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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dodgers Rose Parade Float

I will be covering the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day. Today I stopped by one of the float builder's site and this is a photo from the LA Dodgers float being prepared. It's the first time the Dodgers have ever had an entry in the parade. Dodger legends Tommy Lasorda and Vin Scully will ride on the float.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rock'n Roll Relics

So, I covered the funeral for Ike Turner yesterday and it was bizarre, two of the speakers rolled out were rock and roll relics Phil Spector and Little Richard, those two dudes are beyond freaky. Spector went on a tirade ripping Tina Turner and Oprah Winfrey for "That piece of crap movie" referring to the 1993 Tina Turner biopic which told the story of Ike's spousal abuse. I guess he's warming up for his retrial on murder charges. Next, Little Richard spoke, never getting up from his front row chair , and looking like some sort of real life wax figure. bizarre

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Snowy Egrets

For years I've been trying to get a nice photo of a group of Snowy Egrets that frequent the Venice Beach Canals near my place. Today, they were lined up not more than 50 yards from my front window and I finally got the shot just before they flew away.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tiger Is The Man

©Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News
Yesterday I had an assignment to cover Tiger Woods dominating his own tournament just a few days after he was named golfer of the year.
©Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News
©Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News

Friday, December 14, 2007

Daisy 1995-2007

Daisy, my beloved best friend and loyal companion passed away this week at home. She was loving and sweet, smart and full of life. We had 12 great years together , and I will always cherish our time together.
She loved to go to work with me. We visited Nevada, Mexico, San Francisco many times, most of Southern California , and the Sierras , that beautiful Dog really got around! For recreation, Daisy loved hiking in the hills and canyons, walking at the beach, and never met a tennis ball she could resist.
She comforted me through difficult times and celebrated the good times right with me. She took care of me as much as I took care of her. I cannot express in words how much I miss her, but I take comfort for all that we shared and cherish the memories.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Surf's Up in SoCal

Waves up to 10 feet rolled into Los Angeles County beaches Tuesday afternoon. A major storm in the Pacific Northwest generated the surf.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson

When I was a kid , I spent a whole summers listening to The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson is the driving force behind the band. It's well documented that he's dealt with more than his share of torturous hard times and that he hears voices in his head. As we meet I tell him it's an honor for me to meet him, making my best effort to create a low key easygoing environment. Brian smiles and seems pleased and gracious and asks me where I grew up. He is obviously not so comfortable in front of the camera, but at the same time accommodating , professional,and very friendly. He even agrees to go outside for a few more photos on a balcony. His eyes light up when I say I'm finished. After saying goodbye, I hear him saying he's on his way to the park with his dogs. This year, Brian Wilson is one of the Kennedy Center Honors recipients for his contributions to America and it's culture. As I was setting up lights , I couldn't help thinking back to those days in the 70's and how 30 + years later I'm in Brian's home for a portrait session, life is definitely a journey. And this job I have rocks.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wildfires Return to Malibu

For the second time in a month, Malibu suffers through a wildfire. 49 homes burned after a wind swept fire erupted at 3:30 am in the hills. "Suspicious Activity" by humans is the suspected cause. Unconfirmed reports that the blaze may have been started by some youth drinking nearby, at a local party spot. It was the most detructive fire in the area since 1993.
It could have been much worse. This time fire officials were prepared with a extra large air assault contingent on standby, and fire crews on staged on the ground nearby due to high fire danger from Santa Ana wind conditions, and thankfully no other major fires burning in So Cal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Alicia Keys Sings For The Strikers

Alicia Keys performed two songs Tuesday for the WGA Striking Writers in Hollywood, then the strikers marched down Hollywood Blvd to a rally near Highland and Hollywood. Today Governor Terminator said the strike is costing California 20 million bucks a day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Old School Cool

