The NORAD of ABC in Austin

When I went up to have an interview in the ABC Newsroom here in Austin, a gentleman there named Ed Sparks was nice enough to take me back to the inner sanctum.  Ed is a frequent here in the community (hi Ed!) and quite the camera enthusiast.  Before and after my live appearance (from a few weeks ago), he took me back into this control room so I could set up for a shot.  As usual, I’ve uploaded the full-res version so you can see all the little details in the room. To see the full-res version, just click on the photo to go to the Flickr site. Click on “All Sizes” at the top of the photo. Last, click on “Original”.

They explained to me how the room worked and how everything was customizable.  The crew can pull in whatever feeds they need and position them on the screen accordingly.  They even can save templates, since each producer that comes in and out during the day can have their own setup.  It was quite fascinating to watch these guys operate in precision…   I had to catch myself and remember to take photos, since I would sorta stare at the screens at get mesmerized for a bit!

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

  • Wow!!! Awesome! And I mean it!

  • Frank

    Does anyone wish they had a big screen like the one in the background for their PC or for TV watching? How about for work? (heh heh heh no privacy there right!)
    That’s got to be at LEAST 120″. Nice for them to show off their sweet tech!

  • Besides this being another impressive shot I totally like the movement/motion blur in the operator’s arms which totally hammers in your face how busy she (or is it a guy?) must be!
    Oh yes … and the giant screen really looks tempting.

  • Nic

    Really nice shot!
    What lens did you use? The lens distortion really helps give the impression we have to take it all in.

    @Frank: I’m not sure it’s a regular tv screen, I’ve heard of some fancy projector screens that make the colors really pop regardless of lighting. But I agree, it’s a sweet piece of tech!

  • Nick

    that is freakin amazing!!!
    the screen, wish had one of those!!!LOL!!
    love the image!!!!

  • Facebook User

    Fantastic shot and processing! Like Oliver above, I really love how you captured the woman’s busy body. Did you ask her to move around, or did it just happen naturally. In any case, brilliant! I find my eyes dancing busily in all directions, constantly redirected my her traffic-cop-like orchestration.

  • That is a wonderful shot Trev. A bit of long exposure movement adds a unusual touch to the room which is all about the precision and timing. I am wondering though if this was a multiple exposure shot or a post-processed 1 RAW?

  • How nice, Trey, that Ed showed you the works behind the scenes of the studio!!!! Something we don’t get to see. Great photo, thanks for sharing. Remembering today is 9-11, something none of alive at that time will ever forget. I sure remember where I was when it came on the news!!!! On a side note, we have a new fire burning behind St. Marys Peak just southwest of our other fire. Take a look at my Kootnai Creek Fire Album, where I posted the latest photos, if you have time. We saw red hot smoke pouring up into the sky last night!!!!!!!! Not the norm for a fire season, fires don’t usually get started this time of year, but we had quite a few thunder storms come through a week ago.

  • Excellent image. Love the motion!

  • Thanks!

    Nic – I used a 14-24mm lens

    Rod – it was a 5-exposure HDR

    Gail – you better get up there and water-down the roof!

  • casusan

    Wow! Love this Trey! A real ‘behind the scenes’ shot!

  • Very cool

  • Trey – absolutely stunning. Thank you again for visiting the station. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    To answer a couple of questions: yes, the Director is a women, as is the News Producer to her left. She really does keep that busy – constantly in motion… no staging necessary!

    The monitor wall screen is twelve feet wide. The images on the screen are projected from two high-intensity DLP projectors.

    The audio control room can be seen through the glass in the left of the photo.

    Incredible stuff, Trey! We’ll be hanging this one on the wall!


  • Trey,
    Link to Symphony in a Moment: HDR Nature Photography by Eight Maestros, which features your image A Razor to the Sky, published here

    Warm regards,

  • haveacupoftea

    I really like that for all the screens in use there’re still sheets of paper around!

  • T. Williamson

    Yes, that is actually a projection, we use 2 750 watt projectors (one is a fail-safe back-up) to show the computer generated image. The idea is that each director can have his own set-up…and yes it is a VERY busy place!

    If you ever get back, have Ed show the the Master Control area (where I work) so you can see how we set the camera video (called shading) and tune in the microwave and satellite fed live shots, as well as the couptuerized comercial playback system.

    T. Williamson
    Master Control Operator

  • Facebook User

    Just a wee shout-out to Ed from a mutual acquaintance. Ed, when I posted this picture on my Facebook wall I got this message back from one of our Milwaukee DJs-
    {Jon Adler
    I know Ed, he’s a great guy. Really nice station too! I trained there for a week a few years ago.}

    So there. 😉

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