Sunday, December 16, 2007

Photocalypse Now

We may come across as low level technicians, but within the ribcage of every TV news photographer beats the heart of a storyteller. Why else would an otherwise lucid individual scramble down a rainy riverbank to shoot video as would-be heroes plunged into the drink? Or fight Mad Max traffic to catch a few electrons of an upturned turkey truck? Or prop up in the catacombs of some county-owned space while a yak in a thousand dollar suit yammers on about fiscal responsibility. Why else would one spend their time fanning inanity? Trust me, it ain’t the paycheck. Rather it’s the insider’s high, the daring to bear witness, the insatiable need to communicate that’s driving most of us behind the logo. That and the job makes for potent anecdotes at the holiday cocktail party. Just sayin’.

These days such occupational blather translates well to the web, where fractured dispatches and smarmy yarns litter the fruited plain. I for one have been aping the great beFrank for more than few years now. In that time, the Photogs Who Blog sidebar has grown exponentially; a living compendium of the kind of lies, truths and alibis once found only in the courthouse hallway scrum. Like the serial news-gatherers behind them, the pixilated missives display an well-honed insouciance, a disregard for authority and a practiced grip on their sense of the absurd. Yeah, I know milkmen have blogs too, but for my lack of money I’ll stick with the outgoing interlopers to the right. I pour over their every post but I’ve not pimped them out nearly enough.

All of which brings me to one Duff McMandar, the Sacramento news shooter we’ll call ‘Chris’. An accomplice of the nomadic El Guapo, this lens-toting joker has been a favorite here at Lenslinger Central for quite some time. The only problem: dude makes me feel old! Here I am waxing pathetically on my midlife crisis while Duff’s doing kegger headstands, vedging with The Hedgehog or serving up guerilla cinema. Man, to be twenty-four again! Of course, when I was that age the only home computers to be found were in dungeon master bedrooms - and since my dice don’t roll that way, I remained unplugged. Now however, anyone can slather their thoughts on-line- but it takes one serious clown to make it entertaining. Duff sure does and on the occasional fortnight I ignore my site, it’s his silly ilk that forces me back to the keyboard.

Not to mention, he's got one of the most incredible skydiving photos I’ve ever seen. Makes me wanna step step off the skids again!

1 comment:

Duff said...

Hey thanks for the kind words. I've just been writing it to keep myself entertained, as Sac isn't always the most exciting place to live, so if you're able to get a few laughs out of it, then I'm very happy to hear it.