Friday, January 28, 2011

Tickle Me BeFrank

Nice assignment today. I'm at Jim Henson Studios (lots of history there) for a presser featuring Elmo.

I could get a picture of the guy who does the voice.

It's freaking me out a little.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

South LA Shooting.

It does hurt a bit to see the violence in an area that typically suffers so much.

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Crazy, Crazy World

Two shootings involving schools last week.  Kind of scary, but fairly typical and at least in the Gardena High School shooting, just the tip of the iceberg compared to the amount of potential for violence that exists.

I've said it a few times before, but I guess it bears repeating.

You know, we don't live in a safe world.

That's not to say we shouldn't enjoy life and we shouldn't let ourselves feel safe and secure.

If anything, I'm always telling people just the opposite.

Seize the day, smell the roses, love with complete and utter abandon.  Bad things often happen for no reason and sometimes it's not enough to just do the right things.  It just doesn't help to worry about all the things that might happen.

I just think you need to be aware of things.  Don't hide.  Just live with your eyes open.

Be careful.  Be safe.  Hug the people you love and forgive the people who should be forgiven.

You just never know what the day will bring.

Happy Monday.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two for the Show

My lovely wife and I are just enjoying the abundance of art on display at the Los Angeles Art Show.

Gotta tell you though, some of this art is crap.

That's just my opinion.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shooting the Shooting Presser

We're at the new LAPD headquarters. Covering a presser on the school shooting.
Wednesday's shooting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mystery Production

Does anybody know what was shooting downtown on Monday night?

There was a light shining from the side of a building and even though I knew it was likely a movie being shot, I decided to follow my natural curiosity.

There's a reason why I do things like that.

Remembering back when I was a kid, I remember the frustration I felt any time (okay, every time) I saw something interesting as I rode in the car anywhere with my father.

Pulling off the freeway and checking out the stuff of random interest was never something we did.  That's what I remember.

Kid memories being what they are, maybe I'm getting it wrong.

Maybe my dad did take detours to check out things.  I could see where he might have done it with little fanfare, because that was him.

To be fair, I doubt I ever really did that with my kids either.  Maybe because our interests as adults don't always match up with the interests of children.

Maybe we're a little more jaded having seen it all before.

All I know is, unless I've got somewhere to be, now I will sometimes take the time to detour to check out something interesting.

Because if I was a kid, that's what I would want to do.
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Playing Frisbee on the Beach.

Kidding! The last thing I'd want to do is upset anyone.

This is a fun post to write, with just a little pinch of melancholy. There's nothing like watching a group of young adults frolic in the sun to make a person take stock of their age.

Not that I'm letting it get to me. As I get older I'm finding myself surprisingly comfortable with the things that time (and a nearly constant state of celebratory living) can do to a body.

It was just a good opportunity to reflect on my life as a person and as a parent. My son, Jannon Frank, was in town for an Ultimate Disc competition. He was one of the frolicky young folk I mentioned.

Nice "catch" there.

As a photographer and as a writer, I've spent a good portion my life a witness to events big and small.

Knowing that about me, you'd think I'd be a great spectator for sports.

Nope. Not so much.

It's a constant battle between my short attention span and my desire to capture a moment a moment in time for later enjoyment. Usually my attention span gets the better of me.

Wait, where was I?

Oh, yeah. It was a spectacularly nice day out on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier where the competition took place.

Once we got past the whole "who's the strange guy taking pictures" phase and word had made it through the crowd that I was related to one of the players, it was really a nice afternoon.

They gave me a beer and I managed (just barely) to not wander into the way of the game.

Parents don't always see eye to eye with their kids and I'm no stranger to being the frustrated parent. It was just a nice day at the beach and none of that mattered.

For a brief bit of time, I got to see my son as both the grown man behaving as an adult. . .

. . .and as the little boy just having fun with his friends.

That was pretty cool.

As a bonus, I got a lot of pictures that he can look back on when he's my age. I'd be interested in seeing how he feels about running around in the sand then.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gardena High School Shooting.

I finally got the call I was expecting. It's not every day I get a breaker so close to home.

That's probably not a bad thing.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Just for Fun

You know how you promise yourself, you're going to do something when you have the time? I've know about the observation deck at the top of LA City Hall for a while now.

In the late eighties, I attended a couple of CATV community access organization meetings in the room at the top. I wish I was into still photography back then. It would be nice to have those shots to compare them to the ones I took yesterday.

