[EDITOR'S NOTE: I asked the author to give us a little background so that the reader might have a better understanding of what this journal is about. Here is what he has to say about himself.]
After graduating many, many years ago from San
Jose University where my interest in photography was kindled,
and after a few brief years as a high school teacher, I decided
to switch careers and make television my career. Mostly because
the thought of spending time in a darkroom with smelly chemicals
in order to develop and print photos had no appeal. Television
COVERING THE iPHONE
On the Internet chat-rooms it was being referred to as the Jesus-phone, perhaps because of its miraculous properties. Like Jonah and the whale, we too spent several days in the belly of the beast as Apple Inc. unleashed its latest creation to the world.
We were there early on Thursday, the day before the phones were to go on sale to do live-shots and shoot whatever b-roll we could. Lo and behold we had the sidewalks of Palo Alto virtually all to our selves. Maybe we had misjudged the interest in the iPhone, or maybe we’d listened too closely to our own hype. But at about 9:45 am the first shock troops of the iPhone army settled into their beanbags in front of the Apple store. Thirteen year old Patrick Scoble and his dad would be the first through the door at six the following evening. Patrick had saved up the money for his phone, and he was working on a plan to find a way to pay the monthly fees
It seemed that word got out fast that there were a couple of folks already waiting in line. Three or four newspaper and wire photographers showed up to take pictures, as well as several “small camera” television crews; strangely we seemed to be the only broadcast television entity there.
As the day grew longer so did the line and the excitement. We
did live-shots, so did several of the citizen journalists.
A couple of young guys set up their camera on the corner. These days, anyone under 30 is young to me, and theses guys weren’t exactly pimple-faced high school kids. Their camera was tethered to a laptop and their “talent” was waiting in the line out front of the Apple store. They completely blocked the sidewalk in order to conduct their little web cast. People coming out of the Apple store were directed to go around them and some of these customers were ticked. One woman with a baby stroller complained to me about being asked to push her stroller into the street. I of course was standing there next to my own tripod mounted fancy-cam waiting to do my own live shot. I told her it was a public sidewalk and that she had every right to use it. I warned these guys that they were going to screw it up for all us if they didn’t wrap it up.
Long story short, a very loud police woman eventually dismounted from her patrol car and in no uncertain terms made it clear to these "citizen journalists" that the street had to be left clear for people in wheel chairs, mothers with strollers etc. Their little web cast ended pretty abruptly.
I shot some stills for our correspondents’ blog. Yes, on big events like this I’m bringing a camera and laptop so that our viewers and as well as our web- readers can have up-to-date information and photos from a story. Maybe not a true platypus, but certainly an example of the duties that photographers and cameramen of all types are now expected to provide
By 5:30 pm I was in place at the very front of the Apple store. We waited, we got our instructions from the Apple PR people, a giant iPhone counted down the seconds to 6 pm when the doors would finally open and the first thirty lucky people could venture in to the store to purchase their long awaited iPhones.
The countdown began as the final seconds slipped through the electronic hourglass. Right on the dot, the doors swung open and the security guard stepped aside and in three groups of ten, the first customers entered. I felt vaguely like Noah watching the animals enter the ark. The sad thing was that our well-mannered media contingent was turned into a mosh-pit as one or two “blogger types” seemingly launched themselves at the store entrance in some sort of a frenzied banzai charge. I am all for getting your shot, but as professionals we’ve learned to get it while staying out of the way of our fellow brethren in the media.
I got my shots, Steve Jobs made an appearance and after two long days, our coverage was finally complete. It sure looks like a sweet phone too, but I think I’ll wait for the second generation.
See Dick Kraus's
Commentary also in this month's Assignment Sheet.
|Contents Page||Editorials||The Platypus||Links||Copyright|
|Portfolios||Camera Corner||War Stories||Dirck's Gallery||Comments|
|Issue Archives||Columns||Forums||Mailing List||E-mail Us|