Saturday, September 08, 2007

Political Theater: Shooting from the audience

Originally uploaded by awater

This last Friday, I had the chance to see Barak Obama speak at the Bill Graham Auditorium in downtown San Francisco. I've only seen one politician ever give a public speech, and this seemed like a great opportunity to see another. I wondered what kinds of shots I might be able to get as a member of the regular audience. When I passed the press stand, I was quite tempted to let them know that I am a photographer. But, of course, I couldn't have gotten a press pass for simply posting shots up on Flickr, although it was fun to watch the "pros" in action on the floor.

Mike Macor from the Chronicle did get one shot I really liked:

Chronicle Photo 1

But his follow-up did not speak, at least to me, to any relation to the people or the location:

Chronicle Photo 2

If I had a better lens, the photograph which this posting circumscribes would have been one of my most best. However, I had to shoot manually, without my tripod, and at ISO 1600. I just wish that I had had the foresight to bring my tripod along; but such is my scattered concentration during the working week that fulfilling such a requirement was impossible.

Regardless, I do like the shot. It's almost Republican in its framing; placing the larger than life image of Obama adjacent our flag. But I like that sense; for members of the opposition party are just as patriotic as any other.

To me, Obama represents an opportunity, perhaps, for healing. During his speech he said that he was a "hope dealer", a "hope addict", someone addicted to optimism and a faith in our ability to turn any situation around. I believe in the same, and hope that he can be true to his words.

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