Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Protest Rally That Wasn't

First off, while driving to downtown L.A. this morning, I realized that my previous update was incomplete... very incomplete! I neglected to mention something very important: You guys!

Yep, you! The readers of this blog. You're the big reason this blog is on Website Grader's "A" list and I want to thank you for your ongoing support.

Okay. Now that I'm done sucking ass, you can keep pelting me with pennies--you guys are doing great with that--and, if you have a spare couple of minutes, keep reading.

I said I was gonna head to downtown L.A. this morning for the photographers' rights rally and I did. I'm just not sure if anyone else did.

I arrived at Pershing Square at about 11:45. The rally was supposed to start at 11:30 but, when I arrived, there sure didn't look like any sort of rally was taking place. I circled Pershing Square 3 or 4 times; not an easy thing to do given all the one-way streets in downtown L.A. I was looking for people with signs, cameras, signs and cameras, anything that might indicate they were there for a photographers' rally. I saw no one that seemed to fit the bill. Yeah, there were some people there in Pershing Square: Mostly touristy looking folks and some down-on-their-luck street-peeps, but no one that I could see who remotely looked like they were there for a rally. Any sort of rally.

I was bummed, disappointed, and generally disheartened. I have no idea if the previous evening's rally took place in Long Beach, at the Port of Los Angeles, like it was scheduled, but it sure didn't look like anything was happening in Pershing Square. So, I drove back home, stopping to treat myself to a muy sabroso brunch at a Mexican eatery not far from where I live. Yeah, I sometimes eat when I'm bummed. And, sometimes I don't. Today, I did.

I was hoping to be able to write a lively report about the rally. I was ready to take some action photos of the event. Instead, my camera and I headed home for huevos rancheros and other Mexican breakfast fare.

Oh well. If any L.A. photographers complain about being hassled for photographing things in a perfectly legal way, they can't say I didn't give a care. I did. And I still do. I just won't be sucked into spending the cost of a half-tank of gas to show my support and solidarity for this issue and the photographers who are plagued by it.

The pretty girl at the top, sitting in that beat-up wooden chair in a gritty warehouse not far from where today's rally was supposed to take place, is Chayse. It's from a shoot back in April of this year. Chayse lit with a 5' Photoflex Octodome and a couple of shoot-thru-modified kickers behind her on either side. The windowed, overhead door in the BG also contributed to the edge-lighting on her skin and hair. I could have lit Chayse so the image would reveal what was outside the glass windows but I didn't because it wasn't much of a view. So, instead, I decided to blow it out... the light from the outside, that is. Not the glass itself.


Sheldon Photography said...

I had to be there in spirit only as I am in Iowa. I have never been to California or a rally. Perhaps you can tell more about the rally that did happen.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that maybe all the attendees did what you did... "hmm, nobody's here" *bugger off*

I'm just sayin that photographers, in my experience, tend to be a little bit introverted, and I wouldn't put it past them to not be the organizin' kind.

Either that or they all got arrested for taking pictures of kids and cops and bridges and open ATMs. ;D

discarted said...

It took place - we were in a small group waiting on the steps at Hill & 5th from 11:30-12pm for any stragglers. Sorry you couldn't make it. To see the report, go here:

discarted said...

looks like you missed us because we were there sitting on the steps waiting for people to arrive, which we did, until noon. at that point we headed to our targets and had an interesting day of shooting.

and yes, the long beach event took place too.


jimmyd said...


Thanks for the update. You restored my faith in photographer solidarity, leastwise, in some small measure.

BTW, I *was* there. Just didn't see or notice anyone else that seemed there for the event... from my vehicle, that is. And I circled Pershing Square 3 or 4 times! Were the steps at Hill and 5th mentioned on your site? I don't recall seeing anything about that. Saw the map but it simply showed the SW (I think) part of the square as the meeting place.

Regardless, glad something took place and keep on with your good work and refusing to obey what has no merit or legal foundation.