Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beach Music.

It's been a busy week.  I  could be posting a bit more, but most of the things I'd be inclined to write about aren't really news or photography related.

Just so you know where I've been and what I've been working on, I'll try to post a few pictures and do some small bit of writing to put things in context.

These shots were taken out at Huntington Beach because the city decided to remove a bunch of the fire pits that line the beach.

I was working with Suzie Suh that night and I'll be honest.  I didn't think we were going to find anybody out using the fire pits.  The weather forecast was calling for rain, plus it's winter.  Who in their right mind heads down to the beach in the rain in the cold of winter?

No people?  That would have made the story a bit more difficult to cover.

As you can see from the previous pictures, there were people out making fires.

The rain didn't hit as hard as I thought it might, but I did get caught by a light sprinkle.

The rain chased away most of the bon fire bugs.  We were left with drunken young people who might not have been old enough to be out drinking.

At least they stayed close to their fire and pretty much ignored us.

I'm kind of glad we were out doing this story now and that it wasn't a warm summer night.  I'm pretty sure we would have gotten more attention if that were the case.

It was too cold and wet to screw with the media.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Next to Olin.

He shot first, but I figure it'd be polite to return the favor and take a picture too.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Idols and Icons.

Pretty nice day yesterday. I got to shot a couple of stories that won't be changing the world or anything, but made me smile for the simple fact that I was lucky enough to be the guy running the camera.

First up was an interview with Fantasia Barrino. The American Idol winner is starring in the production of "The Color Purple" being staged at the Pantages theatre.

We were one of about six media outlets who set up for interviews with Fantasia inside the Pantages Theatre.

Several years ago, I'd gotten to see the work that went into the refurbish of the Pantages when the production of "The Lion King" had taken over the place.

Fantasia's people were all pretty nice. That's much appreciated, because I know these media avails must feel like being bounced around a pinball machine at times.

That story would have made for good day in itself. Often, that might have been it for me unless some breaking news popped up out of nowhere.

It was a pleasant surprise that I was sent over to the LA County Museum of Art to cover a red carpet premiere.

Not a lot of notable or even recognizable celebrities in attendance.

I do want to mention that Robert Towne, who wrote "Chinatown" and a maybe one or tow other notable films, walked the red carpet.

(It's funny, but I just realized that Robert Towne calling his script "Chinatown" was maybe a little self-indulgent. Kind of, but not exactly, like me writing a script and calling it "Frankland". I wonder if he ever noticed that. If he did, I bet it made him smile. Also, my script for "Frankland" is already in the works and will soon be available for outlandish bidding war.)

So, guess who I saw on the red carpet.

It was an event to promote the premiere of a documentary on Clint Eastwood and the release of a 35 film DVD set retrospective.

It was great, because I got to grab some quick sound (and also a quick picture) with Morgan Freeman. . .

. . .and yeah, Clint Eastwood!

They were both nice enough to make sure all the media got a chance to talk for a moment. I couldn't resist the chance to actually talk to Clint Eastwood. The thing is, I've heard he can be a little gruff when it comes to inane questions being tossed at him. I didn't want to feel stupid (trust me, it's happened before) and I'm really not supposed to be tossing out questions (it's a union thing, don't tell anyone).

So, he was turning to walk away and I stopped him when I asked if he ever felt like revisiting any of the characters from his earlier movies.

Everything got kind of quiet for a very brief moment. For a millisecond, I thought he was going to brush me off (his publicist was tugging at his arm).

Clint Eastwood stopped and actually took a moment to answer my question. He spoke for a few sentences and explained how he felt about reviving Philo Bedoe or Harry Callahan (or even the Man with No Name).

Short answer? He said, "no."

It was still cool to talk to him. Too bad, I didn't get to ask my follow up question.

"So, Clint, are you tired of people telling you to make their day?"
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

We decided to catch the Metro and just wander down to Long Beach to grab a bite and drinks. Ended up at one of our fave Italian places. There's a bit more to this story. I'll tell you later.

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JLOP -vs- The W Hotel

We get together at night because most of us work the night shift.

We're not a club.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homicide in La Puente!

Caught a breaker with Rita Garcia. Six gunshots and one possible fatality.

Sad stuff. I wanted something to do, but I never want people to get hurt just so I can stay busy.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Building a Better Bridge (ten times fast).

It rained here in LA again yesterday. I'm geared up and everything, but I'm still not quite used to working in it. Even though I fully expect it and have the benefit of a direct line to the people who do our weather reports, I guess I'm still in kind of a state of denial when it comes to SoCal weather.

(Warning! Hang on tight, there's a sharp segue coming.)

(uh, throat clearing cough) Speaking of denial, I think I'm ALSO in a teensy little state of denial about the bridge just outside of our Colfax gate that crosses the flood control channel. The bridge is being replaced with a "neeew" bridge.

(If I lost anyone, just start over and for gosh sakes, watch that turn)

To be honest, I'm not really sure what the "neeew" bridge is supposed to do that the old bridge didn't already accomplish.

I mean, heck, it's not like the old bridge did not successfully join at either end. I used to take that bridge over the channel quite often to get to the freeway for stories taking place to the East of station.

