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November 07, 2006

Go, Webb!!

Go, Webb!!, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.


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Are these just lucky shots? Are you just a good editor LB? I mean, you can see the emotion, the movement, peoples characters, and characteristics...all in one shot. What's your technique? Is it editing and compostion, or is it luck? Or, could it be, dare I say it, talent?

My MoveOn calls to VA-Sen were mostly a pleasant affair, a few hung-up, the ones I contacted often sounded like they might be African Americans and they uniformly voiced support for Webb. Allen's racist remarks probably did him more harm the the polling immediately afterward indicated. [I hope!]

Uh, do you shoot at weddings and B'nai Mitzvah? We could such vivid pix.

Any sense from the ground campaign in Virginia that the robo-calls are working? I'm hearing worrying reports that many people in Connecticut actually are voting Republican because they were tricked into thinking the Democrats were harassing them by phone.

It's hard for me to even imagine what will happen if the Republicans keep the House, and it becomes generally known that it was because millions of voters switched at the last minute after falling for an infantile ruse. What are their new representatives going to say--"ha, ha, gotcha"?

I love shooting social events. I haven't done that many private functions, but I'd love to do more.

I'm so glad people like the pictures.

My method depends on how far away the subject is. For distant stuff like the Webb/Clinton rally, my biggest challenge was staking out a decent spot to shoot from. (A local TV newsguy basically threatened to push me off the riser if I bumped his camera again.) I've gotten better at visualizing what the right spot is. I used to just fight for the front row center, but now that I've got a better understanding of lighting and the strengths and weaknesses of my gear, I decide what the ideal spot is in advance and fight for that. Often, it's easier to get than front row, center.

For this rally, I was so far away from the action that I could only really see the big gestures. So, I'd watch for hands going up or mouths starting to open, or other major affective signs. I try to anticipate where the gesture is going so that I can snap it at the most dramatic moment. I don't like shooting on "burst" mode because it creates a huge number of very similar pictures to sort through later. I love editing, but only if I'm picking through well-chosen shots.

For close-up work, I just watch people very carefully. The Allen HQ thing was nice because I had to be there four hours early to stake out my spot on the riser. So, I was able to watch a lot of those people for a while and figure out their body language and how they responded to the camera. I knew I wanted to shoot the woman I called "Angry Republican" as soon as I saw her, but I also realized that she didn't like cameras. I tried sneaking to remote corners of the room and catching her unawares with the telephoto, but the compositions weren't that great. Luckily, I got a clear shot on her at the podium. Having watched her all night, I was able to anticipate the mannerisms I wanted from her.

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