Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lips of a Hippo

Holy Halitosis! In all my time wandering the North Carolina Zoo, I’ve not peered into an abyss quite like this. But then, a pudgy river horse in need of a breath mint is just one of countless smells you’ll inhale when you walk around with a camera on your shoulder. Keep the pistol-grip; my fancy-cam needs a face-mask. Maybe then I wouldn’t gag the next time I stick my lens into something unsavory. Sure could have used a gadget like that when I...

...took a walking tour of a kiddie cough syrup factory. Hey, I’m all for making medicine taste better, but the sickeningly sweet synthetic hex that fell upon that place sure made me rethink my next Cherry Pop-Tart. Just sayin’.

...shot my last umpteenth feature at the animal shelter. As much respect as I have for the people and beasts within, I gotta say, that place stinks. You get used to it quick, but whenever I first pull up to the place, I french-kiss the air conditioning vent.

...stumbled across a flooded chicken house. It had been a week since Hurricane Floyd had passed when Bill Sherck and I happened upon what can only be described as a Grade-A poultry concentration camp. The low narrow barns had been submerged for DAYS. The water-logged fowl within baked in the midday sun. Foul, indeed.

...followed an uproarious team into an ECU football locker room. The mighty Pirates had just rolled over their opponent and it was my job to capture the clamor. That I did though the ‘Funkifus Musticus’ wafting through that gladiator gathering bested anything I smelt at sea.

And that’s saying something. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go floss my nostrils.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let the Wookie Win

If the evil media is to be believed, WPLG Photographer Robert Palumbo WASN'T packing glass Tuesday night when some miscreant tried to sink an ink pen in his clavicle. Thus, it cannot be construed as an attack on the Fourth Estate - no matter how much I might like to. It should also be noted that Palumbo maintained equanimity - even after said nut-bag plunged a writing utensil into his neck. I make no such promises. Sure, I attempt to feign some level of refinement on a daily basis, but take a stab at me and I will quickly show you my country ass. It has as much to do with my upbringing as my profession, but before any further in discouraging you from assaulting a news shooter, allow me this disclaimer:

I am NOT a tough guy. Anyone who drops terms like 'miscreant' and 'equanimity' can, frankly, never claim to be anything but a hopeless word nerd. Guilty as charged. However, I did grow up with combative siblings, so I know a thing or three about trying to gouge your brother's eyes out while Mom ain't lookin'. But this isn't about me. It's about your garden variety photog and why - if you're fond of your fruit-basket -- you'll leave them the hell alone. Just please remember: I'm a lover, not a fighter. Those other fellas, I'm not so sure. Which is why I'm compelled to share with you five random reasons why...


1.) We Got Tools in Our Truck. Would you drop-kick a plumber? I wouldn't, for fear he’d hurl a wrench at me, or worse yet, punish me with his crack. Much the same can be expected from a TV News photographer, who also travels with a collection of medieval implements. Remember, the detached tripod leg is mightier than the sword.

2.) We are Vessels of Rage. Hey, we're not ALL unstable - but of the photogs YOU know, how many are ticking time bombs of tension and testosterone? I know one guy who goes postal whenever someone rearranges his camera batteries. Is this really the personality type you want to take on in a round of fisticuffs? Or even a heated game of Yahtzee?

3.) We're Already in Pain. A sore back, a thrown shoulder, pinched and blistered fingertips... When it comes to personal injuries, we photogs rank somewhere between bike messenger and rodeo clown. Whatsmore, we’e used to working through that pain. You want a soft target? Pick on a producer. Those cats complain when the fluorescent lights hum too loud.

4.) We Got Peeps! Bail Bondsmen. County Commissioners. Ghetto Preachers. Vice Cops. Consumer Reporters. I got all kinds of unsavory characters on Speed Dial. And while I’d never employ my Rolodex to wreak vengeance on my enemies, I really can’t speak for the Photog Nation. What’s that? There’s a phone repairman swinging nun-chucks on your porch? You’re breaking up...

5.) We Fight (Way) Dirtier Than You. Let’s face it: A courthouse camera scrum is no tea party. (Boy, that term ain’t what it used to be!) Even a bookworm like myself isn’t above throwing sharp elbows at people I actually like. Imagine the lowdown moves we’re capable of when fending off an rabid attacker. Better yet, don’t. Keep your meat-hooks to yourself and I won’t have to throw my back out reaching for that Leatherman.

Now, can’t we ALL just get along? Hello? Is this thing on?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tweet Space Nine

When a Miami news crew found themselves in a badly damaged live truck, the reporter grabbed her iPhone and tweeted all the way to the hospital. That’s Moxie! But it got us thinking... What if other insatiable communicators were as diligent with their missives?

@SassyNewsLass: Weird. Giant shadow following our live truck. Scanners won't work. Roger the Photog keeps reshaping his Frosty with rusty Leatherman. Eeew!

@SassyNewsLass: OMG! Saucer shaped spacecraft hovering overhead! Strange musical tones keep repeating! Roger screaming something about his meal break. WTF?

@SassyNewsLass: ACK! Live truck aloft! Sucked up into odd beam of light. Logos glowing. Belly of craft opening slowly... Hey - I can see my house! Holla!

@SassyNewsLass: Small gray beings everywhere. Separated us. They say I'm their Queen. Roger not so lucky. Put up struggle. They're probing him now. TTFN!

@SassyNewsLass: Great News! I’m anchoring Galactic News Nine!! Grays say they adore my tape. Then they showed me Roger's spleen. OMG! I get my own billboard!

Resistance IS futile. GalactiCast going very well. Photog fellow now just head in a jar. Ratings in! #1 in carbon based bipeds, 25-54! GR8!

@SassyNewsLass: Floating over Tokyo. Grays acting strange. Ogling local hottie on sat feed. :-( Worried I’ll end up like photog fellow. What WAS his name?

@SassyNewsLass: Oh. My. God. Grays totally raided Tokyo. Say they dig Asians now. Those bastards! Dropping me off in open field --withOUT my headshots! WTF?

@SassyNewsLass: Watch my Special Tonight! “ABDUCTED! How One Brave Woman (and her driver) Fought Off Evil Aliens with Beauty, Grace and Style." Soo excited!