Friday, April 28, 2006

NAB 2006
B-Roll dot Net Video from the Floor

While on the floor at NAB, Kevin "B-Roll" Johnson, Stewart "Lenslinger" Pittman, Andy "Focus This" Grossman and I took to the floor with a couple of Mini-DV Cameras and hit several of the booths looking at new products.

Kevin has uploaded the Intro Video and the Miller Tripods Video.

In the Miller Tripods Video Lenslinger talks to the Miller Rep while Andy and I shoot a story about the tripod....completely handheld.

NAB 1 (3)

How about that!

NAB 1 (2)

Now go to B-Roll dot Net and see the videos (CLICK HERE) and check back for more video updates from NAB 2006 in coming days.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NAB 2006
Little Lost Robot

As much as Stewart "Lenslinger" Pittman and I fancy ourselves pretty good bloggers there is another, more hyperactive, Television Photojournalist who is the epitome of TV Photog Bloggin' and short of sounding gay and saying he's our hero, JL Watkins is a truly unique individual who we've been itchin' to meet.

Vegas Stew Cam (9)

I've been reading his Little Lost Robot blog since before he made the cross country move from Seattle to Greenville, SC last year but even just a few quick hours down the road, we haven't had a story assignment or reason to cross his path until we flew across the country to NAB.

Vegas Stew Cam (2)

JL Watkins, aka, Little Lost Robot, was at NAB blogging for the Lost Remote website as he did last year when we closely monitored his progress and pledged to do the same in 2006.

Vegas Stew Cam (8)

It was late in the day Monday when we finally crossed paths with JL when we were exiting the Las Vegas Convention Center after we were done on the floor. It seemed that we all (visually anyhow) instantly knew one another at first site and began our lively conversations. Even with this west coast transplant slightly surprised by our medium to heavy North Carolina dialects, we talked about our respective days of Gadget watching like old friends.

A bit later we met up with JL again at the Lost Remote party at the Hilton and shared
stories over Gin and Tonics before moving on to the party at Gordon Biersch where the beer brewed in-house flowed extra thick.

Vegas Stew Cam (5)

As we all grew more imbibed by our alcohol consumption the stories got funnier, or maybe I just laugh too much when the juice is flowing. After the B-Roll party JL joined Stewart, Brad Ingram, me and other's from the B-roll Crew for a kick ass ride in a stretch limo, althought in the photo he lookin' a little wierded out!(more
on that later)

After the limo it was time for a bit of table play in the Sahara to go along with more Gin and Tonic.(and I only lost $40 there).

I can tell you now with great certaintly...I found out that Little Lost Robot isn't just an excellent blogger with great story telling skills, he's one hell of a funny guy and an even nicer guy!

So don't forget to visit Little Lost Robot for his take on NAB 2006. From what I hear his stuff is gonna be good. Something about Green Screens!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NAB 2006
Leaving Las Vegas

36 hours after touching down in the Oasis of Modern Mischief, Lenslinger and I re-traced our steps back throught the Las Vegas Airport, through the checkpoints and onto the 767 that is our ride home.

Leaving LasVegas (5)

We haven't had a lot of time yet for extensive posting on the technical details (or otherwise) of our trek through the maze of TV Gadgets and goodies but we both have a bunch of great pix and ideas enough to overflow a dry lake bed in the desert.

MondayVegas (36)

We will post our observations and photographs of the weird, wacky and watchable from the floor of NAB 2006, and of course there's the afterhours stuff too!

NAB 1 (7)

Let's just say there was a stretch Limo involved!

NAB 1 (2)

Stay tuned (bad TV pun) for more from NAB 06 here on TVPhotogBlog and also over at

Monday, April 24, 2006

NAB Live (sort of)

We're on the floor getting it done!

NAB 1 (4)

More later!!!

UPDATE- Sorry no live updates on Monday, we were way too busy. There WILL be extensive coverage posted beggining shortly!

We have arrived....

We have arrived...We have Slept...

We have found a place to blog from.....A nice reminder of home here in Vegas this morning...posting this blog from Krispy Kreme.

We are staying in Downtown LasVegas on Fremont Street where these pix came from.

Arrived (6)

Now it's time to head down to the convention center and NAB.

Arrived (3)

Look for more later including pictures and LIVE BLOGGING updates as much as possible all day from NAB 2006.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Time to Go!

Today's the day. Time for Stewart and myself to fly out to Sin City for the holy grail of TV Trade Shows,also known as NAB. I am writing this at the gate at PTI waiting for the plane that takes us to Atlanta to arrive.

Waiting to Fly (2)

From Atlanta it's on to LasVegas where Stewart "Lenslinger" Pittman and I will spend the little time we have reserved there to check out all there is to see and do related to Electronic Broadcasting Gadgetry.

