Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Barack Shadow

November 12th, 2011
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Howdy everyone!

Anyone enjoying APEC yet?  The traffic, the dignitaries, the secret service–oh my!

I had the privilege of photographing the arrival of President Barack Obama and the First Lady last night.  As always, the standard pool rules.  Far.  Secret service sweep.  Far.  Three hours before his arrival.  Far.  Oh did I mention, the press riser is FAR???

So I’m swept and led through by Secret Service–four hours before his arrival.  I’m armed with a 24-70, 70-200, and a 400 2.8.

Air Force One makes a nice landing right in front of us!

I had a pretty nice spot on the riser.  The nice thing about President Obama’s late arrival is that there was plenty of room on our riser!  I guess an 11pm arrival didn’t appeal to a lot of the rest of the press.

The door to Air Force One opens, and out steps First Lady Michelle Obama and the President.  Standard shot.  Neat shadows on the plane from the tarmac lights.

And another stock shot…

BUT!

All of a sudden *Emeril Voice*  BAAM!!

As I was firing off frames, one of the photographer’s flashes from the traveling pool (Air Force One has a traveling pool that gets to ride with him), happens to light my frame.  Voila!  The result?  SHADOW…

President Barack Obama, back, and First Lady Michelle Obama deplane after arriving for APEC 2011 aboard Air Force One on Friday, November 11, 2011 at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu. (POOL PHOTO/Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Stay tuned for more APEC stuff!

Barack Obama

January 1st, 2010
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President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 at Kaneohe Clipper Golf Course to the media about the recent terrorism attack aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam.  (Jamm Aquino/POOL/Honolulu Star-Bulletin).

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 at Kaneohe Clipper Golf Course to the media about the recent terrorism attack aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam. (Jamm Aquino/POOL/Honolulu Star-Bulletin).

This past Monday, I was part of the White House Press Pool that follows President Barack Obama.  From what my good friend and colleague Cindy Ellen Russell told me from the day before, I had mentally prepared myself for a long(read, LOOOONG) day of hurrying up and waiting while living in a 16-passenger tourvan.  As we gathered up before dawn, I was informed that President Obama was to give a public statement addressing the concerns of the recent thwarted terrorist attack on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.  Larry Downing, Reuters staffer from Washington D.C., told me “You’re lucky, you’ll get to see him today!”

So off we went to the Windward side.  The van consisted of five still photographers, including me, a pool videographer with sound, and a handful of journalists from various agencies.  The ride to Kailua was a symphony of snores until we got to the security checkpoint.  Here we spent about a 1/2 hour getting swept and cleared by Secret Service.  I came to the realization afterwards that this is probably the safest place in the country right now!

We posted up at the press house, a rented single story home with a nice pool (no pun intended, even though we ARE the press POOL) in the backyard, for a while before Ben, our White House press agent, exclaims “We gotta go we gotta go WE GOTTA GO!!!”  Instantly, all members of the pool dropped like ants dug up from their hill.  We loaded the van in less than one minute, a time, according to AP staff photographer Alex Brandon, that was one of the fastest he’d seen ever.  Others agreed as well.

The pool still photographers consisted of a boisterous and fun-loving crew from D.C.  There was Alex Brandon from the Associated Press, Larry Downing from Reuters, Jewel Samad from AFP, and Kent Nishimura freelancing for Getty Images.  Because of the “hurry up and wait” lifestyle in the pool, downtime was spent playing practical jokes on each other, and Larry Downing playfully told me that reading a book was illegal (I had brought a paperback to pass the time).  The biggest gag, which never seemed to get old, even after 14 hours of President watch, was the “Oh oh OH! there he is!!” at which point motordrives start going off in rapid fire succession.  Of course, he wasn’t there, and so the cameras are put down, and a chorus of “awwww, man, c’mon!” are followed by laughter of the jokester who’d started the bluff.

The majority of the day was spent photographing the motorcade.  It was very difficult to see which SUV the President was riding in. Aside from the tint, they were always in motion as were at a stop.  Throughout the course of the day, I became used to tracking and shooting the SUV’s and came to the conclusion that it was shoot, no MOTOR, first, chimp and see if you got him later.

The motorcade approaches our pool van.  It was a challenge knowing which SUV President Obama was riding in.

The motorcade approaches our pool van. It was a challenge knowing which SUV President Obama was riding in.

