Sunday, September 17, 2006

Scenes from the Scrum

When it comes to digital cameras, I'm an amateur. For ample proof, graze the acre of frames I've uploaded for free to the internets. There, you'll find the visual underpinning of this very site, some of which are actually in focus! Or, check out the efforts of my 'Flickr Peeps' - a random scrum of like-eyed shooters who juggle their lenses far better than I. We start somewhere in Ontario, where a photog known as Canuckcam brings us this walkdown shot, proving that, North of the border or South of the Mason Dixon line, handcuffs and man-nipples go great together!

But enough fashion - let's talk logistics. This frigid still from Cadencefilm is of undetermined origin, but the snowy tundra contained within reminds me of my own adventures behind the wheel of an half-frozen live truck. See, I hail from the coastal plains of the Old North State. When I moved inland nearly a decade ago, I had to learn to drive in icier climes - and fast! What better way to do so than in a top heavy transmitter truck under tight deadline? More than once a big-stick maxivan like this nearly left me ditchbound, but when a region full of Southerners are freakin' out over a half-inch freeze, somebody has to go live from the bread and milk aisle.

But then again, getting there is always half the fun - especially when a desk full of warm and cozy colleagues are trying to map out your every move. Funny how folk who never leave their cubicle are the first to bark out drive-times like cross-country truckers. Help like that is enough to make your average lenslinger long for the open road. I can only guess it's that kind of driver seat delusion is what led HamCam to bag this deliciously surreal shot. I just hope he squeegee'd his glass before he shot any of that evening's footage. Otherwise, there's a ten o clock producer with a roadmap, a bottle of Windex and a raging case of lens-envy. Watch your bacon, Hambone...

Because as we both know, all roads lead to the next press conference. Whether it's a tense clutch of squinty-eyed law enforcement types or a giddy gathering of the Friends of the Aardvarks local chapter, these impromptu assemblies are the bane of news crews everywhere - who know every time that schlub behind the podium clears his throat, a thousand housewives lunge for the remote control. In this case, Gadflypro stepped behind the microphones to capture all that televised tedium. Of course, we still shoot the damn things, just in case Mr. SpokesDork coughs up a detail we'd otherwise miss. Besides, occasionally they serve refreshments afterwards. Have you had a doughnut dipped in parking lot fumes and political rhetoric? Simply the best...


Billy Jones said...

I've lost your e-mail so I posted the link here. A bit out of your usual but I thought you might have something important to add.

CadenceFilm said...

Terre Haute, Indiana is where the frozen snow blower image was captured. It was my first time covering Indiana snow fall, and I stupidly volunteered to work the morning show. It was so cold at five in the morning I couldn't bend my fingers to work the zoom and focus controls on my BetaSP. Just kept the image wide and panned to follow my reporter by leaning on the tripod handle.

This shot took place after we returned to the station, and the truck had been parked in the back lot for ten minutes. In that ten minutes, an inch of snow wound up back on the windshield.

I don't miss Indiana.

(Another great post, Stew.)