Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hmm, you know, I think I'm just not a sunglasses at night kind of guy. Still waiting to go live with Juan Fernandez on today's Nakoula hearing.

Downtown News Nights #blog


Federal Court (steps). #blog

Shuttle Shmuttle.

It is always surprising to me when I'm not on a major story happening in Los Angeles.  Arrogant? 
I don't always get the best stories and I'm certainly just one of many news photographers who work at my station and we all can't work on the same story at the same time.
It's just that when the call goes out for all hands on deck, I certainly try to be on deck and ready to go.
When the shuttle landed last week, I figured I'd be somewhere in the mix.  You can just imagine my shock to find out I was not assigned to any of the shuttle coverage locations.
Maybe "shock" is too strong of a word in this case.  I was a bit disappointed.  I'd be missing some of the close-up shots available at prime locations (like the runway at LAX), but on the other hand, I could actually go out and enjoy the show without having to worry about paying attention to my job.
Having to actually pick a spot for shuttle viewing forced me to stop and think.
Where would I want to be photographed if I were a space shuttle? 
Okay, that wasn't so much of a consideration.  I had a couple of good options available that included hanging out at the Griffith Park Obsevatory and maybe trying to squeeze in out at LAX.
I decided to try my luck on the observation deck at the top of Los Angeles City Hall.  My station wasn't planning to position a crew there, so I figured that might be a good spot to cover if anything happened east of downtown.
It wasn't quite as crowded as I thought it might be, but it was a lot hotter in the mid-day sun than I would have imagined. Some folks were lucky to have good positions in the shade. Not me. I stood and baked for a good thirty minutes while holding my spot.
I had selected a spot on the East side of the building. There were fewer people (because of the sun, maybe?) and I just figured that the shuttle would be making a wide circle around the city.

My guess was correct (yay!) and I was able to spot the shuttle heading up from the South just East of downtown.

I managed to get a few good shots of it as it circled around the downtown area. I also managed to get a few interesting shots of all the downtown workers who spent a part of their day hanging out on the rooftops of their buildings.

I stayed long enough to get a couple of passes as it made its' way through the LA basin.  I loved the view I had of the shuttle and of all the LA landmarks visible from where I was perched.
It was moving too fast for me to take the time to change lenses, so I just stuck with the 70-200mm.  Perfect though for capturing slow moving buildings.

In looking at my shots later, I was happy to get nice close cropped shots of the shuttle, but I was missing actual LA landscape in my shuttle shots.

Getting shots of a once in a lifetime event was cool enough for me.  I get props for getting out of my comfort zone and actually going out to take pictures.
I also like the fact that my shots are nearly as much about the large groups of people watching the shuttle as they are about the shuttle itself.
The best thing about this whole experience I guess is even though seeing the shuttle and getting shots of it as it flew around LA was pretty cool.  It's going to be here.
After they move it across town and install the shuttle at its' permanent home at the California Science Center, I think I might have an opportunity to get a couple of close up shots.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LA Mission Gala (w/celebs)

There were only a couple of celebrities that I recognized at an event I covered last week (a fundraiser to benefit the LA Mission). In all honesty, there were lots of stars and almost stars that I didn't recognize.
No big surprise, my average celebrity recognition score is usually pretty suck for someone who lives and work so close to Hollywood.
At least I recognized this event's highest profile guests.
It would have been difficult to miss Kirk and Anne Douglas.
Okay, maybe just Kirk.
Even after his stroke, Kirk seems to still be going pretty strong. He and his wife seemed like the perfect Hollywood power couple.
I appreciated their generosity and the example set for more recently famous folks.
I've never been a reality TV fan (though I've somehow watched maybe four episodes of "Storage Wars" with my middle child), but I'm told the couple (both the animal printed half and the guy in the red shirt) were a part of earlier seasons of something called "America's Big American Survivor Idol Search".
She's sporting an engagement ring. I wish them the best of luck in both their career and relationship. Neither area is known for promoting longevity in Hollywood.
They might have done well to ask for any and all advice Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. might have for young music industry couples.
They've been together for a lot longer than most and they credit their spiritual faith for the success in theirersonal and professsional lives.
I'm not trying to be critical, but it always seems a bit odd when I cover fundraisers for charitable organizations and the setting is so far removed from the beneficiaries of the charity.
Still, I believe when you're reaching out for donations, you need to go where the people are who can best afford to give the kind of money needed to support the cause.
I've covered stories on skid row and I've seen the need. I'm thankful for the chraitable work of celebrities like Kirk and Anne Douglas. A lot of people in this world are good at talking and gossiping, but when it comes down to it, time and money are what makes a difference.
Good deeds make for a nice day at the office for me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

News Men Walking!

Okay, so you probably know I'm not real big on uploading video to my blog, but I really wanted to share a specific part of my day covering the conventions in Charlotte and Tampa.

In Tampa in particular, it was difficult to get from the ground level to the skybox where we did our live shots.

The elevators were slow and always full. We tried it, but when we had to get there in a hurry, the stairs were the only real options.

Up and down, three times (or more) a day and this is sometimes after we walked from the work space a few blocks away. I need to share this before I block out the trauma.

Run DNC.

I'm going to have a lot of happy fun memories from the 2012 DNC.  After having gone through a long period of news work that felt mostly routine, it really felt like I was back on my game and doing the kind of work that I signed on for in the first place.
We talked to many well spoken members of both parties who represented some of the finest caring people I've ever met.
The excitement of being there in person and spending two weeks immersed in the process will always be a highlight of my career in news.
Of course, those happy memories are going to share head space with some of my most traumatic work days ever.
I don't know where I got the strength to work so many long hours.  We carried gear and walked many miles between the arena live shot location and our workspace.  Several days included shifts where my work day started in the morning, ended the next morning and was separated by only an hour and a half of coma-like sleep.
I'm thankful that my friends at CBS Newspath were in our corner.  We wouldn't have been able to do the amount of work that we did without their efforts.
I'm spoiled by the high speed broadband they provided.
I probably should also thank Costco.  Their fruit and nuts trail mix made for some pretty good emergency rations.
I've seen Presidents before, but never in an arena environment.
Obama's was the last speech I heard.  My reporter, Dave Bryan and I were on the floor near the back of the arena on the last night of the convention.
Not a great spot, but I could see him at the podium and on the huge screens.
The young girl with the sign was pretty enthusiastic.  I think her energy actually helped me keep going.
After two weeks, I was pretty fried.  My back, neck and legs hurt and I had to quietly stand for a long time as VP Joe Biden had his opportunity to talk and the President's introductions were made.
I can't stress the point enough, no matter how much walking I had to do with the gear, it was an amazing thing to be involved in both conventions.  Two weeks on the road were never going to be easy, but sometimes difficult work helps remind me of how lucky I am to have the job and life I have.
I also need to give a nod to The Knights Inn.  If I ever doubted the existence of hell, my memories of this motel will be a good reminder.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

On the floor of the DNC. #blog #dnc2012

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I just happened to watch a video of a speech by Obama. It was a pretty freaking amazing speech. Fired up. Ready to GO! #blog #dnc2012

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Two songs. I ain't complaining. This is awesome #blog #DNC2012

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James Taylor performing. Unlike in Tampa, this room is full of cool. #blog

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Hanging with the top guns. #blog

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F-BOMBS! #blog

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God bless CBS Newspath. #blog

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It's not a wiffle ball, but it'll do for breakfast. #blog

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