Monday, May 31, 2010

Chiefdom.

Once again to my complete surprise and amazement, my station has seen fit to have me sit in for the Chief Photographer.

Again.

You'd think they'd stop taking these kinds of risks.

Incidentally, the current Chief is Jeff Mailes. He's sort of been bumped up because Joel Fallon (our beloved former Chief Photographer) is sitting in as acting Operations Manager.

I can't help but feel sorry for whoever they have filling in as the temporary "Bryan Frank".

Heck, you don't have to tell me it's a tough job. I've been there, brother.


Sent from my HTC Incredible!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So, Nancy, Why'd You Do It?

Dang it. I am not going to let another assignment slip past and not post about it. that's not how I'm going out.

Wait. Maybe, too dramatic. I probably need to mellow out a bit. It's just been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm way frustrated over the lack of time I've had to get LOST in my writing and photography.

Seems like after I got back from visiting my folks in Louisiana, I've been having a rough time juggling my routine.



See, my schedule at work changed recently and the shift I work on now is kind of hit or miss for getting a good story. I can easily get put on something that might contribute to the overall success of someone else's assignment, but might not do very much for my personal sense of awesome.

Couple of weeks back, I was (sort of) on the Nancy Salas story. She'd been found up in Merced, CA and was traveling by small plane back to Los Angeles.

I got sent up to Whiteman Airfield and had to stake it out in the hopes of getting a shot of her maybe getting out of the plane or maybe being put in a police car.

All I got were a few still shots of a nice sunset. She'd arrived and was gone before I got there.



It was worth the effort, but sometimes things don't work out. I drove back towards the station. I'd killed a couple of hours out at the airfield and it was near the end of my shift, so I gassed up the news van on the way back.

Was kind of down. It wasn't anyone's fault, but I'd missed being able to be contribute to the assignment.



It came as a complete surprise that the station called me. They needed me to head over to the Glendale Police Department to help the crew that was working the story.

They didn't so much need me. They actually just needed a truck with a taller mast. Getting the microwave signal for the live shot established was being a little tricky.

Was feeling a little mixed about the assignment (yeah, I wanted to go home), but asked no questions and I sped over to the Glendale PD to help.



I didn't take a count, but it seemed like every news station had shown up. It was a pretty big story and I was just happy to be involved.

Our station had two photographers there, but things were devolping. The microwave problem had been worked out, but they actually did need my help.

The Glendale Police Department came out and held a press conference. Maybe two minutes before it started, we were asked to set it up to send it out live.

I know. A little frustrating, but things change sometimes at the last minute and all we can do is try our best to adapt and get the job done.



Once the press conference was over, Nancy Salas walked out of the police station, hugged her family and was surrounded by, well, us.



The Salas family walked to their car. Mother and daughter got in and huddled together in the back seat.

By the way, I was actually still on tripod over at the press conference area becuase it's not like in the movies. My camera was linked by cable to the microwave truck and I also couldn't be entirely sure I wasn't live right at that moment.



Like I said though, we had two other photographers there. One had to man the microwave truck, but the second (Hey, Nick!) was right n the thick of it.

Nancy Salas' father stood outside of his car and talked to the media for a bit. I'm actually sorry if we added to the stress in his life. I have children and I know how difficult those few days must have been.



Most people probably would prefer to not talk to the media at a time like that. I don't know if there was really any way to avoid the media crush. Some people might not agree with me, but it might just be something you have to deal with if you find yourself in a position where you can't face your family with the truth about your life. It might not be criminal and there is no law that says you owe the public an explanation for why you faked your own kidnapping.

I'm just saying that the media has a responsibility to follow the story and ask the questions. That should be expected. I make no apology for any of the news folks doing their job to the best of their ability.

I'm going to always try to do my job. You should just go ahead and do what you gotta do.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

That Tijuana Thing I've Been Doing.

We've done this a couple of times before.  Load up some camera gear, laptops and a printer to put to charitable use at a free clinic held in Tijuana.

Why Tijuana?



No particular reason.

The group that supports the clinic was the subject of a story that was produced by my station.  The photographer who shot the story remained in contact with the group (La Liga, also known as The Flying Doctors of Mercy).

