Monday, May 29, 2006

Gone Racin'
Coke 600

It's the years longest race and for me it was a helluva long workday. (So why am I blogging about it now at (start time) 1:19am???)

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The (not-so)quick rundown of my day looks like this....

Cars on Track

7:17am - Wake up...Drive to Lowes Motor Speedway...

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9:30am - Shoot a story with Ryan Seacrest taking the 170 mile per hour tour of the track by Kyle Petty...

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10:45am - Take Photos of said story shoot...

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11:00am - Dub In-Car Footage of the Ryan Seacrest ride along.

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11:30am - Edit Nat Pack Story(no reporter, all video and sound I shot) of the morning with Seacrest.

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5:30pm - Dub Story from my laptop edit computer back to my XD Disc.

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6:00 - Stop and talk to Bucky Covington.(more pictures)

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6:30 - Feed Story back to station through WSOC microwave truck. (Thanks WSOC!)

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6:45pm - Drive to my new secret LMS Parking Spot outside of the track on the front stretch.

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7:00pm - Haul Camera, Tripod and Chairs to top of the Tower to shoot some the race from lap 100-ish to the end.

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(what kind of Coke Points do I get for this pic ;-)

10:30pm - Kasey Kahne wins race...Drive Home.

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11:45pm - Arrive Home.

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1:50 am Finish this blog.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Seacrest OUT!!!
On the Racetrack

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Ryan Seacrest took to the racetrack today at Lowe's Motor Speedway before the big race. Way before actually. I've been at the track since 9am!

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Look for the story on Fox8 after the race! A few more details when I have a little more time!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Investigative Report
Spankin' it in Cleveland!

I found this story from the NBC affiliate, WKYC, Channel 3 in Cleveland on Break dot com.

Now this is how you do an investigative story!

It's got old school attitude and 21st century flair.

Kudos to the photog for some fine shooting!

Kudos to Carl (the reporter) for protecting his photog!

Now watch the story...

As seen on

Same Story linked from the WKYC Website

Another Version from the WKYC Website.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rooftop Education

I wonder what they're trying to teach the kids over at UNC-Chapel Hill that has them up on the rooftop catching up on their studies?

UNC Roof2

Must be real interesting!

UNC Roof

I wonder if he could spot my wallet that I lost in Chapel Hill today!

Note to self: Don't put wallet between legs in the seat before exiting vehicle in a rush!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

When Reporters get Video Phones

Here's what happens when a TV Reporter gets a video phone....

(Here are the Links to the QUICKTIME Versions)
Her driving(and shooting)...
Waiting for a Live Truck...
Me after a long day with her...

To her's hers...on her dime.

Thanks for the video NB!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Ultimate M.O.S.
update:The Ultimate Job Interview!

It's the most feared acronym in TV News....M.O.S. It means Man on the in go out and find someone, anyone, and ask them questions about whatever the story of the day is and that becomes the news.

But the BBC has taken M.O.S and brought it to the set when they hired computer copyright expert Guy Kewney to speak on the Apple/I-pod/Beatles lawsuit, but the right Guy never made air.

The REAL "Guy" explains in his blog that he was waiting in the reception area with the clock ticking away the minutes and seconds until his scheduled 'expert' appearance when the following came on the telly.... (push the play button in the center)

The real Guy explains on his blog that there was some excuse from a BBC Studio Manager about mistaking the guy at one entrance for the real Guy at another entrance.

Somehow the darker skined guy also named Guy, who's the BBC says was there for a job interview, received his visitor's pass that of course said 'Guy' and then the wrong Guy became the M.O.S, in this case, Man on the Set, instead of the right Guy!

It begs the question...what would YOU do to get a job!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Air Care Angels

Over the past several weeks I had the privilege to shoot and produce a story about angels. These angels fly over the Piedmont of North Carolina going to where people are hurt and taking them back to one of the best hospitals in the state.

Air Care Helicopter

These angels have a name, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Air Care....Baptist Air Care for short, and whether they are responding to a trauma call like a car crash, or to another hospital to pick up critically ill people, they are sometimes the ticket to another chance at life.

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I spent a full shift and half of another one to make my story come to life. On the first day the only time in the air was for what the pilots call a power check, sort of a diagnostics test for the Bell 412 that Baptist Air Care flies.

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On my second day with Air Care we made a trip to Mt Airy High School for a simulated car crash during a school assembly about the dangers of drunk driving.


Onboard AirCare is usually a crew of 4. The pilot and co-pilot are responsible for the safety and flight of the aircraft and they get to make the call about whether to fly or not to fly.

