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


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

Thought I’d something more to say

A few years ago – well, four years ago – I wrote in this blog a piece about the ever-accelerating passing of time. You could read that here if you were so inclined.

The title of that post, “Where’s the Time Go?” was a direct quote overheard from a geezer named Glenn in a cafe. Glenn was lamenting the fact that he was old and unkempt and suffering from unceasing acid reflux.

Since that Christmas Eve morning that phrase, “Where’s the Time Go?” has been one of the many mantras Linda and I restate, nearly daily as we watch the sun race across the sky like a meteor and dive beneath the western hills, only to instantaneously pop up back behind us in the east.

I revisit that idea now just as a way to make sense of the whole year-in-review vid above.

It’s kind of peculiar, in nearly 30 years in the newspaper business this is the first year I wasn’t involved that end-of-year salute that newspapers always do.

So, after being inspired and prompted by my pal Mat Luschek, who told me he has been doing a YIR slideshow for several years now, I decided to do my own.

Then …

Just tonight I stood in the mirror and observed that I was wearing a dark blue t-shirt with “Press-Telegram SWIM TEAM 2004″ emblazoned across the front in swimming-pool-aqua-colored type.

Two thousand four.

George W. Bush was still in his first term and was even reelected. The Abu Ghraib story broke. An enormous tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in Asia. Ray Charles died.

Tonight, I’m wearing an eight-year-old t-shirt.

I probably have six drawers that can barely contain the superabundance of t-shirts I own, some of which are significantly older than eight years.

Where does the time go?