Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

NOVEMBER 11, 2009: Los Angeles police officers arrest a man in a Spider-Man outfit after he allegedly assaulted a man near Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on Hollywood Boulevard. The victim refused to press charges but the Spider-Man character was still booked on outstanding misdemeanor charges.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

FEBRUARY 7, 2011: A goose named Maria flies alongside Dominic Ehrler as he rides his scooter around Echo Park. The goose resided at Echo Park Lake and took a liking to Ehrler, who visited the goose every morning until the park was closed for two years for a major refurbishing. Maria, since identified as a male, was relocated to the Los Angeles Zoo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JUNE 25, 2012: Dog groomer Jose Miguel Nunez grooms a schnauzer named J. J. at the Dog House in North Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

OCTOBER 20, 1997: Keaton Lindahl gives his dog, Q, a drink of water at Camino Real Park in Ventura. The dog was named after a character from the "Star Trek Voyager" series.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

MARCH 27, 2002: An unsuccessful attempt is made to rescue a dolphin from a drainage canal next to the Mandalay Generating Station in Oxnard.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JUNE 18, 2000: Laurence Burkley blows away flames coming from a pan containing red hot coals, before placing the coals underneath a BBQ grill containing ribs, chicken and hot links at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center Park in Oxnard.

MAY 20, 1998: Guillermo Fernandez, a gardener for the Ventura Harbor Village, mows the lawn inside a circular track that is used for children's pony rides on the weekends.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

OCTOBER 8, 1999: Putter Ashford, left, of Thousand Oaks High School is a split-second away from a wardrobe malfunction as Brian Tilquist of Rio Mesa High tries to make a touchdown-saving tackle by grabbing Ashford's pants waist. Tilquist lost his grip and Ashford scored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JULY 16, 1991: Properties master Ray Kildisas is only a bit less relaxed than a waterlogged dummy doubled over a railing at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. The dummy was playing the part of a drowned man in rehearsals for the play "Widows" at the Mark Taper Forum and was hung on the railing to dry.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JULY 21, 2009: Jason Drew of Studio City gives his dog Casey a lift while riding his mountain bike along Chandler Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JULY 9, 1997: Cuddles the cat finds the perfect place to eye the occupants of a goldfish tank at its home in Simi Valley.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JULY 25, 1994: Artist Marc Greenblum works on a painting at his loft on Factory Place in downtown Los Angeles as his dog Spanky works on its leaping ability, reacting to a pedestrian walking by.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

AUGUST 13, 1992: Vartkes Delalian drives along Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks with a figure promoting the heavy metal band Megadeth that had been on display at a record store. The figure was being taken back to a warehouse in Glendale.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

JULY 6, 2003: Jonathan Berke, left, riding his electric scooter, tows friend Tom Moore on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. They were on their way back after making a trip together to the paint store. Moore was going to use the spray paint to touch up Berke's scooter.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

MAY 6, 2008: A German shepherd stands guard over its owner at Mandalay State Beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

APRIL 30, 1997: Salvador Parez loses his head while trimming a tree outside Oaks Mall.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / The Los Angeles Times

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By Mel Melcon

I have always had an interest in looking for candid moments that are funny.

There is something very satisfying about capturing a slice of life that can generate a laugh. I never know when I am going to stumble on a situation with potential for a funny moment.  Sometimes it’s random luck, like the image of a football player having his pants pulled down by an opponent trying to tackle him.  I’ve always wondered  how much more revealing the next frame might have been if the tackler hadn’t lost his grip.

Other times I come across funny scenes while driving my car.  In cases like that, I don’t know what’s funnier, the scene I am trying to photograph or the looks I get from people as I run down the street with my camera, frantically trying to catch up with to the subject after parking my car.

One of the funniest scenes I’ve ever photographed was in Hollywood, where people dressed in movie character costumes pose with tourists for tips outside what’s now called TCL Chinese Theatre Imax. I was working on a story at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum nearby, and as I left the museum, literally right outside the front entrance, was a swarm of Los Angeles police officers surrounding a guy wearing a Spider-Man outfit.

As they were about to put the handcuffs on the man, one of the officers grabbed my arm and stopped me from taking photos. I guess he thought it would be bad public relations if I caught them in the act of arresting a superhero.

Once they started walking him to the squad car, however, I was able to take photos from behind without them noticing, and it made for a more interesting moment, being able to see the handcuffs and also getting the tourists reacting to this bizarre scene — funny how it all worked out.

1 Comment

  1. April 30, 2014, 7:08 pm

    Precision engineers, able to handle a wide variety of engineering projects, including all metalworking and steel fabrication projects.

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