Sunday, December 11, 2005
Plan for weather changes
Lamar University art majors Kyle Baxley (left) and Michelle Cate (right) have coffee indoors at Rao's Bakery & Coffee Cafe on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005. A cold front blew into Southeast Texas and moved many outdoor activities indoors.
Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
PJs often plan for weather changes. We often consider all options and fill our cars or trucks with gear for ourselves and our equipment. However, this doesn't put an image into the system. It only allows us to be able to make images to put into the system.
To get the images, we must also plan for what we'll shoot when the weather changes. Depending on the size of the city we cover, it might take additional planning and coordination long before the wind blows, the clouds gather or the thermometer gets near 100.
Weather is often the biggest news in some towns. PJs must find a way to document a sudden change in the weather - even after nightfall. In large metro areas, it isn't hard to find folks outdoors on any night in any condition. It becomes more difficult in cities with smaller populations.
When nobody is outdoors in the darkness, cold and rain except PJs, PJs better think fast. When this happens on deadline, coffee shops are a quick fix.
However, we need to find local coffee shops because most of the chain stores want corporate approval before allowing PJs in the shop. Since the corporate offices are usually closed at night, these shops often aren't an option for PJs.
In other words, it's good to line up a few local, media-friendly shops around town for emergencies like this. It's also nice to find any biz or family with a fireplace or pool who would be willing to let PJs arrive at a moment's notice.
I was lucky for this assignment. Rao's owner happened to be in the shop and let me shoot without a problem. But, it's a reminder for me to line up some more shops in town for other emergency situations.
Likewise, I need to line up other locations for any weather condition. It's better to have them picked out and not need them than to need them and not know where to go.
Enough for now,