For stories to the West, I used the Radford Street exit which currently provides unbridged (heh-heh, unabridged) access to the territories in our westerly coverage area.

There was plenty of fair advanced warning for motorists that they were going to be rebuilding the bridge.

They even built a temporary pedestrian bridge which adds a few hundred yards to the foot traffic commute.

I'm not positive it's safe for bicycles. It probably is, but I wouldn't make any assumptions at this point.

I mean, here I was assuming that the route down Colfax I've been taking for the past couple of years had a perfectly successful bridge. Here it turns out to be less than satisfactory in actually doing the one darn simple thing it was built to do.

So, "bridging" (because by definition, that's really all that bridges do) the North and South ends of Colfax was just too much for the old bridge.

Well, I'm willing to endure the inconvenience for the time being if this means we get a "mo' better" bridge at some point.

Hmm, and actually the time I'm spending detouring around from Colfax is probably more than offset by the time I'm saving. With no bridge, I'm saved from having to wait for cross traffic when I'm left turning onto the lot. Come to think of it, left turning out of the Colfax gate used to be kind of a pain in the news central prior to the de-bridging of Colfax.

Hmmmm, maybe we don't need a bridge. Let's look into that.

In the meantime, here's hoping that the Colfax bridge demolition takes a while and the new Colfax bridge construction is hampered by the distraction of rain and, oh, I don't know, an awesome rainbow, maybe?

Woo, pretty.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Celebs Come Out for Valentines Day

We didn't get a chance to talk to most of the bigger stars from the cast of Gary Marshall's new movie.

That didn't bother me.

What was kind of frustrating was the way they all kind of just stood around during the red carpet arrivals. Hey, weren't they supposed to be promoting the movie by doing interviews with the media?

I kept wanting to yell at them to quit socializing and come over to do their jobs.

(sigh) Well, at least nobody gave me any grief over snapping a few still shots.

Have fun.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I Heart Premieres.

Covering the Valentines Day movie premiere in Hollywood. Woo-hoo! Bring on the celebs.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

JLOP -vs- Westwood

Helloooo? Where is everybody?

I just wanted to take a few shots of buildings and streets after the rain, but I have to admit I expected the rain to have stopped by the time I got off work on Friday night.

It was still pouring off and on after I got back to the station.

My attitude? Everybody who isn't willing to go out and shoot in the rain doesn't get the cool rain shots.

My thanks to James Kang for hanging out and making the trek with me.

Don't Play in the Rain.

You can ask me, but I don't really know what we were doing in the rain on Friday night.  Reporter Rita Garcia and I were sent out to find a weather related story to tell.

Basically, go talk to people in the rain.  Sure.  I can do that.

Heck, there are probably worse ways to make a living.

The station wanted us out in the San Gabriel Valley area.  We left North Hollywood about 5:00pm, so we had to fight evening rush hour traffic (about fifty times worse in bad weather) to get there.

Oh, and we also had to be ready for a liveshot at the top of the 9:00pm newscast.

No pressure.

It wasn't difficult to find people who were going about their regular routines in spite of the downpour.  Heck, when you think about it, we could have just interviewed each other, since we were both hanging out and working in the rain as if it were just another day at the office.

That's just a quirk of working in broadcast news.  Standing in puddles and splashing around in the rain goes against the best motherly advice, but it's actually a part of the job.

I hope Irene Garcia gets a kick out of seeing a few photos of her daughter Rita at work (I also hope I remembered Rita's mother's name correctly).

Even though we are constantly at risk of getting sick from being out in the weather, we both had rain gear and Rita had new boots for protection.

It might not always make sense why we're standing in the rain, but just speaking for me, I really enjoy what we do.

I think Rita enjoys the job too, not so much for having to stand in the pouring rain, but she did seem quite fond of her boots.

That's probably a good thing, because honestly, I don't think the rainy season is going to be over any time soon.
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Friday, February 05, 2010

Rita Ready for Rain

My reporter seems kind of loopy about her boots tonight. I'm hoping we get a mud story.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In a Good Press Room

It was a long day at work running the satellite uplink truck for the CBS Newspath at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

I think most people, when they read that will only focus in on "Grammy Awards" and tend to picture me hanging out on the red carpet talking to celebs.

Sometimes that is true. It wasn't this past Sunday, but hey, sometimes it is.

Case in point, last night I had a plum assignment covering the 25th anniversary/Haiti relief fundraising re-recording of "We Are the World" in Hollywood.

This was an awesome assignment. A big part of my love for the job I do is that it's always a cool thing to cover events that are likely to be noted historically. I know photographers who covered the original session and I'm pretty jazzed to have gotten to see up close a lot of the musicians who were a part of the project this time around. Of course, I only recognized about half of the musical celebrities who came back to the press area, but some, like Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and Vince Vaughn were easy even for me to pick out.

The folks organizing the event were very clear on the prohibition of still cameras in the video press area, but I was able to do a few screen grabs to hook up a little slide show for this posting.

There are 32 pictures in the slide show. Anyone care to make a stab at naming the artist? Heck, I might not even be able to dispute what you come up with. It's kind of bad, but I don't know everyone and their names were announced before they came in.

Monday, February 01, 2010