Thursday, December 28, 2006

Signs You may be a TV News Photog on Vacation

I'm about to wrap up my Christmas Vacation but all week long I keep catching myself in situations that make it seem like I should be at work. So here are the top ten signs that you may be a TV News Photographer on Vacation...

1 - If you see an Ambulance pass by you have the urge to turn around and find out where it's going.

2 - When you see firetrucks speeding to a call you reach for the buttons on your scanner even though you're in your personal vehicle.

3 - Any glimps of smoke on horizon is like a magnetic attraction and you instinctively head toward it.

4 - If you see an auto accident you have to stop to find out what happened and how bad the injuries are.

5 - While at the mall shopping you keep a close eye on other people wondering who'd make a good MOS.

6 - You read the morning paper to see if you can guess what the news lineup will be at 5 and 6.

7 - While watching for those stories you catch yourself trying to figure out who shot what.

8 - You speed to Grandma's house like you're late to a press conference.

9 - When you answer your personal cell phone you blurt out your station call letters.

10 - The BREAKING NEWS on the late newscast is about a shooting at a shopping mall and you wish it could have happened while you were in that same mall earlier that very day. (I carry a small digital video camera almost everywhere I go.)

Gerald Ford
My Second President

As a TV Photojournalist, when The President comes to town, you can find me in one of three places; In the Motorcade, at The Event, or on the side of the road with the throng of people hoping to catch a glimse.

30 years ago, however, it was my parents and myself as a toddler hanging out on the side of the road, on a bridge overlooking the freeway, hoping to catch a glimpse. The second President of my lifetime, President Gerald Ford, was about to zoom by in the Presidential Motorcade on his way to an event in Mobile, Alabama.

I don't remember exactly which year it was - most likely 75 or 76 - but I clearly remember being there and seeing the limos, cop cars and all the people waving American Flags. I was too young to comprehend how this was different than any other parade but somehow the memory stuck with me.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

TV NewsDad vs TV NewsKid

It's been pretty darn well documented here on the blog that my kids are a big part of my life and I like to get them involved in my pictures and videos whenever possible.

But I was over surfing YouTube and found this example of what can happen when a TVNewsKid turns the camera around on the TVNewsDad.

See if you recognize this TVNewsDad (before you click the link) 'lounging' around as his (future reporter) daughter asks the tough questions.

Also, stick around for her comedy routine after TVNewsDad grabs the camera and points it at his girl.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TV Photojournalist Killed
Hit by Car

WJLA Overnight Photojournalist Gordon Davis, 51, was killed early Tuesday when he was struck by a car after covering a fire.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis Family in their time of loss.

CLICK HERE to see how WJLA covered the loss of their colleague. It's very classy look at a well respected co-worker.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lenslinger's Christmas Surprise
A Blog Come True

Way back on Halloween Stewart was already assembling his Christmas list. Sure, he needed to fill the pages of his blog with something because for the mighty Lenslinger a day without a blog-posting is akin to someone swiping your nicotine patch.

Honestly, he has been drooling out loud over the 12-inch mini TV Photog Ken Doll type War Journalist dude for a while now. And anyone who knows (or has read) Stewart knows how he loves knick-knacks, especially TV related things.

So when he posted his "All I Want for Christmas" blog back on Halloween I didn't even think twice before reaching out to several of his other blogging buddies to jump in and make this thing happen.

The video below is what happened...

I would also like to thank those of you who helped make this happen, including Stewart's wife, Shelly and my wife, Julie!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Innovation on the Job
Shopping Cart Dolly

Sometimes it's just fun to be inventive, innovative and creative. Case in point, my fun with this Target Shopping Cart on Black Friday.


At first I was just going to hijack the cart to tote my extra batteries around between setting up the tripod to get my shots. But then a lightbulb inside my noggin came on and I set the tripod up in the cart as seen and rolled all around the store getting rolling, smooth, flowing shots.

Sure I got some strange looks from the Holiday shoppers, but my video was different than the same ole' shopping story.

Now if I could just get the shopping cart into the backseat.

Monday, November 27, 2006

When I Grow Up
7th Grade School Assignment

JeffreySummer 06My Oldest stepson is a 7th grader and is working on a project that involves choosing a proffesion and learning about it and writing a paper. Without asking me a single question other than a starting salary range and from reading a job posting here is what he wrote...

