Monday, February 4, 2008

On the Campain Trail

Talk about an interesting night. This Saturday i had the chance to cover my first big political event. Presidential canidate Hillary Clinton came and spoke to thousands at Highland High School here in Albuquerque.

Covering a political event this big isn't like anything I've covered before. Upon arrival an hour and half before the Clinton was scheduled to speak there was already a line of at least a thousand people waiting to get in, luckily the media had it's own entrance with about 10 people at that time.

Getting into the event as media is not a difficult task to say the least, anyone with a camera and/or a note book and pen could get in as media. All they have to do is write down their affiliation and name and you got a media pass. This made the already limited media spots even harder to come by. There are a couple of reasons why i figure they aren't that strict as other events; one, because they need all the coverage they can get for their candidate, and two, these events are set up and scheduled only about a day in advance, so requiring advance media approval is kind of out of the question.

(above) A view of the two media positions set up for us.

The stage they placed Clinton on wasn't very high and put her not too much above waist level over the heads of the crowd, so higher elevation spots became important to get to. However, I decided to stay low when Hillary first came out to try and get a shot through all the signs they have been handing out, but because of my location none of the people in front of me where waving signs, but i was able to get a shot through their hands as Hillary first came out.

So after i made the image above i decided to move around to the side to a more elevated photo position.

(above) Hillary from the second, side, photo position.

(above) Fan feature during Hillary's speech.

(above) Boy oh boy do i wish i had a tilt shift lens, but for now I'll just have to do it in photoshop :( Which ruins any chance for this image having any life in the editorial market.

During these events they generally do not let the press wander around much outside of their assigned areas. However, one of the most important things you can do being a photographer is to try and get an image that no one else has, even if it is risky.

So at this point after I had been to both photo positions I decided to try and make my way up to the upper level of stands (which i had been told previously was off limits to media), but decided to try anyways.

There are generally two things that might happen; one, you'll get to your new position and they will tell you can't be there, or two, you'll get there and you'll have no problems. Luckily in my case I didn't run into any problems and was able to make a few more images from the upper levels.

(above) I kind of got lucky with this shot in that i caught the tail end of another photographers flash which help Hillary pop out from the background more so then some other frames.

Another shot of Hillary from the upper level.

Besides Hillary being over an hour late, the gym being super hot and humid and being crammed with media it was a very worth while experience and I look forward to either Clinton or Obama's stop on the campaign trail next year.


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