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Monday, December 28, 2009

Navigating the Helladays

Navigating the Helladays:

12-21-09 TURKEYS
Bruce Leinbach has been spreading Christmas cheer and turkeys in his West Covina neighborhood for more than 20 years. Monday, Dec. 21, 2009.
12-12-09 Rose Court
The Tournament of Roses Queen and her Court stand in front of Kaiser Permanente's Rose Parade float was unveiled at the hospital's Family Day in Irwindale, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. The float will feature eight riders, ages 11-18 who are fighting cancer, sickle cell, asthma and diabetes.

Sliding into the wall of Christmas is the expression I use describing the shopping and photo free-fall from Halloween to New Year's Day. The usual assignments procure themselves. Santa, parades, toy drives, toy give-a-ways and of course, this year "in the current economic climate," shopping. Not that it is not a story each and every year but everyone is keeping their ear to the ground on this year's spending trends. An added twist for me this year is anything Tournament of Roses. The Court, the floats the flowers. This is as unique to So Cal as the various parking lots that receive a few tons of snow to be played in by the local kiddies. I've got to brace myself for Pasadena on New Year's day, come what may.

12-28-09 ELKS
The Elks Club on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena was occupied in 1908 and is in need of renovation. Dec. 28, 2009.

A slide show of some of my season's greetings...

CLICK --HERE-- to see the slide show.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday Night Ouch

10-16-09 MUSTANGS3

Walnut High's #88 Aubrey Coleman turns Rowland High's #3 Michael Ball's head backward with a facemask (snapping his collarbone) during Friday night's varsity football game between the Walnut Mustangs and the Rowland Raiders in Walnut. Oct. 16, 2009. SGVN Staff Photographer/Eric Reed

Breaking News: Rowland's all-everything Michael Ball out six weeks with a broken collarbone
By Fred Robledo on October 19, 2009

Rowland coach Craig Snyder informed us this morning that junior quarterback Michael Ball is out at least six weeks with a broken collarbone suffered in Friday's 27-7 victory over Walnut. Ball helped lead the Raiders to a perfect 6-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the Southeast Division. Walnut's Aubrey Coleman, shown in this picture below, almost spun Ball's head around by the facemask and was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and later in the game drew another unsportsmanlike call, though was never ejected from the game. "It was a blatant cheap shot," Snyder said. "He (Coleman) tackled all night going for the head. When you watch him tackle, his arms are always going above the pads. I know that (Walnut coach) Mike O'Shields doesn't teach that, he's a great coach, but that kid should have been thrown out of the game. For a 15-yard penalty we lose one of the best players in the Valley for probably the whole season, it's heartbreaking. Michael's obviously crushed, he was having a great season and it's over in the snap of a finger."
More: Walnut coach Mike O'Shields phoned Snyder on Monday to offer his condolences for Ball's injuries, and also felt that Coleman, who is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, did not intentionally try and hurt Ball. "It was an obvious facemask and it's tragic when something like this happens because Michael's a great kid and he's having a great year," O'Shieds said. "Because Aubrey's so big, he struggles getting low on anything. I don't think there was any malice or intent on hurting Michael on Aubrey's part. I understand Craig's frustration, but If I thought any of our players were out to intentionally hurt someone, I would have handled it. That player won't be in the game."

Fred's Blog - http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps/2009/10/breaking-news-r-1.html

10-16-09 MUSTANGS2
Entire photo gallery: http://sgvtribune.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=866971&CategoryID=27239

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who Needs A Gym?

Its not the norm, although my job entails being out much of the day, but today was an exercise day. Two walking assignments kept me on my toes. The AIDS Walk L.A. was to start with about 30,000 good friends and then over to Pasadena for a "CropWalk" church fighting hunger walk. There is no lack of causes to march for out there... I gotta get one of those pedometers!
10-18-09 AIDSWALK3A Barbie display in a shop window with the reflection of real walkers during The 25 Annual AIDS Walk LA in West Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009. SGVN Staff Photographer/Eric Reed

Gallery of Aids Walk - http://sgvtribune.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=868170&CategoryID=27239

10-18-09 CROPWALK1
Saul Valasquez, 12, of Pasadena caries jugs of water representing the water many in the world people have to walk for daily, as apart of The First Baptist Church's Crop Walk on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009. Hundreds of participants walked a 5-K thru Downtown Pasadena to raise money and awareness to fight hunger. (SGVN Staff Photographer/ Eric Reed

SGVN Gallery: http://sgvtribune.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=868170&CategoryID=27239&ListSubAlbums=0

Were still walking. Monday.

