Photos from Wednesday on Friday without color


Thank you Newsgate, for if it weren’t for you there would have been another photographer available for an hour and a half cruise on a doorless helicopter over Broward County. We had about six or so stories to shoot for so we went from a neighborhood in Parkland, Florida to the 595 to the cruise terminal, boat show, and downtown fort lauderdale. So cool, I can’t even stress!











Tuesday and celebrating the goddess Durga


Being in focus is over rated according to fellow photographers Brian Frank and Michael McElroy . . . . I put this picture up on facebook to ask fellow photographers how much it mattered that the focus was on his chest rather than his face. I really liked the photo, I almost started to feel that if I had focused on his hands it would have been a better technical photo, but weaker in its’ sentido and it was comforting to hear other photographers echo that idea.

Then I started thinking about this assignment. Visually it was captivating. It is a celebration for the goddess Durga, she is considered, according to wiki, a demon-fighting form of Lord Shiva’s wife the Goddess Parvati. She manifests fearlessness and patience and this festival, the Durga Puja, celebrates the slaying of the demon Mahishasur by the goddess Durga.

The best part was how the parents had the children do the dances, depict the battle between the goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasur. So I got to run around photographing little boys and girls being dressed to depict soldiers, traditional dancers and even a goddess. I’m putting up my favorite, non-literal images of the evening and at the end I’ll put up a couple of the more literal, straightforward shots.

Though like was stated at the beginning . . . being in focus (whether that means literally in focus or a literal photo) can be overrated.





As for the more literal images:








My saturday was intense. I’ve been working a lot of long days (mostly because I’m just awfully slow at editing video sometimes) and I spent my morning at swim meet preliminaries where my photos turned out awful. I mean just terrible. I had to leave at 1pm to shoot cardboard boat races in Hollywood, Fla. Very, very cute. I wish wish wish I could post the video because I had two little kids at the beginning that were so sweet but it hasn’t been posted yet. Finally because my swimming take in the morning was so poor I went back for the finals which turned out to be so, so, so much better! The light was nicer, I didn’t feel quite so clueless as what to shoot. These were my favorites from swimming and here is the link to the photo gallery for the paper.










Here are a few from cardboard boat races . . . although having to shoot video at the same time I feel that the photos were really not that good:



A while back I shot video of the Nova Dental Clinic, it’s huge and comprised of hundreds of students. I had fun with it and I’m so happy to see it online, I was almost sure it might not make it since I shot it two weeks prior. So here is the Nova Dental Clinic video and here are a couple of my favorite pics from that:


Dental students have to keep teeth to practice on, this was one kid’s jar . . . pretty cool.



This guy above is who I interviewed, absolute sweetheart and was pointing out the tooth that was being worked on.


I’m a big fan of subway and I love that the dude that made my sandwich wanted to stress how crazy Florida was. He told me about a lady who put a knife in her sandwich and said I want my sandwich free, you’ve left your sandwich knife in my sandwich. Another lady that when he was mopping, ran over to the shop and stopped running, as he put out a safety sign (apparently suing is big out here). That brings me to one assignment, it was to photograph the founder of and here is the story (minus the photo I shot . . . I don’t know why) so here is the pic:



This is probably a four foot iguana kept at the school outside one of the classrooms. The grow out here to be huge because they have no natural predators after the age of one and are considered a menace. They dig holes for their burrows, eat other animals and occasionally bite people. I challenge you to find a state where you are less likely to be bit by a reptile than Florida.



Awesome quote of my day:

F**k off, I’m gonna call f***ing PETA on your *sses

See below for the full story and video, but first let me tell you about a wonderful thing . . . it’s called geekfest.

You’ll no doubt see my chubby cheeks clearly in the center of that pic surrounded by a multitude of talented, freelancers, students, professional multimedia/visual storytellers. While Melissa Lyttle of APAD fame organized this amazing conference. What struck me as different from the only other photo event I’ve attended (Women in Photojournalism a couple years back) was that many of the photographers were young, they were innovative, creative and while still journalists they straddled fine art and journalism in a way that many long time news photographers don’t seem to do.

All of the speakers were phenomenal. My favorites included Dai Sugano of the Mercury News. His work is visual storytelling, just amazing stuff I recommend you click on his website that I’ve linked to his name. Damon Winters of the New York Times just blows your mind . . . I don’t know if I could ever see like that and Nicole Fruge of the San Antonio Express-News had this attitude, even after years as a freelancer, news photographer that was so infectious and well, happy.



I could go on for ages about geekfest, but I’ve included a couple photos above and a really, really cool video I made when I got home and couldn’t sleep. Watch it below, I promise it’s worth it. The music is Santigold and the game, it’s shuffleboard

Point A – Ft. Lauderdale
Point B – St. Petersburg
Point ? – Frogs
Point C – Ft. Lauderdale


Watch the video for Point Frogs. Watch tomorrow for a new post.

