Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bryan Frank shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there, Bryan Frank just shared an Instagram photo with you. Visit the following link to see it:

Big and Small: Papal Memories

It's 3:00 in the morning. I've been back home for a couple of weeks, but I'm still fighting the urge to operate on Italian time.
Even had a short vacation after my return.  Didn't help.  I was still suffering from jumping different time zones and sleeping when I normally would be working.
Seems like it's just tough to adjust my body clock when (for the most part) I can sleep when I feel like sleeping.
So, here I sit, wide awake and thinking about what best to share from my latest adventures in news.
Was it fun?
You know, we worked some pretty crazy hours while in Rome. I clocked 30+ hours straight on the day the white smoke puffed out to indicate the selection of a new Pope.
Just my typical day. I shot video for b-roll, interviews with anyone we could find from Southern California, edited packages and ran the camera for live shots that hit during all hours of the day and night.
All this mostly happened around the Vatican and St. Peter's square and then most of that from the 2nd floor and roof of a convent that borders the South side of St. Peter's Square.
I don't know the details, but CBS Newspath has arranged to use the convent as our broadcast facility since at least 2005. I know, this because I was there that year covering the funeral of Pope John Paul.
It's still pretty amazing to me that I was there then.
I never really thought I'd be going back to Italy for another news story, but that's where I found myself during the Papal Conclave.
We were working out of another room in the convent, but it was pretty similar to the room we had back in 2005.
Quite a few more bodies were floating around this time. CBS Network had decided to crash the party and set up shop in the same facility.
That was all good for us local news and affiliate folks. Mainly because there was food available and also coffee. Last time out we had a much tougher experience. We had to rough it and just went hungry for a good part of the time.
We worked while the city slept and there weren't any convenience stores nearby.
This time around I also noticed a lot more liveshot locations had sprung up on the neighboring rooftops.
It was pretty cold at night and it rained off and on all through the week. Most of the work I did is overshadowed by the enormity of the event itself. Looking back on it all now, I'm thankful for the photos I had time to capture and I'm glad I'm putting a few thoughts into words on my blog and other places around the Internet.
I witnessed history.
Of course, everything we see and do immediately becomes history. Some moments are just more worthy of remembering than others.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

George "Amadeus" Washington

My current Papal adventures ended yesterday with my safe return home. I've been asleep much of the time since then. . .well, maybe not asleep. Unconscious or "in a coma" is probably a more accurate description.
I didn't sleep well on the road. I never do. Even when I'm staying in a decent hotel, it's difficult to get used to the temporary surroundings.
On the last trip to Rome, we stayed at a pretty fancy Marriott near Embassy Row.
This time, we stayed at the Hotel Amadeus Roma which is run by Comfort Inn.
Yeah, Comfort Inn.
I've stayed in worse.
The room was clean. Maybe a bit shabby, but I could walk around and not feel like I needed to avoid touching things.
Maybe it's a European thing, but for me, the bed was one of the worst i've ever slept in. It felt like I was sleeping on a box spring with no mattress at all.
Not exactly what you want to fall into at the end of a long day.
Thankfully, the bathroom was also very clean. Plenty of hot water helped my sore muscles at the end of my shifts.
The hair drier kept making a buzzing sound that drove me crazy, but I resisted the urge to rip it off the wall. It wouldn't have made any difference. The toilet had a habit of running and the room was situated above a courtyard that was very popular for socializing.
It was not what you would have called a "quiet" room.
It rained most of the days I was there. I mean, we're talking some serious downpours.
That wasn't a bad thing. Heck, I was okay with that.
Wet ground photographs very well. Not a lot of fun to work in the rain with the news camera and equipment, but it gave me a different feel than the last time I was there for still images.
Did we have fun?
It was a difficult and amazing trip. This was my third European excursion and I like feeling that I'm a smarter traveler for having gone through the experience. It might all help when I finally get to do some traveling just for fun.
You know, like when I take a real vacation.
There's a ton of stuff I want to share. I'm still working on photos and doing my best at getting them uploaded.
Also, keep your fingers crossed. I have one more large case of gear that didn't show up with the rest of my bags.
One last quick little detail I want you to see. On the second day we were in Rome, Paul Magers (he's our station's main anchor and I was primarily partnered with him on the trip), noticed the logo for the "Hotel Amadeus" had one little unusual detail.
I'm not sure how many days would have zipped by before I noticed it on my own. Considering that we got progressively less and less sleep through the week, I might not have seen George Washington until I got back.
George Washington? Ha-ha, you Italians.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Pope Tour 2005

There's way too frustration in my life right now. I'm taking a deep breath and really trying to not let any of my relatively minor problems get in the way of me sharing some words and pictures.

So, the big news is that I may or may not be leaving this weekend (update: yee-haa, I'm going). The plan is for me to accompany Paul Magers and Sylvia Lopez to Rome to cover the selection of a new Pope. Cool. I was pretty lucky to have had the opportunity to score two Pope assignments back in 2005.

I was in Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul. . .


. . .and I was in Cologn, Germany for Pope Benedict and World Youth Day. The pictures in this post are all from the Germany trip.


A lot of news photographers don't care to travel.
Me, I've always subscribed to the totally mongoose motto of "run and find out".
Well, okay, maybe I "run and snap a picture" more than I ever really "find out" anything. . .
. . .but traveling to historical events is a big reason why I've stuck with news.
Seeing a bazillion young people camped out in the wet and cold German fields that hosted World Youth Day in August of that year was just amazing.
Seeing the recently selected Pope Benedict (yup, that's him in the car) just makes for priceless memories that add to the adventurous nature of my job.
You know, I like the idea that I'll have a few good stories to tell someday (to anybody who'll listen) when I'm too old to go see things for myself.
And then, if I live long enough for even the memories to fade, I'll still have a photograph or two to show where I've been.
I gotta go finish packing. Wish me a safe journey and keep your fingers crossed that I have time to take a photo or two.