Covering the storms and the victims…

In my mid-years at WSB-Television, we were using film cameras to cover the severe storms that came our way. Reporters and photographers are still out there, but my… how the technology has evolved. The year was 1975 when a tornado came twisting through my neighborhood in northwest Atlanta. It became known as the “Governor’s tornado” because the Governor’s mansion also was in its path. When I heard the sound of a train heading my way, I grabbed my wind-up Bolex camera to record the action. It was just after daylight when I stepped out the front door of my house. The daylight quickly turned to dark as the funnel cloud skipped in my direction. I ground off about 30 seconds before retreating to my “prayer”
closet in the hallway of my home. Despite using high-speed 400 ASA film with an f-stop of 1.6, the processed results were all black. You could see nothing. Today, I watched channel 2 as reporters and photographers captured video on cell-phones…video that was clearly visible. The quality of the professional cameras with the micro-wave and satellite transmissions was even better. Whether 1975 or 2013, the victims of the storms all had similarly sad stories they’ll always remember.


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