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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lighter Side of Music

And to lighten the mood... some music.

CLICK --HERE-- to see the concert slide show. (not photo)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Battle On Brentwood Drive

This is a audio slide show from the first day of the Grass Fire in Lake Arrowhead.

Click the play button on the lower left of this blog entry...

CLICK -HERE- Battle On Brentwood 4 slide show if you cant see it full size in Safari

Friday, October 19, 2007

Video Journalism

Creating video pieces is new to newspaper 'still' photographers. So on the journey of a forced learning curve we go. Get on the bus or under it is the mantra. I will post some of the good, bad and ugly in the process to view and improve the products.

With the web element of the newspaper, the video story-telling is one of several tools we can use to fill out the story. In this case there is a paper story and photos, web story and a photo gallery and now a video as well. Also, in this case, as I am sure there will more of this, some assignments can be better videos than stills. This story is also an easy target for a video supplement as well because nothing changes over time. The animals are in the cages etc. Stay tuned....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dana Casey Fights Cancer

Click Here Or Photo Above For Full Photo Gallery

Ex-29 coach, USC great beats cancer
By John Murphy/ Staff Writer

Dana Casey edges forward in her seat as the Cal Poly Pomona women’s volleyball team puts the ball in play.
Moments later, Samantha Casey – Dana’s daughter – hits a rocket that kisses the back line for a Bronco point and a 29-28 lead against visiting Cal State University Monterey Bay.

Dana raises her arms in triumph and stomps her feet. It was a joyous moment for her during an otherwise trying 18 months.
The former Twentynine Palms High School volleyball star and coach was diagnosed 1 ½ years ago with a severe form of breast cancer. So grim was the outlook, that an oncologist in Palm Springs told her there was no hope.
“He said there was no point in getting any treatment,” Dana said. “He told me to go home and enjoy my quality of life.”
Dana now sardonically refers to the physician as “Dr. Doom.”

Until 2006, Dana had lived a charmed life. Known as Dana Smith in high school, she was a three-sport star. She especially excelled in volleyball and earned a scholarship to USC.
As a Trojan, she was a three-time All-America. She has two national championship rings and also finished second once.
She now teaches art and health at Monument Alternative High School in Twentynine Palms.
Dana became a successful volleyball coach at her old high school, married former Twentynine Palms and Cal Poly Pomona football player Richard Casey and had two wonderful children, Samantha (19) and Andrew (16). Andrew plays football for Twentynine Palms.
But then on a routine visit to the gynecologist, she received stunning news.
“They took a mammogram and the doctor saw something on the ultrasound,” Dana said. “He said ‘It looks like cancer.’’’
A biopsy revealed Dana has breast cancer – estrogen-positive, and severe.

As a former athlete, Dana was not ready to put up a white flag. She went online, applying at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte. She was deemed an ideal clinical trials’ candidate.
She resigned as the Wildcat volleyball coach after 12 years. She also went on what is called “catastrophic leave” from her teaching job.
June brought 16 weeks of chemotherapy.
In October she had a mastectomy, the removal of one breast.
Two transplants followed during which she received strong chemotherapy that kills cancer-bearing white and red blood cells. The second transplant in February of ‘07 was especially grueling, as she had five chemo drugs pumped into her for 101 hours.
Friends and relatives from Twentynine Palms donated blood.
The ordeal was hell-ish. At varying times she suffered mouth soars, hot flashes, tingling in her feet and the loss of her hair.

Following the second transplant, she couldn’t use a razor or a tooth brush. Instead she used a sponge to clean her teeth.
Morphine had no effect. Instead she was given the stronger Dilaudid.
Richard Casey is the square-jawed husband of Dana who teaches and is an assistant football coach at Twentynine Palms. During a break in the volleyball action at Cal Poly Pomona, he discussed the situation.
“When she was first diagnosed, we talked to the kids and discussed what the future might hold,” he said. “They took it well.
“Dana is very strong. The treatments have been hard. But if they’ve bothered her, she’s hidden it well.”
Added Samantha: “My mom is really strong. A lot of people told me that, but I already knew it.”

