One view, Two cameras, Three kids

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Mexico Drug Legalization

Mexico001I’ll never forget a question posed to James Nachtway, one of the world’s great war photographers, on how he deals with photographing in dangerous situations. His answer was simply “it’s what I do, It’s part of the job”. For some reason, that small statement has helped me somehow cope with entering these hairy situations. I sometimes think that if I am going to “go”, It might as well happen while doing something I love, i.e. photography. I wonder what kind of motivating force Martin Luther King, or Ghandi must have had knowing there were lots of people who wanted them dead. We all have to put our ass on the line every once in awhile if we want to make a statement or , in my case, want to tell the story that needs to be told.
I was assigned to go to Tijuana to illustrate a story on Mexico’s legalization of small amounts of drugs. Knowing the streets well, I headed right for the “Red Light” district where most of the illegal activity occurs. As I was roaming around, I looked over and saw a number of folks shooting-up heroin and lots of rough looking dudes hanging out that looked up to no good. I knew I had to get this so I just took a deep breath and went and sat next to this guy that was using. As I was shooting, all eyes started to focus(no pun intended) my way. One guy flipped me the bird and started cursing and then headed towards me. Knowing I was caught, I then went in to survival mode and for reasons unknown got up, and with a big “I’m just a dumb Gringo” smile, walked right towards the guy and just introduced myself and just told him what I was doing. I said ” The government just legalized small amounts of drugs and I’m just getting shots to tell the story” He let his guard down a bit, and then oddly enough offered to go get some weed if I’d give him 10 bucks and come back in an hour. He also wanted me to buy this odd rain tarp that looks like he probable stole it and wanted to get rid of it. That’s when I started to think maybe I should get outta dodge. By that time, lots of people had congregated around us and it just felt like time to go.

Border-Lit

Mexico007Just a snap while I was heading home from the office the other day.

Chosen One

CASH101AFLACSo this kid Bryce Harper, a High School Junior out of Las Vegas, was deemed the “Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated Magazine.  He has all the tools that have him one of the most highly publicized prospects in the history of H.S. baseball.  I caught this shot while putting my neck out there behind a pitchers net during a home run derby at the AFLAC All American H.S. Baseball Classic.

AFLAC!!

AFLAC032I’m covering the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic in San Diego this week. Basically it is the top 40 High School baseball players in the nation that are hand- picked to come out for a week and act like pros. They go to a Cancer hospital, have morning practices followed by a home-run derby and an East West game which is this Sunday. It’s been a little humiliating being the shortest guy in the room all week. I mean, what the heck are they feeding these guys? We have a number of players over 6’7″ and the majority are over 6’3″. Mind you, they’re all Juniors in H.S. and still have growing to do.
The talent is phenominal and has been really fun to watch. They seem to be little boys stuck in men’s bodies. One minute they’re crushing balls out of the park and the next they’re playing video games and giggling like school kids. Keep an eye out for some of these guys, we’ll definitely be seeing them in the near future.

Thanks for Coming-Now Go Home

North County021I’m just about ready for Summer to end and to get on with Fall.  After Labor day, the crowds, including hundreds, if not thousands of “Zonies”, head back to their dry, hot state and leave us locals with empty beaches and a few more Months of warm, dry and near perfect beach weather.   Don’t get me wrong, I love tourists coming and enjoying all that San Diego has to offer, but it’s nice when we return to our little slice-of-heaven somewhere South of L.A.

Sierras Backpack Trip

Sierras001Spent a delightful 5 days backpacking up in the High Sierras with a group of journalist buddies. It’s a great time to turn off the cell phone for a few days, get away from civilization and become one with nature, or in my case, 9 guys and a girl with nature. We took a 6 mile hike up to about 9,500 feet which was a killer and found a crystal clear lake that was great for swimming and fishing. From there, we took day hikes to other hidden lakes in search of the ever elusive 12 inch trout. We found em but they were just too smart for our hooks. So we ate, swam, took loads of pictures of each other (4 photogs.) fished, hiked, took trips up the mountain every morning with our Orange shovels and just generally chewed the fat. However, after caravaning out of the mountains and into the Mojave Desert on our way home, the trip took on an added adventure as one of the cars broke down. So we’re about 40 miles from the nearest ghost town and it’s Sunday evening, and by pure luck, AAA came through with probably the only tow truck drivers for miles around. We pulled out the lawn chairs and had a nice little party on the side of the highway. As the tow truck pulls up, and being the devout journalists we all are, we did what came natural and all raced to get our cameras out and document the situation. Poor driver had no idea what the hell he was getting himself into. So we consolidated into the remaining cars and headed home(Via the ice cream shop.

Kiss-In

CASH101KissI’m not going to get too political in this post, just the facts.  A group of Gay, Lesbian and Trans-gender folks staged a Kiss-in at a Mormon church here in San Diego in protest of a gay couple arrested on Main Street Square in Salt Lake City for smooching.  I suppose it all seems a bit silly that you could get arrested for kissing in public. There are still corners of our great Country that have some growing to do.

Be back in a week with photos from a backpacking trip in the Sierras.