Survivor Profession #1 (Photojournalist)
Jeffrey Krauch

A photojournalist does what everyone would want to do, they carry a camera and get to shoot life. Every morning they would get an assignment and then they would go out and capture the film. After gathering the video footage they must go and edit their video. Although they must meet a deadline for daily news broadcast. Also they need to know how to work live trucks and editing equipment. They must be able to carry 40 pounds for a long time. To do all of this you must have a high school diploma and some college is preferred. Experience is usually required for T.V. news. The salary you will make will be anywhere from minimum wage to $25,000 a year. Now that's a lot of money (for us that is)! My step dad is an experienced photographer so he makes more than that! How lucky am I? Other experienced photographers can earn more too. What company could you work for? It doesn't matter, you could work for any T.V. station. The closest to me is FOX 8 WGHP. That's the best T.V. station ever and my step dad works for them. So that means that he works for the best. The reason I picked this job as mine is that my step dad does it. I would love to film people and life on live television in front of mostly the entire state. That would be the coolest thing to do if I can't make the NFL, NBA, or MLB. If you didn't know those are professional leagues. A photojournalist is a definite choice behind a professional player. That's not all. I also want to be it because they make a lot of money if you stay in it for a while. Also the reason I want to be a photojournalist is that I think my parents would be proud that I took over my step dads job of being a photojournalist. My step dad would be especially proud that I ,Jeffrey Krauch, his step son would take over his job as a photojournalist.

My oldest son, also a 7th grader, used to say he'd be a PJ one day, but in his version of the project he wants to be a lawyer. (!?)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Smashing Pumkins
Thanksgiving Mischief?
A Borrowed Camera

As one of the Thanksgiving staff my assignment for the day was pretty simple. 3 stories in 3 cities, covering the triad, but all easy stuff. I could do it with my eyes closed, although it's not advised.

With just a slight spot (non)news detour along the way I made it to my 3rd assignment just before 3. Standing in the Blockbuster store waiting for a few customers to rent some movies and I'd call it a day and head back to the shop.

But one of the movie rental customers I had just chatted up came briskly back into the chain and summonsed me to a location across the street. "You gotta see this," he proclaimed."They're chunking pumpkings from the top of a fifty foot cherry picker"

Imagine that. Dropping pumpkins from a cherry picker.

I didn't waste any time. I could easily envision the visual element of this scene. A pumpkin falling into terminal velocity before meeting terminally with the ground with a resounding thud.

And that's exactly what it was. A man and his family that run a Christmas tree lot were passing the time minding the store when they devised this plan to dispose of their leftover pumpkins.

I had to work quickly because they only had 4 pumpkins remaining. I pinned my wireless microphone on the boy in the bucket of the truck and I let them drop 3 of them while I shot from the ground. I knew I had to get the cherry picker POV(point of view) but I also wanted that last pumkin shot from the ground. So many decisions!

The family was also videotaping their fun with what I discovered was a decent little Sony Digital 8 video camera and it didn't take me long to get my hands on it. I positioned my XD Cam on the ground close to the area of impact and I took the Digital 8 camera and jumped into the bucket to take the 50 foot trip up to watch a pumpkin fall.

Jjust 25 minutes, 4 pumpking drops and 3 interviews later I headed back to the station. The man let me borrow his Digital 8 camera because I didn't have my firewire cable so that I could dub the footage into my XDCam.(which was my plan when I started shooting with it)

I still had to edit all of those other stories first but I spent a fair amount of time on the Pumpkin Story. It turned out pretty good. Watch it HERE

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chris Daughtry-
In the Recording Studio-
Behind the Scenes

Back in the middle of October I wrote about the 30 hours I spent away from North Carolina traveling to LA and more recently I scribbled out a picture filled post about Chris Daughtry visiting our Fox 8 studios and what Shannon and Chris let slip during his morning show appearance.

Now just 2 days from the release of Chris Daughtry's much anticipated CD all of the work put into that 30 hour roadtrip is about to hit the airwaves taking you behind the scenes of Chris Daughtry in the recording studio. (Some of it is already on the web.)

LA TRIP (11)

Like any other task assigned to a TV News Photog, the LA trip was a lot of hurry up and wait. That's tough for me because I always like to be busy. It was 13 hours after I left the east coast that Shannon and I arrived at Bay 7 studios in Valley Village California where we met Chris Daughtry, Daughtry (the band) and Howard Benson, Chris' producer.

