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!”

Pete Hamill: Perfection

As a working photographer for my whole life, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with writers. And I think most writers would not only agree, but they would agree with much finer pros. When we teach photography, invariably one word comes up, and that’s “perfection”. In reality, nothing is perfect.

When you think you’ve seen everything, all of a sudden Pete Hamill, with all of his great editing skills and a history of journalism that transcends 6 decades, you would figure he would go out to pasture. Or, do old writers put the cover on their Remington typewriters? Well, he didn’t do either. Tabloid City is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. I read it once and I’m now re-reading it for a second time. He’s taken everything he’s learned in all those years and crammed it into a few pages. You can’t put it down! Pete, thank you so much. What a wonderful book. You’ve proved the old adage- you get better with age. It’s perfect!

Tabloid City: a New Crime Novel by Pete Hamill

“Hamill (North River) forays into Dominic Dunne society crime territory before veering uncomfortably into a far-fetched terrorist plot. Just as the last ever edition of the New York World is getting put to bed, veteran editor Sam Briscoe stops the presses for a sensational murder: socialite Cynthia Harding and her personal secretary are found stabbed to death in Harding’s Manhattan town house. The story unfolds in time-stamped, you-are-there bursts that follow a large cast, including several journalists; Cynthia’s adopted daughter; a disgraced Madoff-like financier; a media blogger; the murdered secretary’s husband, a police officer assigned to a counterterrorism task force, as well as their son, a convert to radical Islam; and best of all by the weary and worldly Briscoe himself.

Hamill is at his best in the Briscoe portions, rich in print anecdotes and mournful for a passing age, but as both the initial murders and the closing of the paper play into a larger plot and the young extremist becomes the driving force of the novel, the quality slides precipitously, and, as if sensing defeat, the book is brought to a too abrupt conclusion with most of the principals gathered for a group of scenes that strain credulity. Hamill nails the dying newsroom, but gets lost on the terrorism beat.” – Publishers Weekly

Most photographers will tell you they have a love-hate relationship with writers. Most writers will tell you they have a hate-hate relationship with photographers. Just joking! Pete Hamill is not only a great editor and writer, but he has the utmost respect for the photograph and for photographers. I had an opportunity to have a short visit with Pete at B.B King’s and there may have been one or two drinks, but I can’t recall. He is a brilliant writer, a great guy, and “Tabloid City”, his new book, is a great read.