Sunday, March 28, 2010

And It Begins

Do you feel it? The ton of paper being pushed through the rotunda. The final details being looked over by staffers. That rush of adrenaline emanating from the capital building. Time has come again. The annual meeting of 144 lawmakers from across the State called in for 80 days of conducting the business of the people. Yes, the Louisiana Session of 2010 is here. Where over 1900 bills, so far, have been filed and are waiting to go through the process of making it to the Governor’s desk to become law. Some will see it through for an official signature. Some will have to compromise to make everyone happy. Most are going to be in a bitter fight to the end causing some feelings to be hurt. All are going to make it on the news some way. I’ll have to be there from time to time to make sure everyone plays nice since they do like to have long meetings into the night.

Sine Die is a long time away. I wonder if I can get the lawmakers to convene every other year. It works over in Texas, did you know?

Extension Of A Photographer

The everyday person, that happens to get a glance of a photographer in action, will usually says, “That some fancy camera you got there”. To an extent, that is a true statement but there is more to the complex electronics with a nice piece of glass on the front end.
Those of us who are in the business know that the camera, much like a Jedi’s Lightsaber, it is an extension of ourselves. For example, take a look the camera pictured below. It is a number of stories that were captured during the years on the job. It’s the places that one has been to over time. It is the number of interesting people that stood in front of the lens while trying to avoid troublesome lens flare. It’s emotion good and bad. It’s what stands us out during large gatherings. However, it does make is us a target for some pent up frustration by unexpected schmucks in the world.
That camera up top belongs to my friend Robert, who handles some sports duties down in the Big Easy. Did you figure out where he got some of his badges of honor? Next time you run into him just ask what’s he has been up to in the sports world. I’m sure he has some interesting stories to share with you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Improv in 3...2...1...

Something I learned while getting the news is that if all else fails...improvise. There is never a perfect sitution to this. You will have to encounter some obstalce that will add an some gray hairs to you head. Whether it's a broken bulb in the light during the interview, the IFB dropping out before the shot, or carting the audio somewhere other than the booth. You have to try to be prepared for any and everything. Never hurts to have your improtu audio set up ready to go on Capital Hill. Never know when some lawmaker is going to go on a rant when it's time to edit for the news.

Time to stock up on some gaffer tape and chewing gum.

Special thanks to Kevin Johnson & for the picture.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mission To Haiti

Picture this. It’s a normal average day where ever you live. You go about your daily routine when out of nowhere life as you know it is turned upside down. The foundation of your well being has been thrown by an event of catastrophic proportions. Sound farfetched. Try living in the country of Haiti right now. Two months after a 7.0 earthquake changed an infinite number of lives down. People living in poverty now wonder if they will make it to the next day. Families separated by destruction hope to be reunited with their loved ones. Now it seems this tragedy has become an afterthought to some throughout the world.
I have to give recognition to Sarah Forgany and photographer Conrad Hertzock of KLFY over in Lafayette. They took the trek to the country of Haiti and brought back a series of reports following local relief workers continuing to help people still affected by the earthquake in January. I watched them all and the country has a lot of rebuilding to do. The buildings may be gone but the Haitian spirit, although tested, is still going strong. However, help is still needed so if you haven’t donated to the relief efforts please do so.
In addition, watch the work Sarah and Conrad put together. They are some real eye opening stories that show what is happening down there right now. Moreover, if you are having a bad day remember what the people in Haiti have been through are continuing to endure right now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Steven King Novel

There is something more terrifying than Freddy, Jason, or any eager producer fresh out of college asking for the world to be delivered on a silver platter. It is…

…The Tape Machine from HELL!!!!!