Supporters of health care reform stand at the Pasadena City Hall to listen to speakers while holding signs as The San Gabriel Valley Interfaith Coalition for Health Insurance Reform held a walking vigil on Colorado Blvd. starting at the Pasadena City Hall, Monday, Oct. 18, 2009.
10-19-09-4 HEALTH2


Saturday, September 19, 2009

UCLA vs Kansas State Football

UCLA vs Kansas State Football at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
9-19-09-99 UCLA

9-19-09-99 UCLA


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Trial By Fire

The first two weeks of re-entering the workforce as a Staff Photographer has been, to say the least, a firestorm and just in time. Getting used to a new area for assignments is one thing but for spot news is another. This area is buzzing with breaking news as a regular occurrence and like from my previous entry, getting anywhere in a hurry is an impossibility. Kicking off week two at the Trib broke out with a Red Flag Warning and within minutes it was off. 8-31-09 STATIONFIREA news photographer takes images along Highway 2 near Upper Big Tujunga road during The Station Fire as it burns near Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, Aug. 31.
8-30-09 STATIONFIREA Hot Shot Crew member Patrick Callahan, right, and Collin Shafer, from the Plumas National Forest watches as The Station Fire burns above Altadena in the Angeles National Forrest, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009. 8-30-09 STATIONFIREA bulldozer cuts away brush from The Station Fire as it burns above Altadena in the Angeles National Forest, Aug. 30.

The Morris Fire on Highway 39 above Asuza followed in tandem with the Station Fire along California Highway 2 above La Canada Flintridge. One aspect of wildfire photography that I am used to but not to this degree is the Media/Law Enforcement interface... not cool. With the increased amount of media in the Los Angeles area the tensions between the two groups in a heated situation boils over quickly. The 107 degree temps were not helping this or the fire-fighting effort.
Smoke fills the air above the Mt. Wilson 100 inch observatory as the Station Fire burns up Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forrest, Aug. 31. Mt. Wilson was of special concern because of the millions of dollars in communications equipment and the services it provides to the Los Angeles area along with the historic observatory.

8-29-09 STATIONFIREGlendale Battalion Chiefs watch a fire-fighting air tanker make a drop as The Station Fire approaches neighborhoods in the Altadena area, Saturday, Aug. 29.

I have said before that I have been shooting wildfire for more than 20 years. These fires are proving to have added challenges in terrain and access. I find creating the images for this season thus far to be about working incredibly hard just to get something publishable (in my opinion) and not about the art and ballet of fire and firefighter. I think we are far from over as of writing this. The Station fire still rages at 130,000 acres (that is almost 1/3 of the entire Angeles National Forest) and its not even Santa Ana Wind season yet.
Dalton Hot Shot crew member rests as The Station Fire burns above on Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, Monday, Aug. 31, 2009. All Photos San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group/Eric Reed/Staff Photographer)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Mighty Dense and New Place to Play

San Gabriel Valley Tribune  4
dense |dens|
closely compacted in substance : dense volcanic rock | swirling, dense smoke.
• having the constituent parts crowded closely together : an estuary dense with marine life.
• figurative (of a text) hard to understand because of complexity of ideas.
• informal (of a person) stupid.
San Gabriel Valley Tribune  5
Some good news. I have been hired as a staff photographer once again. After seven months of 'furlough' (laid off) from the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, I have been re-hired back to LANG to lend my full-time photojournalistic skills to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Pasadena Star-News and the Whittier Daily News (The San Gabriel Valley News Group). After a few days of intensive self-imposed training including: studying the coverage area on the map (that area will take about a year for me to get the lay of) finding, organizing, typing in and programing the emergency frequency codes in the scanner and most importantly, learning the ropes of my new gear. After shooting Nikon gear for 20 years I was handed Canon gear. A bit of a learning curve for the level I need to shoot at right out of the gate.
This area is dense. The basic footprint of our coverage is the Los Angeles County area from Pasadena to La Verne to Diamond Bar to Cerritos. I am finding that it takes time and patients to get from A to B in constant road-rage, L.A. traffic using a lot of surface streets.

Train vs Truck
Union Pacific Rail Road workers clear the debris of a Penski rental truck after it was struck by a freight train at Nogales St. and E. Railroad St. in the City of Industry, Friday. Aug. 21, 2009. SGVN/Staff photo by Eric Reed
8-21-09-13 RAMADANMuslims gather for afternoon prayer to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan at the Islamic Learning and Practicing Center in West Covina, Friday. Aug. 21, 2009. SGVN/Staff photo by Eric Reed

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Summer of Holga

Student Work:
Holga images from Kimberly Albright's "Untitled Architecture" series.

