combines his two biggest passions: photography and the outdoors. He always is in pursuit of capturing the beauty of what life has to offer. He used to take pictures at all the rock and roll concerts in New York when younger but now really enjoys wildlife photography.
Many of Joe's works were awarded. He won numerous wildlife pictures of the month in the 'Universe of Color Photography' editions. His photographs also were published in magazines such as 'The Wild Planet magazine', 'Bird watching magazine', and the 'National Geographic magazine'. In the National Geographic 'Owl' calendar 2020, one of his shots is to be seen in November. In the NATGEO Canada wall calendar 2020, the cover image and the image in December are his works too.
First let me say thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my life in photography. I will try to be brief but let's start by telling a little about myself.
I grew up in Staten Island, NY and was raised by my parents who are of Italian descent. After graduating from USF, I accepted a summer job on Wall St, where I spent the next 36 years on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. For approximately half of my career, I owned my own business on "The Floor" as a commission broker and had a dozen employees working for me. In 2018, at age 57, I retired from Wall St. and now have a very relaxed job selling Cadillacs for my friends dealership close to home.
When and how did you start your photography? What first attracted you to photography
As a 14 year old, I went to my first Rock and Roll concert in New York City and was completely blown away by the whole experience. Soon after, I went to my second concert and decided I had to borrow my dad's Nikon SLR camera that had a 135mm portrait lens, which I used mostly in the beginning. We also had a darkroom in the house and I quickly learned how to develop my own images. It was quite easy since my dad had everything written down with step by step instructions. Within a couple of years, some of my images were published in R&R magazines and I was even selling 8x10 b&w prints in my high school courtyard. It became very lucrative for me.
I continued my photography in college where I shot some of the University of South Florida's' sporting events for their school paper.
Can you please describe in a few words your photographer philosophy and mission?
My philosophy with photography is the same as my philosophy in life and that is to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, whether it be playing golf, which is a true passion of mine, or out with my camera photographing nature and wildlife. In addition, I am a very passionate photographer who is consistently searching for that special light and moment.
Over the years, how do you maintain and grow your passion for photography, especially concerning wildlife photography?
As far as maintaining my passion for photography, it's simple, I am a perfectionist in everything I do and photography is no exception. I continually search for better opportunities to display what nature has to offer us. Also, I get great pleasure knowing that others enjoy seeing my images whether in publication or on social media. Photographing wildlife just seems like a perfect fit for me since I do love being outdoors and always have.
What is more important to you, the mood /story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Technical details are always important in my images, especially if they are for print or sale but the mood and artistic impression is what I really like to portray.
What do you think are the top three secret ingredients for a remarkable wildlife photographer?
Sometimes, I specifically set out to capture an image showing the entire environment my subject is set in. Keeping my distance and letting the wildlife just act naturally is a key ingredient in getting the best images I believe along with having the best light possible and patience.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
When I set out on a photographic adventure I first check my database of images to see what I have captured in previous years. That way I can prepare for what might take place and possibly improve on the images I already have.
Relating to the prior statement as far as preparing goes, I was on a trip to Acadia National Park back in 2015 and 2 images that I had in mind were Atlantic Puffins showing some courting rituals and capturing Bass Harbor Lighthouse at sunset with a really intense sky. Well I succeeded on both. "Bass Harbor Light" won me a National Park Services photo of the year and it remains one of my all time favourites. I was also able to capture that puffin image titled "Puffin Lovin" and it too has won awards while both hang proudly in my home.
The puffin image was captured on Machias Seal Island which now has become a more popular destination for bird photographers. That took a lot of planning between scheduling the trip, getting up to Cutler, Maine from Acadia and coordinating with the weather. It had to be calm clear skies to be able to land on the island. I have also been very fortunate with a couple of other images being selected by National Geographic for their publications and one in specific graced the cover of their 2020 Canada wall calendar. That photo was taken in a tiny fishing town in Stonehurst, Nova Scotia and it too is one of my favourites.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
All of my images have been captured with Nikon equipment. I have been using their gear for 45 years and just don't have any intentions as of right now on switching. I have a Nikon D5 and D850 as my "go to" cameras. My lenses include the 600mm F4 prime, a handy 200-500mm F5.6 walk around lens and a 200mm-400mm F4 lens. I do have a bunch of others but those are the most used. My camera bag is an F-Stop Loka backpack along with a Think Tank case. I use a Really Right Stuff tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead along with a Wimberly Gimbal Head.