Waiting to Fly

I don't know where we might find any time to sleep, but that ain't worrying me none! I've survived on less sleep.

Waiting to Fly (1)

Gotta go, the plane is here!

The Plane

Next Stop, Hartsfield Atlanta!

Next Post....on the ground in Vegas.....(sometime after 2am ET)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Officially Sanctioned Blogging
WCNC Photog Blog

Slowly but surely more and more media outlets are letting the staff have the keys to the company website to post their thoughts on station sanctioned blogs.

TV Photojournalist Ken Corn has been blogging on his own now for a while, but now he's able to post his experiences on the official WCNC-TV Blog.

As a matter of fact the WCNC Blog appears to be accessible to all of the WCNC Staff.

Check out the WCNC Blog HERE

Ken's Personal Blog is HERE

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On Call with Avengence
fixin' to tell

Some might say a week of being on-call is the toture test for the occupation of TV Photojournalist but I say it is the occupation.

I live for being on call. I am permanantly on call for the desk to call me on spot news events near me and I also rotate through the official weekly call out list for something anywhere in the market.

I keep the scanners turned on and up so I can get a quick jump on anything that happens.

New Truck (4)

The weekly on-call rotation is a week filled with uncertainty, shared by a couple of photogs, not knowing whether the next after hours phone call will be an invite to cover someone else's shift or cover breaking news 4 counties removed.

Sometimes an on-call week is non-stop, 24 hour affair. Other times you won't get a single call out all week long. I like chasing spot news. I like get out and do great stories and some of the best stories come at the spur of the moment between the late of night and the early of morning.

Last week was my turn and it was almost a slow week. I already had early shoots scheduled early in the week and by Wednesday night I thought I might get through the week without a callout. By Thursday morning the on-call gods sensed my awarness.


Thursday morning at 7-30 the sun was starting to peek over the horizon when the phone rang with the voice of Lesa on the other end. I took her instructions to head to Reidsville for an apparant home invasion.

As noted in previous postings the home invasion turned into a murder by grandson.

It was a long day with liveshots at noon, 5 and 6. All in all about a 10 hour deal.

So that night back at home I stayed up a little later than usual thinking there was no way I would get called out 2 days in a row. Boy was I wrong. I hit the hay at about 2 am thinking I would squeeze in an easy 6 hours, but after about 2 and a half hours of ZZZZs the phone broke the silence is really just me snoring.

Our overnight EP gave me the details of a Lexington Police officer that was involved in a car crash. I found out that he was hit by a vehicle when I pulled up onto the scene. I talked to the Chief who was on his way to check on the officer at the hospital and I followed to the hospital.

To get the early morning details on the air I was asked to do a Live Phoner where the anchors would introduce the story and I would fill in with whatever fact's I had gathered.

I set the scene for the audience and answered Brad and Shannon's questions, but I made a little southern boy faux pas in the process.

Brad's final question was about the status of the closed exit ramp where the accident happened.

My answer.....

"When I left the scene the tow trucks were leaving and the cops were fixin' to open of the lane."

I heard myself start to say it and I just couldn't stop. What can I say. I grew up in Wayne County!

But otherwise it went allright. The bosses loved it. The Chief of Police said he saw it when I went to interview him just after it.

I picked up a reporter at the begining of the day shift and we went back to Lexington and turned stories for noon, 5 and 6 about the drunk driver that rear ended a car that the cop was standing in front of. The cop was OK, just bruised up.

It was a nice 12 hour day!

And I didn't get called over the weekend.

That's what you get when you're on call.

I can't wait to be on call again! (as long as it's after the Vegas trip!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Our Dog Pepper

A sad day has come for the pets in my family. Our oldest dog Pepper passed away today after suffering from a quick growing tumor.


Pepper was 13 years old and has been my wife's puppy since he was 6 weeks old. It's an impressive life span for a dog and Pepper definately lived a good one.

Pepper and K-Bug

He spent the last 7 years of his life pampered by our 7 year old Katie-bug who pampered, poked and prodded Pepper to do whatever it was she wanted to do. On any given day Pepper could be found in Katie's room being hand fed his daily diet of dog food during a tea party with all the dolls.


R.I.P Pepper!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Capturing the Action
30 frames per second

When Rockingham County deputies were arresting Brian Wilson for the death of his Grandmother, we were all there in the hallway of the public entrance, just on the other side of the looking glass, engaging our respective video recording devices to permanently inscribe the scene onto the medium of our choice.

And since the booking area for fingerprint and mugshot taking is just on the other side of this glass, it is the perfect setup for a hungry media.