The Summer Photography 101 course at Victor Valley College proved to be quite a lot of fun and a good learning experience for all including the instructor, yours truly. The Holga is a piece of crap camera with a plastic lens and light leaks galore. With that in mind it makes truly amazing images that have that old photographic aesthetic and levels the playing field of those using it. Because it has no relevant settings it has a 'point n shoot' nature so a high degree of technical ability is not required, just your creativity and in the case of this class the learned ability to hand develop black and white 120mm or 2 1/4 film. I enjoyed the opportunity to develop my Holga images along side the students to see the difference in cameras (each one is unique) and trouble shoot the assignment. One thing is for sure, enthusiasm and a true love of photography makes a huge difference in the learning process for everyone not just regurgitating facts and numbers. Shoot on!

Holga image from Ashley Wilkins' "Working Lives" series.

VVC-101Holga-SaraAHolga image from Sara Taylor's "Lost Hearts" series.

VVC-101Holga-JohnnyAHolga image from Johnny Martinez's "Vintage Wheels" series.

VVC-101Holga-Crystal2AVVC-101Holga-CrystalAHolga images from Crystal Carroll's "Little Helga" series.

And to add one of mine. I had to take this to a new level for me and shot 35mm color film run through the Holga.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Freelancing New Politics


The game of freelancing has its ups and downs. I often find myself happy to shoot whatever, whereas as a staffer I would complain about some assignments. Don't get me wrong there are some things I am very happy not to be shooting anymore, like a lot of spot news and courtroom. So like the Obama inauguration day to photograph one of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's town hall style meetings in San Bernardino as part of his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, seemed to me, to be a treat. At least the Mayor's team did a little decorating to make the photos a little more interesting.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Friday, May 01, 2009

Desperate Water

Desperate Water is a social documentary project which is to use my skills as a photojournalist, journalist and digital story-teller to bring the issues of water into a new light. Water is becoming a hot topic. Most people never think twice about it. It flows from the tap and that is that. Only when it stops may it command attention. The public understanding of our most precious resource in life and a basic human right in society is out of mind, taken for granted. Here it will no longer be out of sight.

Here is where I officially begin, a kick off if you will. To start in earnest a photographic documentary project I have wanted to seriously work on for many years. Now is the time. Now it begins.

A side note on the ethics of a documentary photographer. I have been covering news and events for the main stream media for decades. To some, that means I can not be objective by default. To others there is opportunity to critizize a journalist for being 'too close' to the subject matter. I contend it is utterly impossible to be un-bias in any form because we are human. We care. We get involved. I would not attempt to cover an issue I cared nothing about. The story and images would suffer in quality due to a lack of passion. Great documentary photographers of history and in our time have been accused of getting to close to their subjects. Photographers like Hansel Meith, Sebastiao Selgado and Matt Herron. There is a fine line between a documentarian with passion and a propagandist. A fine line to walk.

About 400 people walked the streets of L.A. for the symbolic journey of three miles that many in the world have to walk for fresh water each day. Clean and available water is something many of us in the U.S. take for granted but that is changing.
With pollution, drought and population issues arising more often, the future of water in the Southwest region of the U.S. and our neighbor Mexico is in question. Like air, water is seen by many as a basic human right. The cost of infrastructure and who controls its delivery is seen to be threatened by corporations who seek a profit from those who can’t afford to pay and who need it like everyone else. The rising cost of water will hit those who have the least like many other things. The cost of water will also affect the cost of food produced in California’s San Joaquin Valley (Central Valley). The lack of water will also cost jobs.

El Mirage-7

El Mirage Dry Lake Bed is a recreation area run by the Bureau of Land Management in the High Desert area of the Mojave Desert. Many off-roaders and the like enjoy the vast three-mile smooth surface of the lake bed to go fast. These landsailors scoot across the moon scape with a fine dust rising in their 40mph wake only mere yards from thousands of cows. Several dairies boarder the rec area know for its lack of water. On the surface anyway.


