Filmmaker Albert Maysles

 I guess there’s an old adage that the teacher becomes the student. Our son Dylan had a great opportunity 4 years ago. He worked as an intern for Al Maysels. Al is recognized as the father of modern documentary cinematography. His awards are absolutely amazing. When Grey Gardens closed on Broadway, the feature film was a Blockbuster. His original film on Grey Gardens and Salesmen are classic studies made in the way documentaries should be made. I had the pleasure to meet Al a few years ago at a cocktail party and reception.

Being in Al’s presence is being in the presence of greatness. He’s soft spoken, has a very small ego, and is a great talent. He was kind enough to invite me to his home along with my partner JoAnne Kalish and son Dylan to do a one-hour interview on his life and career.

I have very few heroes. One was Gene Smith, who I had the pleasure of assisting back in the day. Al is also a hero of mine. He has been kind enough to help me with my film In This Corner. Just came across a few photos of Al and thought all the Ships at Sea would like to take a look at a photograph of a great filmmaker.

 

 

 

 

Photos © Joe DiMaggio

TIME Magazine Assignment


I had a half hour off the other day. Decided to just look through some of my old TIME magazine and Sports Illustrated assignments and I stumbled across this photo that I did for them to celebrate the opening of Giant Stadium. I was totally blown away when I heard they were going to build a new stadium. It seems like yesterday they just built a new stadium. Of course, a businessman friend of mine explained that it’s all about the super boxes and the Fortune 500. Well, considering my only interest is between the goal line and the goal line, a super box just doesn’t do it for me. If TIME asks me to go and shoot the new one, it’s gonna take me a little longer to get to the birds’ eye perch.  See you at the game!

Joe D.

Frame Grab

I’m not quite sure the Lumiere brothers are not rolling around in their graves right now. Rapidly followed by W. Gene Smith and Gordon Parks. The more I know about this medium the less I know. If I’m running at 100 MPH forward, I’m probably in reverse. I’ve promised myself I’ll try to keep up. This photograph is pretty amazing. Enjoy!

Following blog post by Vincent LaForet.

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2011/06/07/what-camera-did-i-use-to-make-this-still-picture/#more-5772

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What camera did I use to make this still picture?

Go ahead and guess what camera was used to make this photograph in the comments above.    It was made with a new camera that many photographers have not yet heard of… I suggest you click on the image above to see it at full resolution (and make sure you zoom in to 100%) Some of you will guess right away and already know about it…   Others will be astonished when I reveal what camera shot this photograph.    It’s a camera that has the potential to change things – radically.__________________________________________________________________________________________

ANSWER: This image is actually a FRAME GRAB.   It was not shot with a STILL camera but with the RED EPIC M digital cinema camera at 96 frames per second. For the techies:  The image was made with a Zeiss Compact Prime 25mm f 2.9 ,  natural light,  at  T 2.9 , 1/200th of a second at 800 ASA in RED’s RAW R3D format – a RAW format similar to a CR2 or NEF (for Canon and Nikon users respectively.)

The camera’s “cinema” resolution is 5K – more than five times the resolution of your HD Television (see chart below)…     Other than a quick color correction – no enhancement whatsoever has been made to this image. Perhaps just as importantly : there were 95 other frames that were shot EACH SECOND that I rolled on the camera… 95 other shots to choose from… shot handheld on a moving subject – not posed.

Wheeler at MOMA

I know everyone who attended the photo retreat on Memorial Day weekend- Every person, to a man and a woman all said the same thing. They absolutely loved Dennis Wheeler. The idea of sharing my 30 plus years relationship with Dennis with the students worked out better than I expected. To say Dennis is a master of the arts would be an understatement. He’s a Renaissance man on steroids. Every time I feel a visual block getting ready to bite me on the butt I call Dennis and invite myself to his farm, where he proceeds to motivate me to get off my duff and start producing work.

I sat listening to every word that Dennis spoke and watching the faces of the participants and guests at the party. It was a beautiful thing. Here are a couple of comments.

“Thank you for inviting me to the Retreat/Party.  It was an enjoyable experience, in which I learned a great deal about photography, creativity and myself.  Meeting Dennis Wheeler gave me new insight into questions that remained unanswered until his down to earth, realism in his lecture.  