"Mannix" starring Mike Connors was a top ten hit in the late 60's and early 70's and was one of the most violent shows in network television history. I recently went to his home in L.A. on assignment to get a "noir" looking shot of him for a story the in Washington Post. As soon as we started chatting I thought to myself, this guy is definitely cool and I knew we were going to make some nice pictures. I asked Mr Connors if he had any old props or mementos from his Mannix days. The gun in the photo is all he had, but it worked out great with the reflected light streaming through some blinds. And, of course he took the bullets out before we started.
He told me he hadn't been photographed in a long time , didn't really care for any publicity anymore, but the Post got him to appear in the paper for a story about the need to get Mannix released on DVD, and when it is , I'll be buying it.
Here's a quote from Neely Tucker's story in the Wash Post "Somewhere out there, there's a place where a sport-coat-clad private eye can whip around L.A. in a convertible, get beat down by some goons, shake it off with a Scotch on the rocks, then solve the case of the week with an assist from his leggy secretary" How awesome is that!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Actors Walk the Line

Ben Stiller, Minnie Driver, Nicollette Sheriden, Lily Tomlin , Sara Silverman , and Julia Louis Dreyfus were among the celebrities that joined the picket lines to support the writers strike outside of Universal Studios as the Writers Guild Strike continues for a second week.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day at Arlington West

Every Sunday on the sand just to north of the Santa Monica pier, a volunteer group called Veterans for Peace put together Arlington West, a temporary tribute of crosses to memorailize US armed forces killed in action in the war. The total as of Veterans Day, November 11 ,2007 -3850 American soldiers killed, 57,355 wounded.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Justice, No Scripts

Hollywood is shutting down because the Writers Guild is fed up with the man. I was thinking if the photographers had a union , the slogan on the picket line could be "No Justice, No Pics"

Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome back Carter

Jimmy Carter , the 39th President of the USA , still going strong and making the world a better place at age 83. In town Working with 100's of volunteers on a Habitat for Humanity project building homes for the needy in Los Angeles late last week. He is a good man with integrity. "Jerry has to leave in 15 minutes" These are the words a publicist tells me as I am walking in to photograph Seinfeld for a story about "Bee Movie" , his first big project since the show ended. I'm still amped up from the hour and a half , 25 mile drive from Venice Beach to Burbank , taking every shortcut I could think of to get there on time. The smell of my smoking brakes in the air, as I made it just barely on time to Dreamworks Studio for my appointment. So, after firing off about 15 frames , somebody starts having a very loud conversation with Jerry from the back of the room. Jerry keeps looking over my shoulder while engaging with the interloper. I glance back and realize it's Jeffrey Katzenberg , a founding partner of the studio.Next thing I know, JK blurts out I have 5 more frames left to finish up, counting down as I shoot. And he was not kidding. So that was that. The Post ended up publishing the photo above of Seinfeld laughing at a Katzenberg joke. Life with the big boys!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

from the ashes

On October 28 I was assigned to photograph one extremely hard hit block in Ranch Bernardo in San Diego County. 7 of the 9 homes on a cul-de -sac were destroyed by the Witch Fire. These neighbors are so resilient, sticking together through the tragic week. Truly inspirational. No tears today. They were on a mission to move forward.
A large group sorting through ashes to find a wedding ring in what was once a three level home. Under a metal plate , one lady finds a image of Jesus that burned around the edges , but the face still there. The group excitedly call me over to photograph it. They have a small victory on the long road to recovery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Santiago Fire Started By Arsonist

I guess that some people are just evil , why would anyone get off on starting devastating fires? There are many great ways to get a thrill or rush, arson is definitely not one of them. Last year, some degenerate arsonist's actions caused 5 firefighters to die fighting his handiwork. Now the FBI has concluded that some nut job started this fire in Santiago Canyon. Apparently there wasn't enough destruction already happening to satisfy this soon to be caught psychopath.

Firefighters Rule! These guys are all real life heroes..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Devastation of Wildfires

Many families that lost their homes to the Southern California Wildfires of 2007

Individuals interested in donating items or volunteering to support
relief efforts should contact the Red Cross at (800) 733-2767.