Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mmmm, Hot Dogs.

I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but I love hot dogs. The only food I love more than hot dogs, is "free" hot dogs.

There's usually hot dogs available for the media late in the game. I couldn't resist. Probably because of the whole part about "free" and all.


Mmmmm.

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Live From PetCo (Stadium)

No. I really didn't expect to be in San Diego today, but here we are.

I'll be running SAT shots through the 11:00 newscast. When I leave for work, I'm starting to just tell everybody, see you tomorrow. --
Sent from my BlackBerry

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Go LAKERS. . .Central!

I need to try to remember to add "Central" into casual conversation whenever possible.

Check it out, I was out at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo today for the annual media day.



It's just a big ol' media availability where the Lakers (even the good ones) come out and make themselves, oh, I don't know. . .available for interviews, sound bites, tags, promos and such.

Not a bad assignment. I know lots of people (mostly Lakers fans), who would enjoy trading places with me on days like this.

Yeah, sorry. That's just not going to happen.

Still, enjoy the slideshow. . .CENTRAL!

I'm All About the be-Ball

Laker media day.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Say, Cheese.

With so many methods of social networking out there, people can now complain about me neglecting my accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Posterous and Tumblr as well as my blog.

Shucks, I love having options.

I'm writing this and it's Sunday morning.  Last night I got a quick post out about my most recent adventures taking pictures on Hollywood Boulevard.  Looking back over the posts of the current month of September, I realize I really haven't been filling in the gaps as well as I'd like.  I've been getting a fair amount of pictures posted, but finding the time to sit down and write has really been difficult.

The eternal question, write or sleep?

Well, honestly that hasn't even really been an option.  I might be able to put off sleep for a while, but eventually the choice isn't really mine to make.

Anyway, I'm awake for now.  Anybody want to know what I've been doing?



For the past six months or so, I've been getting more involved in the world of still photography.  It doesn't mean I'm quitting my job or that I'm giving up on writing.  Shooting stills is just something that I've been enjoying.

A lot.

That's why over the last six months or so, I've been investing here and there in still photography gear.  A few weeks back, I hosted my first garage studio photo session.  That's Yasmin Jess in the makeup.  The shoot came about because a couple of friends from my station wanted to work with me on a project.  Shahada Karim wanted to start rebuilding her makeup portfolio and Auxy Espinoza (also a photographer) was interested in putting together a studio shoot.

Yasmin was found through Model Mayhem, a networking site for people interested modeling.



A little while back, I decided that as long as it's working for me, I might as well go with it and see where my interest leads.

I wonder if people think I'm changing and giving up on writing?



Which is funny to me, because I've always been a photographer and I've always been a writer.  I don't make much distinction between shooting video and shooting stills.  I imagine if I shot stills for a living, I might decide to shoot video to relax.

I actually try not to analyze it too much.



It's just that people seem to think I only do one or the other.  I guess because I used to share very little of my work, there used to be a clear division between my photography and my writing.  Some people knew me just for one or the other and it almost seemed like the concept of wanting to succeed at both has been too much for some people to grasp.

Shucks, people if you're going to dream, you might as well dream big.



Someday I'd like to own my own studio and gallery.  I'd like to be published and I'd like to blaze a trail for my friends (who are really good writers) to follow.

I'd like to take pictures and I'd like to share them with other people. 

I'd like to see and do interesting things.  I want to treat life like and adventure and I'd like to write about that in a way that inspires other people to go out and have adventures of their own.



In short, I'd like to do more of everything that I'm doing.

I took these pictures.  I wrote these words.  That makes me happy and for now, that's enough.  Somewhere down the line, I will do more.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

JLOP -vs- Hollywood Boulevard (Round 3)

As always, I had a blast shooting pictures out in Hollywood on Friday night/Saturday morning. It helps me unwind when things are hectic at the station.

I had a couple of slow days this past work week, but with the long days put in for Emmy Awards coverage and the assorted fires burning around Southern California, I was pretty fried by the end of the week.



Taking a couple of hours after work to snap a few pictures was a good start to the weekend. If this is the second or third new post you've seen today, then I found a little bit of time to myself to write.

If it's the first one, no worries. I just fell asleep.

Writing is good, but resting up for the coming week and actually getting caught up on sleep is also appreciated.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dentist Update

Been a busy week. TGIF! Good gosh, TGIF!

I'll try to update everything over the weekend.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fire on the Horizon

This is my view from the microwave truck as I was heading out to the fire burning in the Filmore area.

After the Station fire, this fire is going to have to work pretty hard to impress me. --
Sent from my BlackBerry

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Should Do HD More Often.

