Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Rock Solid

In live television anything, and usually everything, can happen. No safety new, no reset button, no second take. Those in front of the lens have to develop and maintain a sense of calm and composure. Even though something out of the ordinary is going on during live television you have to just roll with the punches. It happens to everyone even to NBC’s Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams. Recapping the day’s events throughout the world a sudden an annoying sound just started to blare through the surround sound of viewer’s sets across the country. Was the lead guy caught off guard? Maybe. Did it stop him? No way. Just kept his cool and continued to present the news as if nothing was going on. Think about it, this dude has been through every kind of war zone, convention, and natural disaster that most wouldn’t dare go through. No wonder they’ve dominating the ratings for some time now.

If there is someone for the young and aspiring journalists to look towards, they may want to take a few notes from the guy who leads at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Than A Job

The life of a News Photographer is a unique one. One that can usual goes around in circles if you manage to do this long enough. Go to one place to shoot a scene and a few years later you will experience total recall of what happened that day. The same could be said for people. We met a lot of them while roaming around in a news unit with cameras ready to go at a moment’s notice. But it’s the people that we get attached to when we first meet them that have lasting impressions on us. It’s those events that affect our friends that can put emotional implants on our psyche. That’s what happened to my friend Rick Portier, known as The Turdpolisher in the photographer circles. Yesterday it seemed like another rash of random madness where we were hoping for a quiet lead in to the holiday weekend. It was anything but.

He got me into this whole blogging thing but sometimes you have to when to take a step back and let someone better tell of his experience to an awful event. After reading say a prayer for that family, that neighborhood, and the Polisher. They’ll appreciate it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

NOLA Peep Show

Now I know New Orleans is known for some of the antics on Bourbon Street. What antics are you talking about? Well, let’s just say that if you have a nice set of beads to throw you are bound to see some skin flashed for all the world to see. However Carnival season is still a few months away but that’s not stopping the tasteful peep show that my friends from the Galleria seem to have stumbled on.

First it looks like the fine people of PETA decided to take advantage of the nice South LA weather. Looks like they have set up shop somewhere on Canal Street near the French Quarter. No sign of any beads on the ground so it looks like there want some attention since there Super Bowl ad got pulled a few years ago. Don’t know what exactly there are protesting against but everyone as the right to free speech and the right to assemble. I can only imagine how this assignment was given out. Walk in, assignment editor see some random photographer & asks, “How would you like to miss the morning meeting?” It’s a no brainer for the photographer but I bet he was expecting something that would challenge his journalistic talent. Not to worry the day is still young.

Then there was the challenge that my buddy Toups had to handle. How to shoot the sky without showing that the sky is blue. Or in this case how to show a nude cleaning service without showing any nudity? I bet every photographer was begging to get this one. What to shoot? Do I use some foreground/background techniques? To macro or not? The answer to all of this better play it safe. Last thing you need is for the FCC to bring the hammer down on you since the infamous Wardrobe Malfunction.

Besides all of the madness that is Carnival will be here before you know it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Are Who???

Watching the events of the last 48 hours in Happy Valley has to be one of the most baffling things that I ever seen. A dark cloud has not only descended but has engulfed the college town that has touted itself as being above the rest of the landscape. A place that holds itself to a higher standard in terms of education, athletics, and moral fibers. So watching as a small group of idiots take it upon themselves to show solidarity by committing random acts of violence and destruction of property because the coach was unceremoniously dismissed from the university for his actions or lack there of in the wake of one of the most horrific scandals that went on for over a decade that affected an unknown number of children who did nothing wrong but show love to someone who betrayed their trust.

I have friends, good friends, who attended Penn State. They describe State College a place like now other. A place of comradely. A place that is more like a family atmosphere. A place not like the one being displayed by a small number of simpletons with nothing better to do than to express their rage towards people who are there just to present the facts of an ongoing story.

So that what happens when things don't go your way? You get a bad burger, go flip a media van. Don't like that haircut, go flip a media van. Mid terms don't go your way, I know let's go flip a media van. I would recommend to the student body to and read the Grand Jury report one of the catalysts to the events of the last 48, before you decide to go an destroy anything else.
Because with the misplaced rage and chants of, "WE ARE PENN STATE!" To the rest of the country and the world yes you are. And it isn't the Happy Valley that my friends told me about.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ms. Mad Dog to You

Anyone who watches TV in the Big Raggedy knows the talent of one Cheryl Mercedes, better known by the moniker of "Mad Dog". When she first got here she was everything that the asylum needed. A tough, quality reporter who got the fact, told great stories, and didn't take crap from anyone. Willing to knock on doors and chase less than friendly moving companies from here all the way to the Big Easy. Yet she does have a gentle side. Until it's time go all Nancy Grace on you with an added roundhouse kick. Did I mention she;s got a 3rd degree black belt in the Martial Arts. Well today she got some well deserved recognition from the local group Women In Media for Broadcast Excellence. Looks like she has to make some room in that crowded trophy case of hers.