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A Flight Nurse and Paramedic are in the back to provide patient care.

This is Flight Nurse Kathy Nelson, who after 8 years and flying 2 pregnancies to full term, is almost done with her full time stint on Air Care in trade for more weekends off.

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On this flight, Paramedic Shana McCready somehow stayed out of the shots but props to her (and Kathy) for some of the great pictures.

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On the way to a scene there is a lot of prep work to do. They have to get as much information about the patient as possible and prepare any equipment they know they may need for a given call.

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The real call I did get to fly with Air Care on happened as the night shift came on. At Wilkes Regional Medical Center a woman went into respiratory distress during a C-Section to deliver her baby.

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We flew up to Wilkes county on a trip that takes 20 minutes by air, but would have been 45 inutes or more on the ground.

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A week after that flight I went back to Baptist Hospital and interviewed Kala Bullard, the patient from that flight, and got to see her baby who was brought to Baptist by ground. They are both recovering nicely and says that without Aircare she thinks she would have surely died. Ironically her mom took an Air Care flight 5 years ago, but only lived 3 days after arriving at Baptist.

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And while there are a lot of Kala Bullard type stories of survival, patients beating the odds, Aircare getting them to the hospital in the "Golden Hour", there are also stories like Kala's mom, people too sick to survive, but without the effort by the medical team, who would have ever known.

And during my discussions with the AirCare crews I learned that our jobs aren't too terribly dissimilar. No, I'm not out saving lives, but I have to deal with the families after tragedies that take the lives of loved ones.

While the aircare crew gets the pleasure of a visit from surviving patients, they also remember each one that dies. From my end as a photojournalist it's rare to follow up with too many AirCare survivors because without extraordinary circumstances, it's not likely salacious enough for local news.

But as soon as someone dies from a traumatic accident, you can put money on the news crews circling in to find out what happened and why.

Sylvia GibbsTake Sylvia Gibbs for example. She was found hanging from a clothesline, apparently an accident while playing near it. She was taken to the local hospital and then AirCare took her to Baptist.

I'm sure they did all they could, but it was all for naught. Sylvia passed away and I had to go with a reporter to see her mom. That's a low feeling. Every time.

It's tough when kids die. Even tougher this time because this girl was a month younger than my youngest.

I like to walk away feeling like maybe telling the story will save a life down the road, or help the family get on the path to healing or maybe raise some funds for the funeral.

The AirCare Crews like to walk away knowing they saved a life.

For the ones they can't, those are angels flying along with them over the piedmont of North Carolina.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cell Phone Stalking
Court House Style

With my wireless phone in hand I scanned the horizon, looking through a sea of 1200 heads from the list.

I could care less about 1198 of them, although they were all wearliy aware of the presence of me and my fancy XDCam.

The two faces I wanted to capture for a date with the TV News audience are however the same two faces who these others might wouuld have formerly seen if this courthouse monopoly trip landed on them on the wrong corner.

Cell Phone Stalker

Ronald Parker and Brandon Huie are both former Davidson County jailers, charged with 2nd degree murder in the violent jail death of inmate Carlos Claros Catros and both had a court appearence on Monday.

After a long morning of waiting and watching and finally asking for a fellow photog to shoot me the mugshots on my cell phone I was ready, studying the picture constantly trying to burn the image onto my corneas.

When court was getting closer to lunch and more and more people were being released until their next date with the judge another TV Photog and I got the word that one of the jailers had left through a side door, on his way to the outside.

We quickly bolted to the outside and coordinated to cover each end of the building. At the opposite end of the courthouse I ran headlong into the now familiar face Brandon Huie who promplty took a left and picked up his pace across the parking lot.

The other photog saw my pursuit and worked and angle to cut us off at the pass. When Huie saw the other TV Camera coming he jerked his Sunday coat up over his head and broke into a near run.

Two ladies were waiting for him around the corner about 2 blocks from the courthouse and I finally got in front of him when he had to slow down to get into his SUV.

One of the women in another car laid on her horn to "screw up our shots", I guess, and stayed on it until they were out of site.

I guess we'll do it again at the next court date. I'll have my cell phone.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NAB 2006
Girls of NAB(Updated)

An astute reader of TVPhotogBlog has alerted me to the fact that Ms. Frontz in the following post has quite a web presence if you should decide to GOOGLE her name. Of the google hits, THIS is my favorite. It's her own bio


A smart marketing guru once said "Hire a pretty girl to hand out your catalog and you'll get a bunch of eyes on your booth." Actually I just made that up, but there were a bunch of lovely ladies on the floor of NAB strutting their stuff, dressing the part and peddling the wares of companies with smart marketing gurus.

