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|| News Item: Posted 2005-04-30

Leading Off: Why Ask Why?
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Desperate Housewives's Marcia Cross and Shawn Pyform photographed on the lawn of their TV home. Why are Dan MacMedan and Robert Seale hunkered down in front of their respective TVs every Sunday?
Maybe it's approaching middle age. Maybe it's confusion due to the fast pace of life in these times. Or maybe it's just that my small brain is so filled with useless trivia there isn't room for anything more.

In the past few weeks there have been many questions that have popped into my head and I just can't seem to find the answers.

• Why was the best jubo photos I've made in my life shot at a made-for-TV event ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), not a wide-angle hand-held camera or boom-cam within yards of the celebration?

• Why are cheesy, crappy so-called "classic" TV shows like "Greatest American Hero", "Love Boat", "CHiPs' and "Airwolf" are all on DVD and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E. isn't?

• Why have there been so many complaints about obstructed views of the "new" Dodger Stadium premium field level seats but according to the team nobody has complained to them?

• Why did Dodger Stadium go from one of the best places to shoot baseball to now one of the worst?

• Why were Dodger fans so excited about that 11-2 start?

• Why are all my bids on eBay for Graflex cameras and Leica CL's?

• Why does the Four-Initial-Organization insist on making martyrs of photographers who break the rules?

• Why is it I can go weeks without watching TV, but I can't go an hour without email?

• Why is it Canon sells its new, wiz-bang wireless module for digital cameras for $1,000 and you still have to buy a battery, battery charger and AC adapter?

• Why do we photographers have an aversion to reading instruction manuals?

• Why are the top songs in my iTunes library sorted by "Play Count": "You're Still A Young Man' (Tower of Power, 92 plays), "Suspicious Minds" (The Beatles, 85 plays), (Elvis Presley, 85 plays), "Drive My Car""Windy" (The Association, 78 plays), "Last Train To Clarksville" (The Monkees, 77 plays), "My Funny Valentine" (Chet Baker, 62 plays) "One For My Baby" (Frank Sinatra, 60 plays), "Jeremy" (Pearl Jam, 51 plays) "Hungry Heart" (Bruce Springsteen, 43 plays), "Storm Monday Blues" (Lee Michaels, 38 plays) and "All Day Music (WAR, 38, plays)?

• Why is it that Newsweek was roundly and publicly blasted for a digitally manipulating a cover with Martha Stewart and SI receives not a mention when they combined two portraits to make one photo for their baseball preview issue?

• Why are my basketball remote photos always about 5 feet back-focused?
Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Stephen Johnson and family react to the site of their new home. ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has morphed into a spiritual show that goes way beyond sprucing up someone's home.

• Why didn't Marion Jones hang up her spikes after Athens?

• Why are people so lazy that they can't walk just 25 feet to put away their grocery cart in the parking lot?

• Why does United Airlines suck so much?

• Why is it I can't stand to look at the magazine rack at my favorite newsstand any more?

• Why do I get a headache reading the message board posts of a handful of (unnamed) members?

• Why have do students insist on putting skateboarding photos in the portfolios they show me?

• Why are my good buddies Dan MacMedan and Robert Seale hunkered down in front of their respective TVs every Sunday watching "Desperate Housewives" on ABC?

(Apologies to John Lennon, whose song "God" was in inspiration for the style of this column.)

* * *
A couple of personal notes:

• Congrats to my daughter Emma for her 1st place at her school's annual science fair. When my wife told me the news, I was like a little league parent after their kid hit a walk-off homer!

• Thanks to Matt Brown, Wally Skalij, Peter Read Miller, Myung Chun, Ron Taniwaki and Armando Flores for all the help and support with the recent Annual Sports Shooter Contest judging.

• Happy belated birthday Bob!

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Deanne Fitzmaurice celebrates winning the Pulitzer Prize.
• Congrats to a truly deserving Deanne Fitzmaurice for winning the Pulitzer Prize in feature photography.

• And lastly thanks to Lorenzo Gasparini and the folks at Mamiya for "taking care of business".

* * *
Sports Shooter v.78 features two reports on the recent Masters by Darren Carroll and Mike Blake. The practice of converting photographs from color to black & white to enter contests is discussed by David Cantor and Scott Strazzante. Justin Sullivan gives us a behind-the-scenes look at covering the Michael Jackson trial.

Keith Birmingham tells us the good news at opening day at Dodger Stadium (they won) and the bad news ... smaller photo boxes. The top winners in the Annual Sports Shooter Contest write about their photographs and how them made them.

So sit back, adjust the contrast on your monitor, turn down the volume on that John Lennon Plastic Ono Band CD and dive into Sports Shooter v. 78!

As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Anne Ryan, Rick Rickman, Joe Gosen, Peter Read Miller, Rod Mar, Vincent Laforet, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Photodude, Scott Sommerdorf, Reed Hoffmann, Bob Deutsch and Mongo Johnson.

Thanks this month to: Justin Sullivan, Mike Blake, Darren Carroll, David Cantor, Scott Strazzante, Max Morse, Stan Liu, Doug Murray, Adrian Krause, Jay Janner and Keith Birmingham.

I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

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