LA TRIP (43)

The studio really surprised me, being more like a little house than a studio. It had plenty of room yet had that cozy homelike feel with a kitchen and living room complete with a hi-def TV. And the list of bands and singers who've cut music there is phenomenal!

Bay 7 Client List

We started the shoot by sitting Chris Down and listening to 4 or the tracks from the CD and getting his thoughts on the music and then on everything that has happened in the past year. He says it's still all amazing to him.

LA TRIP (25)

After the sit down interview Chris had to warm up his voice to cut some more tracks for the song "There and Back Again" . I got a bunch of video (and snapshots) in this dark, little, tentlike sound booth that Chris has taken a liking to. He says it's where he finds his mojo.

LA TRIP (56)

It certainly will be neat to listen to that song and know that I was in there with him while he was cutting it.

LA TRIP (55)

On the other end was the little room with all the bells and whisltes and producer Howard Benson sitting at a high end Mac capturing the vocals and putting it all together.

LA TRIP (54)

Benson has produced such bands as Hoobastank, My Chemical Romance, Motorhead and The All American Rejects.

LA TRIP (33)

Now it's Chris Daughtry's turn with Benson and the prolific rock producer says Chris is the best raw talent he's ever worked with.

LA TRIP (38)

As Chris and Benson continued to put the finishing touches on the vocal tracks I wandered into the den where Daughtry (the band) was hanging out. There only duties for the day was to be in my video and a photo shoot that was also scheduled. They clowned around with an accoustic guitar making up funny lyrics to popular songs and then they surrounded Shannon and gave her their thoughts about Chris.

LA TRIP (57)

When Chris took a break from singing it was time for a photo shoot and to preview a song that was fresh back from the mastering process where an audio engineer mixes all the vocals and intruments to get just the right sound.

LA TRIP (46)

We were just about done at this point, having spent nearly 3 hours hanging out in the studio. We shot a few teases and we were done and headed to supper and then back to the airport to red eye back to Greensboro.

LA TRIP (32)

After my raw footage sat idle (no pun intended) for a month I was handed a script by Shannon Smith and it was time for the magic to begin. I spent a whole day last week whittling out a digital musical masterpiece from 180 minutes of footage. The resulting 5 minute story showcases Chris in the recording studio and showing off 4 of the songs from his upcoming CD.

LA TRIP (46)

I spent another partial day putting together 4 web only mini-stories about Chris' thoughts on the 4 songs he previewed for us and I still have to cut another Web Story so you can meet 'Daughtry' (the band). (And it's possible there may be a blooper reel in the works)

It's been a lot of work, but if you read here often you know that's what I live for.

LINKS- (starting with my Fox 8 WGHP Stories...)
Web Story - It's Not Over
Web Story - Home
Web Story - Over You
Web Story - Used To
Web Story - Meet the Band (link to come)
Chris Daughtry in the Recording Studio (from the Fox 8 10 o'clock News Monday Nov 20th)

Other Chris Daughtry Links
Lenslinger - Introducing Chris Daughtry
Lenslinger - Daughtry gets the Door
Lenslinger - Daughtry Drops By
Chris Daughtry on MySpace
Daughtry Official
Mr Daughtry
American Idol Chris Daughtry
Chris Daughtry Fans
Chris Daughtry Rocks

Friday, November 17, 2006

21st Annual MidSouth Emmy Nominations
We're IN!

The 21st Annual MidSouth Emmy Nominations were announced Friday night and I can once again say I'll be heading to Nashville in January for the big night.

Nashville ElevatorNashville TN

Reporter Eric White and I received one nomination for General News, while WGHP received a News Excellence Nomination, Chad Tucker and Brad Ingram received a Spot News Nomination and Brad Ingram received an Editing nomination.

Chad TuckerFox 8 Photog Staff (6)Roy Cooper

Eric and my nomination came in the General Assignment Report category for a story we called 'NCAA Cover Up'. We found out about the story while we were covering the set up for the NCAA tournament at the Greensboro colliseum. We had to plead with the bosses to go back and shoot the story where the colliseum workers had to cover up 12-thousand cupholders with a generic NCAA sticker to comply with the NCAA advertising rules. All of the cupholders had drink ads on them.

Eric White

Eric is an excellent reporter, truely deserving of a nomination and it was truely a team effort to make that story happen. As a matter of fact Eric was also recently named NC Reporter of the Year by the RTNDA .