Oh and check out the story I covered today about Iguuuuanas. Specifically the kind that are, well, wild animals. This one bit a little girl, got sent out to photograph the iguana catchers doing their thing, but when they went to the home where the 7-foot beast allegedly lives we were told to f-off. Actually this is my first experience using “bleeping” in a video. Quite fun.


This is the link, but mind you the video will be posted tomorrow most likely.



Another week down and it’s been fun. I shot several videos and photos this week and I’ve been able to edit all of them. I’ll try to include links.

Also I discovered something wonderful today called Pollo Tropical. Instead of fries you choose from fried yuca or fried plantains and sides of rice and beans . . . man it is awesome. I can’t believe I can get fast yuca, at home we get this maybe once or twice a year . . . a smart person would open one in Phoenix or Tucson.

Here are some more fans from last week’s Dolphins game . . . I am going to do a project on the fans, no doubt, they are what makes games interesting (at least to me).



I also photographed a young volunteer that day who said his experiences were character building. Here he is waiting for someone to need to use a wheelchair.


We also did a couple of interviews with pet owners who adopted Katrina pets. Here is the link and one of the videos . . . it is just a little too long and a little disorganized, but not bad for a photo/video assignment.



Mirimar police are looking for a suspect in a triple homicide in a good neighborhood in the area. There are so many murders here it is ridiculous.



Broward County K-9’s recieved protective vests. Here is the story and below is a photo that they didn’t use on the website:



And in theme with the shoes here is the complete office of polished black boots.


A couple of dancers with Dancing with the Stars gave a workshop. Fun times.




There were 10,000 socks collected for the homeless and bagged up to be given to different local shelters:


And today a father/teacher from Weston (filled with so many Colombians/Venezuelans I was floored) and here his daughter is hugging him when he arrives.


And just for fun I took a screen shot with all my windows visible . . . this is really how I work:
Picture 1

And tomorrow? Work, paperwork, doctor, alligator alley?, and hopefully this guy . . . excited.


It’s been a week since I last posted . . . It’s been busy as it has been tedious. I spent my entire weekend putting together packages to send back to Arizona, wondering about what kind of project I want to do . . . something that is unique to Florida. It’s funny because if you ask me about Arizona it takes me about five minutes to give out ten story ideas and five of which I already have contacts for. Being in a new place where I haven’t been out much has made it a little bit harder. Each time I believe I have an angle, story or idea I find myself doubting it immediately . . . Going to have to change this.

As for the past week I turned in my first online videos and did my first video/photos assignment. It is a lot of fun, I love editing video but it is a totally different process here than it was at Cronkite News Service so my learning curve has been slow.

Last Saturday I photographed a couple whose house was in foreclosure. I would add the link to the story but I was unable to find it online.


Tuesday I came in and they sent me right back out for a wind feature. It was fun, although it felt weird . . . it makes me laugh when I think about shooting wildart 2-3 days a week during my internship at the Bend Bulletin in Central Oregon.





There was a Green Mamba attack on a cable worker in Hollywood, Fla. I shot video of Alan Cruz from the Miami-Dade Fire Dept. Venom Rescue Director. Tricky, no mike and just a small sony handycam but I think I did alright.


Go to sit in a courtroom on Friday for the sentencing of a young man, my age, for murdering his father and beating his mother while under the influence of vodoo spirits.


Along with shooting a young girl, Alyssa Rosenberg, who won gold at the Maccabiah games in Israel. I shot video which I edited for online and the tv station uses our work as well.


And the tour of the new Trump building in South Florida on Hollywood beaches.


Saturday was hitting up the Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Panthers with photographers Robert Duyos and Jim Rassol. Here is the slideshow of the game. Below are some of the pics of the fans. It was a good time and my first Pro football game. I hope I get to go again. I’d like to do some portraits of the fans . . . they always crack me up.




I’m trying to wrap up the application to the Peace Corp and send in what I need to the Sudan Volunteer Programme. On top of that sending in the work I finished for the Virginia Piper Trust in Phoenix. Busy, slightly boring, weekend.

My newest addiction while editing on the computer? Common Radio on Pandora. Good stuff.



Your Monday is my Sunday . . . I can’t shake the feeling that I may not be making the most of my time in this wonderful state so I decided that my Sunday (your Monday) would be spent visiting a National Park!

I started the short drive from Ft. Lauderdale to the Everglades National Park. Apparently my GPS decided to send me via the “less stressway” or easyway to get around, at least that is how they sell it. So I got stuck on Florida’s Turnpike with no money . . . I mean in total (that I scrounged from the floor of my car) I had $1.13 in change to my name.

