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May 27, 2015

Memphis bids musical farewell to blues legend B.B. King

By Mike Blake

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Reuters) – With music, singing and tears, hundreds of mourners in Memphis bade farewell to blues giant B.B. King as his casket, accompanied by his legendary guitar, Lucille, began a drive to his final resting place in Mississippi.

Intermittent thunderstorms dumped rain on mourners, including local dignitaries and King friends and family, as they gathered for the procession down Beale Street, a historic avenue lined with blues clubs and restaurants.

Nov 21, 2014

U.S. politics takes center stage at Latin Grammys

LAS VEGAS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Enrique Iglesias and Uruguayan
singer Jorge Drexler were the big winners at the annual Latin
Grammys on Thursday in a ceremony where U.S. immigration
politics played a prominent role.

Iglesias won three Latin Grammys, including song of the
year, while Drexler and French-Chilean singer Ana Tijoux won
record of the year for their song “Universos Paralelos”.

Nov 21, 2014

With U.S. politics in play Anthony, de Lucia take Latin Grammys

LAS VEGAS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Marc Anthony and the late Paco
de Lucia were early winners at the Latin Grammys on Thursday
after the start of the ceremony was preempted by U.S. President
Barack Obama’s speech announcing a new immigration order, a core
issue for the U.S. Hispanics.

Anthony, 46, won best salsa album for “3.0,” while Spanish
flamenco guitarist de Lucia’s “Cancion Andaluza” won album of
the year. De Lucia died of a heart attack in February at age 66.

Oct 28, 2014
via Photographers' Blog

Xtreme Justice


San Diego, United States 

By Mike Blake

This is a call to adventure. The Xtreme Justice League takes their inspiration from comic books and applies it to real-life situations. I followed them as they donned their superhero outfits and patrolled the streets of San Diego late at night. 

 They gather on the steps of the city’s Hall of Justice at 11pm on a Saturday night. Dressed in their character’s costume, and serious about the task at hand, they are equipped with radios and first aid kits, some self-defense weapons, and an attitude of camaraderie. The dozen or so members split into two leader-guided groups and head off on their patrols. Around 2am they meet up with their founder Mr. Xtreme, who joins in his costume persona after working a late shift at his job. 

Apr 4, 2014

California tweening: the making of a 12-year-old yogi

ENCINITAS, California (Reuters) – Jaysea Devoe is a yoga instructor who has the challenging job of teaching fidgety preschoolers the ancient practice, but once her charges get going, she says, “they really start to focus and listen.”

Devoe knows a thing or two about childhood and focus, for she is only 12 years old and just recently became a certified yoga instructor after completing 200 hours of teacher training. She is believed to be the youngest certified female yoga instructor in the United States.

Apr 3, 2014

Trip Tips: A gnarly ride through San Diego’s beach towns

ENCINITAS, California (Reuters) – This might just be the easiest suitcase to pack: running shoes, flip-flops, bathing suit, shorts, T-shirts, a hoodie and sunscreen.

That’s the unfussy uniform that works almost everywhere in the beach towns of San Diego’s North County, the location of choice for elite athletes in training, skateboarders-turned-entrepreneurs and smart people who have figured out how to live, work and play by the ocean.

Oct 22, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

A round in the ring against Parkinson’s


Costa Mesa, California

By Mike Blake

I have been tromping around the planet for some 50 years now. I don’t have much recollection of the first six or seven, but after that I can easily think back to places, people and events that remain inside my head much like the pictures I have shot remain on film and in pixels stored on the random-access memory inside this computer I’m typing on.


For each and every one of us, our memories are contained somewhere behind our eyes in a biological wonder of neurons that has yet to be fully understood. If you think about all your life’s memories and how much information that is, and, if you’re as old as me, you have to be impressed with this piece of engineering we all have. Not only is it holding your whole life in storage, it’s also been telling your heart when to beat, your stomach when to toss that bad piece of sushi and your body temperature to remain precisely regulated at exactly 98.7 F since the day you were born. If that’s not impressive enough, it tells your body to do everything you want it to do.

Jun 28, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

It’s Superman over California


San Diego, California

By Mike Blake

As technology costs drop allowing the individual inventor to become freer to pursue their dreams, create their ideas, and start up new businesses, the world will become a more fascinating place to live.

I first made contact with Otto Diefenbauch in early 2013 after a youtube video of him flying a cardboard-type plane along the California coastline went viral. We chatted and he said he was working on something even better and would drop me an email when he was ready to show it off. So, six months later when he dropped me an email I was curious to see what he had been up to. In this case, it was a much more refined and well designed “flying people” plane. I’m really not sure what to call them.

Jun 24, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

The Nik Wallenda show – from a distance


Grand Canyon, Arizona

By Mike Blake

The world loves an intriguing story and if television can wrap it up into a prime time event – then the show must go on.

That said, sometimes history is uneventful. This is why I was off to Flagstaff, Arizona to cover Nik Wallenda walking across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope. Details were sketchy at first. The Discovery Channel was in control of access and waivers and releases had to be cleared before we would sign on to cover. A media position was being set up, but we were told it was a distance away.

Apr 12, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Politics aside, along the border


California, along the U.S./Mexico border

By Mike Blake

A while back I had stopped at a cafe near San Ysidro, which is about as south as you can get in California before stepping into Mexico. I was walking out the door when I spotted three guys rolling up on ATV bikes dressed like they had just come out from one of my son’s Xbox games.

They were U.S. Border Patrol, grabbing a coffee, on a break from the dust of their patrols. I said to myself “Okay, I have to come back here and look into what these guys do.”