Category Archives: AP

Altas V Launch with my sons

I missed the remote control camera setup on Tuesday
for the Atlas V rocket launch, but couldn’t get the thought of missing this opportunity to film at Cape Canaveral out of my mind. When a rocket blasts off and you are within sight and close enough to taste the smoke, there is no better feeling. To describe it would not do it justice…..AWESOMENESS exploded!!!!

So I decided that with perfect blue skies, I would go for the 5:38 launch on Wednesday.

Keeping in mind that both of my sons have a science fair at school this Monday, and both of them are featuring rockets and launchers….I decided to pluck them from school, grab our swimming trunks and 4 Canon cameras…..and off we were…they were thrilled!

We of course had to stop at the Twistee Treat ice cream stand on the way, (Don Montague, you know what Im talking about)…..with our bellies full we set out towards Playalinda Beach.

The crowds at the park were pretty fierce and we had to drive a bit to park in a secondary parking lot. After loading up, we crossed the boardwalk over the dunes to see 4 foot waves and about 1000 spectators who had the same plans we did.

After setting up a pocket wizard remote to the 70-200, the boys jumped into the Florida surf.  You could barely hear their screams of joy over the hovering helicopters flying overhead, but the smiles on their faces told the whole story.

Twenty minutes later, we were lined up in the waves, firing 4 cameras as the rocket lifted off towards space….

The  launch actually went on time without a hitch and it was back into the water until the rangers ordered us to leave…

We had to stop on the way out to let a 5 foot long alligator cross right in front of my truck……thats when I heard the words I love to hear…..”This is the best day ever Dad!”

I hope this wont be our last launch……

More pics here

Proposition 8 Supreme Court

What a week, Spring Break and the kids in Washington, D.C.!  The Smithsonian, Capitol Building, Lincoln Monument, Natural History Museum , Metro trains and taxis……..oh yeah, and a little Supreme Court action thrown in for fun!!

Vacationing in the Nation’s Capitol was quite an adventure I must admit. My 8 year old, Zane was captivated by the Washington monument, so tall and grand, and older bro Blaze was digging all the snow, the Spy Museum and the MTA subway trips……me, well, lets just say I have a small issue with wanting to film everywhere I go. The plan was to leave the big guns at home, as well as the Apple laptop…..I resolved myself to bringing just the Ipad and the Canon G12, point and shoot….

…………………..my bad!

Had I done a little more research, I would have known that the Supreme Court would be settling down this week for a challenge of California’s proposition 8 bill that basically, in short terms, discriminated against gay couples who want to get married and the benefits that come with……

On my second day of the trip, we ran across the demonstrators lining up to sleep overnight on the steps of the Supreme Court building. It was in the low 30’s, the rain was falling, melting the snow on the sidewalk that had accumulated the night prior.   I knew at that point I was in trouble, my trigger finger was twitching uncontrollably,  I caught myself already scouting shooting positions and angles for the next day………”sorry boys”,  was on my mind already. After a few snaps on the Iphone and an upload to Linnea at KGO Radio in San Francisco for a sound clip, we were back on our way.

The next day was gorgeous out, the air was extremely crisp, and the chants and cheers could be heard the minute I stepped up from the bowels of the MTA station…..”GAME ON!!!”….. I only had one quick chance to capture what I could.   The boys were headed to the restroom, just steps away in the Library of Congress…….I bolted for the event and shot for exactly 14 minutes, and only got screamed at 3 times by DC’s finest……

Those damn Westboro idiots yelled at me every time I stuck the lens in their red, childish looking faces, I gave them the dirty look as I mashed the shutter button with all the FLASH I had in that little camera…….

Most couples holding signs were laughing and having a grand old time, and the person dressed in the devil outfit was spinning in circles, dancing and rubbing up on anyone within his grasp…….it was almost as if I had entered a rumbling, synchronized carnival full of laughter….

I was gone as quickly as I had arrived, and uploaded a few dozen frames to the Associated Press. Shooting events like this always gets my spirits up and my instincts on edge.  I can’t wait to go back in June when the final verdict is due….I sure hope they win!

More images here:   http://alexmenendez.photoshelter.com/gallery/Supreme-Court-Gay-Marriage/G0000ZxkEvja3wPM/