Pick your cliché

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Full circle. What goes around, comes around. Old habits die hard.

Posts in WordPress require a headline which becomes part of the url or permalink. So it’s best practice to write a headline that is SEO friendly, because you write this shit for other people to find and read.

So while “pick your cliché” may not be the most searchable phrase and in fact the word cliché has that special character, e-acute, in it which makes it even less searchy, it’s better than the head I probably would have chosen for this post which might have been something like “Full circle or how I went from small-time shooter to big-city journo … and back.”

In fact, while I’m on the topic, I should actually change the name of this blog to something like, “VisualKaos, meaningless blather from a SoCal-based vizjourno seemingly preoccupied with rambling run-on sentences that are used as rhetorical devices via the comma splice while musing about how fast time flies by and where the fuck his entire life and career went, through discrete blog entries displayed in reverse chronological order.

While that would more accurately describe this and many other posts found here it’s also, less than SEO friendly.

Which has little to nothing to do with this:

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Coachella by the Sea

Busy week in Ventura.

Four of the bands booked at Coachella motored up the coast to play gigs at the Majestic Ventura Theater. All four had great opening bands and I shot around 1,000 images per night.

Here are the edits in SlideShowPro.

Mustache and Member’s Only

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I’ve said this before, possibly to the point of irritation but three decades go by pretty fast.

Two thousand thirteen marks 30 years since I stared in the journalism business.

mustacheThat would have been February, 1983.  The Soviet Union performed two underground nuclear tests, “Thriller” went number one and stayed there for 37 weeks, Wayne Gretzky set an NHL all-star record with 4 goals in 1 period,  there was an apocalyptic snowstorm on the eastern seaboard and I was spending evenings drinking margaritas at Charlie Brown’s in Ventura while wearing a black, Member’s Only jacket, acid-washed Jordache jeans and high-top, LA Gear sneakers.

Also, 27-year-old Steve Jobs appeared on the cover of Fortune along with a story about how he “gets his jollies” making great computers. At that point the Apple II was showing it’s age and the Lisa had yet to come out.

My first day as a news photographer was February 7. Ventura County was experiencing torrential rain storms and although I thought my first day on the job would be to tag along with the Oxnard Press Courier’s chief photographer David Crane, I was told to “go get some rain art.”

They may as well have asked me to surgically separate conjoined twins. Continue reading

Walkin the Dawg

The idea is simple. Time tested. Tried and true.

Gather together in one place all the best content you’ve produced for the entire year and present it in a way that’s engaging, informative, entertaining.

I’ve been doing it for decades at various newspapers.

So last year, my first year completely away from daily newspaper journalism, I put a video up on the net that showed the best photo work that I did during the year.

But this time instead of train wrecks floods and fires it was personal projects.

As of today, the last day of 2012, that video got a whopping 45 views.

The only plan this year is to beat 45 views in 12 months time.

So I tagged all the best stuff I shot all year in Lightroom, brought it all into FinalCutProX and started looking for what amounts to the soundtrack of our year.

I considered Bettie Serveert, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Pineapple Thief and Portishead all of which had some influence on me this year.

What I settled on was this old Harry Nilsson song from his 1972 album Son of Schmilsson.

This hauntingly beautiful song became my favorite last Christmas and again this year.

And although it’s kind of slow and syrupy, it just seemed to fit what our year was like.

If you followed the link I posted on Facebook last week, I’m sorry to make you listen to it again.

Personally, I could listen to it over and over, and I did for the past two weeks.

But while I was editing the video, most of the images from 2012 just didn’t work with this music. So this represents a small part of what would have been the best images of the year.

Not a good way to try to break my record of 2011, but I’m going to let Harry carry it.

So, it’s the last day of the year and this piece is all of 5 minutes. Same length as last year.

If you’ve gotten this far, then you probably have 5 more minutes.

Why “Walkin the Dawg?” It’s a song by Rufus Thomas and released on his 1963 album of the same name. It’s been covered by a ton of people including The Stones, The Grateful Dead and Green Day but my favorite cover is by Aerosmith.

Oh, and Wendy, at the end.

Occupy print journalism

Twenty five million, two hundred twenty eight thousand, eight hundred … seconds.

That’s four hundred twenty thousand, four hundred eighty minutes.

Or, seven thousand eight hours.

Two hundred ninety two days.

Exactly 9 months and 17 days since the Los Angeles Daily News decided that they could no longer afford to keep me employed there.

That’s longer than the average gestation period of a human being in the 21st century (280 days) and it’s the longest vacation I’ve ever had.

In those 292 days my income, obviously, plummeted, my savings account strained, my health insurance went away and my car turned over 200,000 miles.

We also buried Joey, one of our three kitties, in our back yard. Continue reading