What software do you use to process your images?
For imaging processing, up until recently, I solely used Lightroom but the past year I am trying to familiarize myself with Photoshop and have been using it to some extent. I also use Topaz Denoise for some higher ISO images.
Can you please tell us something more about your workflow for wildlife photography?
My workflow is fairly simple. I import to a Lightroom catalogue, which I find very helpful. Everything is sorted by year, date and location. Keywords help when I'm looking for a specific subject upon a request. I adjust highlights, shadows, whites and blacks first. Then, maybe a slight exposure adjustment if I haven't nailed it in the field. From there I might do some dodging and burning of light or any other effect I would like to pronounce that is already in the image but maybe not as noticeable as I would've liked. From there, maybe some minor noise and sharpening done in Topaz and then possible spot removal in PS. That's basically it. I try to get it right in camera and after 45 years of photography, I seem to get fairly close to the image I'm looking for.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
My advice for beginning photographers is to start with something that really invigorates you. If you like walking the streets of a city and seeing all the different faces and characteristics of them, then start with street photography but if you are like me and love animals, then wildlife is the thing for you. You have to love what you do to succeed and it will definitely show in the images you produce. When I teach others I try to emphasize to them that I believe there are 3 important elements to a great image. 1-Light, make sure you shoot in the best light of the day. 2-Composition, you must have a good subject and framed right. 3- Background, an image with a distracting background is destined for the trash bin. When you have all of the mentioned, LCB, in the image, you then have a winner.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
Going back to my early years photographing Rock Concerts in New York City, the one photographer I always looked up to was Bob Gruen. It was amazing to me to see his work and his images of live shows. I still to this day can not believe what he got out of the equipment from the 70's. The lighting was always low and ISO capabilities were 400 or 800. You know how hard it is to get a shot of let's say, Mick Jagger, running all around the stage and freezing the action? With today's equipment it is so much easier with the digital era but back then no one could do it like him.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
In the future my goals are to travel more and get to places that will offer me opportunities that I have never had here in the north-east. I do travel as much as possible but it will be a lot better when I'm fully retired. This year alone I am travelling to the Cooks Inlet in Alaska to photograph coastal brown bears. Next year I will be going to Washington to photograph various colours of red fox and their kits. Who knows after that?
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
I think my favourite photograph of all time is an image I took of Paul Stanley of Kiss. I had attended their concert back in 1977 and had a front row seat. One particular moment was late in the show and Paul was really sweaty and his make-up was starting to come off. He posed right in front of me leaning against one of the amplifiers and I just filled the frame with a 50mm lens. Here is the link to the image on my website. https://www.joegliozzophotography.com/Rock-Concerts/i-xSGqfQj/A
I know you are new to 1x.com. Can you tell us about your initial impression about 1x.com based on your observation?
Looking at the 1x.com website, I am really impressed with the quality of the images displayed upon 1st look.
David Manusevich PRO
Thank you very much for this interesting, valuable article, and sharing🙏
Dennis Zhang PRO
amazing job! thanks to share your experience.
Fine presentation with some great photos. Love it. Thanks for share with the world. Wish you blessed work. From TheJar You welcome if you want go Ålesund Norway.
Jenny Cameron PRO
A really enjoyable read, thank you for sharing.
Thank you too Jenny!
Wonderful work and a great interview!
Thanks so much Gerda!
Vincent Lim PRO
Awesome work, thanks for sharing your wonderful gallery, congrats!
Thanks so much Vincent!
Marco Pozzi PRO
Very nice portfolio Joe, congrats!
Thanks so much Marco!
Great gallery Joe, greetings from New Jersey!
Hi Patrick. Thanks so much for the compliment!
Definitely stunning nature shots, congratulations!
Thanks so much Thomas!