So its with particular delight that I bring you my small part of a larger movement, the first ever Photog/Blogger Crossover Post. At the behest of insatiable communicator Little Lost Robot, all of the news shooters listed below have posted their own thoughts and evidence on a particular subject within the past twelve hours. We start with the basics: The Gear...
It's been said that a cameraman without a camera is just a man. That's no small statement, as these magical gadgets are more than recording devices - they are portals to worlds off-limits to mere civilians. Thus, we take very good care of these valuable tools and seek to know everything about them. I know guys who can recite serial numbers of hidden circuit boards, but I'm less of a gearhead myself. Still, I can tell you that my weapon of choice is this Sony XDCam, the first generation of TV news camera to record on optical disk. In the world of broadcast cameras, it is a shiny new Corvette. Too bad I park it on such an ancient tripod.
Of course you can't be an action figure without a tricked-out ride. For me, its this 2000 Ford Explorer Sport, complete with garish logos and center console condiment pack. But this is more than a battered news unit pushing a hundred thousand miles; it is noble steed, proud peacock and mobile home. Since I first climbed behind the wheel, I've steered this two-door vessel through hurricane, blizzard, heatwave and a thousand ribbon-cuttings along the way. Legions of law enforcers have waived this lowly SUV through acres of barricades and more fast food workers than I care to mention have shoved bags of grease through its driver-side window. The assignment desk calls it Unit Four, but to me its a magic carpet - one that draws stares at stoplights and gets to park where mortal men fear to tread.
A quick glance inside my chariot reveals the many tools of my trade. From batteries of every denomination to a light kit pre-dating color television, I pack a pretty mean bag. You would too if you're job required the occasional train wreck camp-out, the icy overpass excursion and the constant threat of a sudden road trip. Luckily my bosses equip me with much of what I need to stock my mobile studio. The rest I've fashioned out of bearskins and assorted animal bones. Though it may look like a jumbled mess, rest asssured I could locate any item with my eyes shut. Like alot of photogs, I'm pretty anal about my stuff. Get caught poking through it and you'll incur the wrath of one badly aging lenslinger. Don't laugh. I'm a wanted man in seven news markets.
Since my daily diet of driving and shooting is usually topped off with a healthy heap of late-day writing, I feel compelled to show you where that takes place as well. It is at this desk that I squat every afternoon, trying to block out the boisterous voices of the open newsroom and concentrate on the unwritten story at hand. It ain't always easy, especially when there's a chorus of idling shooters trading knock-knock jokes over your shoulder. Luckily I have my collection of cast-off characters to help hone my focus; plastic talismans culled from eight years of news-crew Happy Meals. One morning I arrived at my desk to find some nefarious co-worker had rearranged my toys in a horrid display of cartoon carnal knowledge. I'd get specific, but this IS a family blog.
Well there you have it: a quick rundown of just a few of the devices in my modern newsgathering life. Check out the other photog-blog offerings linked below and you'll get more than extended inventories. You'll meet wizards and busybodies, pirates and nerds - all with more tall tales, gizmos and street cred than any other profession I know. Don't say I didn't warn you.
tv photog blog
little lost robot