Even when I did get a shot of him, the exposure was so out of whack because of the tint.

Even when I did get a shot of him, the exposure was so out of whack because of the tint.

After President Obama’s daily workout at Semper Fit, our pool followed him to Kailua Racquet Club, where I was able to get my first clean photograph of him.  Composition-wise, it was great, because I got him framed through a coconut tree’s leaves–such a cliché Hawaii shot.

obamatennis

We left after about an hour and returned to our press house.  Up next was his first public statement since arriving to Honolulu.  We were shuttled into the conference room with about a minute to spare before President Obama went live nationwide.  And all of a sudden, he was just there.  He came from around a black curtain wearing a simple white collared shirt and a black coat.

obama 01

obama 02

obama 04

obama 03

It was just unbelievable–being that close to the President of the United States.  Hearing his voice through my ears and not through the television or radio, seeing him right there–just intense.  Of course the pressure of getting a good shot was immense, and at the end of the few precious minutes we had with him, we were hurried out to the waiting area of the press pool before boarding our mobile home again.  Once on board, I uploaded and filed on our way to our next undisclosed (OTR, as they called it) location.  After sending my photos, I was able to reflect on being in that room photographing the most powerful man in the country–a truly amazing experience.

Travels

August 10th, 2009
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for constantly checking out my photoblog.  I have been on vacation for the past few weeks and am now back, refreshed and ready for the fall sports season.  Because this blog is for anyone who loves and appreciates photography, I figured I’d post some of my favorites from my travels–maybe some of you can figure out where I went.  Enjoy, and stay tuned for more posts coming soon!

Can you see what that wake belongs to?

Can you see what that wake belongs to?

AND MY FAVORITE PHOTO:

Papa’s got a brand new bag!

April 13th, 2009
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…Well, not really, but for all of the gear heads out there who are curious as to how I travel with my gear, this post is for you!  Being that I went to Maui on Saturday to cover the scrimmage, and the many who ask what I carry with me when traveling, I’ve photographed my bags as they are packed, and I’ll describe what’s inside.

1.  Carry-on bag, INSIDE Lowepro Vertex AW backpack:

1-Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN Body, battery attached

1-Canon EOS 1D Mark III Body, battery attached

1-EF 400 2.8 lens

1-EF 16-35 lens, hood detached (more on that later)

1-EF 70-200 lens, hood detached

1-1.4x II teleconverter

1-2x II teleconverter

1-580EX speedlite with omnibounce attached

1-ST-E2 wireless transmitter

1-Canon right-angle finder

1-each, spare battery for Mark IIN and Mark III

Think tank pixel pocket rocket CF card wallet with 16 gigs worth of cards/SD

 

Inside of my carry-on.

Inside of my carry-on.

2.  Carry-on bag, OUTSIDE:

-Mac Powerbook 15″

-Laptop security lock

-Power supply for laptop

-Think Tank Cable Management pouch containing the following:

2-CF card readers, firewire and USB2

2-SD card readers

1-Verizon EVDO aircard

1-telephone cable

2-iPod USB2 cords (for iPhone)

1-Calculator (for expensing in the field)

1-2 gigabyte thumb drive

 

Outside of my backpack.  Not shown:  iPod shuffle, Listerine mist spray (because I like to be charming to my seatmate on the plane!  Nothing worse than breathing fire, especially on long flights))

Outside of my backpack. Not shown: iPod shuffle, Listerine mist spray (because I like to be charming to my seatmate on the plane! Nothing worse than breathing fire, especially on long flights))

3.  Check-in bag, small roller:

2-Aquatech sports shield rain covers, for 400mm and 70-200mm

-All lens hoods, 400, 70-200, and 16-35

1- Gitzo carbon fiber monopod

1-Pacsafe security net

1-Extra set of clothes (just in case of stranding, which has happened to me)

1-Think Tank Changeup wastepack with Think Tank Whip it Out pouch attached

Optionally, I also pack the chargers for camera batteries, although on day trips, I don’t take it.

 

My philosophy on checked bags is taken from many of my colleagues.

My philosophy on checked bags is taken from many of my colleagues.

A few of my mentors and colleagues say it best when it comes to traveling.  Basically, you carry-on EVERYTHING you need to shoot the assignment/job.  Anything that can be replaced at your destination, small items such as monopods, etc. are checked.  Lens hoods are not essential, and take up room in the backpack so they are checked in also.

That’s it!