On a side NoteI also want to send out kudos and thanks to Caron Myers. She is putting a lot of effort (and $$$) into getting her own Emmy and still nothing. I really thought a few of my stories with her would pull a nomination. UGH!

See ya in Nashville!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

DVRs and Advertising
A Simple Observation

I was watching TV recently and noticed on a variety of channels, most notably local stations, that their local promos were butted up against the return to the programming. A lot of times this position coming back into the show is a newsbreak that is 10 or 15 seconds long.

Even though I work at a TV Station, I'm all news, no traffic, no sales, no beans. But I am always wondering about things related to my job so I pondered this; Why is this important position ajoining the programming littered with a local promo that is not a revenue maker? And your question back to me may be; Why do you say this is an important position?

The answer is because this is the age of the DVR. That position just before coming back into whatever show someone is watching is the place where the viewer is most likely to see at least the last bit of whatever commercial is playing. It's inevitable when FFing past the commercials that the viewer will miss the intro into the show and have to Rewind back into the last bit of the last commercial. Since it's tough to cue to the exact moment of the re-entry so the viewer is almost always stuck watching a bit of the re-entry commercial making it valuable ad real esatate that is being given away for free.

The first few seconds of the entry into a commercial break could be argued to be the second most valuable real estate based on the time it takes to initiate the FF.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Rookie

I had the pleasure of working with A-Rod today for the very first time since she joined our staff about 6 weeks ago. As our newest rookie reporter she's been doing a great job, jumping headfirst into the fray and pumping out Liveshots and packages like a veteran.

A Rod

Her real name is Angela Rodriguez and today she was treated with the triple play of TV Newsgathering. Live at Noon, 5 and 6 with a package in each.

A Rod 2

We started the day at 7am, leaving the station to cover what may well be the final stories on Eastern Guilford High School that burned down 2 weeks ago. The 9th and 10th graders are now back in class at the facility that formerly housed the Central NC School for the Deaf. We gathered footage of the kids headed into school in the morning and came back in the afternoon to ask them how the day went.

A Rod 3

All in all it was a painless day for the students and for A-Rod and I. There was a shortage of food during the students' lunch, and the school's sprawling campus had the kids running around a lot more than their scorched former school facility.

We wrapped up our afternoon conversation with the kids about 4-30 just in time to get to our 5 o'clock package edited and do the live and then we had an hour to get the 6 o'clock stuff done.

Pretty good triple play for a rookie!

Top What?!

Just when I needed something to blog about a little surfing found me this....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

He's Alive
Krolfifer Shows His Face.

I'd almost given up on him and then one day a month or so back I received an email from him suggesting that he was OK. But now I know for sure, Adam Krolfifer is alive.

There he is, straight from Beverly Hills California in a photo taken by BeFrank on his CoolShots blog.

Adam left Fox 8 in August of 2004 for the greener grass of California and according to his recent email to me, after working in the freelance world for a while he has finally landed a staff spot working in the bureau in Sacramento for the SanFran station KPIX.

biking chris and adam

Adam became one of my best friends here as we had similar interests, like chasing scanner traffic and riding our mountain bikes and motorcycles.

biking adam down

Good to see that he's still alive and kickin'.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CSI Greensboro
Murder on McIntosh

A sad story on McIntosh Street today in Greensboro. A 32 year old woman is dead and 2 of her 3 children were also attacked in what appears to be a random home invasion. There is very little information on any suspect, only that it may have been a black male in a white shirt.



But I do have to say it's good to know that even with all the problems in the GPD with the RMA that their CSI seems to be stronger than ever, maybe even leading the way in the GPD turn around.

I mean, look who they've got solving the crimes.


And when they catch the guy who committed this crime I have to think he'll get Bond, High Bond.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Chris Daughtry
Studio Visits (plural)

Back on Thursday there was a special guest in the Fox 8 Studios. Chris Daughtry came by with the band and sang a little song and did a little weather.

And while Lenslinger covered Chris' visit early Thursday the cat was also let out of the bag that Stewart and Shannon were hopping a plane that very morning to go visit Bucky Covington in Nashville while he put the finishing tracks on his first CD.

But while Daughtry was on the morning show and before Shannon and Stewart left the studio to visit Bucky, it was also (sort of) announced that we had visited Chris in the recording studio while he was finishing his upcoming CD.

