Indy 500

Hi to All the Ships at Sea,

Sports Illustrated selected this as the third greatest photograph from the last 100 years. I have nothing else to say except Geoff Miller nailed the closest finish, I was proud to say he was my assistant on this shoot.

All the Best,

Joe D

You can now follow me on Twitter @dimaggio_photo
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Indy 500

Hi to All the Ships at Sea,

The tulips are coming up, seems like the snow is almost gone and the Indy cars are starting to run. Remember what I said, one camera, one lens, all the time. Here’s a shot from the old days with one of my assistants. Count the cameras. Thank god for assistants. Would hate to be looking at his MRI today. On a recent Formula One, which in many ways is much more difficult than the Indy 500, I used 2 cameras and 2 lenses. Two Canon 5D Mark III, one 80mm-200  f/2.8 zoom and a second 5D Mark III with grip and 400mm f/5.6 and carrying a 1.4 extender. Gitso Monopod and 6 lexar cards, 8 gigs up to 32 gigs  Simple. Keep it simple. The photograph on the bottom was named by Sports Illustrated as the third best photograph of all time of the last 100 years.

All the Best,

Joe D

You can now follow me on Twitter @dimaggio_photo                                                                                                                                                              © Joe DiMaggio
Visual Impressions with Joe DiMaggio, Sponsored by Adorama
www.adorama.com
Adorama Learning Center

I Really Did Invent the GoPro—NOT

© Joe DiMaggio

We always want photography to be fun; if it’s not fun then why do it? On an assignment for Sports Illustrated on the first great woman drag racer of our times, Shirley Muldowney, I spent a week with her and it was just pure fun. It was after her horrific crash in 1984, yet she maintained a light, airy persona and was genuinely warm, friendly, and cooperative; until I mentioned that I wanted to mount a camera on the nose of her Top Fuel Dragster. In many ways, Shirley was a hero to me. She was a great spokesman for the sport, and a great role model for women. On the first run with the camera mounted on the nose of the Dragster, the torque and power snapped a quarter twenty bolt and the camera fell over and almost hit the cement. The safety wire stopped it from becoming a photographic hand grenade. On that note, let’s always remember; safety first, photography second. After talking with her engineer we decided to take the nose cone off and bolt the camera directly to the rail. The camera we used was a Nikon F with motor and a 16mm lens. Photos were taken on Kodachrome 64 with an exposure of f16 at 1/60 of a second, tripped with an old fashioned module light.

© Joe DiMaggio

I Invented the GoPro— NOT

© Joe DiMaggio

One of the greatest assignments I had an opportunity to do was a three-week assignment for Sports Illustrated on three brothers, the Whittington brothers, who inherited nine hundred million dollars. They had an affinity for cars, planes, and all things exciting.  Their 1979 Le Mans entrance won first in their class. A small part of my assignment was to have the three cars together at speed, so I ordered a Mitchell mount from California, mounted a Nikon f2 with a motor with a 15mm lens, and a remote cord into the compartment where I sat on four roll bars. I explained that we only needed to go 40 to 50 miles an hour. Unfortunately, race cars like to grip at much higher speeds. We did one pass at about 100 miles an hour, I changed film, and on the second pass, I could feel the remote button and my camera was out of film. I believe my quote was “we can go back to the pits, I’m done”. I will never ever use those words again. Bill Whittington kicked in the turbo and we went from 100 to 160 in what seemed like a millisecond, until the rear end broke loose (please keep in mind, he had on his Nomex, his balaclava, his gloves, his helmet, and all of his racing belts. I had beech nut gum and a death grip on the roll cage). He took the emergency road, locked up all the brakes, came to a full stop, popped out of the automobile and I was still frozen. Paul Newman looked over and said to me “You must be out of your mind to get in a car with that wild man”. Once again, Paul was right.

As everyone knows, I was brought into the digital world kicking and screaming. Now that I’m working on my memoirs, I realize what  I did with this series cost several thousand dollars and someone could have gotten hurt (namely me). In the world of digital, using two GoPros, one on the front and one on the back of the car would’ve been safer. I don’t have to be in the car, so if they would like to do 180, so be it. The overall cost would be less than $600 with a safety wire. God bless digital.