I remember when they had to close the observation deck (I believe it was for earthquake retrofitting) and when it opened back up and thinking, I should take some pictures from up there.

Also, I was reminded of it a couple of times by Eric Richardson of "blogdowntown" when I stumbled across one of his posts about it.

I worked a dayside shift Thursday (1/13/11) and clocked out about 3:30pm. Even though I'm usually trying to beat the heaviest traffic whenever I'm off work earlier than 4:00pm, it seemed as nearly a perfect day as I was likely going to get for taking pictures.

Plus, I could see the downtown skyline as I headed South on the 101 freeway. I had to face it, LA City Hall was calling to me.

Life is hectic and I'm a busy, busy, busy person. . .(busy).

I was planning to cook dinner (still did, chicken and okra over wild rice with honey biscuits). I have a personal projects that are screaming for my attention. I volunteered to work a dayside shift and the short turn around hit on my sleep was still dragging me down.

All this was swirling around in my mind, but I didn't let any of it stop me.

Even though it would have been easier to just stay on route and head for home, I took the opportunity and made my way through security and rode the elevators to the top of City Hall.

Okay, technically not the very tip-top, but as close as I was going to get without some climbing gear.

I'll worry about those shots another day. For me, this was just a cool opportunity to enjoy a view that many people will never take the time to check out.

You know, I would have loved to hang around until sunset and even gotten a few shots after dark when everything would be lit up. That'll have to wait for another day (and a tripod).

It was a succesful expedition. I got a few shots and I took a nice long look at the city.

I packed up my camera, rode the elevators down and headed for home.

After dinner, I played around in Photoshop and stiched together a couple of small (four shot) panoramas. Those are the third and fourth shots in this post in case you were wondering.

My desk is still overflowing with bills and assorted odds and ends that demand my attention. I'm working on all of that (uh, right after I hit the "Publish" button on this post).

Even though it would have been sooo much easier to just drive home, I'm glad I made the effort. Many years from now I might not have the ability to stop and enjoy this particular view.

Life is short and I won't get to do everything. With a little effort, I'm still going to get to do a LOT of things.

Happy Friday. Enjoy your weekend.
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Monday, January 10, 2011


First day back from vacation today. Caught a breaker about ten minutes into my shift.
Tarzana school on lockdown while the police search the area for a suspect in a hit and run.
It's good to be back.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Vegas Lions

After what happened to Roy (or was it Ziegfried?) I would seriously consider my career options if I was one if the trainers.

I'm just saying.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Blue Man in the Poncho Rows.

Well, this is either going to be funny or a good lesson in what not to do in Las Vegas.

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Looking for Medina

Well, we're actually still under the weather, but we've managed to venture outside the hotel.

I know that one of my fellow photogs is here in town.  I'd planned on grabbing a drink with him, but I think the smart money (and healthy choice) is putting it off until the next time.

Beer with Nyquil shooters.

Yeah!  Vegas, baby!

(cough, cough)

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The Vegas

You have to say, "baby" when you're in Vegas.

Just enjoying a bit of the local flavor.

It feels good to be somewhere and not have a deadline or anywhere we have to be.

Sublime in a gaudy neon kind of way.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Colorado Boulevard, Happy New Year!

If I could pick my assignments, I don't know if I'd miss the random nature of my work.  I'm always thankful when I get an assignment that allows me the chance to stop and take a breath.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Night Training

Happy Two Thousand and Eleven!

It's the first day of the year and I'm just feeling pretty good about life today.

No, I haven't solved all my problems and there are a couple of nagging issues carrying over from 2010. I'm just in a good place and I hope all my friends and family can share in that feeling.

Taken with Canon 5D MKII, Canon EF24-105 f4 L IS lens, 1/200 sec at f4, ISO6400 (auto), Aperture priority.

With the new year, I'm going to try to make (or take) more time to focus on random still shots that I post on my blog.

This was a quick grab while waiting for the Metro train to pass. It was about 9:12pm and I was in Pasadena at the time, trying to figure the best route back to the station.

I wish I'd tilted the camera up just a bit or zoomed out to give the railroad crossing sign a little more headroom. Oh, well, no use dwelling on the photo I could have (or should have) taken. That's just one of many things I'll try to be aware of for the next shot.

On the plus side, I dig the flare of the red crossing light and the amber reflecting off of the metal side of the train.
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