, ASA (ISO) 64, 1/15 of a second, at 2.8

Photo below: Canon camera, 300 2.8 lens, ISO 64, 1/100 of a second, at 2.8

© Joe DiMaggio

Tucson Firefighters

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, until all of the photographs are found for my new book, you’re going to see an awful lot of blogs like this. For about ten years of my life, I spent two or three months a year teaching workshops at The U of A, and I had an opportunity to work with one of the greatest fire departments in the United States. Men and women who are dedicated to saving lives; every day knowing that they would be willing to trade their life to save yours. It takes a very special person to do that. I doubt very much that I could ever be able to do something like this, certainly not on a regular basis. It would me remiss of me to say all of our fire departments and firefighters are extremely special human beings. You know I’m not a big Photoshop guy, but I played a little bit with this.

Equipment: Canon D30, 200mm 1.8, ISO 100, 1/640 of a second, f2.8

Dynalite Makes Its Own Light

© Peter Poremba

To all the ships at sea, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years as a photographer and  filmmaker, it’s that I don’t have all the answers. Hopefully, I’m smart enough to go to the people that do have the answers. Peter Poremba, the CEO, president, and senior electrical engineer of Dynalite was kind enough to go to Malibu on two separate occasions, and with the minimum amount of equipment he was able to light 30% of the arena: just one light and one power pack (if it was for SI, he would have brought in six power packs and eight lights). The combination of the electronic flash and the hypersync on my Canon 7D and Peter’s Nikon D7000 made for some photos that could not be taken back in the day. Some of the other photos in this blog I threw in just because I wanted to, will have a follow up.

Tech information: triggering device was the new Pocket Wizard Flex, power pack MP800, SH2000 Studio Head, SP-45 reflector, Nikon 85mm 1.4 lens, Canon 135mm lens.

Nikon D7000 exposures: 1/800 of a second, ISO 400, f4

Canon 7D exposures: 1/1200 of a second, ISO 500, f4.5

Peter Poremba, © Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio, no strobe

© Joe DiMaggio

Black and White

© Micheal Hartnett

To all the ships at sea; we very rarely see a photograph of JoAnne and I together because most of the time she’s working on one specific project and I on another. The one good thing is we always agree; she says black, I say white, she says up, I say down. It makes for one hell of a relationship. Artistically, it really works. She is an extremely fine photographer and a difficult producer. As for me; best described as pain in the ass. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Recently, there’s been a new artist community social network organization, the Milford Arts Alliance Open Gallery Tour, and we’ve had our first gallery opening for them which was extremely successful. A total of 60 clients came through with four sales. Great conversation; I thoroughly enjoyed it. A big thank you to Amy Bridge and her publication The Milford Journal, and a big thank you to Micheal Hartnett for a great photo. Have a great weekend.

Hannah

© Joe DiMaggio

I had an opportunity to photograph Paul Newman six or seven times. One of the most beautiful things about Paul is he was a regular guy. He rolled up his sleeves (sometimes a sleeveless T-shirt), got dirt under his fingernails, and treated everyone as if they were his equal. Not pretentious, not a superstar (but of course he was!). In an impromptu environmental portrait I asked him why he was so comfortable in front of the lens; whether it was film, or film. He said to me when he was making a photograph, he tried to put the person at ease by saying “You’re beautiful, and you’re as pretty as you feel”. Please understand I didn’t tape record the conversation, so obviously, I’m leaving a few things out. He then said to me “Sometimes the camera falls in love with the person you’re photographing, and you cannot make a mistake. If the camera loves you, it’s all good”. Hannah is obviously no Paul Newman, but the camera loves her. I always remember that I am not the most important part of the photo; it’s all about the person you’re photographing, both their inner beauty and their outer persona.

Equipment used: Canon 7D camera, 24/105 zoom 100 macro lens, Dynalite 500 watt second Powerpack, studio head rhyme light, octagon modifier, Dynalite bare bulb, two silver reflectors, and a Manfrotto air lightstand.

ISO 100, 1/200th of a second, f8.

JoAnne Down South

© JoAnne Kalish

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.

Yesterday— today

While going through hundreds of thousands of images looking for 47 photographs for my new book- that first need to be found, then scanned, cleaned, and yes a little Photoshop maybe, it’ll all be good- what do I come up with? A short film that I directed a few years ago. I’m looking at half of the control room and half of the set. Oh my God. Total crew; 22 people, two gaffing trucks, executive producer, line producer, two editors, craft services, gaffers… that’s enough, you know where I’m going. See the last photo, talk about streamlining your crew. It’s all for fun, it’s all good. It’s Monday; go make a photograph, or a short film. Gone with the??? Joe D.

No, that’s not me with the camera around my neck

JoAnne Kalish; the world’s greatest crew

A Special Place for Pepper

To all the ships at sea; I’d like to share this letter I wrote to my dear friend Bill DeSmedt.

Your book Singularity may not have made the New York Times bestseller list and that’s a shame.

The short story you wrote on Pepper will certainly make the bestseller list in heaven. I know nothing about writing but what I do know, is that when somebody puts their heart and soul into the creative process, it shows. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Pepper was your dog and you had a very special relationship with her. Over the ten year period I knew Pepper, the two of us had a special relationship also, even if it was only for an hour or two. I will always keep fond memories in my heart for our lost best friend.

100 Degrees Fahrenheit, I Don’t Think So

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like the cold weather. While working on a short video piece for CBS, I found myself literally in the cold for two days. In reality, it was an awful lot of fun, and the video turned out quite well. While we’re going through this heat wave, I just thought I’d cool you down with some ice photos. Photos were taken with a 5D Mark 2 and a 7D, 100mm 2.8 macro lens, 24/105 zoom and a 10/22 mm f4, a super light Manfrotto video tripod, a Zacuto finder, a Singh-Ray variable neutral density filter, Manfrotto ballhead, and a Sartek underwater light. If you have a few minutes, take a look at my first Adorama TV episode.

Thanks, Joe D.