Wilson was none to happy to catch a glimpse of our presence and commence to flipping us the single finger salute and repeating the 7 dirty words(and then some) that George Carlin and the FCC has said we can't use on TV.

hockin' a loogie

The sheriff told Wilson to calm down and he accepted our presence. But when he spotted his 1st Cousin standing behind us peering in also the accused murderer became irate. The deputies had to restrain him, and get him out of our view (again...from a public hallway).

As they led him out of the booking area Wilson let his expressive side get the best of him. As our recording devices prove, capturing the action at 30 frames per second, he is quite accomplished in the sport of loogie hocking.

I guess he'll have something to do if he's convicted and locked up for life.

As for his first cousin's thought on all of this...

"I hope he dies and burns in Hell!"

Friday, April 14, 2006


There are three new posts...back to back...scroll down....Thanks...

TV Travels
going where the news is

I spent all day in Rockingham County covering the story of the man who is charged with killing his Grandmother but in his 911 call he says that it was a home invasion and that an unknown suspect or suspects did it.

Law enforcement didn't buy the story, so Sheriff Sam Page held court over the Media from the area to explain.

Rockingham County (2)

But that's not what this post is about. This is purely a lookee-here at all the TV folks that will travel to a rural county when mayhem or murder breaks out.

Rockingham County (1)

After all it is broadcasting, so when the nature of a local story escalates above hyper local interest the nearest TV stations will find their way to the scene.

Rockingham County (16)

When it rises to statewide interest, crews from across the state will travel with gear bring it to their veiwers.

Rockingham County (15)

And on occassions, somewhere everyday actually, local news issues become national events drawing lenslingers and sound techs and correspondents from all the major news networks.

Rockingham County (14)

And although today's killing was only a regional event for the purposes of today's smotherage, it could very well have become national watercooler easily depending on the other stories of the day. Apparantly the other grandparent killing of the day up in Pennsylvania was a little more salacious since 6 lives were taken.

Rockingham County (13)

Kind of like the whole Natalie Holloway case in Aruba. How many people go missing each year and only a very, select few become national chatter?

Rockingham County (12)

But that's just the way it is. It's a strange equation. Two stories of the exact same details on two different days can have very wide swings in coverage from the media because of other circumstances of the day.

Rockingham County (11)

I basically boils down to what is the most important thing to cover starting fresh every morning.

Rockingham County (10)

And then we go...and do our thing. Tommorrow it will likely be totally different.

New Face on Triad TV
Nicole Ducouer

There are a couple of new faces on TV News here in the triad and (although I'm certainly not advocating watching any news other than Fox 8 WGHP, The News Leader, that can be found on Cable Channel 10 in most places) I have run into one of those new faces two days in a row now, so I got her permission to take a closeup snapshot (as opposed to doing it from afar in a sneaky, creepy kind of way) and put it here on the blog.

Nicole Ducouer has been at WXII for two weeks. She came to the triad from WDTV in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Nicole Ducour - 2

According to her bio on her station's website she has interviewed former P.O.W and West Virginia native Jessica Lynch and she also covered the Sago Mine Disaster.

She's even been sprayed with pepper spray in the course of newsgathering and it apparently paid off...she won a spot news award for the story!

She's a Steelers fan from Pittsburgh, but we won't hold that against her but she says she thinks she is going to love the warm summer sun of North Carolina.

"I am so happy to be working in such a wonderful place," she said. "I have
yet to meet a stranger in the Triad. I'm proud to call Winston-Salem my new
home. "

That's not quite true however. This morning when she was arriving at the scene of a murder in Rockingham County she met one. As she was getting out of her newsvan a man asked her what was going on and a conversation ensued something like this...

With limited information she proceeded to engage the stranger, "We're told it was a home invasion and a lady was killed."

"Is the sheriff down there?", the stranger asked.

"Yeah, he's down there," she quipped unsure really.

"Nah, he's not, cause I'm the sheriff," Sheriff Sam Page laughed, knowing he had the North Carolina Rookie in his grasp.

He's no stranger to the media, not to Nicole any longer.

Welcome to North Carolina!!!

Penis Envy
except with cameras

I shot this picture today and when I really looked at it tonight I noticed something kind of interesting. Check out the microphones and their respective cameras.

Penis Envy

What's up with the the BIG MIC on the little camera and the little mic on the BIG CAMERA?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Las Vegas, Here We Come!

10 days, a few hours, second and minutes remaining (check the countdown above for the exact) before the trip to Vegas and NAB, the worlds largest tradeshow for broadcasters. A paradise for industry techno-geeks looking for the future of communications technology.

The future is starting to hit home for Stew and I...WE'RE GOING TO VEGAS BABY!!!

Chris and Stewart's excellent adventures

We booked our flight and hotel several weeks ago. That was the hard part. Now it's the wait. Today we took a close look at our exhibition passes that came in the mail. These are the key to getting into the Las Vegas convention center with the 100,000 other NAB attendees.

