Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Walking to save the earth from car emissions

Now, here's a novel idea.

Students at La Mirada High School (California) walked, biked, skated and scootered to school this morning to save the earth from car emissions. Many did come in walking but many also got dropped off in the usual larger-than-life SUVs.
Here's a comp of some of the photos.

Some kids even fell off their scooters and had the very fresh raw flesh to show for.

They did this as part of Earth Day activities.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another crash on the freeway

Well, in between my full schedule, I was sent to Pomona from West Covina for an accident where people were ejected and others were in extreme critical condition. Having this happen in our sister paper the Daily Bulletin's very own backyard didn't seem to matter I suppose, and I was shipped to the carnage. Battling traffic which was horrendous I snapped my first picture just about one hour (11:45) after the accident happened, of all things, of people who had crawled through a hole in a fence and climbed up a steep bank to get a closer look at the bloodbath.

Well, instead of battling more traffic to get to the scene, I parked at the Home Depot on Towne Ave. just south of the 60 freeway in Pomona and crawled through the fence and up the steep bank. I then had to have a CHP officer stop traffic so I could go across three lanes to get to where a totally demolished Camry was facing the other way on the eastbound car pool lane. I could see one body covered next to the car so I snapped. As I maneuvered to the center divider, I noticed another body covered on the other side of the freeway. Yes, on the westbound lanes. I later found it this person was ejected some 100 plus feet from the vehicle.

According to reports, the vehicle lost control, went up the center divider, struck a pole for the signs that go across the freeway telling motorists the exits coming up. Well, if this accident had happened before or after this pole, I bet you maybe, not just one but more of the five in the car would have survived. This is just what I feel but maybe not. Two died in or on their way to hospital.

But, after working the images to give the best of why the traffic was so bad, TWO DEAD BODIES ON THE ROAD, ONE ON EACH SIDE, someone at the paper decided no to use ANY showing remotely that there was a body covered by something. If this accident had not had fatalities, it would have been cleared up pretty quickly and traffic would have continued on. But, the reason for the lanes closures was in fact the bodies on the ground, so I feel this was very significant in why there was so much traffic. I was told by one person that I needed to give a photo WITH NO BODY in it. I felt as if I was being railroaded and systematically, selectively being discriminated against. Just a few days before, a full front page photo of a body on a gurney was published on the hardcopy paper and front page of the website of the Star News. I was still given the same non-answer that people give you when they have no argument or explanation (other than they do it because they can), so I asked who I needed to talk to to bring up my concern. I was told to go to a higher up, so I did.. and low and behold, that person agreed with me. The higher up said we have even ran uncovered bodies when the Iraq war first began. My online gallery still has not pics of the bodies, but here they are for you to judge.

Lastly, it was also reported that this car was speeding to catch up to two or three other cars from the same group that had gone ahead. Furthermore, only one of the occupants was said to be wearing a seat belt.

If anything, I believe the photos shows what can happen when speeding and not wearing seat-belts. Just yesterday there was "show & tell" at a Pasadena school where already-crashed cars were set out on the street and student actors went out there and played victims. The idea was to shock students into not drinking and driving, speeding, etc.

Now, those photos from the fake event, also ran in the paper and could be shocking when first looked at. I do not subscribe to the "grassy knoll" type of theories, but I am begin to feel that for some reason, I feel that those who have power just use it without real rhyme or reason. I was out at the location and I witnessed first hand the carnage and I tried to show in a non-sensationalistic manner what happened, but people who may have only seen the crash on television, think they have a better understanding of how to bring the news to the people. I will disagree on this one 100%.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In an Absolut World

Here's the ad that ran in Mexico. The Swedish company said it meant no harm and I believe them. They are just trying to sell their product. What do you think?

This reminded me of a photo I took March 27, 2006, In Montebello, at Montebello High School. These kids were not from that school but came from Whittier High School and El Rancho High School (Pico Rivera) and I think a couple of other schools, including some middle schools.

The Mexican flag was raised above an over-turned USA flag.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Out of the blue

So I'm hanging out at the Arboretum in Arcadia, minding my own business and I see these people taking wedding photos. I stood away with the long lens, in the shade, just cooling my heels for a minute or two. Then I saw the photographer (green shirt) talking to the groom and making a move to grab him. I pointed the camera in their direction and snap snap snap. The photographer was explaining to the groom how to hold the bride in a position for a photo. This all happened in a matter of seconds and the bride, in the background, burst out laughing. Here are two pics the initial candid one and the expected one.

As you can see, this second one is not as graceful, or as entertaining as the first.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sheriff deputies talk at deli confirmed

Re: March 20 entry.

After hearing the deputies speak about graphic details of a murder, I called my office and passed what I heard on to a reporter. She in turn, passed it on to the reporter on the story, and after some prodding with inside sources, the information the two deputies were talking about in plain sight of many having their lunch, was confirmed.

Yes, the woman killed in West Covina was shot at least five times, like the deputies had said. She was shot twice and then chased under a desk and shot three more times.

Who knew these guys could not keep quiet while a photojournalist sat literally five feet next to them in a public restaurant.

PPAGLA's New World of Media Photojournalism Seminar

From left to right, Annie Wells, David H. Kennerly and Nick Ut

Hello everyone,

Headed out the PPAGLA Seminars at CSU Fullerton today and caught a few very helpful seminars. The real treat though was the Pulitzer Prize roundtable "Story behind the Pictures" with Pultizer Prize winners David Hume Kennerly, Nick Ut, Annie Wells.

Just as the title of the roundtable suggests, they spoke about how they came to make their winning photos.

Nick Ut said he had four cameras around his neck as Nepalm was dropped on a nearby road where people were evacuating. Two other photographers were there but had run out of film as the now-famous young girl came out of the fire and smoke with all her clothing burnt off and most of her upper body badly burned. He was the onl one to snap photos although there was a film crew that also rolled film.

Annie Wells said how lucky she was to be in a situation that allowed her to capture the life-and-death situation a young girl was facing. And, the dramatic rescue in a swollen river by trained fire dept. personnel.

Hillary Clinton, second from right, during Nixon's impeachment.

David H. Kennerly spoke about his times as White House photographer and how he had the run of the place during Ford's days. He said that when Ford called him for the job, the only thing he asked for was to answer only to the president and to have the run of the place. He got that and he got photos that could not have been possible if a chief of staff had been his boss.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Inside information?

So I 'm imaging my assignments at a deli in Covina this afternoon, minding my own business. A sheriff deputy and one with two stripes (Sgt?) sit literally next to me and have their lunch. Just before they get up to leave, one said something like this:

The way they killed her was brutal, they shot her twice, then chased her under the desk and shot her three more times. And the other one says something like:

man and her husband showed no remorse. He's going to be in jail for a long time. They also mentioned that "a van" must be in Mexico by now.

Now, these are not direct quotes but just what I recall overhearing.

The funny thing is, there was a murder in West Covina yesterday. A woman was killed in her mansion in mid-day. She was on the phone to 911 when she was shot and killed. I have not heard of any specific details from that murder, but if these guys re talking about the same woman, I just had a big news leak from the eating deputies.

How's that for a story?