Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I'll remember this day for a while. I won't remember the celebs, but I'll remember the day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Just a B.E.T. kind of day

It was a good thing I was here. The plan was for me to be the backup in case the main signal failed. Guess what? The main signal failed.

The day strted easy enough. I wandered around the red carpet for a few hours this morning. Chatted with some of the guys that I only work with once or twice a year because they only work the awards shows. Got some chai tea from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Picked up my credential and then sat around like an orphan waiting for someone to claim me. The day started at 9:00am, but I didn't actully do my thing until about 12:30pm. My thing today was just park the truck, pop the satellite dish and find the bird. All of five minutes for me. Then it was sit and wait until it was time to fire up the tubes about 2:30pm. Once I was up on the bird, I had to stay at the truck. That means that all the pictures I took were taken before I fired up the dish or they were taken from the truck.

Heh-heh-heh.

I did have to sit in the truck for almost six hours, but I managed to get out and stretch my legs every now and then. I'm happy that this was just a positive bit of entertainment and I didn't count one protest or scandal all evening. I think that's a wonderful thing considering entertainers have seemed to want to push the envelope of bad taste when it comes to their public appearances. I believe people should be free to be themselves, but I also like to think that there are boundaries and standards that encourage us to be better. Okay, enough from me.

Hey, that's Teena Marie. There, I got one.

Pix from The BET Image Awards

I kept wondering where Janet Jackson was during the arrivals. I won't get to see the show until I get home. My lovely wife said the opening number featuring a bevy of big beautiful women was a spectacular sight.

Dang.

By the way, who are these girls?
Okay, so my secret is out. The jig is up. My wife is a schoolteacher. She's the brains behind the operation. I'm sitting here laughing, because I saw a ton of celebrities, but they were mostly from the music industry and I'm strictly old school. Jazz and blues are usually my first choices in music, but I'll work out to anything upbeat. It was still great to be here.
Don't get me wrong. If it was important that I know who these people are, I could find out.
They pass out a cheat sheet for the truly clueless people who show up to cover these award shows. I really really needed one of those sheets today.
I'm betting this is Alicia Keyes. Can somebody help me out here?
I wish my daughter was here to tell me who these people are.
I kind of know who this is.
I don't know who this is.

The Awards Season Starts Here

BET Image Awards
See, I don't just go to Starbucks.
Sorry, my weekend was too full to get much up and running on the blog. I do want to thank all the nice people who have been supportive of what I'm doing. I'm happy to share my behind the scenes peek into my life as a news photographer and I'm just floored by the positive response. With any luck, I'll have a lot of pictures from the Image Awards to post later.
One of the BET stars arriving on set.
This is where the office is today

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Bad Words

Having to witness stupidity and ignorance is one of the down sides of what I do. You can't read what the orange paint says, but I'll tell you it isn't very nice. We were sent to Lancaster which is a desert community North-East of Los Angeles. Quite a drive. Someone painted racial slurs on a wall in an empty lot across from a nice middleclass neighborhood. The families living here probably aren't rich and they're probably not poor either. They're just working people who aren't out to rob, cheat, or steal from anyone. Just minding their own business. A black family lives right across the street from where the wall was painted and it's a pretty diverse neighborhood. The vandal or vandals also painted on seven or eight cars in the neighborhood.

I hate seeing innocent people suffer because of the ignorance of others.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Vice City: Carson

Remember I was tired from the long day yesterday. I got assigned an easy story. The deal with the law protecting stray animals from being killed right away at the pound. Animal rights people are upset because politicians want to take away the laws that are protecting the animals. Halfway into the story, we get the call to head down to Carson (we're in Culver CIty), a robbery has developed into a police pursuit. We rush down to Carson and wind up in the middle of the pursuit.
This girl got the home video of the chase as it ended. FYI, each news station that got a copy of the tape from her paid her between $125.00 and $175.00. I don't know how many stations bought her tape, but we sure used it. Also, if there are news helicopters overhead, several ground crews in the area, ten camcorders on every corner, and it's something that happens like twice a week in Los Angeles, don't feel like you've won the lottery. The news stations will not negotiate and pay you more. You don't have an exclusive.
Big story and it was all I could do to squeeze off three still shots.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

This is how you lose votes

The Media entrance. I saw guys pulling equipment carts all the way to the top. The elevator is through a set of doors to the left of the frame.
Just another 15 hour day

Kerry Fundraiser at the Disney Concert Hall

Is anybody besides me scratching their head over this? I bet Gehry wakes up in the morning and just laughs at the money they paid him to design this place.
I walked down to the MOCA because it was right around the corner and admission is free on Thursdays. I'm a little bored sitting in the truck, but it still doesn't suck to be me. Plus, I get to put my nifty tecnology to work and update my blog. I'm using my Sony Ericsson cell phone to connect my laptop to the internet. I love being alive right now.
Lunch at the MOCA
The Office parked across the street from the music center

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself

I almost forgot the big story from yesterday. Marc Coogan and I covered a press conference in San Bernadino because the West Nile virus has gotten a foothold in that area. The City will start spraying for mosquito this Friday. The folks in charge say residents don't have anything to worry about, but the guys driving the truck will be wearing protective gear.
Oh, yeah. Yesterday.
Today the office is parked near the corner of Grand and 1st Street in downtown LA. I'm running our digi-sat truck for CBS. Their crew needs to feed videotape. I'm not sure who will be getting it. I'm just outside of the Disney Concert Hall and I'm going to run over to the MOCA during my lunch hour. By the way, the event is a fundraiser for Presidential Candidate Kerry. Barbara Streisand will be performing with Neil Diamond. Their first time performing together on stage in 24 years.
At the Office