NAB Passes

While in Vegas we plan to see as much of the convention as possible, meet up with some other bloggers that are going to be there, and help celebrate B-Roll dot Net's 10th anniversery.

I certainly hope we can make the most of our 36 or so hours in Sin City.

Whatever we do it will all be covered in the blogs.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

UNC-G Celebration
Erskine Bowles Inauguration

It was a celebration at UNC-G this morning. With Spring Garden and Tate Streets barricaded when we arrived at 9 AM, the Marching Band from NC A&T sprung to life by around 9-30 playing, what other than, 'Celebration'.

People young and old lined the streets to get a glimpse. I wandered in and out of pedestrian traffic looking for the best angle to gather my next shot. I took wide shots, close up shots, shots looking up, shots looking down, tripod shots, on the shoulder shots, steadybag shots, on the ground shots, walking backwards shots, through the legs shots and any variation you could possibly think of from all of those.

UNC-G Inauguration (1)

About 20 minutes after the band first hit the streets, and two blocks down the road, I saw the money shot. At least, the shot of the person who all the hoopla was about. Erskine Bowles has worked in politics with Bill Clinton, has been successful in finance and made a failed bid at the US Senate. But now Bowles has been named and today inaugurated to the post of President of North Carolina's University system.

UNC-G Inauguration (2)

I didn't realize he was among the crowd of cap and gowns parading into the Aycock Auditorium when I first started gathering my shots, and when my roving reporter tapped me on the shoulder and said, "He's talking!", I couldn't believe it when I saw Bowles across from me talking to another camera. I jumped in on the action with Bowles while simultaneously passing my digital camera to part time WGHP staffer, slash, Intern, slash, UNC-G student Stephen George and instructing him not to screw up.

He made two pictures. And he did good.

After all the to-do was well inside the Aycock Auditorium we retreated to the Live truck, looked at some XDCam footage, edited 2 minutes worth of TV for noon and waited for the magical hour which is neither AM nor PM.

10 past that we were on our way back to High Point having seen a new president installed for the future education of kids in North Carolina.

Pimp My Ride
My new News Truck

From September of 1999 until April of 2006 the newsgathering vehicle assigned to me for my daily newsgathering activities was the Black, 1999 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 in the picture below and on the right. I'm now driving the 2006 White one on the left.

New TruckUnit 15

When new, the 99 Explorer had less than 100 miles on it when I loaded my old Betacam in it for the first time. It replaced a White 1995 Ford Explorer that had about 120-thousand miles on the dial. The black paint of this truck called Unit 15 and it's twin sister Unit 1 were a novelties among the all white news fleet in the station parking lot.

And now after 6 and a half years and 167-thousand miles with old Unit 15, the time has come for a new ride....and the end of a vehicle that was easily distinguishable from the rest.

New Truck (9)

This is the new Unit 15. It's a 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4x4. It had about 85 miles on it when I loaded my XDCam in it for the first time.

On the window sticker it's a pretty basic Explorer, but as I've come to see, even the most basic Explorer has a lot of features.

New Truck 2 (2)

I have gained a CD player(MP3 capable) in this truck, but no Cassette player like the old one. It has a thermometer. It tracks fuel mileage. It tells me distance till empty. It has a nice trim package with chrome accents. It has driver and passenger airbags in the dash and side airbags in both front seats.

New Truck 2 (1)

It even has what Lenslinger likes to call, "The Weaver Button". I'm not sure why.;)

New Truck (8)

Not wasting any time after moving in to my new News Truck, it was time to Pimp it...I mean, add my news tools to it. What's a TV Photog worth anyway without his toys. And a TV Photog's number one toy is his...wait, that's the camera. A TV Photog's number 2 toy is his Police/Fire Scanner Radios. I have 2 that mount in my News Truck.

New Truck (3)

The center console shifter in this truck presented a bit of a challenge in mounting my dueling scanners, but it also allowed for a bit of a different installation that I really like. After a bit of searching to find just the right way to hide the cable routing, I mounted the scanners up in the center of the dash.

New Truck (6)

The location of the scanners is great and it will keep me from looking down to see which channel is active if I hear something interesting.

New Truck (1)

Today was the first fill-er-up for the New 15. I found out it has a 22 gallon tank, giving me more range between fuel stops than it's 7 year old cousin.

New Truck (2)

Yes that's my XDCam in the shot. I used my first fill up as a chance to get some b-roll for our gas prices story today.

New Truck (7)

The back has a lot more room, and a lot more space to stuff thing. I still haven't' got it quite like I want it, but I figure I've got 7 years and 170-thousand or so miles to figure it out. :)