Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paul Gates: Investigates

What can be said that hasn’t been said about famed television journalist Paul Gates? Witty. Tedious. Passionate. Funny. Entertaining. And yet he is considered one of the most feared personas in a career that spanned over three decades. He could work his way into any situation and manage to tell a good story for the evening news. He garnered a reputation where if he showed up to a place of business those inside would ask, “What’s going on? Why is Paul Gates here?” His award winning investigative pieces have brought change in some of the laws in Louisiana while landing a few people behind bars because their hands got caught in the cookie jar.

I remember one of my favorite stories with Paul was when we had to go the federal court building. One of those public officials was under the spotlight of the feds was there to be sentenced. It was suppose to be a simple get the info from the inside and grab a few pictures of the guy walking outside. Was there the chance of him talking to us? Highly doubtful. Was there a chance of his local posse getting wild and out with us? Most definitely. So I stand at the usual spot. Paul signals me that they are going to talk. And no sooner than the first question was asked he got to blaming Paul for everything that happened to him. It was his fault that he got caught. It was his fault that he was going to jail. So Paul being Paul just kept firing question after question at him. Then his group tried to create a wall around him trying to keep us at bay yet Paul kept his cool. He kept firing questions in his general direction with no response. Paul knew that some people weren’t going to happy with some of the stories that he helped put on the news but he knew that that he wasn’t going to win any popularity contests either. Especially with those who had to sit on the hot seat while the camera was rolling. One thing was certain someone was going to blow a gasket after Gates held them accountable.

Now, what was a great career has come to an end. Paul always graceful had to break the story that he was now battling the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Without question this was a sad day for everyone. You never think that certain things will happen to those you care about until it becomes reality. Sometimes breaking exclusives have to take a back seat one’s health & well being.

Paul, you are good friend & a good journalist. You helped paved the way for those investigative reporters who followed you and you kept all us photographers on our toes. We all knew to just keep rolling when the interview got started, never knew what other material we were going to get. Your wit and personality kept the place going. We knew we could count on you for a good laugh as well as some great journalism. The newsroom just won’t be the same without you my friend. God bless you and your family. Take care my friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boots Were Made For Walking

An event so nice they did it twice. It’s been one year since the inaugural outdoor music concert and things seem to be the norm. Or that’s the look everyone is going for. The hats, the boots, the booze, and the artists are all in tow. Look there’s Kenny Chesney dangling from some ski lift. He may want be careful never know what the peeps in Death Valley might do. Once again TEAM: Raggedy, L & yours truly, were relegated to capturing the festivities for a grand total of ten whole minutes. Guess the performers are getting real touchy with that copyright infringement thing, can’t say that I blame them.

I will say this seeing the set up is good and the show is probably one that you would enjoy. This leads me to saying yet again, “WE HAVE TO GET SOME GOOD TICKETS!”

Granted I’m not that big of a country music fan but I know a good time when I see it. Hopefully those who organize and promote the event can bring it back next year. If they can’t, then it’s probably a good thing we have some video to tell this story. More on this one later.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Imperfect Refelection

One thing that photographers can do is find something to amuse ourselves with. Granted it's the evening and the producers want live shots on the levee of the river. But that doesn't mean we can't take time to capture the moment of a once in a lifetime occurrence. At least it gives us a chance to polish up on our lighting techniques with subject that will be back lit in a few minutes. Although there isn't much I can do with ol' Derron "X RAY TED" Daquano. If I had an HMI, then maybe. However, what would you expect we're photographers no one wants to see us in front of the camera. Maybe the Turdpolisher but that's the exception to the rule.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Skate Like A Girl

Some will break your heart. Others will just break you in half. All live a fast life where left turns and hip checks are the way of the land. They are tough. They are quick. They are determined to knock out any obstacle, or any one, that would dare get in their way of total dominance of a flat track. There are sugar, they are spice, and they could probably kick your ass. It’s a good thing that I’m such a lovable character. I mean how else you think I could get this close to the ladies of Red Stick Roller Derby. Actually it was by chance. That and a tour of a famous house in Downtown B.R. got me access to a hidden gem in the Capital City.

Who knew three years ago that the ongoing revival of a sport, thought more of as entertainment during the 70’s and 80’s, would be enjoying success and while creating a loyal core of fans wanting lots of action from ladies dawning alter egos while wearing a pair of roller skates. The action is grueling. It is intense. It is fierce. It’s something right up my alley. You ask what the fixation between me and the Derby Ladies?

We all know my curiosity. I always feel that there is more than meets the eyes. So the five month trek began. From the Baton Rouge, to Lafayette, then Houston I followed them to see what made this revival of a sport so popular. Questions that can be answered best by those whose experience it. Questions like why do you do this? What do you do when the skates aren’t laced up?

It took awhile for all of this to come together and judging by all the reviews it was worth the energy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Water World

Looks can be deceiving. What would be just another normal image of the the sun slowly setting in the west is anything but. If you look closely the water is much higher than usual. Granted all of the melted snow from the Minnesota makes it's way down river but when some unwanted added rain in some areas was thrown into the mix then you an a once in a generation event continuing to brew.

Places all along the Mississippi are experiencing waters creeping into low lying areas. Levees are being pressured by strong waves and currents. Attractions are being turned into the streets of Venice, Italy. Looks like it's our turn to deal with this. From Vidalia, to Pointe Coupee, to Downtown B.R., and the Big Easy it's been nothing but water for as far as the eye can see.

How bad will it get down here? Who knows. Just have to be ready since the water knows no boundaries.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Edius 6-6-?

It's a common phase embedded in the vernacular of a person, "In with the new, out with the old." Change is always eminent but how it's handle is what defines most. There in lies the new upgrades to our new edit software at the asylum. I can honestly say the designers of this one is way to smart for their on good. Yeah there are a lot of new bells and whistles but figuring out they work is going to be the challenge. Compound the fact that we are also in a sweeps month with and endless line of things to do and this brings us to our current sitution.

Granted I haven't had this kind of change since when started phasing out the use of tapes and the old edit decks. We eventually got that hang of the non linar editing and benifits that it brought to our shop. Just going to need a little time, the instruction manual, and a lot of Aleve.

Monday, May 2, 2011


There are time in a person's life that you can remember every little of a certain moment in time. Sadly September 11th, 2001 is one of those days. A beautiful fall day, not a cloud in the sky. I was getting ready to head to work then breaking news from New York City. Little did we know someone fueled with so much hatred was willing to declare war on the innocent across our country. I couldn't believe this day was happening. I would think to myself that this is some horrible dream and that my waking up everything would be back to normal. The dream was reality. Once a name and face behind the attacks came to light, there was no way this deed was going unpunished.

Nearly a decade later, I was sitting in the news room. The phone rings, it's the boss. He asks are rolling on a clean feed of the President of the United States he going to make a major announcement. Phones start ringing, the wires start buzzing, the emails trying to confirm what the leader of the free world was going to say.

"I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. "

The second those words came out of the President's mouth, the country went into a euphoria of excitement and jubilation. Everything took a backseat to this announcement. A nation stood united as always hearing that the most most hated person on the planet was getting his due. It was yet another moment in our careers where we captured history. Another moment where you will remember where you where when it happen. This time I knew it wasn't a dream, I knew this was reality, I knew this was the resolve of the American Spirit.

" we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place." - President Barack Obama

We will always remember those who lost their lives on the fall day. We remember those who gave their lives and thank those who protect our country in the decade to follow. We will also remember their sacrfices helped bring some closure to a nation wounded on a horrific day in September a decade ago.

Justice was little late but she came through again. Just blessed and thankful I here to witness it.