A day of shooting election primaries for a wire news agency isn’t loads of fun. It usually consists of chasing the fake smiles of hopeful candidates and shooting their manicured smiles and prom queen waves. You drive all around town to different locations where the politicians are doing their last minute sign waving trying to capture that one undecided voter passing by.
So last week’s coverage of the primaries gave me some of the better pictures I’ve taken in some time. As I drove down Beretania St. on the way to see Ed Case waving down on the Pali Hwy, the traffic slowed down a bit as we neared the Capital. Several police cars with flashing lights caused just enough rubbernecking to make traffic just that more irritating but I noticed something slightly out of place.
So I weaved my way through the rubberneckers spinning around the Capital to rush up on the small group of Occupy Wall Streeters turn Honolulu and found a porty protestor, a cop, and a leggy blonde with plenty of tattoos and just enough tape to cover the naughty bits. With these type of elements forming all around, its hard not to get a great photo. Her sign of getting screwed bu the politicians works very well.
I had just enough time to capture them waving their signs and cops around them to capture a few pictures and move on. So I hopped back in the car and was driving past the protest when I noticed the large lady in the wheelchair rolling down the cross walk nearing the Occupiers. I only had my 24-70mm lens at hand and the light was green so I had no other option but to shoot and just crop. Little did I know I captured a great moment.
So I get back and transmit my take to NYC and sadly found the editors didn’t have the courage to move the “graphic content” or so they say. They can run headless bodies, blood and guts, and whatnot but no boobs. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.
A note on pictures…sometimes you can’t plan it. It just happens. Looking through past great photographs, it seems most photographers didn’t plan to be at that place at that moment. Things just unraveled in front of them. This New York Times piece has a POWERFUL image of a Tibetan protestor who set himself on fire protesting Ju Jintao’s visit to India this year. Its a powerful moment that could have never been planned. I can only imagine the photographer, Manish Swarup, never would have thought he have a shot like this. There was no time to think about composure, f stops, what type of lens is on the camera, filters, iso, etc…nothing. Absolutely no time to think as its just a reaction. And sometimes those reactions are things that happen out of no where.
My picture is not award winning nor is it life changing for me and I shouldn’t event mention my name in the same breath as Manish Swarp, but its those moments that are unplanned and just happen.
Funny, AP ran the image of the self-immolation…but they didn’t run mine.