Wheee! It's kind of a tightrope walk over a barrel of sharks and crocodiles (and they're armed with bats and machettes) and plus, so far not one celebrity has walked over to the satellite truck to give me a nod and/or a grunt.

I mean, come on, we're rocking the HD signal from the red carpet and we'll be live in in about a half an hour from now. Not exactly a technological marvel, but pushing our envelope past what we do day to day.



Kind of like a valued chess piece, I've somehow advanced past the point where I can be tossed out with the rest of the photog carpet fodder.

I'm sitting tight and holding the rear line from the truck compound. Dang it.




I'm a few steps closer than most people and that's kind of exciting. Not like seeing the stars up close and in person, but I can't be everywhere.



Shucks, after seeing a number of stars melting in the heat, I appreciated better the benefits of my air conditioned position.

(We got through the early live shots, but we had to scramble to get the job done. I might have more on this later.)



It's 8:13pm as I type up this quick post. We've been on TV every time we intended and in HD to boot. Our first hits suffered from "technical malfunctions" caused by an unknown outside source.

Well, actually somebody pulled a plug. It was just a plug, but it was a pretty important one.

One more hit to go. I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'm looking forward to Monday.

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Red Carpet Burns

It's just pretty freaking hot out at the Emmy Awards show.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 Emmy Load In

It took longer than I thought it would, but we managed to get all the cables laid out and completed a full test of the system.



It's Saturday and I'm going to take it easy. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

How about "beFrank Central"?

The station is officially launching the "News Central" branding of our newscast today.



Our trucks were being wrapped with the new logos the last couple of weeks and our 5:00pm newscast today should be the first show with the new graphics and logos.

It's an interesting time to be working in news.  It seems like the powers that be are making a great effort to try to approach what we do in a way that reflects the changes in what people want from local broadcast news.

Wish us luck.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Triple Homicide

A man and his two children were murdered tonight in Thousand Oaks.
 
I'm doing live shots with a trainee just outside of the crime scene.
 
The CSI van was moved about one car length and is now blocking my shot into the victim's condominium.
 
It's just another night at the office.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Water Main Break (No, Not The Good One).

Did you see the sink holes in North Hollywood last week?  You know, the two that caused massive sink holes?

Especially the one that almost ate a fire truck?

That was a cool shot of the fire engine sitting half submerged in a sink hole full of water.  I think every news photographer who carries a still camera in Los Angeles got snappy on it.

Except me.



I never got assigned to the "big" sink hole story.  Sure, I could have driven over and checked it out on my own, but that feels like cheating somehow.

It's not like I'm envious of anyone else getting a good picture. . .



. . .wait, no, that's exactly what I am, but not so much of anyone else's work. . .well, okay, maybe a little.



Really, I guess in this situation it was more frustration that I volunteered to drive one of our news vans for the promo shoot the day the second sinkhole almost ate a fire engine.

I sat around for hours until they finally cancelled the promo shoot because of un-clear skies.  I was headed for home (and at a decent traffic avoidance hour to boot).

The sky was relatively clear, I'm pretty sure birds were singing (sure, they must be singing somewhere) and I'd gotten maybe five minutes away from the station.  I was on the freeway when I got a call to come back.  The station needed me to load up in a microwave truck and go check out another sink hole, this one in the mid-cities area.



My dream of getting home early in the afternoon was dead.  Nothing for me to do, but accept my fate.  I turned it around and soon I was heading out in one of the crappiest vans in our fleet.

Someone else was assigned my regular unit since I wasn't going to be needing it.



I drove from North Hollywood over to a street just North of the 10 Freeway near Fairfax.  When I go there the street was empty, and it looked like something had been done to the road.  Also, there was water in the street.

But, no big huge sinkholes.



I drove around the blocked off street to see if I was maybe missing something around the corner.  Once around the block and a crew had magically appeared.

That was surprising.

Apparently a water main had broken in the area and had caused a water outage for the neighborhood.  These things happen, but the desk still wanted their water main breakage.

I shot it and fed the video in.  Packed up and drove back to the station feeling a bit unfulfilled.  The video I shipped back was fine (even if it might never see the light of day) and I got some still shots.  It just didn't seem like anything as big as a firetruck was going to fall into my sink hole.

Some guys get all the luck.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

PaleyFest!

Covering the premiere-apalooza of some fall shows. I might get to chat with "Medium" cast members.
 
Beats some of the assignments I've gotten lately.
 
Jackson family, I'm looking at you.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thinking of Mrs. Frank.

I was out in the middle of nowhere.  Still, my lovely wife wasn't far from my mind.



I'm just saying.
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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No-whereville.

I don't want to put down the area, but why anyone would choose to live out here is puzzling to me.
 
Not like it's any safer.