I found $ .92 at the first toll and she let me by with a look of pity. So desperately I looked for a way out, but my GPS was of no help and there were no exits with places to withdraw cash. I hit the next toll and scrounged up the remaining 21 cents in my car, gave the guy my story and he was so nice. Let me through, told me where I could go to get cash. Got my cash and continued on.


Anyway I finally made it to the Everglades and I guess I didn’t know what to expect. Well I didn’t expect to see the sign above. I was terrified at the idea of walking by an alligator but add the Florida panther to it, which until that day I had no idea existed, made me a little nervous. Safe to say that the most vicious creature I encountered that day were the mosquitos that bit right through my pants and shirt.

I started off with a trail farther in where you could see the vast expanse of sawgrass that creates that long expanse of the everglades.


The panorama is from a trail entering and exiting two little “islands” or built up areas. I would have photomerged it in photoshop, but it wasn’t working.

The area is flat, flat, flat . . . the highest point I reached was 4ft above sea level. So you just have these little “islands” or poofs of trees and bushes and palms. Some areas look like tropical.


While others look like they could be from up North.


On my drive around I saw this guy, thought he was a duck at first, half sunning on the road. I kept getting closer and closer to him, waiting for him to hiss or bite, but he just ran back into the glades.



I also believe I photographed an Anhinga but I’m not sure since this one looks a little small and a little too brown.


As well as this variety of scenic plant life and random photos.








Friday was an interesting day full of a bit of visual stalking . . . The story was about rising baggage fees on at least three major airlines: Continental Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Although to be fair United Airlines, US Airways, pretty much every airlines outside of Southwest Airlines (from my hometown!) are charging nowadays for bags.


To say I am creepy when I shoot assignments like this is an understatement. I hide in corners, outside windows (for the reflections) and run behind people whose names I need. But . . . I love these assignments, even if it is a story about bags, because to have your boss say, “go out and shoot whatever you want and make it creative,” is awesome. Below is the screenshot with the pic they used at first, although the next link below it is of the current story with the photo I liked!


Here is the link to the story on the Sun-Sentinel story that was also run on the Miami Herald home page (woohoo!) until the story was bumped by a ridiculously crazy story about a man being shot on the Florida turnpike and the arrest of the two brothers who murdered a woman at a local Tacobell.

Here are a few more that I liked that did not run:





The last ones I just added because my editor made laugh when I showed him the below photo because he gave me this look like . . . ummmmm . . . . okay?:


Which I enjoy, but I realize I like it because I like shooting from the floor and then I thought why don’t I save one of each of the different places I shot on the floor and this is what I came up with:











Soon I am going to collect all my floor shots and tell a story from the viewpoint of a shoe . . .

Thursday and A MONSTER TRUCK!


So Cash for Clunkers has been a big program and the subject of a lot of talk in the past couple of weeks.

The Sentinel has done a lot of coverage, including this story on how charities are taking a hit because of the program and of course how Sawgrass Ford decided to “crush” its’ clunkers using The INSTIGATOR monster truck.

As you know the dealers are responsible for destroying the engine of the vehicles so they cannot be resold after the dealerships are reimbursed for the vehicles. Choices are pouring a specific liquid, putting a hole in the engine, and crushing it!


Again here are the outtakes, with my photo slideshow of the event above . . . but these are more fun!




This guy was collecting trophies from the deflated vehicles . . .



Also is it bad to admit that aside from hearing commercials from MonsterJam throughout my childhood this is my first, real life Monster truck? I mean I know all the big ones like Grave Digger and Avenger but the Instigator, driven by Lionel Easley, is the first one I’ve ever seen in person.

Here is a clip from the 2008 Finals held in Las Vegas to show you what you’re missing.



So Wednesday was fun, I headed out with Amy Beth, another photographer at the Sun Sentinel to first photograph an elder at his church in Coral Springs, then a veteran returning to school at Florida Atlantic University where I shot some video and our final assignment at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

For those of you new to the Broward County and Palm Beach County, the city of Boca Raton is akin to that of Scottsdale, Ariz. I mean odd part is that everyone in South Florida has a relative, friend or acquaintance in the desert.

Anyway Boca was my favorite assignment of the day and although I would love to post all the photos and the link to the slideshow here of those pics I can’t, because it hasn’t run yet. So I’m posting the out-takes that didn’t make the cut. I’ll post the link when it is published.

As for my personal life, etc. in South Florida I am loving it. While Broward at times resembles Maricopa County it is definitely unique. Did you know it was the birthplace of the hit show (going since 1989) COPS?

Broward is also home to the newest COPS style show, Police Women of Broward County.

Also a couple of excellent reporters at the Sentinel run a blog called Floriduh and everyday I read the posts and can’t help but bust out laughing. Apparently you can find stories from around the state posted here about everything from adult diaper fetishes and clueless thieves. Totally, I mean totally, worth checking out.