Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The baseball action is heating up in the area. The state championships are scheduled for next weekend, and we still have about 5 baseball teams and 2 softball teams in our coverage area vying for a trip to Austin. How good is baseball in Corpus Christi? Well, we will likely have two local teams face off for the class 4A state title next weekend, and another school has a good chance at making it to the 5A title game. Needless to say, it's been a busy couple of weeks for me.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

3-Point-Oh No!

Oh, Las Donas, I had such plans for you. It was going to be bold. It was going to be beautiful. Mostly, though, it was going to be so Scripps 3.0. But, alas, I was denied.

The Las Donas de la Corte held their annual Buc Days Coronation last week. It's an event where young girls dress up in jewel encrusted gowns and crowns before one is named queen of the court. It was actually an event I was looking forward to covering. I had a great time last year and was given some great behind-the-scenes access. So this year I had big plans. I brought a video camera, a backdrop, portable studio lights and a sort-of-fleshed-out idea about taking off-beat portraits and photo-booth style pictures. It was an awkward mash up of ideas that stemmed from something I'd done before and something I saw on glee. Hey, I'm trying here.

Of course, you know what happens when you make plans. After hauling over all the equipment things started to unravel. I had issues with the backdrop, and had to slice my backdrop paper almost in half to fix it. Suddenly it was way too narrow. Soon I realized I was missing equipment, I had a busted tripod and I had brought the worst roll of tape from the newsroom with me. But I wasn't going to let that stop me.

So what did stop me? Well, a mix of things. Two girls in, I did have a couple of decent portraits, but I wasn't getting the audio/video I needed. Plus I was running out of time. Mostly, though, it was some miscommunication (mostly on my part), and I didn't get quite the same access to the girls as I thought I would. But there was still a paper to put out. So when it became clear this was all falling apart, I buckled down and focused on the still photo. Oh well. I'll save my half-baked ideas for another time.

Despite my multimedia meltdown at the coronation, I was still set on milking Buc Days of its 3.0 potential. I figured the annual Illuminated Night Parade would be perfect. More than 150,000 people line the streets to watch this night parade, so it seemed like a no brainer to do something with it.

I didn't want to do a slideshow or edited video or anything. My bright idea was to livestream the parade on our newspaper's website. I figured it would be super easy. As an added bonus, I volunteered to cover the whole event myself. Each year we usually have two photographers cover the event: one focuses on the street parade and pre-parade set up stuff, and the other hangs out in the stadium where the parade starts to catch the pre-show and crowning of Miss Buc Days. It's more a matter of deadline timing (and sanity saving) then it being too much for one photographer. Or so I thought.

Well, I won't do that again. Not only was I exhausted by the end, but setting up a live cam is harder than I thought. It was such a pain, mostly because I didn't know what I was doing. The camera kept cutting out at important times like, oh, when the parade would start or when I was frantically trying to turn in photos on deadline. Of course it streamed crystal clear when I had it set up wrong and all you could hear was the judges banter and not the actual parade. Oops.

Anyway, it was a rough ride on the 3.0 bandwagon last week. The hardest part about having to do multimedia with the daily stuff is that the daily stuff is always going to be the priority. The print product is still our bread and butter, and any multimedia I try has to get crammed into the spare time I have between shooting stills. But I'm not going to let this discourage me. I'm going to write this one off as a Buc Days curse and try to recollect my motivation. At least I don't have to worry about Buc Days for another year. I wonder if it's too early to schedule a vacation for next year?