Imagine this, you get to the station. Make your way through the morning meeting. Receive your assignment from the lovely assignment editor. You get lucky it’s something visual. You and the reporter of your liking hit the streets. Your interview welcomes you with open arms giving you carte blanche to shoot to your heart’s desire. Somehow you finish early and even manage to get something decent to eat that requires a knife & fork rather than a drive thru. You arrive back at the station, the producers are stoked about your story and all of them want it. You head to the edit bay put the tape to start logging sound and then it happens. An evil from the unknown decides to have your Emmy winning story for an afternoon snack. GASP!!!!
Nothing puts fear in a photographer than having a hard day of work put at the mercy of a clogged head in the tape machine. No choice but to call an engineer to perform an exorcism and save the lead story for news. Thankfully all wasn’t lost. The great video was saved, you get the story ready for air, your reporter stopped freaking out long enough to front the lead, and you somehow managed to survive your shift. The first round at happy hour is on you.

I can’t count the number the times machines have eaten my tapes in the past. Thankfully we’ve been weaned of them and into the non linear age but the fear is always there. You never know when the machines will become possessed.

Better hit CTRL – S before something happens, did you know?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friendly Voices

It was last Friday. I just finished shooting some high school basketball and had to head over to Ascension to get the local kicker of the evening and the phone rings. The voice on the other end is my little sister, Jennifer Hale. Talk about a pleasant surprise. We caught up on the good times while she and I roamed the House that Huey built and how she loves the new gig down in the Big Easy. Seeing her cover major stories like the USS New York setting sail, the Saints Success, and Carnival Season in New Orleans. I have to admit that really made my day.

Little did I know fortune would smile on me twice.

Fast forward to the present. Fresh off of roaming the streets of the Red Stick I go online to keep track of some of the people that I have worked with that went on to better opportunities in the business. As soon as I was about to click the mouse the phone rings and a familiar voice is on the other end. Turns out it was another one of my favorite people Caroline Moses. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Hard to believe it has already been couple of weeks since C-Line left the confines of the Raggedy for Music City. And who would have thought she would be taking Nashville by storm in a short period of time. Already becoming a valuable member of the I Team and most recently cranking out the lead story for the evening news. After a nice chat I realize this why I love what I do. Helping people find success while bringing joy into their life and some satisfaction into mine.

Social networks are nice but nothing beats hearing the voice of people you care about on the other end.

Ladies I promise that we'll keep in touch. That being said I have two words...road trip, did you know?

Training Daze

You never know what will happen in the hall of the asylum. Today for example I stumbled on a training session involving our resident daredevil, Darin Erin, and the photographer for some of her adventures, xray ted. Looks like the start of spring football season had ignited a competitive fire between the dynamic duo.
Their first training session was a test of strength and leverage. Who could get out of a three point stance and lay the hit on their opponent. The only thing missing was the football coach to blow the whistle and get the drill going. Think it may have been a draw on this one. However this is a marathon not a sprint, more action was to come.
Next was the 40 yard dash, a test of explosiveness and speed. Mickey would be proud right now. Seeing Erin eat lighting and crap thunder preparing herself for the next challenge. I think she's going to run the steps of the Rocky movie now. I hope she dosen't pull a hamstring don't think there is a trainer on sight today.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Senator Who Flew Through The Asylum

Seems like that the running gag of me living here at the asylum has made a comeback. The Fuzzy Mic and I were filling a lot time in the newscast for an extended period of time. That being said, I thought I would never be so glad to the see the weekend. A twelve day run of getting the news can even make the most seasoned photographer go something, something. However I can’t say that it wasn’t uneventful. While handling some extended court duty I took a page out of the Turdpolisher’s book and went on a little photo safari. That's time where you just rely on your two feet, your shooter’s eye, and a pair of good batteries in your digital camera. Downtown B.R. is an interesting sight to behold. It’s a shame that it always seems deserted. Not like 6th Street in Austin or Beale Street in Memphis. Those places are always alive with something going on. But you take what you can get even though I forgot what the downtown riverfront looked like at sunset.
There was one story that really caught me off guard. I remember a couple of years ago that we did a story on the number of strange calls that 9-1-1 operators across the country would get the strangest phone calls taking their attention from the real emergencies. Over in Livingston the center got another one of those calls. Turns out there was a crime in progress but things got a little interesting for the operator on the other end of the phone line.

But enough for now, better get some rest and enjoy the nice weather. March Madness is right around the corner did you know?