Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Call It for Safety

It doesn't happen often, but every now and then discretion IS the better part of valor and somebody pulls the plug on a liveshot because of concerns over safety.

Sometimes it's me. I just love pulling the plug when it's for a good reason.

("SAT window is closing in 5 seconds. Say, buh-bye!)



This time it wasn't me who pulled the plug.

Last week I was working with Melissa McCarty on a hoime invasion robbery story just North of downtown Los Angeles, above the 101 and East of the 110 Freeways.

Cool area. I want to remember it and go back sometime to get shots of the LA skyline. Sorry. I don't that picture to share in this post, but I have a good reason for not stopping to snap a picture on the way back to the station.

Somebody was throwing rocks at the KTLA news vans. Yup, as strange as it might seem, somebody really didn't like KTLA.



It didn't seem particularly dangerous at first, but the rocks got bigger and the police were eventually called.

Nobody ever got a look at who the rock thrower was, but you got to admit they were plenty lame.



I mean, come ON! ROCKS? This is freaking Los Angeles. How do you not have even a cheap street-bought-car-jacking-cast-off-wanna-be-gang-banger-free-in-a-box-of-cracker-jacks-buy-one-get-two-free-.99-cent-store-wednesday-night (not even good enough for saturday night) rusted-out-dumpster-disposable-special?

We're urban, not prehistoric. Dork.

On the other hand, I probably should say, I'm awfully glad it was just rocks.



After our 10pm liveshots, the KTLA crew was heading out and that would have left Melissa McCarty and I out there on the rock covered streets by ourselves. Our CBS logo'd van even looks like a bullseye.

The station decided to pull the plug. It was a good call on their part. That particular liveshot wasn't critical for the 11pm newscast.

Was I happy to be going home early? (Heh-heh) Look, better safe than sorry. That's all I'm saying.


(Hey, btw, you celebrities, don't be getting any ideas about chasing us off with rocks either!)
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

El Jefe is Out!

Testing gear in the field. Somehow wound up in the LA City Council meeting.

A chief's work is never done.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

In the Hot Seat!

For the first time this year, I'm sitting in for the Chief Photographer.

My first duty as "acting" Chief will be to check that the day is running smoothly.

Right after that I'm going to hunt down a donut.

Viva el Jefe!

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Jetting Out.

Just sitting in the airport, waiting to board. Flying out to shoot an interview.

Been a while since I last traveled.

It hasn't changed.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The RROC: Round 2

Nearly this time last year, I helped cover a story on the Renegade Roller Girls of Orange County.

Cool story.  I also thought at the time that I'd really like to shoot stills of the group, because, well, that's kind of become my thing.



The girls were cool enough to let me and a few friends with cameras come out to a practice and we took a lot of pictures.



Shortly after the shoot, life got really rocky for me for a while.  I blogged about some of it, but the tip of the iceberg was all the online community really ever got.



Finally after many months I gave up on all grand plans for the still photo project and just uploaded every single shot I had on Flickr.

The Roller Girls were happy to finally get a chance to see the pictures.  I think they were mostly happy with them.  They assured me there were no hard feelings and I was welcome to come out anytime and take more pictures.

A smart man would know his limitations.

Life is only slightly less hectic now and I really have too much on my plate to commit to more outside projects.



Well, we know what a smart man would do.  Myself?  Shucks, I'm not real good at passing up opportunities to take a picture.

Anyway, we had a great time snapping away at the RROC bout this past Saturday night.

I'm a little older and hopefully a bit wiser.  I uploaded the pictures to Flickr the next day.



The last thing anyone needs is to hear the sounds of rollerskates (lots of them) approaching quickly.

My thanks again to the Renegade Rollergirls of Orange County just for being cool.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Re-Ponded

Sorry. Not news related, but some people while living lives of adventure sometimes wonder how regular people spend their days.

Yeah, probably not, but here's the results of my day in the yard.

The pond is back. Full of water and free of most of the crap that was clogging the plumbing.

I'm determined to get my yard in shape for this summer. The pond is only the first step. More to come. I'll keep you posted.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nixon in China in Pictures.

It was a great experience and I have to thank Andreas Mitisek and the Long Beach Opera for allowing me to photograph behind the scenes of one of their recent rehearsals.



Now, that being said, the person I owe the biggest thanks to is my favorite flautist, Teri Christian (aka FlutePrayer, who writes the blog, FlutePrayer). I met Teri and her husband, Bob, through blogging and I've gotten to enjoy a couple of the performances (Opera and Municipal Band) they've been involved with down in Long Beach (Yay, Long Beach). I've been trying to work it out to to shoot one of the Long Beach Opera performances for quite a while. Teri has been the one working on getting me the okay to come in and snap away.

I really hope I wasn't too much of a distraction. That was my biggest concern while shooting (well, that and also that I might suck at being a still photographer).

No worries. Things seemed to work out fine.

The orchestra and the all the performers had their game faces on and I did my best to ninja my way through the rehearsal.

(Whoooo-WHA-KAI! Click, Click, Click! KI-YAAA!)

God bless the Christians.

(Heh-heh, doesn't that sound kind of redundant?)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Little Broasted Side.

Our story was all about the coming boom in 3D entertainment technology.  I was working with Dave Malkoff (who should really consider spelling his name M-a-l-k-o-v because that would be totally retro mad scientist sci-fi).

