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|| News Item: Posted 2007-11-11

Leading Off: Following The Script
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Dodgers new manager Joe Torre was officially introduced in centerfield of Dodger Stadium. Torre with wife Ali walk with team owners Jamie and Frank McCourt, general manager Ned Colletti and broadcaster Vin Scully.
It was as well choreographed as any production by Bob Fosse or Gene Kelly.

The lead characters were elegant, played to the audience well and gave them everything they could possibly want.

Except a real "moment".

A Broadway musical? A celeb's seemingly effortless stroll down the "red carpet" for the paparazzi?

Nope, this extravaganza was a "presser" (press conference) to introduce LA-LA's next "American Idol", new Dodger manager Joe Torre.

Rather than the usual hotel ballroom or the Stadium Club or (God forbid!) the auxiliary locker room, the Dodgers staged this production in centerfield of one of baseball's last old-time stadiums. While it was pretty, roomy and afforded the press a lot of opportunities visually, you could not get over the contrived and stagy nature of the event.

Maybe it was the 50-foot translucent scrim that riggers were erecting next to the stage when I arrived an hour before the start of the presser or maybe it was all of the movie lights that circled the area.

Now don't get me wrong, I would much rather shoot something like this in nice natural light (the morning marine layer making the huge scrim moot) than in a dark, crowded room with little TV lights being the only (crummy and flat) illumination.

The walk from the Dodger dugout to the platform by Torre, his wife Ali, team owners Frank and Jamie McCourt and GM Ned Colletti was, well, pretty.

The pause at the bottom of the steps --- in front of one of the photographers' pens - to the obligatory putting on the uniform and hat to the "Welcome Joe Torre" on the jumbo-tron it all played well to the cameras.

But we're in Hollywood (well, about 5 miles away) so what should I expect?

Torre is an extremely affable and folksy guy. He came across very likable during the 40-minute presentation, starting off by pointing to a spot in right-center saying "that's where Willie Davis robbed me of a hit".

I made lots and lots of photographs. Wide angle. Tight with a 400mm and 2x extender. I shot Torre fitting the cap on his head. Buttoning up his new #6 uniform. Posing at the edge of the stage for the guys in the photographers' pen. Hugging Tommy Lasorda.

Chimping just before the end of the formal presser (yes I admit it!) I just couldn't get over the thought that I hadn't made a REAL photograph. "What do you expect?" I said to myself under my breath as a Dodger PR person said "One last question for Joe?"

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Joe Torre is surrounded by cameras as he goes into the crowd to hug former Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe.
Hearing that, I edged around to the side of the stage near the steps, thinking that maybe there might be some kind of reaction.

As Torre stepped to the edge of the stage he spotted former Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe and made an immediate beeline toward him.

"A MOMENT!" I thought.

But it was not to be, as an army of suits, wearing dark glasses to hide their eyes, talking into their sleeves stepped in front of all of us … and the scrum was on.

"GET BACK! GET THE HECK AWAY" one yelled at a photographer from a local daily.

"You all have to vacate," another screamed into my right ear as he tried to grab my arm.

It was ugly and the most disheartening thing was The Moment was gone, ruined by the suits and our desire to stick a wide angle into these kinds of situations

I've been around long enough to have seen this more times than I care to remember. But at an event that was so precisely managed and scripted, it's ironic that a genuine emotion was swallowed up, lost in a sea of bad suits and 16-35mm lenses.

* * *

If you were one of the 40 people there, it was an awesome, inspiring weekend. If you weren't you missed it!

The recent Sports Shooter Academy Multimedia Boot Camp was a bit of a departure for us, a 2-day, topic specific workshop instead of the 5-day shooting workshop we usually hold.

My reservations were terribly misplaced as the group threw themselves into the multimedia training and produced some very inspiring and creative work. While I always take something away from the workshops, this one was very special and thanks to all of those that attended. To say it was a "cool" experience being with all of you is a huge understatement.

I would be remiss if I did not take the time to again thank some people and companies that helped make this weekend possible.

Photo by Jordan Murph / Sports Shooter

Photo by Jordan Murph / Sports Shooter

The class photo from the Sports Shooter Academy Multimedia Boot Camp.
Thanks to Jim Heiser and Apple for bringing over 40 Mac workstations … and to Jim for staying up all night to insure that all of them were configured and ready for the start of the training session…

Jeffrey Morse from was not only knowledgeable, patient and entertaining, he broke down Final Cut Pro so it was comfortable for all of us to work in …

KFI News Radio reporter Eric Leonard's 2-hour audio gathering presentation was worth the price of admission.

The workshop was also supported by generous companies that put a priority on photography education:
• Canon USA and Amy Kawadler
• Think Tank Photo and Doug Murdoch
• Samy's Camera and Louis Feldman

The faculty and staff as usual were wonderful to work with and great friends:
• Matt Brown
• Myung Chun
• Michael Goulding
• Scott Varley
• Eugene Tanner
• Jordan Murph
• Crystal Chatham

And lastly, Deanna and Emma are the two most patient and understanding people in the world for putting up with me and my late nights planning the workshops.


* * *

Issue 105 is filled with multimedia content, including three stories from participants from the Boot Camp, sharing their experiences and what they learned during the workshop. Carlos Delgado, Susánica Tam and Jarod Opperman were all recognized at the end of the Boot Camp for their multimedia projects. For a full report on the Boot Camp, check these links to stories on

Nhat Meyer from the San Jose Mercury News contributes to the period "In The Bag" series, giving us a peek at what multimedia gear he uses.

Elie Gardner from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives us a behind the scenes look at a recent project the paper did on Army basic training.

The recent wildfires in Southern California are recounted by San Diego Union Tribune's K.C. Alfred.

Matt Brown writes a user's report on the new Nikon D3 in the regular "Photographer's Toy Box" feature.

Gary Bogdon give us his Letterman-esque Top 10 Reasons For Loving Football … and they're not for the reason you think.

And Darren Carroll is the ultimate road warrior and writes about how he balanced his travels with training for his first marathon.


* * *

This month on Bert's Nightstand is Anthony Bourdain's Bone In The Throat, James Patterson's latest Alex Cross novel Cross, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of a Television Classic by Jon Heitland and Robert Vaughan and Studs Terkel's And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey.

iTunes is queued with the latest from John Fogherty, Revival", "Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos and Lullaby For My Favorite Insomniac from the Ahn Trio.

As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Rod Mar, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen, Paul Myers, Nick Layman and Bob Deutsch.

Thanks this month to: K.C. Alfred, Nhat Meyer, Gary Bogdon, Matt Brown, Darren Carroll, Elie Gardner, David Carson, Carlos Delgado, Jarod Opperman and Susánic Tam.

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

The Sports Shooter Archives as well as tons of cool resources and information can be accessed through the Internet at

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Opinions, rants, raves, insults and praise whether intend or not, are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sports Shooter and public sensibilities.

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