A Lighter Note (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

We just passed a mental milestone.

NO NEED TO LIGHT IT UP

It happened some time in the last week.  It's a little milestone that I've informally tracked since my days as a reporter in the field. I was working as a reporter and weekend anchor at a different TV station in Colorado Springs in about 1993 when I first noticed it.  Somewhere about a week into February, the job changes for TV field crews.

In the 5:30 newscast the lead story live shot no longer requires lighting on the reporter. 

I first noticed it covering a shooting about 17 years ago.  It was breaking news, we had very little time but we got the live report on the air right at 5:30 for one reason.  We didn't need lights.  That can save a field crew (reporter and photographer) about 3 or 4 minutes.  That may not seem like much time but in a breaking news situation, with the lead story live shot on the line it's an eternity.

Today both of our live shots in the 5:30 newscast were in enough sunshine to go lightless..though I believe for one of them the photographer did set up a light to make it look even better.

I like it when we have more daylight. Doctors talk about something called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. It's a Winter-time problem, depression brought on by too much darkness..neurochemicals can be altered, the internal body clock disrupted enough to cause symptoms of depression.  In some cases it's severe and one of the treatments is actually light therapy. I'm lucky, I've never experienced anything like that, but I do, in general, feel a little better when we have more daylight.

There's a wonderful period of just a few minutes that we get at the end of each day in Southern Colorado  The mountains turn to a perfect black silhouette against the glowing sunset sky behind them, and the last of the daylight slips away.  I love those moments.  They come later and the seem to last longer as we get later in the year.

Here's a weird twist.  In the Autumn as the days get shorter it's not a big deal.  It seems OK.  In my one-track man-mind I feel like, "sure the days are shorter, but football season is here so all is well."  In the Spring though, we get longer days, and baseball season and warmer weather all at the same time!  What could be better?

I guess maybe live shots with no lights at 10pm ...not gonna' happen.

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward

 

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