 

We started in Burbank, shot an interview and b-roll for the piece, then drove over to the Burbank entertainment center to look for a good liveshot spot.

We couldn't find a spot.

Well, actually we found plenty of spots.  Just none that would give us anything visually related to the story we were working. 



So, since we weren't going to be on TV until the later shows, we figured we should have plenty of time to dash over to LA Live.

A good plan in theory.



After battling crazy Friday evening traffic, we finally made it to a good spot for a liveshot.  We set up just to the North side of the Regal Theaters.



Right next to the psychic's office.  Office?  Hmm, what would you call it?

Anyway, we managed to cut a piece that touted the coming wave of home 3D entertainment.  No liveshot after all.  We needed to be back to the station before the end of my shift and I needed to do that without hitting the station with a meal penalty.

So, it wasn't the most action packed exciting night at work for me.  Still, there's this one thing that I wanted to mention.  I wanted to say just how cool it is to see parts of LA that most people don't even know about.



Take Mr. Sippee for example.

You might never have the opportunity (or logical reason) to try fried chicken sold at a gas station.  Heck, right minds would tend to avoid something like that.

Not me.  But, then again, I did qualify that (yeah, right minds).



Quick history: I first found Mr. Sippee during the 1984 Olympics (held in Los Angeles, if you remember).  I was just out of school and working for ABC Sports.  I don't remember why I stopped here, but ever since then, every few years, I manage to grab some chicken and their broasted potatoes.

It's not exactly good, but it does take me back to a simpler time in my younger days.

I can remember when I used eat junk like that and enjoy it.  I'm glad I've grown up a little since then.  I'm older and smarter and. . .

(sigh)

Okay, let me have one leg and thigh combo with potatoes, to go.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where I've Been.

It's not an excuse for not posting (Come on, Blogging is never having to say, I'm sorry!), but truthfully, it's been a difficult couple of weeks for me.

You know, sometimes the postings are slow because I don't have much to say.  Sometimes they're slow because nothing much interesting is happening.



Sometimes they're slow because I'm dealing with things that don't leave me a lot of space to compose my thoughts in any form fit to share.



That being said, today I'm trying to catch up on some the assignments I've had the last couple of weeks.

Last Monday night, I found myself in a SAT truck covering a candlelight  vigil for Amber Dubois.



There were thousands of people crowded into the courtyard of Escondido High School.  The vigil had started about 6:30pm.  I was about twenty minutes too late to catch the beginning by the time I arrived.



It's a long drive from North Hollywood during the afternoon rush hour, but I had a pretty good idea of the route.  I'd passed through Escondido a week prior when I'd been assigned to cover the search for Chelsea King.

Lots of time travelling there and back to think about things.



Anyway, it was another couple of hours before things slowed enough for me to pull my DSLR out to snap a few still shots.

By then vigil was over and most of the people had gone.  So, right then it wasn't exactly me alone with my thoughts, but it was far fewer than had been there just an hour or so earlier.



There was a sadness that hung over the area.

I believe we are the sum total of the things we experience.  Doing what I do as a news photographer I get to witness more grief than most people. Sometimes it's easier than others to keep that sadness from becoming my own.  It's a struggle. 

Sometimes I win.

Sometimes I don't.
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Monday, March 08, 2010

Another Sad Day

I wish this wasn't a part of my day. I'm running SNG for the Orange County bureau at the Amber Dubois memorial.

Monsters do exist in our world. Stories like this happen and I know it's true.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Searching.

I'm not working the Oscars this weekend, so maybe I'll take some time to actually go to the movies.  Either I haven't been motivated to see much this year or there really hasn't been much I've wanted to see.

I kind of think it was that second thing.  Also, I've been pretty busy with work (don't get me started on the family stuff).



Way back last Monday, I got sent down to San Diego to follow the night search activities in the Chelsea King disappearance.  She was still missing at the time.  An initial arrest had been made, but her body hadn't been found yet.



It was pretty grim.  Sure, all the news people talked and socialized a bit in the area where we were all parked.  Still, it just seemed like a dark and depressive evening.

We were pretty close to the same area where David Westerfield and the parents of Danielle Van Dam lived.  Danielle Van Dam was a nine year old girl that Westerfield was convicted of abducting and murdering.



Reporter Greg Mills and I had a simple story to put together for the ten and eleven o'clock newscasts.  There wasn't much to see from the media area that had been set up.  There also weren't a lot of people around to question.

Most of the people we had access to were friends and family of the missing girl and for the most part they weren't willing to be interviewed on camera.

That makes our job a lot more difficult.



One friend of the family told us off-camera that they were still holding out hope that Chelsea would be found alive.

I learned the next day that Chelsea's body had been recovered from a shallow grave near the area of the search.

That was my Monday.

It's been a week of ups and downs.

I'm still standing, but very happy that today is Friday.  I see an ice cold beer in my future.
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Here Come the Stars!

Just a quick update. I'm in Hollywood hoping for a celebrity or two. Covering arrivals at a "green" carpet event.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

While at Work.

While passing through Temecula on the way to a story that will not likely end well, we saw this at a gas station.

It made me smile.

I'm thankful for that. I'm guessing there won't be many more of those tonight. --
Sent from my BlackBerry

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