Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PJ loses a friend

I've talked about it before, joked about it and held out hope from the inevitable... but today it has come.

This morning the staff of the Albuquerque Tribune heard the news, Saturday would be their last day and after 86-years the doors will closed one last time.

It wasn't the paper of my internship, but I'd grown to love the Tribune over my time here, even gotten to know many among the photo staff to the point I'd consider them friends.

The first time I'd walked over to say hello wasn't until late Dec. Their photo editor, Mark Holm, was sitting at a desk working an end of the year homicide infograpahic. When I said hello, he just looked up and said, "It's about time you made it over here."

That's how everyone over there was, always inviting, always willing to stop and have a chat. Always willing.

Erin Fredrichs invited me as her guest to a party for the same night that I'd met her for the first time, while we were shooting the same high school football game.

Steven St. John was the quite guy who was always focused during an assignment but willing to talk about anything in between the cracks. His was also the first photo column I saw, the weekly page 2 feature of the Trib that become a part of my Monday ritual at work.

Craig Fritz was shooting the crash site from my left and talked to me at the scene of a fatal balloon fiesta accident about how he's had to deal with death and balancing the job with everything else.

I finally met Michael Gallegos last week after spending nearly the entire six months hoping to run into him at the office. He'd graduated from San Jose State University many (many) years before me and had e-mailed me out of the blue to say hello. Finally we did meet, and it turned out to be a really great conversation. He'd extended me an offer to tag along on photo shoots if I was interested, that sounded like a great time out.

It's funny how the paper and I were both on the same tracks, announcing their plans for a sale within weeks of my arrival and now closing up shop about a week after I had done the same.

My roommates girlfriend worked there and let me know right away which side I had to be rooting for. During my first full week of work, she'd decided to take a dry erase marker to my car and had tagged my windshield and driver side window with the phrase, "Viva la Tribune!"

It's still there today, maybe I couldn't do it, wash it off. Or maybe I just never got around to wash the car in the last six months, whatever the reason, looking at that window now... yeah...

It's like we both knew an end was coming and were trying to do our best work, because who knew when we'd get to again.

I'll never forget all the times I've looked at their front pages and said, "Wow!" or "I wish I'd seen that," or more often than not, "How'd they get away with that?!"

For the short time I was able to read it, I was inspired, but I guess all good things must come to an end.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to watch, read and experience all the multimedia, photo columns and slideshows one last time before the website is taken down and another storied chapter comes to a close.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Stop the presses! It's time to vent!

Today I ran across the greatest Web site in the world and just had to share (and also because I know it'll get lost in my delicious and I wanna make sure I check it out later).

Of course I haven't really vented yet, for one I'm unemployed now so there isn't any job to vent about and B. I love my job!

Enjoy some of the funny... b/c who among us hasn't had a bad day.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Last day

Today was the last day, and for my last assignment I had the pleasure of photographing these two critters at the metro pound.

I always thought Pets of the Week was a weird assignment. It felt like every week that I'd do it I was having to decide which animals lived and which died. Walking down those hallways past all the barking dogs and leaning down to say, "you, yes you shall live." It's a strange ritual.

I'm not sure if any of the other staffers over thought it as much as I did, but we had a lot of power in that animal shelter. The ones we snapped were almost always guaranteed to be saved, the others... yeah, not so much.

It was like Schindler's list-- Shaminder's list (yeah, a Holocaust joke... I'm going to hell...)

I wish I had more time, I could of saved so many more...

*Thanks to ABQ Journal tech Nick Layman for the pic, give him some link love.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And this is the end, the end my friend

Well... it's nearing the end of my time with the Albuquerque Journal. It's been a long, winding, educating, eye-opening trip. Thursday is my last day, with Friday a check-out day. As of now my last assignment here is pets of the week for the metro section. Seems kinda fitting and poetic.

So what can I say about my time here... I'm not sure just yet I guess... bittersweet is the best way I can put it in one word. But in the end, how many people that walk this earth get to say that they got to live each day doing what they love?

Next door at the Tribune, they're also thinking a lot about why they do this.

Craig Fritz wrote about his thoughts in a weekly photo column they call Viewfinder. (I've been meaning to mention this for sometime, but leaving finally forced me to look it up on the website instead of the paper. If you like it, make sure you check out in the series, including this one, which became one of my favorites.)

Fritz pretty sums it up, I can't think of one more thing I could possibly add. It's true, it's the people we meet the stories we get to hear that makes this job what it is.

Fritz is on an eerily parallel path to my own, with his afternoon paper, The Albuquerque Tribune, also flirting with turning off the lights for the last time. It's odd, they announced that they were being put up for sale about two three weeks after I arrived, like we both knew an end was coming. And then for a moment it seemed that this Friday would be there last day as well. (Right now that's not an absolute certainty, fingers crossed.)

Like that paper, my future is also an uncertainty. What lies ahead is as good your guess as mine.

We'll see which way the wind blows, I find life is more interesting without a road map.

P.S. If anyone has a spare couch, hit me up.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

A new way to waste time on YouTube

Ooo... pretty...

You see that little red thing in the corner that looks like Brainiac's logo thing? Well it shows up when you go into full screen mode. Once you click it you get this nifty new way of browsing.

Nothing monumental, but YouTube is the most popular web video service and it's worth mentioning when they come up with some new (well not really new) way of interfacing with viewers.

With YouTube's popularity, can it be long before we start seeing adaptive GUI's such as this on other sites? Amazon? eBay? Best Buy? Facebook?

Heck in photo circles, vignetting is all the rage right? It could catch on.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Finally a use for Twitter I understand

Scrolling by Google Maps the other day, continuing with my OCD fueled need to always check the maps before heading out for an assignment, I noticed a little button for Super Tuesday elections.

I thought about writing something about how Twitter and Google teamed up to produce this real-time update of election proceedings with Twitter comments feed to the map along with primary results as they come in. Hey, finally a use for Twitter I understand!

But then I saw this comment fly across the map and luckily I was able to quickly get a screen capture because it's way cooler!

It may be hard to read, but user "JPhilipson" of Hawaii is Twittering "When does Hawaii have their primary?"

A valid question or subversive humor of an outlander feeling left out?

It's a new age, just your average Joe is now able to chime in and be heard, and become more than just a consumer but share in the dialouge.

Plus it's a document of history and that's pretty cool in my book.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Quick hits: Medals of Memory

A slick interface, a heartfelt story and few moments of laughter fuse to create Medals of Memory, a look at the military tattoo and the men and women who emblaze their flesh with the ink.

The Naples Daily News package features Army Specialist Jolene Wieber's path to having a cross tattooed on her right leg to honor the memory of her best friend, Cpl. Karen N. Clifton, who was killed under enemy attack in Iraq.

The result is a touching story that examines her reasons behind it and the simple truth that for military service men and women it's about never forgetting, because "time fades most things. Tattoos, sure, but not the stories."

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Quick hits: Including Samuel

Rumor has it Dan Habib of the Concord Monitor may be considering a second career as a filmmaker (but it's just a rumor so I won't dwell on it to much at this point) and after checking out some of his work on his latest documentary, that might not be a bad idea.

Including Samuel is Habib's examination of living with a disability and functioning in a society that isn't always accepting.

Through his son Samuel's eyes, who was born with cerebral palsy, we see a film that moves beyond merely the 'what is it' to the bigger question of 'why we should care' by looking at it as a civil rights issue.

While the film isn't online, a trailer along with slideshows and a list of upcoming screenings is.

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