Monday, April 30, 2007

Trains, Pangs and News Mobiles

Train 1I didn't really want it until the cop tried to wave me off. Until then, I'd been merely going through the motions, leaning on my tripod by the crossing arm as my perched camera rolled on a passenger train stalled on distant tracks. Fifteen minutes earlier, I'd sauntered into the office, my head still very much stuck in Weekend Dad Mode. But all thoughts of paternalism dissipated when an assignment editor rushed me right back out the door with a vague address and only one word: Train. Having raced toward localized apocalypse with f-a-r less information than that, I did what I've been doing since 1989. I 'put some eyes on it'.

Train 2There wasn't much to see at first, just a handful of cop cars parked in the middle of an inner city street. Further investigation revealed a clutch of uniforms loitering on the nearby train tracks. Parking my camera atop the tripod plate, I recorded the scene. When a portly officer noticed my silhouette, he waved me away. He should have just beckoned me forward, for his dismissive gesture energized me anew. Jumping back in Unit 4, I drove off, crossed the tracks, parked my ride and hoofed it on foot. Minutes later, I popped out of the woodline - incredibly close to the gathered officers. They didn't see me. They were too busy pointing at the ground. When the one cop who'd waved me off bent at the waist and pulled back a white crumpled sheet, I suddenly wished I'd listened to him earlier.

Next time, perhaps...


photogguy said...

Don't ya just hate that. Here you are, shooting just another train on the tracks, and someone had to go and get dead.

(Wow, that sounded a lot more cynical than I meant.)

beFrank said...

When you tally up the cost of doing our job, add that to the bill.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry for what you witnessed, but I know you'll keep slingin' the lens.

It's what we do.