“The Retreat was a great success on all levels.  Hope to see you on June 12, 2011 in Lower Manhattan. All the best.” 

     ~Ralph Mocciola

“A special thank you to Dennis Wheeler for demonstrating that creativity does not stop at 60 – whatever – years old!”

    ~Linda Pedersen

“It is hard to put into words what this past visit with you has meant.  I find the below a step in the process of putting into words what occurred at your home and Learning Center.  That said, I look forward to further workshops that explore what the below author suggests, and what Dennis Wheeler demonstrated.”

     ~David Kenny

“I had a wonderful time, learned a lot, got to exchange ideas with a great group of photographers, had an opportunity to listen and learn from an accomplished artist (Dennis Wheeler)…”

     ~Ann Raine

Thank you for a most wonderful day, I think it was better than any of us could have imagined.  It was a great experience to sit around and talk about the arts and meet and spend time with Dennis, and to be topped off with some great music with Bobby and the boys.  But the best was the hospitality you, Joe and Dylan exhibited by opening your home to us and ensuring that we all had a marvelous day.  Thanks again, and look forward to seeing everyone again, real soon.”

     ~Jeffery Thomas

No Duct Tape or Crazy Glue!

 

About a month ago, I put together a focusing ring that would allow me to turn a Singh-Ray Vari-ND and the Blue-N-Gold to change the value of light and color, without touching the filter or the camera. I used some of my favorite tools, duct tape and crazy glue.

In a casual conversation with Carl Saieva from Sartek Industries Inc., – a world class designer and engineer. He said to send him a picture and he’d see what he could do. Well, this is what he did. He machined the parts. They’re super slick, smooth, easy to assemble, and did I mention that they work really well? This is the difference between a consumate professional and a hack. My intentions are good and sometimes the end result actually works, but most of the time it looks like shit. Thank God for great friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Student Becomes the Instructor

Joe,

Closest Finish © Joe DiMaggio

Well, next year it’ll have been 30 years since I loaded film into your Nikons at the 1982 Indy 500.  It was a complete thrill to finally be able to work the other side of the fence after growing up at the track each May tagging along with my Dad.  Of course things have changed a bit since then.  In addition to the digital revolution, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has undergone a major facelift and is a World-class facility.  I started shooting the 500 for Reuters in 1990 and have been back ever since.  Last year, I had the honor of having my college-aged daughter, Ainslie, join the family “business” and become the 4th generation of Millers to pick up a camera at the 500.  Back at the 1982 you captured the memorable image of the Johncock/Mears finish, and who knew that 24 years later in 2006 I’d repeat the feat by capturing the Hornish/Andretti finish that would appear double-trucked in SI as well as the NY Times.

Peace,

Geoff Miller

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Geoff,

     I am so proud of you not only as a photographer but as one hell of a fine human being. There are very few young people that would give up their bed back in the day so we could get to the Indy 500 at 5 A.M. to beat the traffic. And like many of my assistants, you did so much more than just load film into my Nikons. Without your help, that photograph would not have been done. It’s something that I’ve been aware of my whole life. We tend to think we work in isolation. We tend to think how important we are. But the same way that Rick Mears would say “It’s a team effort”, I say the same thing. We worked as a team. Your work is amazing. You deserve everything that you get and some more. And who knows- maybe in the next couple of years, we’ll have an opportunity to work together again. Keep on shooting and remember the first rule of photographing racecars: Never turn your back on one.

Thanks,

     Joe D.

Photos below ©Geoff Miller

Mermaid Parade

I remember my mother and father taking me to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Sitting on top of my dad’s shoulders, looking at the giant floats, the beautiful colors, the magnificent music, and here we are a couple of years later spending the day at Coney Island at the Mermaid Parade. My new policy is one camera, one lens, two batteries, two cards. I chose to test a new lens, a 135 f/2. Last year’s parade, I used a 10-22mm. Obviously, a huge change! But, changing it up is a good thing. What I’m about to say is no scientific fact. It appeared to me for every person in the parade, there were 3 photographers. I could be off, but I’m not that far off.