Archive for media

Flash Lamp Photography: Behind the Scenes of an NPR Interview

I met Race Gentry standing with his antique camera and vintage flash lamp outside his mother’s home in La Jolla. I was there to record audio for an All Things Considered story and shoot video to accompany the interview on NPR’s website. Race is one of the few people around who uses the 100-year-old technique.

Screenshot of NPR media player

In typical tape sync fashion, Robert Siegel spoke to Race by phone. I stood next to Race, holding the mic six inches from his mouth — my recording of his voice would later be combined with the host’s voice by NPR editors, giving the conversation a higher quality, natural sound. Unfortunately, we had to stop the interview every few minutes because of the military flights going in and out of MCAS Miramar. We were also interrupted for trash collection. And again for recycling.

Race explained the process of pouring the powder in the tray, setting the percussion cap in place, pulling the trigger to ignite the cap, and the explosive flash that follows. The first flash lamp he demonstrated with wouldn’t fire. He was using toy paper caps, but the humidity or bad luck kept it from firing. He switched to another flash lamp that uses rare, original percussion caps. That definitely did the trick. The massive smoke cloud was pretty impressive.

Take a look at the final video, listen to the interview and hear the flash lamp sound. Race Gentry also has his own flash lamp videos on YouTube.

Tijuana Video Competition: 119th Birthday Card

Video Contest for Tijuana's 119th Birthday

The Tijuana Convention & Visitors Bureau offers $500 to the best video birthday card for Tijuana’s 119th birthday. The deadline is July 9th by midnight. Submit your video to the Tijuana Birthday group on YouTube. Judges will announce the winner on Tijuana’s official birthday, July 11th.

Rules:

  • Videos should be between 60 to 90 seconds in length
  • Video must reference Tijuana’s 119 years and its birthday
  • Video must include images, icons, or visual references to Tijuana
  • Videos can be in Spanish or English or both
  • Video must include text promoting “TijuanaOnline.org” at end
  • Video must not be vulgar, offensive, negative, or in bad taste
  • Submit your 60-90 seconds video no later than July 9th

Death to Elmo (Piñata)

Whatever lingering cultural history may have once enshrined piñatas, I don’t think these kids are learning about its pre-Columbian heritage:

Principal Svadean: Look, Pedro, I don’t know how they do things down in Juarez, but here in Idaho we have a little something called pride. Understand? Smashing in the face of a piñata that resembles Summer Wheatley is a disgrace to you, me, and the entire Gem State. (Napoleon Dynamite, 2004)

You can’t help chuckle at the iron of a child bashing their favorite cartoon character with a stick only to be rewarded with candy. While I agree with Cindylu that piñatas are problematic, I can’t help smiling when everyone dive-bombs the ground, scrapping over Blowpops and Smartees.

Piñata Song

Dale, dale, dale
No pierdes el tino
Porque si lo pierdes
Pierdes el camino
Ya le diste una
Ya le diste dos
Ya le diste tres
Y tu tiempo se acabó!
Hit it, hit it, hit it
Don’t miss
Because if you miss
You lose your way
You hit it once
You hit it twice
You hit it three times
And your turn is over!

Tijuana / San Diego Driving Time-lapse

Heading north through Tijuana on the Via Rápida, getting gas for $3/gallon, crossing the border, driving on the I-805 in San Diego.

Interviewed for Google Map Case Study

Google used KPBS as a case study for the Google Map we created during the San Diego wildfires in October 2007. They stopped by the studios to interview some of us who worked on KPBS’ fire map.

Tijuana Street Time-Lapse

Take a look at a high-definition version to see all the detail. It’s pretty amazing how much activity you can see. Looking at this makes me wish I’d been shooting time-lapse videos of every scene I’ve shot in Tijuana.



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