Tight-knit Twentynine Palms took up the cause. Family friend Martie Avels had hundreds of postcards printed that said: “The road to recovery is paved with friendship.”
“The whole summer I had chemo, I would get the postcards in the mail almost every day,” Dana said.
Also, 20 co-workers donated a total of 100 hours of sick time to Dana.
“It’s amazing the community support I’ve gotten,” she said. “It’s made the biggest difference in the world.”
In April and May of ’07, Dana had radiation treatment. Toward the end of May, she returned to class. Sans wig.
“I wanted the students to see me in the recovery stage,” she said. “I felt like it was a way to reach out to my students. They’ve had trauma before. It proves you can have a trauma in your life and still get up and do what makes you happy.”

Noon at Monument Alternative, three days after Dana rooted Cal Poly Pomona to victory.
As Dana sits at her desk, teen-age girls enter and exit. A few push strollers with babies.
They are all toting the latest art project – posters deriding drug and alcohol abuse.
“She’s a great teacher,” said a petite teen, Patricia Huntz. “She helps us out a lot. Her class is fun. It’s not like a regular, boring art class.”
As Dana glanced at posters, she nibbled on fruit and cheese out of a plastic container. She is a reformed junk-food junkie who thinks her bad eating habits helped prompt the cancer. She doesn’t recommend processed foods and sugar to anyone.
She has changed in other ways, as well. A Presbyterian, she said she is more “at peace” and living “in the moment” now. If she feels anxious about her ongoing tests and scans, she recites scripture.
It is mid-afternoon at Monument – time for Dana to leave. A PET scan – a powerful imaging technique that diagnoses cancer – awaits in distant Rancho Mirage.
Down Highway 62 Dana cruises in her silver Honda Odyssey. In her wake she leaves the roadside motels, new-age shops and tall Joshua trees that rise like stalactites from the desert floor.
Before long she arrives in tony Rancho Mirage, home of the Eisenhower Medical Center and the Luci Curci Cancer Center.
There she lay inside the Gamma imaging system, which performs the full-body PET scan.

Two weeks later, she reports she is free of cancer – though there’s still a chance it could return.
The progression from one-foot-in-the-grave cancer patient to healthy survivor, has both amazed and delighted many.
“She’s a miracle to us,” said City of Hope oncology nurse Julie Cox of Rancho Cucamonga. “When she came to us she had fourth-stage breast cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. There’s not a lot of hope for these patients.
“Her recovery is a God-given miracle – there’s no other way to explain it.”
The nurse added that although some patients do die, it’s important to know cancer is “not a death sentence.”
Reflecting upon it all, Dana stressed the importance of getting a second medical opinion. But most of all, she feels gratitude.
“One day I was sitting in my classroom, looking over the attendance roll and thinking about the things I planned to do when I just started crying,” she said. “I asked myself ‘Am I going crazy? Then I realized it’s just because I’m so thankful I’m here.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Show

This work will be at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Fine Arts Department's Grant Hall.

CLICK --HERE-- to see the Hanging Left Behind slide show. (not photo)

The Mother Road Show 1
The Mother Road Show 2
The Mother Road Show 3
The Mother Road Show 4
Thanks to Lee Ann Fox, Bryan Smith and K for the tunes.

Tony Maher's Work
Jeremy Harris' Work

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fire on the Mountain

The Butler II Fire

Butler II Slide Show Click 4 Show

The Butler II fire had singed 14,039 acres by Tuesday night, Sept. 18th, 1007, with about 2,300 firefighters from around California battling the fire.
For such a dry, hot year, we have not had much of a fire season. This was of course a reminder that here in Southern California there is no end to fire season anymore. Santa Ana winds have not even started yet. After a couple of days on the fire line it was time to procure new Nomex. The wear of the last 10 years on my old stuff was showing as a safety concern.
This fire had made several attempts at a small, Big Bear Lake community of Fawnskin, evacuated it and Green Valley Lake and even loomed over the desert town of Lucerne Valley. The weather played a critical part in the fire’s behavior. It always does, but this fire was ‘out’ at one point after lighting had started it two weeks prior when it was just called the Butler Fire. Mountain thunder storms had put a damper on its threatening nature. Or so it seemed. Hot dry winds blew it out of its containment and back onto the front page.
The low temps on the mountain over the weekend dipped to 37 and had me finding my way closer to the fire line for warmth during some night backfire shooting.

Map of Fire from Saturday, Sept. 14, 2007 14,000 acers

Cleaning took a pile of Q-tips and alcohol to get the smoke and PhosChek fire retardant off two cameras.

More fires to come?