Congratulations Mad Dog. Glad you are on our side, did you know?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


There are certain perks to being a photographer. You get to see things that most aren’t privileged to. You are the first one called when it time to cover some ribbon cutting ceremony that starts in ten minutes on the other side of town. You get to go on week long road trips that involved a billion satellite shots for the rest of the network. Wait a minute this is sounds real depressing. But there are times when a chance meeting or a rare occurrence can net you some nice swag. Whether it’s a free meal at some election party where the race is over after the 1st half hour or a trip to whatever bowl game you get sent to cover. Actually got a nice bag from the National Championship Game in 2007.
Or in this case, Christmas has come early for Rick Portier, know to all as the Turdpolisher. He was doing a story on Mike the Tiger’s birthday when he just so happen to met the creator of the most famous product in Louisiana History, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Alright maybe not the most famous but certainly one of the more significant products in preventing a number of cases of swamp ass. I’ll have to let the Ol’ Polisher fill you in on that one. Nevertheless a momentous occasion because it isn’t often that the members of the photographer nation get stuff hand delivered to them in the newsroom. Well besides the wish list known as the assignment sheet. So, what’s in the box? What in the box?
Looks like a cap, a nice t-shirt, and a fine assortment of products from the makers of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Remember Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, if can handle photographers it can handle everyone.

Now that is some cool swag, did you know?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Remember The Fifth

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Yeah I know Hugo Weaving in the mask uttered the famous words from the movie but once the college football schedule for 2011 was released it meant only one thing in this part of the country...

LSU v. Alabama

It was hyped as the “BIGGEST GAME EVER!” since the last “BIGGEST GAME EVER!” Just think of all of the build up leading to this. The rivalry, the pageantry, the inside track to play for the National Championship in New Orleans, and the headaches that was going to go with it. Now we all know when big things like this happen there is going to be extended coverage to go with. This is one of those times I didn’t envy the Sports Crew to make the trip to The “Bear’s” hometown. I was content on doing the shift and watching the battle for SEC supremacy unfold from the comforts of home. Luck wasn’t with me on this one.

Instead, I got the assignment of manning the live camera from a local spot with well over a few hundred college kids who couldn’t afford to make the trip to Tuscaloosa, I mean they had to go somewhere. Did you see what they were charging for tickets to go this game? Wonder how many people took out loans to cover this one?

As the defensive struggle ensued, with all eyes (last count 22 million pairs of them) glued to the large screen the phone rings. I could barley hear the voice on the other end. All I heard was, “camera ….steady….you.” Guess they are coming to this shot and man were they ever. As soon as the light went on, the game winning field goal went through the uprights, and the madness started. Napkins were tossed into the sky, drinks flew through the air, and the college kids started screaming like banshees in a raging inferno. I was more impressed that the light didn’t get knocked over with the mass of humanity dancing the night away from one of the biggest wins in school history. However the live shot was even more interesting. Although I almost broke some dumb kid’s arm off for giving a “One Finger Salute”. Thank goodness no blood shed came about, just one big ass headache. That will teach me to pack the Aleve in the sling pouch next time. After all there are a few more of these on the horizon and they’ll probably be playing “Party Rock Anthem” at all of them, did you know?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Knowing Mo Isom

So what’s the deal? Why do I have four lights, three cameras, two lavaliere microphones, and one sportscaster in this picture? Well it isn’t often that you get to tell great stories of one’s success despite an number of personal struggles that you have to deal with before the age of 22.

Everyone let me introduce you to LSU Senior Goal Keeper Mo Isom. A highly sought after recruit four years ago who has become the face of a program that is continuing to lay its foundation. She has captured all kinds of records during her time in school all while completing her degree in Mass Communications. Hey she wants to go into television nothing wrong with. But just as she has faced a tough curricular in the classroom as well as soccer balls flying towards her at insane speeds, yet she has also had to deal with issues off the field more than you know my friends. Yet she has somehow managed to keep her life in perspective. Always willing to think of others than herself. Willing to spread messages of her faith & beliefs to those who will listen. And taking on a number of her peers in competition more for letting athletes be human than for bragging rights.

When you hear her talk and you listen to her words you think to yourself this young lady is wiser than her years. After all when you go through what she has endured you tend to grow up really fast. Her passion for life is incredible not to mention she put shutout on you without breaking a sweat.

So when we sat her down for her interview, time flew by us. The words that made her tale were really good. You didn’t feel that an hour had slipped by us. Wish we could have used everything, this piece could have been ten minutes long. So we had to condense, that’s alright. You can read more of her words on her blog, trust me it’s a good read, did you know?