Thursday, September 29, 2005

Greensboro Chrysler Classic

It's my inaugural trip to Forest Oaks for the annual PGA Classic, or any professional golfing tournament for that matter . I read somewhere today that this grand event started in 1938, making it one of the longest running events on the tour.


And being the NASCAR man that I am, I was a bit confused by the polite and quiet nature of the whole scene. It's kind of like at my kid's school, in the hallway, where they have to use their inside voices.

At NASCAR events you have to yell to be heard over the roar and it's not exactly polite.

Here everyone's walking around shushing one another.

But they gave me a free hat so I'm giving them a chance.


I really liked the technical aspect of the whole scene.

ABC Camera Platform

Cameras, cables and microphones were everywhere.


The people who make the Network coverage come alive were so busy doing their jobs that I couldn't even slow 'em down for a picture.

Ground Sound

Some of my own co-workers, like Timmy Hawks were also running around, each with a personal agenda and plan of action.

THawks 2

Timmy was interested in the sports angle. Who had low scores? Who was having a rough day?(pun definitely intended)

Forest Oaks 2

I was interested in the News value of the whole scene. So were my counterparts from the competition.

News 2 Guy

We all donned our orange badges and walked the grounds searching for our hidden treasure.

Media Badge

I found my treasure in the proud father from Smithfield whose son had just teed off on number 9 and the older couple from Clemson cheering an alum's birdie on 10.

Hawks found his treasure in the late afternoon leader on the 14th green.


Every so often the Met Life blimp would buzz overhead, surely getting great views from the camera mounted to it's gondola and giving great ad time to it's namesake.


Ahhhh, lunch with the fellas, which today meant the boys from WFMY.

Lunch Group

Free Lunch is good no matter how you cut it.


Caron Myers spent lunch pondering how to make our story sing.


Mac Ingraham didn't want to be on the blog.

Mac Ingraham

Sorry Mac.

And Timmy Hawks is still working. I don't think he eats lunch.

Hawks Working

But he does catch the best sports action in the Piedmont.


There is quite a lot to take in with so much going on over the 18 holes.

Camera and Guy

The views from most anywhere are just outstanding.

Forest Oaks

By the end of the day, having shot video of anything I thought would work for the story it was time to put it all together for our newscast.

Live Masts

I got lucky today and was able to edit and feed our story early. Kevin Wrenn on the other hand was stuck feeding video between Live teases and technical problems.


He finished the sports feeds with mere seconds to pop up Kevin Connolly for the sports report.

Caron and I had a story that sang and after 2 minutes Live on the air our broadcast day was concluded.

Caron Cheesing

It was much the same just 20 feet over at the Channel 2 truck where Mac was wrapping up his report.(ours was better ;) )

Mac Live

I also learned a thing or two today. Golf is a lot more laid back than NASCAR. It certainly goes at a much slower pace.

But I think I'll put it on my things I like to do list.


Update: Head over to Lenslinger's Blog for a little more about our buddies Timmy Hawks and Kevin Wrenn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Katrina Tatoos

Fellow Blogging Photojournalist 'Turdpolisher' is continuing life at WBRZ in Baton Rouge just a step up the road from the war zone that is New Orleans.

He checks in today with a story he got a tip about.

Check out his blog to see who's getting Hurricane Katrina Tattoos and why.

There's Video Too!!!

Touching Freedom

"These Students are touching freedom", the teacher said as Lenslinger recorded the sound and visual on his XDCam as I lingered in the background in awe of such a powerful statement.

Human Flag 1

Stewart and I were dispatched to New Market Elementary School after a rushed lunch on Friday on what had been a simple VoSot assignment for just me.

The VoSot being just a 30 second clip and one quick sound byte wasn't enough, however, for my Camera Totin' comrade when his other story for the day fell through.

Human Flag 7

So there we were at New Market Elementary School in Sophia, under the watchful eye of our broadcast tower, to get a glimpse of a patriotic ceremony that was a made for pictures event.

The students wore their red, white and blue according to class and teacher and lined up in front of the Gymatorium forming the stars and stripes making a human flag.