Shot at 1/15th of a second on Kodachrome 25 at f11.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio
Paul Newman with Don and Bill Whittington

Angelo Dundee: A Dear Friend.

The first rule you learn in journalism is to stay totally objective and never become close to the person you’re photographing or writing about. It isn’t an easy thing to do. In the case of Angelo Dundee, it was absolutely impossible. I met Angelo back in the 70’s and did major stories on him for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Ring… too many to mention.

I think anyone who’s been around boxing can tell you there’s a dark side, and at some point everybody either goes there or experiences it. Angelo Dundee never had a dark side. He is the epitome of sportsmanship, a true gentleman, and the ultimate motivator. He was the total package. One of the most gentle people God put on this planet. He made a perfect ambassador for the sport of boxing. I met several hundred people in boxing over the years, from the very top to the very bottom and never heard one bad word against Angelo. Whether it was Budd Schulberg, Bert Sugar, or a journeyman fighter in Mississippi, they all loved him. Angie treated everybody like they were an important person. He never forgot a name and he had that beautiful smile and those beautiful eyes. He was always warm and attentive. Did I mention his sense of humor?

Here’s an Angelo quote sent to me today from one of my students, Steve Ellis:

“Joe, just want to tell you how much your call meant to me. Really nice gesture.

I was sorry to see the news about Angelo. He seemed like a really interesting guy. I remember when he was a commentator during the ’88 Olympics. During one of Riddick Bowe’s fights he was really critical about all the obvious mistakes Bowe was making. Angelo said ‘If this kid’s lucky, he’ll have a spasm of lucidity.’ I always remember that expression.

Steve”

Anyone who knows me knows that I can go on and on. I’m going to bring this blog to an end and I will revisit Angie and his memory at a later date. One of my last experiences with him is when he was kind enough to give me a few hours of his time for an interview for my documentary In this Corner.

P.S. In an interview I did with Jake LaMotta, “The Raging Bull”, he told me that he gave this kid Dundee one of his first jobs.

I can see Angie with a water bottle and a towel, cooling down Saint Peter as he’s entering the pearly gates. Rest in Peace, my friend. You’ve got a lot of champions on the other side.

Sports Illustrated- JoAnne Kalish

Photo Long Beach Grand Prix © JoAnne Kalish
Long Beach Grand Prix Shunt 31 © J.Kalish

© 1978 JoAnne Kalish Long Beach Grand Prix Mario Andretti and James Hunt

The interesting thing about having two photographers in the family is people ask, do we compete? What a silly question. Oops, I forgot, there are no silly questions. Of course we compete. We’re constantly competing, and we all know who is going to win. In the final analysis,  it certainly won’t be me. My partner JoAnne Kalish is great photographer

I’ll tell you a little story. On the inaugural Formula One auto race in Long Beach, California there were approximately 1500 photographers, each one of them looking for the best position for the start of the race to get the definitive Formula One start shot. Photographers like Neil Leifer who is considered one of the finest sports photographers in our time. Neil has a zillion SPORTS ILLUSTRATED covers. Along with Neil, there was Gary Nichermin, Louis Franck, Kevin Fitzgerald, Mike Phillips, myself, and a small, 101 pound JoAnne Kalish. Everybody marked their positions and waited for the cars to let loose with a burst of 36 exposures. There was a loud noise and the screeching of brakes and smoke all over the place. I followed a car moving to my left along with, I don’t know how many other photographers. At the end JoAnne said “Wow, did you get that shunt?” and I said yes, and everybody else said yes. Later on that evening we went to pick up our film, at the lab, and while there, everybody checked their film out on the light boxes provided. JoAnne opens up her first box of slides, and there was the entire motor series of the shunt at the start of the race, with James Hunt’s car literally on one wheel flipping up in the air, which, by the way, Mario Andretti ran double truck in his coffee table book. JoAnne said, “did you guys get this?” We’re all looking around wondering what she’s talking about and sure enough, she has the whole motor series of this shunt. We didn’t get it, we never even saw it. But she nailed it! That’s JoAnne, small ego, great talent. That was the first photo she had published in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and they ran it again in SI’s YEAR IN PICTURES.

There wasn’t another photographer at the race that captured the shots she got!