"Several firefighters left the San Bernardino National Forest on Wednesday, as crews moved closer to containing the Butler Fire 2 Fire.

However Rocky Opliger, incident commander and assistant chief of fire and aviation operations for the San Bernardino National Forest, told firefighters assembled for Wednesday evening's briefing that the
blaze could be followed by additional fires in the coming weeks. "We're just at the beginning of fire season in Southern California. If you're not from Southern California, you probably don't believe
that," Opliger said. "Wait for the Santa Ana winds to pick up, and you'll be back."

Last year, the deadly Esperanza Fire caused the deaths of five firefighters in October after an arsonist lit a blaze in Cabazon that was heavily fanned by Santa Ana winds. The massive Old and Grand Prix fires were also October blazes. Those fires raged in 2003.

A cold one

Firefighters wore coats and gloves as they prepared for Wednesday night's shift. Temperatures were down to about 50 degrees around 6 p.m. and expected to get lower.

As a predicted rainstorm approaches the San Bernardino Mountains, crews were advised to watch out for signs of hypothermia "You're not going to stay warm," incident commander Rockty Opliger told firefighters near the conclusion of the Wednesday evening briefing. "I know you're going to stay busy."

Andrew Edwards - The Sun

Masters Thesis Progress

Copy and paste links:



The printout as well (this printout is the paper saver not the bound book version)


Survey Says Traumatic Stress Is An Under-Addressed Problem In Photojournalism

SANTA BARBARA, CA (August 17, 2007) - A recent online survey of photojournalists shows that a majority believe that traumatic stress is an under-addressed problem in the news industry, that they currently feel or have felt the effects of work-related traumatic stress, and that there's an inadequate understanding of traumatic stress in the workplace.

NPPA Story link

Black Star Rising Story link

Sunday, July 01, 2007

News Process

I wanted to post this video I shot. It follows the photograph through the news process from pre-press to print. It was for a project in school so the strange soundless sections were for in class voice over.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Think Piece

Truly a photojournalists "Think Piece"

Follow this link to read what my undergrad teacher Kim Komenich thinks of our future.

Sports Shooter article

Is The Jury In?

178,826 --- That is the number of "hits" or page views The Sun's "My Capture" gallery received in exactly one week from this moment. A week ago, Saturday, June 23rd 2007 at this time, 3:17 P.M. a week ago as I type this, I received a call on my day off of a major injury crash about six miles south of Kramer Junction. I was closest to this remote Mojave Desert location, so I went. Turned out five people were killed. I broach the subject of web hits because the average number of hits on any given "positive" news subject for a week is in the 200 to 2000 hit range. So 178 thousand and change is something to give me pause. I get comments from the public while I am in the field often lamenting the lack of positive news stories out there. I often tell them they are not thinking of my newspaper because I can prove that over half, and often much more, of our stories are, at worst, neutral. It is one of two things that give them this impression, I explain. One, they watch too much TV and this is their main image of the world, the other, is people scientifically remember "bad" news more. Then there are the "hits". The sheer number of viewers also serve to push the news industry to cover what they, the reader, obviously wants. I would be completely happy to never see another horrific crash ever again, but it is a PART of the business of covering news. There are many great and positive images we create and affect change for the good of the community. People do not see the whole from the perspective of a newsroom, to serve the people.

P.S. I try to remember in the worst of times such as this wreck that even covering a subject such as this will have a positive effect, eventually, because stories like this, on this road, will change the road. I know because I have watched it happen many times in my career.

PPS - {{ 191,428 hits as of July 7, 2007}}}
PPPS = 197,679 Aug. 21, 07



Sunday, June 24, 2007


The Fog Of War Tour - A link to what I did on vacation

Not so Real estate

Some "video training" on a "news story" involving Real estate.
LANG shooters Al Cuizon and Marc Campos star in this irreverent mad-cap comedy, with a tragic ending.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

That Time Of Year

Its fire season here in Southern California... actually it never went away. Our winter this year was really only two weeks long. Here is a link on fire bag tips featuring yours truly and Brett Snow via NPPA.

Wildfire Bag

Here is a fun shot I got last week of a firefighter getting water on his head as the grandson of a man who just lost his home watches.