Human Flag 2

I came along on my original assignment to help Stewart out by getting the birds eye view of the spectacle. I extended the 7 sections of air compressed aluminum to it's full erect position of 60 foot. The videocamera on top took in the site as I recorded it onto a portable record deck.

But I wanted a shot of the kids with my XDCam so I decided to join the teachers on the roof of the gym.

I hiked to the roof access ladder at the opposite end of the school and walked the rooftop back to the gym. After climbing a second ladder I was on top of the situation at the school's highest level.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the camera battery I had just popped onto my XD while at the truck was a DEAD one. I was done, no video from the Gymtop view. All that walking for naught!

Human Flag 6

Back on the ground Stewart had roamed and rolled and gathered sound enough from all the stars and stripes to make a nice little natsound package about why they formed the human flag.

Human Flag 4

They had invited the veteran color guard and released US Flag Balloons to make it a ceremony and after some pomp and circumstance, all the boys and girls lined up to shake the soldiers hands.

Human Flag 5

It was then that the teacher who set all this up, said those stirring words.

Human Flag 3

"These Students are touching freedom."

American Idol - a differernt sort of refugees.

OK, I admit it, I don't really American Idol. I did watch it some when Fantasia was in the running and I have the final show from that year permanently saved in my DVR until I can copy it to save forever. But I am no loyal viewer.


I have also been able to steer clear of the mania that befalls the immediate area surrounding the auditions for American Idol. I think Hurricane Katrina may have changed that.

Not that I haven't longed to travel to Atlanta or DC or Hollywood or wherever Idol mania has taken my fellow photojournalists including Stewart Pittman and Tim Bateston.

signs 2

But now that Hurricane Katrina Refug...errr...Evacuees aren't going to be filling the halls of the Greensboro coliseum, the powers to be at American Idol are bringing their pre-Idol road show, and who knows how many future Fantasias, to the Piedmont.

It seems fitting that now, maybe this room full of signs could actually be put to good use. The signs were going to be plastered all over the coliseum to welcome and support the displaced victims of Katrina.

signs 3

I guess now we could put them up to welcome the Idol wannabees from all over the eastern seaboard.

signs 1

Meanwhile, Stewart is editing at warp speed getting the first American Idol preview on the air.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baton Rouge TV Photog Blog

He's the turdpolisher when there aren't real stories to shoot, but now he finds himself knee deep in the smell of destruction of Southern Lousiana.

Check out his new blog that started on 9-12 and details his journey through Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath that continues to lead the newscasts on a daily basis and all the turds that still have to be handled on a daily basis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Heard on CNN

Wolfe Blizter, standing in the Situation Room, asked a female reporter covering Hurricane Ophelia if this was the first hurricane she had covered or if she had covered hurricanes before.

Her answer, "I covered Katrina, a category 4, it was a monster."


Hurricane Ophelia - When Hats Fly!!!

I was watching the other guy's news at 11 tonight when I saw something that I had to share. You can form your own opinion but based on what I see, it could have been avoided and may have been done to get viewers talking. And here I am perpetuating it!

Damany 1

Damany Lewis was doing a NON LIVE lead-in to a story from Wrightsville Beach about the impending arrival of the perpetually stalling Hurricane or Tropical Storm Ophelia.

Damany 2

I noticed that his hat was very loose and even occasionally flopping in the wind.

Damany 3

In real time it's hard to see, but in slow motion and frame by frame he turns his head into the wind.

Damany 4

And his hat flew off.

It struck me odd that he didn't even attempt to grab the hat and catch it nor did he look toward where it flew. Those two things would seem to me to be human nature if my hat flew off unexpectedly.

Damany 5

It was very odd. And like I said it was a NON LIVE lead in to a packaged story.

This could have been re-shot, unless there was limited time, which is understandable, or unless they liked the fly away hat, which was interesting, or unless the hat came off on purpose, which is likely, OR a combination of the above scenarios.

Even if the hat flew off unexpectedly, I think a mention of it in the shot was warranted.