Take Jamie Frontz for example....
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Me and every other guy at NAB saw Ms. Frontz strutting around in her Daisy Duke business suit and I would be turning a blind eye to my journalistic duty if I didn't investigate further and find out who she was working for.

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Oddly enough she was handing out catalogs for a label company that I have used before and plan to use again in the near future. If there is a place to stick a label, Pro-Label dot com has a label to stick on it.

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Another group of ladies at another booth were dressed up as flight attendants, playing the part for a company that does something with airlines. (Sorry not sure, snapped the picture in a mad dash to another location.)

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And let's not forget the B-roll dot net girls, who weren't in action on the NAB floor but were the life of the party at the B-Roll get together at Gordon Biersch.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

NAB 2006
Technical Review

With way too many things to see and not nearly enough time to see it all, I snapped off as many photos as I could and decided to soak it all in and wait until later to think about it.

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I liked the sign at the Hitachi booth, because it set the tone. It truely is a candy shop.

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So we've been throwing about this term, "Backpack Journalist" but the guys and girls from Easy Rig taken it to the next level. There is actually a review on about this unique looking contraption.

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I wished I would have tried it on, or had time to. It sounds like it really relieves shoulder stress by putting all the weight on the hips and any New Photog worth his/her weight could use a little of that.

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But we had to move on to our next stop and Easy Rig wasn't an official stop on our checklist, but definately worth pausing for.

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Around the corner, or maybe in another building, we found this Ford Excursion with a telescoping mast attached to the trailer hitch connection.

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On top of the Mast a Gyro Stabilized color camera and infared camera and a digital microwave transmitter. Inside the vehicle are all of the controls to make great TV.

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A iron clad version of this truck sees battle in Iraq.

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The company won a technical achievement award for the vehicle.

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This might be a great news helo for small and medium market stations. I'm not sure how many people it takes to run the thing but I've seen it in use for NASCAR races and I liked what I saw. It's a lot more efficient than a full size chopper, and it could be great in some news situations, but it's more a a production rental.

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Moving on down to a new location.....I saw the biggest freakin' edit screen in the world. This one's only so people at the back of the room could see the demo, but it made a lot of folks stop and look.

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And luring people to stop at your booth in a sea of colors and sounds isn't as easy as just setting up shop.

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And finding a particular booth in this ocean of TV Gadgets was no piece of cake either.

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Here's one we stopped at and Kevin Johnson asked a bunch of questions about. It is a hard drive that accepts a Firewire input and various codecs and allows many hours of recording, depending on the size drive and which type of signal is input.

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Here is a great long lens for High Def Cameras. I didn't get any details, but it sure was fun to look at. It was only there as a Demo for the Hitachi Camera.

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Also at the Hitachi booth was their Z-DR1 camera that records on a Hard Drive or Solid State removable media.

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Whichever media type you choose, it can be removed and plugged directly into the NLE of your choice. As soon as you are plugged in you can edit from your clips with no download or digitizing required. See the video on

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If you're into movie making you might be interested in this big ass jib crane. It was huge. It looked more like it belonged on a construction site somewhere!

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It has this 35mm film camera attatched to the other end of it.

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On the smaller, more budget conscious side, there were plenty of smaller jibs at a bunch of booths.

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In terms of new technology, this is one of the more "revolutionary" products we saw during our tour. Hydrogen Powered Batteries.

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Using this refillable Hydrogen canister attached to a reactor/adapter, you create 12 volts of renewable power that creates water as a by-product.

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It's a little bigger than your standard brick for the back of a camera, but it lasts a lot longer. When the Hydrogen canister is empty you just fill it back up with Hydrogen (from a large tank that you can purchase in any city).

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The Hydrogen power is marketed by Jadoo. Now if only they could get us a car powered by Hydrogen!

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Of course the Grandaddy of NAB has to be SONY. If you wanted to lose yourself in a sea of people get anywhere within 100 yards of the Sony Corridor.

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Outside there were more interesting odd and ins. A steadycam mounted on a Seguay. As smooth as I've seen a Steadycam in a full sprint by the operator, this Sequay mounted version must just be for the lazy photog in us all! There were a couple of different incarnations of the Steadycam Seguay. On this model the operator could carry the full weight Steadycam or mount it directly to the Seguay.

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Prepare to be caught on camera anywhere and everywhere at NAB.

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Coming Soon....

The Girls of NAB

The Limo Ride