Tuesday, April 29, 2008

13 and Pregnant
Inside Teen Pregnancy

Childbirth is a beautiful thing. I remember the days both of my children were born as clear as if it were yesterday. My boys are now 13 and 10 andi seems like they are growing up way too fast.

Felesha, Damian and Lil Josh

In the picture above is Felesha and her infant son Joshua. Felesha is 13 years old and was only 12 when she got pregnant. I met Felesha and her 14 year old boyfriend Damian (below) about a week before little Joshua was born but my kids have known Felesha and played on ball teams with Damian for years.

Damian and Felesha made a mistake in the name of having a good time and probably a little arrogance (read - unsafe sex) about life but they have a strong family behind them and they are learning how to be parents while still just barely teenagers.

Felesha, Damian and Lil Josh

I was there with my TV Camera when Felesha had the baby and I visited her after she had settled into mommyhood at home.

They seem to be doing well and the baby is a cute, happy little thing.

The 2 part series on Teen Pregnancy can be seen HERE(PART 1) and HERE(PART 2)

Pissed About Piss


See that unnatural looking glob on my viewfinder above the word SONY in the above picture...THAT'S DOG PISS!

You know, the old mantra of any TV Photog is don't walk away from your camera with it on the tripod. I should know...I've crashed a camera from atop a tripod..and I was standing right next to it....The old mantra didn't help me this time.


You see I caught live shot duty last week for the annual rabies clinic in the station parking lot. While setting up for the shot I left the camera on the ground under the tripod while I ran back and forth to the truck.


More than 600 dogs, cats and their owners wrapped around the sidewalk to our parking and with that many animals waiting their turn, sure, accidents are going to happen.

As I was doing my first live shot I noticed an unusually strong stench and I thought to myself the the dogs were really foul today. But after the first live shot an older gentleman gave me the bad news.


He saw a dog lift his leg over my camera that was safely on the ground (and plenty dang far from the line of dogs, cats and owners) and piss on it.

It was only a short dribble as the man told it, mostly onto my viewfinder but enought on my rycote windscreen to justify a trip to the drycleaner (still to come).


I can't help but wonder who in their right mind would let their dog PEE on a $30,000 TV Camera? And also if the dog thought my windscreen was some kind of subserviant feline?

As Lenslinger would say...SHEESH!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gas Prices
A Visual Look Back

Remember when this was high?

(May 27, 2005)
Gas Prices

And then...just 3 months later...

(August 31, 2005)
gas price

...just 2 days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans...

(September 1, 2005)
gas price 2

And prices haven't looked back...

With gas price projections at $4 per gallon by Memorial Day I'm hating the idea of driving very far for my summer vacation with the kids packed into the 15 MPG Expedition.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NAB 08 - Video 4
Kevin Johnson Interview

Kevin Johnson built a website on a whim in 1996 to share pictures with his family.

What it became is certainly a tribute to his chosen profession as a Television Photojournalist. B-Roll.net is a place where TV Photogs all over the world hang out in their down time and share tips, tricks and overall (as Lenslinger might say) tomfoolery.

This is the first of two videos that make up about a 12 minute interview by Stewart "Lenslinger" Pittman with B-Roll.net creator Kevin Johnson.

(Part 2 will be here as soon as it uploads)

PART 2....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NAB 08 - Video 3
People and Their Peds

Sure, the N in NAB stands for National, but people travel from all over the world to come to NAB in Las Vegas and check out the latest greatest in TV gadgetry.

And the sheer amount of new stuff on the floor demands a sizable amount of space putting these peeps and their peds through the paces.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NAB 08 - Travel Tech
In Flight GPS

Have you ever done this?

Vegas NAB 08 (107)

My trip to Las Vegas last week is the first time I've flown since I've had my GPS and I was eager to see how it would work from the confines of the sardine tube in the sky.

The answer is GREAT. Other than taking a bit longer to lock onto the satelites it easily tracked the speed, altitude and location of the aircraft.

Vegas NAB 08 (108)

I was even able to attach the GPS to the window of the plane so I could have it in front of me for the entire flight.

Vegas NAB 08 (106)

It was neat to follow the map and be able to identify the cities, towns and even bodies of water we were passing over. If you noticed the power cord coming from the unit, that's because I attached it to my laptop to power it for the duration.

Vegas NAB 08 (103)

The only downside is the restrictions on using electronic devices below 10,000 feet. (It would have been cool to see the GPS track us right down to the runway!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

NAB 08 - VIDEO 2
As Seen on TV

In TV lights provide the illumination that make the pictures look pretty and what would a good script be without a way to read it live on TV. In Video from Vegas number 2, Lenslinger and Turdpolisher take a (not really close or in-depth) look at fancy new L.E.D lights for cameras, a big light that rivals the sun, a soft box that can backlight the paranoid, a frezzi that can't add intelligence and they even take a stab at the Gettysburg Address.