After the story aired they came back to him for a LIVE tag at Wrightsville Beach(which is a pet peeve of mine) and he had his hat back on, now securely.

Safely from the studio, anchor Cameron Kent made sure to remind his young field reporter to hold onto his hat.

See the Video from Damany's fly away hat.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chainsaw Justice

Skip Roth and his son Chris are 2 talented artists from just a bit east of Asheville, NC., who in 1995 were on the verge of national celebrity for their use of the chainsaw as a tool to carve intricate statues from logs.

I had the pleasure recently to shoot a story about them with reporter Bob Buckley.


On Fathers day of 1995, just a day before heading out to appear on 'Live with Regis and Cathy Lee' (it WAS 1995) a twist of fate befell them that sounds like it's been lifted from a great work of fiction.

Skip and Chris

Listening to the story of their past 10 years on the mountainsides of McDowell County and digesting the details could lead you to the conclusion that the two should hail from the mountains of Kentucky and have the last names Hatfield or maybe McCoy.

But it was here in Marion, NC, where Skip was convicted of 2nd Degree murder. A murder in which he claims self defense.

Marion Downtown

The shooting was the last straw in a feud that stemmed from patriarch Skip having learned from one of his older sons that he(the older son) had been molested by a neighbor for about 10 years.

On the day of the shooting the pedophile neighbor came into the woods where the Roths were clearing some trees off of a mountain access road to their property. The man was drunk, mad, and armed with a revolver.

The map below is Skip's oil based depiction, a wide shot if you will, of the side of the mountain where the shooting happened.


Skip, a self proclaimed marksman, shot the man dead when the gun was pointed his way.

But a Marion County jury convicted Skip Roth of 2nd degree murder. He appealed and after 3 long years in the maximum security confines of Central Prison he was finally a free man.

Roth is still working to rebuild his character and certainly his dignity, and his customer base for his chainsaw statues is growing once again.

He has penned a paperback detaling the tragic events of 1995, what led up the the killing and how Roth felt he was betrayed by the justice system.


I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of the book yet(give it up Buckley), but I'm certainly eager to plop down and get more of thein depth and juicy details of this tale.


But while we were there shooting (video) they did fill me in on this enlightening fact. Roth's half-brother is a direct McCoy descendent and the pedophile neighbor was a distant relative of the Hatfields.

To get the book click here

Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina Coverage - Local Angles

Hurricane Katrina Coverage has us chasing every possible angle to the story and it's follow ups. The disaster relief, economic implications, impending refugee evacuee arrival, etc...etc...etc... have us on a continuous wheel mis-forturne in search of the latest greatest story, as long as it has the remotest link to Katrina, New Orleans, Louisianna, Mississippi, Alabama or the evacuees of said locations.

Here are some pictures of my moments of Katrina Coverage. (nothing too exiting here, Sorry!!)

gas price 2

One of the first local impacts on us here and most everyone around the nation from Katrina was the spike in Gas Prices. This station actually limited it's sales to $20 at a time during the height of the 'scare' in order to keep from running out of gas which would have killed inside sales. Coincedintally, at the time the price was $2.99, which would get you 6.66 gallons.(for you God did this theorists.)

Got Gas

Some stations did run out of gas...But people kept coming to their station, because they didn't pull their prices down. When they did pull their prices down, the result made it look like ultra cheap gas, causing a constant stream of cars through the parking lot. Maybe that was an attempt to increase their non-existant inside sales.

gas price

When's the last time we paid that for gas. I know it was before I was born.

Horse Fly

Horsefly. Boy was I board. I can't even remember what I was waiting for at this point.

Me Waiting

Over at WFU, like many other colleges, students from New Orleans based colleges were enrolling, at least temporariliy. This guy is a Wake Forest Student from New Orleans who thinks his house parents' house is OK, but they haven't been back yet.

WFU Students

And of course their is the ongoing wait for a plane full of refugees to arrive here in the Piedmont Triad area of NC. It hasn't happened yet, but we keep hearing it could be just 2 hours away.