Taking a look around, ultalite pilot Max Colman of Lancaster flies over the California Aqueduct in the High Desert region of Llano in the Mojave Desert. This view gives some perspective to water resources in the arid landscape.
Rick Harris fishes in the California Aqueduct in the High Desert region of the Mojave Desert. Eric Reed/Photographer

Desperate Water

The world is becoming an increasingly thirsty place. People expect clean water to flow from the tap and do not realize the social, political, environmental and technological problems that loom down that pipe.
Desperate Water is a photographic documentary project exploring the aspects of water and its future in California.
California has more than 37 million people most of which live in the southern third of the state. The water that provides the resources for drinking, business, agri-business and recreation come from two main sources: The Sacramento Delta and the Colorado River. These regions are under increasing pressure and threat from dwindling supplies, tainted quality and increasing demands. The disparity of water uses and users are becoming more prevalent. The politics of water, where it is acquired and who gets how much is slowly creeping into the public consciousness as the topics of environment and climate change unfold. Those who can afford it will feel little difference in their daily lives but pollution can and will affect the health of every one, especially those with out adequate health care or clean water supplies.
There are many public programs to help the public understand the importance of conservation but there are very few using the power of photography to connect and educate that same public to understand the people who are most effected. People who have less means in the state are often those who are adversely impacted from water quantity and quality. California’s low-income workers and families are loosing jobs on farms from decreased water allotments from the state’s resources and often can not afford the rising costs of clean water for them selves. These people are the ones lacking a voice. Drowned in today’s mass-media market, lost in the river of world affairs and the public’s divided attentions, these people need that voice and some one to help tell their story.
I have wanted to work on this issue for many years, watching and waiting, but have lacked the time and resources to seriously tell this story. Out of frustration and a driving force to move forward I have attempted in earnest to begin researching and photographing aspects of our Desperate Water.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Blur of Bikes

Redlands Bicycle Classic

Over 800 kilometers of professional cycling and countless kilos of amateur mileage at the 25 Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic. Pro bikers from around the world converge on the premier U.S. cycling event in the Inland Empire. After shooting this event for the past 10 years it is still possible to occasionally see something new and find a new angel. It helps that the course changes a little each year. Another thing that made the Saturday of shooting more fun was having photography students hang with me to force me to look for and explain what I was shooting and why. I know I was no were near as beat as the riders on the course come the finish line Sunday but several of miles of walking with gear each day was enough for me to enjoy Monday off.
Redlands Bicycle Classic
Redlands Bicycle ClassicThe Men's and Women's Criterium Races during the 25th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic in Redlands. Saturday, March 28, 2009. Eric Reed/Photographer

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Runnin on Fumes

Lets just say, for now, that it was a 20-hour 550 mile day.

1-Wildomar-Lake Elsinore
Ken Warta, Owner of Big Dog Plumbing, uses has used bartering as an alternative to cash for services. Warta with a Jaguar and mountain bike he traded for with plumbing service. Wednesday, March 25th, 2009. Eric Reed/Photographer/The Business Press

2-Harper Dry Lake - Barstow
March 25, 2009 - Barstow - Calif. USA --Emergency and United States Air Force personal at a command post set up at the site where a F-22 Rapter fighter jet crashed at Harper Dry Lake about 18 miles from Barstow, Calif. also near Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert. ZUMA Press/Eric Reed

3-Palm Springs
Students from different California universities dance during a Spring Break party at the Holiday Inn in Palm Springs, Calif., Wednesday, March 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Eric Reed)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The End Game

I have photographed basketball games for the past 22 years and from my experience... they never end. I don't mean that they go on forever, I mean, I never see the end of them. Because of sports and newspaper deadlines, halftime is time to scoot. I got the rare opportunity to shoot a whole game because the client, California State University Monterey Bay wanted the whole game. Who am I to argue with that? So in this rare shoot I got to see that games do actually finish in victory or defeat.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Food Glorious Food

BA06-CIAOBELLA-21-ERCitrus Salmon at Ciao Bella Restaurant in Riverside. Eric Reed/Photographer

A plethora of food shoots. I would never complain about good food especially when it comes to Italian restaurants. Four of them as a matter of fact. In the last few weeks each restaurant shot for magazine food reviews have been from the European boot. Spaghetti Eddies in Rancho Cucamonga, Isabellas in Redlands, Ciao Bella in Riverside and Spaggi's in Upland. Food shoots can be a challenge, the light needs to be right on the food and that does not change much,but the extras, like the atmosphere and chefs change with the mood of the establishment. It dose not work out often but a chance to taste the art is always a perk.

BA06-CIAOBELLA-04-ERILM-SPAGGIS-12-ERChef Juan Solarzaino at Ciao Bella Restaurant in Riverside. Eric Reed/Photographer(left)Henry Gonzalez, Owner and Executive Chef checks in with his customers at Spaggi's Restaurant in Upland. Eric Reed/Photographer

ILM-EAST ISABELLAS-04-ERThe Bruschetta Pomodoro at Isabellas Restorante in Redlands. Eric Reed/Photographer