This past weekend I had the chance to learn from one of the most respected photographers in the industry, Joe DiMaggio. He may not be the well known baseball player, but he is the well known photographer whose work have graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, Life and Time Magazines just to name a few! Time Magazine chose his 1981 Cooney-Holmes fight as picture of the year. Deciding to do one of his workshops was one of the best decisions I've made since it was a very good experience learning from one of the best. I'm actually giddy with excitement that Mr. DiMaggio posted some work on his blog site: JOE DIMAGGIO IN THIS CORNER. You can also see some other works from other talented photographers who attended the workshop.
Being part of a group of individuals who were all very creative and loved photography was also worthwhile. No one looked at you odd when you're with 15 others with DSLRs hanging around their necks and taking shots of buildings, people, the ground and sky in all angles! Mr. DiMaggio took us through the Brooklyn bridge, stressing that you should always walk, stop, and look back and see the different angles, look at how different the angles and horizons are after just walking 15 feet. He also stressed that not everything has to look sharp! He also stated do not be afraid to raise your ISO! Get that shot, that moment, and you'll be amazed at how wonderful it can be even if it is not as sharp or more grainy than you would have liked. He also mentioned whatever he speaks of are a matter of opinion. Well, his opinion, in my opinion, does count.
After shooting pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge, getting sceneries, motion, angles and more, we headed to Gleason's Gym where many of the best boxers have trained. We were also warned not to touch anything and then touch our face...Duly noted! Gleason's is not your modern day gym so do not expect a NYSC feel to the place. This training gym is worn, used, and the facility is filled with experienced trainers and legends looking for the next champion. After Gleason's we headed to the home of Engine 205 and Ladder 118. Thanks again to everyone at Engine 205/Ladder 118 for allowing us freedom to access the firehouse and capture everything! They were all very cooperative and patient with our questions. Just seeing the hundreds of pounds of gear a single Fireman or woman must carry is definitely an eye opener when seen in person and not just on TV. The jacket and pants they wear are about 50 pounds, plus additional gear consisting of oxygen tank, mask, axes, pulling hoses, plus a body to carry if it ever came to that. That's on top of the person's weight! Very humbling indeed and we all walked away thankful for the experience, and thankful to each of them for doing what they do. After seeing the home of these brave Firemen, we were off to the pier overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. A natural scene in this area are newlyweds and we saw one such couple who were happy to have our workshop take pictures freely. We then ended the day at the East River Park...of course along the way we stopped at Jacques Torres Chocolate factory for some much loved hot chocolate (some got the Wicked drink while the rest including yours truly tried the Classic).
All in all a very good day and a very fun experience. Thanks again to my fellow classmates and for Joe DiMaggio for sharing their experience, knowledge, and providing advice and hopefully we'll meet again at the next workshop! Below are some more shots from the day.