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Let's Just All Be Frank

My thanks to Paul Skolnick for lunch at the most interesting of portable dining establishments.
 
You really can't go wrong with a name and a menu like that.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Shipping Ken Out.

Of course I'd like to be the one tagged to travel, but I don't mind sharing the wealth. Ken Koller is being shipped out in the next hour.
 
We don't know why. We just know he's headed for LAX to catch a flight and we're all helping him pack.
 
Good times in news.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Decadence.

Custom built hamburgers and side trio (onion rings, fries, sweet potato fries) with Fat Tire draft beers. Topped it off with a caramel fudge brownie.
 
This meal will not soon be forgotten.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

R.I.P. Michael (again).

My condolences to the Jackson family over the loss of Michael Jackson.  I know what losing a family member feels like and I genuinely feel sorrow for their loss.  It's much less affecting for me that the world lost a popular entertainer.

Hey, but I have a job to do.

See, it is news (and it's some sweet overtime ka-ching!), but covering the Michael Jackson "funeral" at Forest Lawn yesterday seemed like all kinds of overkill.



Not in the media covering it at all (I loves me some media circus), but in having another service after so much was done publicly in the past couple of months.



Certainly it's not my place to tell the Jackson family and friends how to honor the passing of a Michael Jackson.



There's just so much that seems calculated and contrary to what they claimed was their intent in having a private service.



It just doesn't seem like the fans or the media would be paying as much attention right now if the family weren't broadcasting so loudly their desire to be left alone.



Working for the media, this is one of those times where I'm sure my perspective on things is different from the average person.



It's just that two months later, I was actually pretty sure they had already buried him.  I don't really want to think about where he's been kept for the last 60 days.



Still, last night I found myself recording a downlink from the pool camera that had been arranged to be placed inside the cemetery.

Hundreds of print and video media lined up on the temporarily closed streets in front of Forest Lawn.



One interesting tidbit you should know, the Jackson family arrived an hour and a half late.  I'd heard it was because they wanted to let the late afternoon traffic die down.

There was a no-fly zone restriction over the area that was in effect to prevent helicopters from crashing the funeral.



That no-fly zone restriction expired at 8:30pm.  Right around the time that the Jackson family actually arrived at the cemetery.

I don't know if any other helicopters made to Glendale, but I know we got footage from one of ours.  Maybe that violated the privacy wishes expressed by the family or maybe it was a calculated move that allowed extended media coverage.  I don't mean to stir up anything and I'm not making an accusation.  It's just too difficult to tell sometimes when dealing with the Jackson family what's personal and what's just part of the business.

I wonder how the Jackson family and friends felt when our helicopter left to follow a high speed chase.
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Lazar Goes Live.

Smile for the camera. We were both just taking a few quick shots "be"for her earlier liveshot.

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Little Sleep and Jumping Models.

I've been busy for almost two weeks with the Station Fire that's burning up a pretty good chunk of Los Angeles County.  That kept me from doing most of the things I normally try to do in the five minutes a day that I'm not out shooting news or tending to my online life.

Yup, most of my life has been put on hold for the last couple of weeks, but I'm happy that I managed to squeeze in a still photo shoot that I'd committed to shoot before the fires all started.



I'd been up (unexpectedly) until 3:00am covering the fires, but the modeling shoot was all arranged and outside of. . .oh, say. . .the models and designer. . .



. . .my being there as the photographer was just probably one of the more important elements needed to make this shoot happen.



Keep in mind that I had already worked six long days in a row and I'm doing all this without the benefit of coffee or similar caffeinated beverage.



Luckily, I had assistance from James Kang and Andrea Santana.  They both volunteered the better part of their Sunday to play the role of photographer's assistants/second unit camera-picture-taker-people. . .



. . .okay, I don't even if their jobs have an official title.  They helped me a lot and I wouldn't have been able to do this shoot without them.

It might not be true, but I have it in mind that mega-star fashion still photographers drink, party and recreate all night, then get propped up on set and assistants shove a Hasselblad in front of their boozey blurry faces.



I'm not there yet, but I can dream.

My assistants at least let me have first crack at the donuts.  Hmm, I think I better have that written into all (any?) future contracts.

Article One: Befrank gets first crack at the donuts.
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Testing Posterous

I should be working, but I’m trying to configure my online life so that it behaves itself.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"being human" (Anybody watching this?)


I'd been meaning to pass along the heads up on this show. It's funny and well written. (You don't always get that.) Also, I couldn't get past the first couple of episodes of "True Blood". It wasn't for me.

This is much more to my liking.

The show just finished up the first season and I'm looking forward to the second season.

Saddle up, it's time to jump on this bandwagon.

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