LA TRIP (43)

Yeah, remember a few weeks back, I went to LA on a 30 hour, non-stop, no sleep, newsgathering roadtrip? It was to visit Chris Daughtry and the band as Chris put the final vocals on his first CD. Shannon and I spent the better part of the day just getting there before spending about 3 hours with Daughtry(Chris and the Band)

LA TRIP (46)

Coming up on the eve of the release of his new album we will televise our hours spent with Chris and the band.

It was a great priveliged to hear what I truely think is some of the finest music that has ever touched my ears and I can't wait to hear the rest of it.

On a personal note - My Mom and Sister went to see Daughtry perform Friday Night in Raleigh. The text message from my sister after the concert says..."Mom touched Chris." Too funny!

Chris Daughtry Raleigh November 3rd


Friday, November 03, 2006

Eastern Guilford High School Fire
Thin Yellow Line

Of course, like with any event with lots of media there are going to be problems. I'll call it the Thin Yellow Line.

Thin Yellow Line

Like I said in my previous entry we were moved late in the day to a slightly closer, certainly dryer, vantage point.

School Fire (5)

We had been in the spot beyond the red truck in the picture above and when any of the media wandered past te yellow tape into the driveway where the truck is parked certain law enforcers kind of lost their cool. It's kind of like there is a Thin Yellow Line between the Media and the Cops.

School Fire (4)

That's cool and all, I have no problem when them saying we can only get so close to a given scene. The problem, however, started with the fact that this driveway was our only way in and out and we had to use it but they were very paranoid that were just trying to sneak closer to the school everytime we walked into the roadway for any reasong whatsoever.

They threatened to arrest anyone who kept leaving the little area that they had marked off for us with little or no discretion for us getting farther from the scene.

School Fire (3)

Believe it or not they even thought they could stop us from walking on a public road to where the students had decided to gather. They told me and several other media people to go back into the taped off area when we tried to get to the area where the students in the picture above were.

And the walk to do that was OPPOSITE DIRECTION from the school building than our media corral's yellow fence line. We could go to the edge of our media box and step out the public road and walk down to the student's viewing point from an adjoining property.

((In the picture below the walk is from the yellow arrow to the right, then down the side of the road and then to the left toward the red arrow where the students were assembled.))

EGHS Gis Detail

When I started walking down the road where the students were continuously walking to and from the viewing area one deputy told me to go back to the media area, that's where we had to stay. I responded that I was walking on a public road just like the students. He responded that I wouldn't be allowed back to the media area.

I walked on to the student area and got the interviews and video that I needed to tell the story and luckily he didn't bother me on the way back to the media area.

I'm not sure why they wanted to keep us from going out to the area where the general public was allowed to roam freely. Luckily they didn't try to enforce it.

I'm all for the Thin Yellow Line to guide us to a safe yet reasonable vantage point. It let's us do our job without stepping on the shoes of the agencies doing theirs. But sometimes I like to back away from the scene to get a little perspective on the situation.

Using the Thin Yellow Line to keep the media hemmed into a small area is a no no.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Eastern Guilford High School Fire
The Day After

With 1-thousand or so students now without a place to go to school, and us headed back out to the scene to start day 2 of who knows how many days of follow up stories, I figured it would be fairly easy to find 'characters' to help us tell the story of Eastern Guilford High School.

School Fire (10)

The students, they came, the parents, they came too. They couldn't look away, they wanted to see and more importantly they wanted information.

It was all grand justification as to why we do this everyday, for this story today, this week, but ultimately for every story, big or small, that comes along. It's just that this is happening on such a grand scale that we can really get the feeling, through the massive amounts of feedback, that people are really out there watching what we are putting on the tube.

School Fire (2)

So today we continued the coverage in every newscast. I drove out to the scene about 9-30 to start my shift for noon, 5 and 6 o'clock coverage.

School Fire

Everyone did what they could to make their story look different.

School Fire (13)

Every station in this market and a couple from Raleigh and Charlotte were here covering the story.

School Fire (9)

Late in the day the fire chief in charge allowed us to get our trucks out of a water logged area that had been our coral and into a better, closer vantage point.

School Fire (8)

As the day drew into darkness, the story continued to evolve, with few real answers today, but with real developments right in front of our eyes.

School Fire (15)

A demolition contractor was brought in to begin the process of pushing the building to the ground.

School Fire (12)

I'm sure the coverage of the fire will continue hot and heavy (couldn't resist) for a while, so stay tuned, I'll try to make it different.