A few years back, the story became a topic of conversation in our newsroom.  That's how I heard about it.



It seems that the group often needs volunteers who have medical training or a command of the Spanish language.



I have neither of these things.

What I do have is the ability to take pictures.  Which I admit, that's not going to do a lot of good if you need to see a doctor.



But if you need to see a doctor, having something to put a smile on your face will make the visit go a little easier.



We've done this a couple of times and I notice the same things each time.



There are a lot of people who have very little in the world.  Sometimes when you don't have much, even a small thing can mean a lot.

We can't do much.  It was just a small gesture to give each person who came to the clinic a photograph.



Just a photograph.

A 4x6 photograph isn't much in itself, but it brightened the day for a number of people.  It gave them something to smile and even laugh about on day when there was more than enough pain, stress and fear to go around.



I've said it before.  Yeah, memory might fade, but a photograph captures a moment in the time of your life.  A time to where you'll never be able to return.

I'm pretty sure, for the most part no one is going to have fond memories of the free clinic, but we did manage to capture a few smiles.



At some point, I hope whoever looks at the pictures, will see someone they care about.  Even if there isn't actually a smile on the face of the person in the photo, I hope seeing the person in the photo is enough to make someone smile.

That's what we did down in Tijuana.



We tried to make people smile.

Seeing a doctor can be difficult, so maybe the smile might not have happened on that day.  I just imagine that someday it will.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Bye-bye Boot Camp

While attending the boot camp graduation of one of my nephews, I find myself filled with pride. Maybe also a little concern for his safety. Maybe also just a teensy tiny bit of envy. Good job, Aaron.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sitting at the Hospital

Nothing bad happened to me or anyone I know. I'm just waiting for someone ro be released from County USC Hospital. You'll see the story tonight. It's the one with the fireman who was stabbed while out on a call. He doesn't want to talk to us, but he's willing to give us a wave as he leaves the hospital. We'll take it. Gotta get that B-roll.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

City Council Legs

Been a while since I've been to City Hall. Love the building. Wish they'd put in a bench or something for the media.

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The Justice League of Photographers -vs- Hope Street and The Music Center

It's been a few weeks since our last "late night after work photo adventure". We've all been busy with other things, but you know my attitude about breaking the routine and getting out of your comfort zone.



The easiest thing for me is to just hop in my vehicle and drive home after work.



The more difficult thing is to pick a spot and stop to take a few pictures. I'm glad sometimes, every now and then, I do the more difficult thing.



It's not for money. I don't ever really sell my photos (really not opposed to the concept, but I'll save that for another day).



I'm just out to capture a few moments that most people wouldn't get to see (and maybe pull a few friends along with me).



Every picture helps me to be a better photographer.



I may not always have the opportunity to stop and take these pictures. At some point, I figure the job I have now might change. I wouldn't necessarily need to stop taking pictures, but what's available to photograph could be completely different.

If that's the case, it doesn't mean that I'd stop shooting. I'd just be taking pictures of something different.

I'll just be glad I took the time, stopped the car and took these shots when I had the chance.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Liz or No Liz. . .

. . .the news must go on.

It's good that I don't make all the decisions covering news at my station, because sometimes I'm wrong. Heck, depending who you ask, we should probably look at things the other way around and consider that sometimes I'm actually right.

The glass is half full.



Yesterday I was covering the red carpet at the premiere of a new documentary on one of the fashion industry's biggest icons of the 70's. The Studio 54 loving Halston.



Being a slave to fashion myself (pause for snickering, it's okay I was kidding) I jumped at the opportunity to cover this story. Okay, I'm being honest about jumping at the opportunity.

The real reason I was so eager to cover the story though, was because there was a slight possibility that Elizabeth Taylor would be making an appearance.



She didn't.

Neither did very many other celebs. As far as red carpets go, there wasn't a lot of action going on. It still seemed like a fun movie to see and I did get a chance to talk to the director.

Next time, I do hope that LACMA chooses another spot to roll out the red carpet. I don't know if it's just this time of year, but the sun was killing us. The director and his entourage came out and started to get the ball rolling at one point.



Then somebody decided to give it a few more minutes to let the sun set a bit more.



Heck, I was okay with that.



