Dennis Wheeler Art Work Photography@ JoAnne Kalish
Took the day off to visit friends Dennis and Kathi in Hillsdale NY. It’s always a beautiful drive. We love going to the farm and studio and always enjoy seeing them. On the way up, Joe mentioned he had a feeling Dennis was up to something but did not know what.
Dennis unveiled a new piece of artwork which was made from tiny fragmented pieces of glass that Joe had given him on our last visit. Dennis works a lot with collage and is always open to new materials. You just never know what he’ll come up with. Anyway Dennis outdid himself once again. This is just the first of the series I would imagine. For anyone interested in seeing some of the many pieces that Dennis does his studio and work can be seen by appointment. Unfortunately, Dennis does not have very much internet presence but he is a well established artist and we’re working on changing that.
I’ve spent years working to develop a style of my own. Many upcoming photographers think that after a short amount of time acquiring a few skills their work is good enough to be should be shown in a gallery. A lot of amateur photographers pay to be shown in a gallery. Does your work really belong in a gallery just yet? Is there a theme to your work? A personal style? Or is it another picture of an old barn, a seagull or photos from your last vacation all framed up so nice, where you spend hundreds on matting and framing – the presentation may be professional but is it really art? Think about it. It brings the art of photography down – there’s more to it then you think. Develop a style, hone your craft really work on it. Keep striving to make photographs rather than pictures have them say something about you, what do you care about? What do you most like to photograph? Nature? People, Portraiture? Sports? Fashion? Still Life? I can go on but won’t. If you can’t make up your mind try keeping your work in categories – all portraiture together, all sports etc. See what you’re best at and go with your strongest suit possibly. Develop and round out the category. What’s it missing to make it better? When putting your best photos together remember this rule – “When in Doubt Leave it Out.” What photos are weak and should be replaced to make a stronger statement?
Our most Recent Workshop was at the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. Please double Click to see a few of the many faces from the Parade. It was a great day but hard working as a group in such a crowd. Shooting with a long lens was the answer most of the time as there was too much hustle and bustle of people rushing in as you were trying to make a photograph. It was a fun day in all!
The last time I was at the Bronx Zoo our son Dylan was maybe 6 years old and I remember loving it. Here it is many years later and we had a workshop at the zoo. It was thoroughly enjoyable, once again we had a great group. Unfortunately, we were a little surprised as there were some exhibits behind glass which was something we were not told about by Bronx Zoo PR people. In spite of this, I think we all got some great shots. The attached Tigers & Ebony Lampur Monkey was taken with a Sigma 300mm 2.8 and a 2x extender. Long fast lenses were the answer as always at the zoo.
One of our locations was at Gleason’s Gym which is always a fun place to shoot in because it’s full of such an interesting array of people. There are graphics galore, great portraits to be made, action photos of people training whether it be in the ring, hitting speed bags, lifting weights, running, you name it. Many different photographic skills are required and most amateurs or even most semi-pros don’t normally have this kind of exposure and access to shooting so many different types of situations all at once. It is, in my opinion, a great learning experience. Also many thanks to FDNY Firehouse Engine 205 on Middagh Street, one of the oldest fire departments in Brooklyn & Lieutenant Mallien for allowing us to bring along our group for a tour and to graciously allow us to do an environmental portrait of one of their firefighters. Thanks to Larry Malang, Dylan DiMaggio & Monica Cipnic for all their help with this workshop.
In the past students have asked me about sponsorship. Just for the record, yes Dyna-lite is a sponsor of the DiMaggio-Kalish Workshops but I’ve been using Dyna-lite prior their sponsorship for many years. The president of Dyna-lite, Peter Poremba, is absolutely dedicated to making the best possible electronic flash equipment for the least amount of money. More important than that, he is truly dedicated to photo education.
I thought about making a workshop out of this year’s annual event. It is a beautiful event to photograph and there’s a lot to be learned along the way. There are many teams of young women competing in various Lifeguard duties against each other. Photographing on the beach you need to be very aware of your exposure. You have to watch out for sand and water spray on your equipment. On the beach the soft light is wonderful and it makes colors pop. We will learn how to make the best out of every sporting situation. I will share with you some techniques I used as a photographer for Sports Illustrated. Fast shutter speeds, slow shutter speeds, pans, action coming toward the camera and across the frame. There’s plenty of action, graphics, portraits you name it…it’ll be a hell of a Workshop! To see more recent photos of this event go to