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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.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fires Scorch Malibu and Southern California

Above photo from Day 2 of Malibu Fire, below Day 1

My day started in Malibu, and I spent the evening in Canyon Country. More high winds and heat are forecast for tomorrow , and the fires are still burning out of control. It got so crazy tonight that a couple firefighters needed me to help them deploy some hoses and turn the fire hydrant water on for them. What a day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Arrivederci Kobe Bryant?

While listening to the radio yesterday I hear a report that Kobe Bryant has cleaned out his locker at the Lakers practice facility, and they say it's likely Kobe is going to be traded away from the Lakers. This is a big deal to many Angelenos (me!), so ,I drive immediately to the practice to see about this personally. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a huge Lakers fan. So, Kobe walks out to his car and the waiting media and says he is planning on "strapping it up" for the Lakers when the season starts in about 2 weeks , that is unless the Lakers grant him the trade he requested back in June, and the owner said last week he will do that if the right deal comes along. How the mighty have fallen since Kobe and Shaq won 3 NBA championships in a row a few years back. (sigh)
Speaking of that sinking feeling.................................
The owner had been renovating this boat, unfortunately it sank right in it's slip at Marina Del Rey overnight. A boat salvage crew was on scene and will do what they can. Sounds very expensive.No word if the satellite dish still works...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Photographed on the bike path in Santa Monica after an early autumn rain. It's the second time it's rained in So Cal in the last 30 days, if this pattern continues , maybe the drought will be called off!

Friday, October 12, 2007

15 minutes with Billy Crystal

I had about 15 minutes to get some nice portraits of Billy Crystal recently. Many of the celebrity portraits I am assigned allow for 20 minutes or less with the subject. With Billy Crystal, this included introducing myself, setting up some lights, moving some furniture around ,figuring out where in the office to shoot the photos, and of course trying to build some rapport. It's tough to do with no budget on the shoot for an assistant. He was friendly, but a little bit serious too. Thankfully pros like Mr Crystal definitely know all about being in front of the camera and that helps my job to go easier. After photos in three different setups, Billy looked at me , smiled , and said," You must having something good by now" and just like that, the end of my photo shoot with Billy Crystal had arrived.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I saw this while walking Daisy today and was camera ready.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Downtown L.A. edition

This photo is from the Downtown Los Angeles Artwalk, held on the second Tuesday of the month in what's known as Gallery Row. These guys take the ambient sounds from the sidewalk, and make music out of it played inside the Bert Green Fine Art gallery. Gallery Row is sandwiched between the high rises and the rapidly shrinking skid row. I've read they are shipping the transients to other parts of L.A. The photo was on the front page of the The Washington Post for a story penned penned by William Booth, who in addition to being my friend, is a great writer for the Post. Now a hip and cool area that's full of artists and hipsters living in lofts in upgraded awesome old buildings , it used to be you were either homeless or nuts to be caught in the area after dark, but now a transformation has happened and it's one of the hotspots in L.A.
Phil Spector , music producer legend, leaves the downtown courthouse after a mistrial was declared in the murder case against him. I read that while celebrities are often convicted of dui's and other offenses, no celebrity has ever been found guilty of murder in Los Angeles, including OJ Simpson , Robert Blake and Snoop Dogg. Looks like they will have a re-trial for Spector next spring. It was not that easy to get photos of Spector when he walked in or out of the courthouse, he had to gigantic bodyguards around him, and he is a fragile, small man...with lots of money! That helps to get the best lawyers and bodyguards.