Friday, June 19, 2009
More to come.
When you're a seasoned television professional, years of experience go into the lamest of live shots. Real-time analysis, borne of eons spent squinting at tiny screens appear in your peripheal vision. Thoughts like: "Crikey! That heffalump's about to off-load!" Such where the words that formed in the corner of my mind's eye Thursday morning - not long before I snapped this photo of Bill Welch dealing with the very same steamer. Narrowing his view considerably, the News 14 vet kept said defecation out of frame, ensuring local decorum - but depriving the world of one more viral video to snortle over at work. And you thought we just stood around with cameras on our shoulders...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
See, I cut my teeth on eradications. It was dawn of COPS and ride-alongs were all the rage. I was but a mullet in training; my mentors crusty one-man bands who picked the police blotter clean. They taught me how to forge good ole boy friendships with the high and tights. Soon my bag-phone rang with invitations to all kinds of Crown Vic conventions... late night drive-bys, prostitution stings, speed trap skeet shoots. All I had to do was get their good side. That's tough of course when you feel like your spleen is gonna explode if you have to forge one more briar patch. Call it the War on Drugs if you must, but after about a half mile of ass and elbows, you start to realize who the foot soldier is.
That's why we sent Kid Nathan. Fresh-faced and quip-lipped, he was just the youngster to trudge through the muck and bring back evidence of the demon weed. Actually, he was one of three (3!) El Ocho operatives on scene, but when you're sending a fella into a tick infested thicket with a hard deadline andthe possibility of being shot by a heavily jonesing stoner, you kinda have to pump him up. Me, I usually start with an anecdote or two about bustin' up moonshine stills back in the day, then move into meth lab territory. By the time I bring up the black helicopters and hard target take-downs, he's so ready to check off his bucket list, he'll carry everybody's tripod.
For a mile or two...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Q.) Why do so many photogs insist on dressing like tourists?
A.) Because they never know when a vacation's gonna break out.
Now I'm not saying this unidentified shooter didn't earn his pay that day. Hell, just keeping up with that Dave Malkoff guy requires some kind of stipend. But having hitched a ride on a flying bladder myself, I know the delights of dirigible flight. It's a great way to levitate; sort of like riding a minivan strapped to a cloud. When I went up ten years ago or so, it was courtesy of the Goodyear Tire Company. As I watched the pilot turn around in his seat and pass out personalized trading cards, it occurred me news photographers weren't the only ones with interesting jobs.
But enough about me. What's the story behind this fellow and his zeppelin? Dave?
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Now for what I learned: Goldsboro, North Carolina is a mostly unremarkable place. This very fact haunted me as youth; I cursed my forebearers continuously for landing me in what had to be the planet's most boring community. To this day, I hyperventilate a little whenever I cross into Goldsboro proper, for I have watched enough Wayne County corn grow to last a couple of lifetimes. But the older I get, the more I reconnect with survivors of that distant time , the more I'm forced to reconsider the merits of my homeland. For all its lack of intrigue, some of the most invigorating folks I know came from the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Knowing that my own experience is but a microcosm of a larger America, I'm momentarily convinced there is hope left for humanity. Then I go to work, sit in on a City Council Meeting and all those warm feelings melt away like so much spilled, cheap beer... the kind teenagers drink when they think nobody's looking.
Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.