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Wild Blue Yonder

She can't drive a car, but she can fly the heck out of a plane. I didn't think I would get a story today, but wound up flying over the City of Compton in a light plane piloted by a 13 year old girl. She's taking off for a cross country flight tomorrow. When I was offered the chance to go for a spin around the city with her and one of her flight instructors, I had to go for it. CBS Newspath picked up the story, so it might pop up in other parts of the country tonight.
View over Compton
After lunch, I thought my day was pretty much shot. No story in sight. I was quite suprised when I got sent out with reporter Lora McLauglin. Great story and it just goes to show you how random my day can be. One minute I'm sipping coffee at Starbucks and the next, I'm flying over Compton!

Spinners

Nothing to do with the story, but I had to take a shot of this. Are we going too far? That's a spinner style wheel cover atached to the side of a stroller. Yes, it was spinning.
Love that Starbucks Hotspot
I'm amping up on a double espresso. As soon as I'm good and caffeinated, I'll check back at our assignment desk to see what news needs to be covered. I hope it's not going to require me to change out trucks. I'd rather not have to swap out all my gear and do the truck shuffle.
I'm sitting in the Starbucks at Sunset and Gower on lunch because the assignment I came in for this morning is quickly evaporating. I was supposed to be operating one of our satellite trucks for B.E.T. at their Image Awards. I was geared up for some celebrity pictures, but it's not looking like that's going to happen. Maybe something else will come up, but that's the nature of my job and it doesn't do any good to stress about it. Something else will come along.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Yeah, Monday!

It's Monday morning and I just got back from a 1.5 mile jog around my neighborhood. I'm off today, no new pictures from the wonderful world of broadcast news. I had a good Father's Day yesterday. Went to the Getty Museum and saw the Photogrpahers of Genius exhibit. Of course I enjoyed it greatly, but I was a little underwhelmed by the genius aspect. Many of the photos on display were unremarkable to me and seemed undeserving of the status being credited to the photgraphers.

Went for pizza with the wife and teen daughter after the museum. My family is sometimes critical of me for never wanting to go out and doing things when I have free time. It's not easy for them to understand the feeling of wanting to be home and enjoying the comforts that I've worked to obtain. A glass of wine on the deck and watching the shadows of the trees stretching through the backyard. It doesn't get much better than that. I wish more people felt the same.

Something to which I aspire


Photo taken by Camia Marie Frank (credit where it's due)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Miracles and Munchies

The ceremony is over, but a year ago, this was the sight of a massive train wreck. The City of Commerce decided to rename the street "Miracle Place", because not one person was hurt when the train derailed here. If I remember the story correctly, the train got loose from a switching station and was a runaway that built up speed for several miles and was headed for the downtown Union Station. The railroad company decided to derail it rather than let it crash in a more populated area. They were extremely lucky that the crash resulted in only property damage. It makes my head hurt to think of the lawsuits flying at the train company if someone had been killed as a result of an accident that was a concious decision. It was a miracle.

They also had free hotdogs.

Mmmmm, righteous indignation pacifying free hotdogs.
Come on. Who doesn't like fire trucks?
Fitting name for the street that suffered the greatest amount of damage.
This is the scene from a year ago the day of the train wreck in the City of Commerce. If I can get a frame grab of the helicopter shots from that day I'll post it. The debris field covered an unbelieveably huge area. In all this, not one person was hurt.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The End of the Week

This is the view we had from the parking structure.
So, here we are on the 7th floor of the parking structure at the Grove shopping and entertainment center. It was the end of the work week and our last child at home was spending the night away from home. Sensing an opportunity for some quality time together, I had the lovely Mrs. Frank pick me up after work and wound up getting a bite to eat and walking around the Grove. We hold hands a lot.

Last Goodbye to Ray Charles

I stitched together a panarama shot of the media circus outside 1st AME church attending the funeral service for Ray Charles. Quite a few celebrities appeared and some even performed during the service. It was quite a day.
Little Richard

Friday, June 18, 2004

Stevie Wonder had a few words. He came to say goodbye to his friend and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to get a couple of snapshots of several celebrities whom I admire.
That's BB King walking out of the service.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ray Charles' Public Viewing

It's all about the cool credentials. I'm actually pretty impressed with the media/press credentials that were given out for the Ray Charles event. Nice and colorful and worth showing fifty or sixty years from now.

Georgia. . .

I got the chance to say a goodbye to Ray Charles today. It never ceases to amaze me how different one day at work can be from the next. On the other hand, Reagan's funeral last week had all the markings of an original event. As it turns out we're back in the burial mode for a major celebrity. I realized today how much my father's musical tastes influenced me. The music of my youth included Ray Charles. Mainly because he was one of the artists that my father liked and played often. My taste in music has changed over the years, but it will always give me comfort to hear "my father's music" being played.

Hey, if anyone is wondering, Ray Charles is in the casket. They opened it for viewing, but respectfully requested that no pictures be taken while it was open.

Monday, June 14, 2004

OC Sniper

A sniper was taking shots at the residents of the Baker Canyon area of Orange County (never saw that on "The OC"). He winged a couple of deputies before he was finally shot and killed himself.
Dead sniper story.
Orange County Sheriff. The punch line was, ". . .in the Hills".
He sniped this truck pretty good.
ActionMan on the scene.