Friday, April 18, 2008

NAB 08 - VIDEO 1
Welcome to NAB...TV Photog Style

As Promised here's some video. One of several to come. This is just an introductory look...a teaser if you will...at some of the things we saw at NAB 08.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

NAB 08 - (Not so)Live from the Floor
with Lenslinger and Turdpolisher

In what seemed to be a weeklong trip, Stewart "Lenslinger" Pittman, Rick "Turdpolisher" Portier, and I made the trek to Las Vegas for NAB 2008.

Vegas NAB 08 (71)

We hung out with friends old and new, roamed the NAB floor, partied with fellow photogs at the B-Roll Bash, got way to little sleep and have now all returned home with hundreds of pictures and hours of video.

Vegas NAB 08 (38)

Now comes the hard part....making something out of all of that material.

Vegas NAB 08 (29)Vegas NAB 08 (34)

Coming up in the next few days to a week check out this site, along with Turdpolisher's and of course Lenslinger's for in-depth and sometimes amusing (to us anyway) stories from the floor of the Las Vegas convention center and NAB 08.

Some of the topics on tap include - 3 almost famous and righteous dudes, the little car that could, the capital city sprinter mobile, how to light video with AA batteries, why supermodels are better than a camera dolly, how Abe Lincoln got through the Gettysburg Address and best of all, an in-depth interview with B-Roll.Net owner and founder Kevin Johnson.

Vegas NAB 08 (22)

(and now to sound like a cheesy TV tease...) All that and more coming up as quickly as I can compress video and press publish.

Vegas NAB 08 (103)

For now...Here is a link to the pictures the 3 of us took. Check 'em out while I get cranking on the video.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


In an interesting,almost Candid Camera kind of way, a new trend, fad, thingy called "Fauxtographs" has emerged from cyberspace and it could be the new practical jokester's best friend.

I discovered "Fauxtographs" at Vimeo, a YouTube-ish web site for videophiles of a more A/V geek nature. More about that in a minute.

A "Fauxtograph" is really a video but in the name of getting people to pose for a photograph while capturing video of them cheesing for what isn't a photo.

These "Fauxtographs" on the "Fauxtograph Channel" of Vimeo are pretty darn funny. It's amazing the faces people make just to let someone capture a staged image of them.

Fauxtograph in "The Basement", on the night where Billy almost died. from emeryzach on Vimeo.

Now, about Vimeo.

Vimeo's been around since 2004 but doesn't quite have the member, upload, or view numbers that YouTube gets.

Part Facebook, part YouTube, part 80s Cable Access Channel, this video website is a niche player where video geeks can show off there latest projects in high quality web video, whereas YouTube seems to be more like a Worlds Wildest Videos TV Show.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Photojournalist Weakly
The Grizzled Veteran

In Jamison Forst's second installment of "Photojournalist Weakly" we find the Grizzled Veteran, native Minnesotan, Matt Jensen on the cover.

Photojournalist Weakly Vol 2

Hippee at heart, photojournalist by profession and photoshop artist by neccesity Jensen can work a Non-Linear edit bay 'till it smokes from exhaustion. Matt has been known to find the creative juice in any reporter's monotone verbatim even if it drives him to pulling his hair out. But try to find him on an edit day past 6 and good luck.

In next week's installment...Sat Man Dan. Another veteran..this one like's to shoot the bird.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


My tripod was well aged when I started using it 10 years ago. Other than routine maintenence it's never failed until recently when the tightening mechanism on the bottom of the head wouldn't stay tight and keep the head level.


It didn't take long for the engineering department to give me the bad news. It was terminal. Several parts in the bowl that keeps the head attached to the tripod legs were stripped, broken and hard to find because of the age.


After several weeks of borrowing other photogs' tripod on their days off I finally got a permenant loaner after another photog's tripod was fixed when parts came in.

But the permanent loaner sucked. The old ass Gitzo legs would slide down under the weight of my XDCam making it a dangerous situation at best, a disaster at worst, and I've been down that road once before.


With a mind for finding a solution to any situation I asked for permission to have my old tripod back...but with the head from the loaner.


With permission granted, engineer Marty and I created what we've now dubbed "Frankensticks".


With a little WD-40, some good Gitzo legs, that heavy ass, grease leaking, O'Conner Head, and a mix-match of parts to create a better handle, I now again have a permanent tripod.


Of course there's a nasty rumor about new tripods in next year's budget. But after all today's work, I don't know that I could part with it.