Redlands Firefighter Dempsy Chappell rubs his head with water he and one-year-old Paul Perez are standing in after a blaze that destroyed one condo and damaged another at the Vista Loma Condominium Complex in Redlands, Saturday, May 26, 2007.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An intresting day

Yesterday began the mentoring and interning process of a new photographer a The Sun. Guy Kitchens. Watch for his stuff on our website www.sbsun.com ... We had quite a day. I wish I had that kind of luck when I interned in Vacaville at the Reporter. Although it was a very cool and invaluable experience to me. I would HIGHLY recomend a paid or unpaid internship to any serious student of photojournalism. Without it, one would really have no idea what they are getting into. We started the day with visiting a family whose brother was killed the night before by a gang member, then went to an auto salvage yard on fire and finnished off with a peace officers memorial.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prodded, Herded and Handled

Being a photojournalist for the news media gets you used to being “handled” by public relations, agendas and even The Secret Service. I had the pleasure of photographing the President of the United States this last week. Talk about being herded. Between security, the military and the schedule, it was show up at 8A.M. and wait here… wait there… check in here and there… dog sniffs bags and cameras, people sniff same. Then I got a total of 10 minutes as the Prez spoke, to get the picture. Not that photographing a speach is difficult. Sitting so long, then rushed into the room to photograph was funny. The speech started the minute we were cattled in onto the photo stands. I was literally white balancing my camera and setting the exposure during the actual speech. No prep time. Classic “hurry up and wait… now get lost.” They were running us out of the room before the Prez had even finished shaking anyone's hand.
On the other end of spectrum, I really enjoyed creating a front-page story from a stand-alone / found situation. I was driving in the rural Mentone/Highland area when I stumbled across a beekeeper. I have seen bee boxes along the roads for a decade or so but have not found a keeper working since ’93. They put me in a bee–proof suit and I got close. I love bees, so this was cool. I am kind of particular about how I leave my equipment set. i.e. which lens is on what camera, ISO, white balance set, formatted cards, etc. so when I mixed up my camera and lens combo a couple of days later, I thought to actually smell the camera body. The one that smelled like bees wax had the 14 mm on it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Trippin San Francisco

A collection of images from S.F.
Sidewalk/MUNI Imagery

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Could It Get Worse?

It was a bad day in Berdoo. I found my old friend Sponge Bob face down in a trash-strewn field in the pre-dawn rain, next to Pioneer Cemetery. You have to laugh or you will cry. This town is going through a very challenging time with violent crime. I have seen this type of scene many times with people over the last year or so, a couple only yards away from this very spot. The assignment where I had discovered this scene was to spend the morning getting soaked with the SB Mayor and a writer on a census of the homeless in the city. We were able to find one man who was washing a towel he used as a bandage in the rain runoff from the street above. He was tending a wound he received from a gunshot to the stomach and lost his colon. This is his home.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mojave Marines

Much like my experiences at Fort Irwin, (see previous blog entry in Archive: April 2006) the Marines at the Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Training Center in Twentynine Palms use the Mojave Desert as their playground. I recently spent some time at 29 Palms to watch the Marines train in a live-fire attack and work on urban warfare techniques. At the same time hundreds were deploying and returning from Iraq. This is an emotional time for the troops and their families. It is always an amazing experience to be apart of it, to witness this chapter in U.S. history.
--The slide show-- Large format, let it load... Then play.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On the Spot

Spot news is an unplanned event that has a timely aspect and mass effect or appeal. Often, people do not understand this concept that a newspaper is trying to convey. It has to be of interest to many thousands of people. With the change in schedules at The Sun and the number of photographers there, I often will go a while without any spot news on my plate for as stint. Other times it comes in waves and I seem to see a lot in a shorter period of time. We, in Southern California, have had some unusual weather patterns of late. Overturned semi-truck season is usually around October. We seem to be in an extended season here in January. Along with the Santa Ana winds in Jan., high winds in the Mojave Desert caused dust storms along Interstate 15 to Vegas causing accidents as well. Apart from weather, a four-alarm fire of an apartment building in Grand Terrace broke out where 12 units were damaged. When I was called on this one I was already on the same street , the next city over. Being able to respond early to an event is 100% luck. Our coverage area is so large that getting to spot news often becomes a clean-up news feature… late. In case you did not know, firefighters who are published have to buy ice cream for the department... I sent these photos of the GT fire to a firefighter's trade magazine. I said I would buy, this time, if they were re-published, One firefighter acepted! This may cost me.