It didn't matter too much, because it was a very brief red carpet event. I thought it was pretty cool to have the opportunity to see Beverly Johnson. She was a big part of modeling history, being the second full faced black model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine.

That's pretty much verbatim from her Wikipedia entry. I'll be honest. I didn't really remember who she was until I looked her up.



There were a couple of designers and another model or two that posed for pictures, but without Liz Taylor, I thought for shure this was going to be a non-story.

I would have bet money on it.



As it turned out, Entertainment Reporter Christina McLarty managed to turn a short VOSOT on it for late n the 8pm newscast.



All I know, is that this Halston guy must have been a lot more famous than I realized. It's nice to learn and be exposed to new experiences and knowledge through my job.

Heh-heh, me like knowing stuff.

By the way, speaking of knowing stuff, if anybody can tell me who this person is, I would appreciate it. The event was over and I was packing up to head out for another assignment (maybe lunch) when I stopped to snap a quick couple of pictures.

She kind of has a look on her face like she knows I don't really know who she is. She's probably wondering why I'm taking her picture.

Pfft, I guess she doesn't know who I am either.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Early for the Red Carpet.

It'll probably still be an interesting day, but it feels like I'm hours early for Halston documentary premiere. Liz Taylor might be here. She also might not, but she might. I'm thinking not.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena Horne 1917-2010

I'm not allowed to say very much, but (way before I even met my wife) I kind of had a thing for Lena Horne.


We're just gonna leave it at that.

Stormy weather?  Just a little.


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Bring on the News

I'm back at work tomorrow, so maybe I'll have an assignment that might be something to post about.



That's something to look forward to, but until then here's a few shots from the set that you might find interesting.



One of the CBS dramas (Without a Criminal CSI Mind or something like that) needed a newscaster to lend their voice to a few mock newscasts to be incorporated into the program.

They had four of our main anchors read the lines. I'm assuming they'll decide which one they liked the best and pick one of the four.



I have no idea when the episode will air and I couldn't tell from the lines what was going on in the plot.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to watch all the CBS one hour dramas (just so you don't miss it).



Inside work is okay, but it's not my thing, so I don't usually hang around the studio. I have an unnatural fear of robotic cameras. Brrrr. They just give me the creeps.



I'm looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow. It'll be nice to be back behind the camera. Nice to put the news on TV again.



I'm rested. I'm eager to get back. I'm looking for something to amaze me. I'm looking for something to share with you all on my blog.

Let's go.
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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunset Three'fer.

It was a beautiful sunset.

Gosh, it does seem kind of strange, but even though I live less than ten minutes from the ocean, I rarely go to the beach.

I don't know what it is.



The only thing I can figure is maybe I'm just too busy most of the time. Yeah, it might seem like a lame reason, but that's going to be my excuse.

Most days I wake up with something like three hundred things to do.



If I get ten of those things done, then I've had a pretty productive day.



Taking advantage of the perfectly good ocean that's nearly right in my back yard is probably somewhere near item #170 or so.

I'm not sure of the exact number, but it's after "learn to play the piano" and "clean out the garage".



So, if I didn't learn to play the piano and I didn't clean out the garage, then I don't generally make it down to the beach.



Of course, "take pictures" is always pretty high up on my list. Rightfully, that comes after "love my family" (don't tell anyone, but it's a higher priority than "go to work").



When I decided to knock out two items on the list, "go to the beach" got to tag along with "take pictures".

I guess I would have normally put out the call to my fellow Justice League of Photography (JLOP) friends, but my youngest decided she wanted to tag along. We've really been overdue to spend some time together, so it became a daddy and daughter thing.



It's not every day that I get to knock off three things in one shot from my to-do list, but that's the way it worked out.

Boo-yah!

My youngest daughter seemed to enjoy the sunset and the goofy little sea birds. She even seemed to enjoy spending time with me and learning a little about photography.

So there you go.



I'm not sure when I'll get back to the beach. I don't want to take it for granted, but there are always going to be a few things on my list that are more important.

Maybe the next time I change the oil in my car, I'll try to find a nice spot near the ocean. Possibly under a shady tree overlooking the sand and surf.

(sigh) I'm kind of resigned to the fact that I may never learn how to play the piano.
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