I spent the better part of a morning and afternoon this week getting up well before the HOV lanes heading into DC kicked into gear at 6:30am in order to get myself to the White House before the work day traffic hit. Working at the White House is not an everyday event for me. Just getting around the area is still an adventure for a guy who has spent the past ten years working on the west coast.ambien online pharmacy
USA TODAY and The Detroit Free Press had a “one on one” interview with President Obama scheduled for 11am. Myself and a crew from fellow Gannett TV outlet WUSA had to be ready to set up by 8:30am in the White House Map Room and then wait a few hours for the President. This is just another day at the office for most White House press photographers but for me, it is a treat.buy ambien online
By 9am, all set up, so we sat and waited.ambien for sale
The really cool thing about sitting in a room just off the Oval Office for close to three hours is the opportunity to get to just take it all in. The Map Room gets the name from its use during World War II, when Franklin Roosevelt used it as a situation room where maps were consulted to track the war’s progress. One of those maps from World War II still hangs on the wall and shows what is thought to be German troop strengths in Europe. Definitely much less high tech than today’s information systems. There is actually a drawing on the wall showing Roosevelt in his wheelchair in the Map Room going over the situation in Germany during the war.buy ambien without prescription
I really didn’t bone up on my history but some pretty important things have happened in this room in recent years according to a wiki search.
- Bill Clinton gave testimony to Independent Counsel Ken Star regarding his role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal from the Map Room on August 17, 1998.
- Recently, on January 21, 2009, the day after the inauguration of Barack Obama, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts re-administered the oath of office to President Obama in the Map Room. The oath was flubbed by misplacing one word during the ceremony the previous day.
The actual interview was nothing spectacular. I had five minutes to make a few pictures during a twenty minute interview. I had actually been set to shoot from an angle which would have made better pictures but was told at the start of the interview I would only be able to shoot from off to one side by White House officials. No one else was inside the room taking still pictures besides the official White House photographer but there still are limitations even while being a “one on one” interview.
I did use a specially designed sound blimp enclosing a Nikon D3 to hide the sound of the camera firing while shooting in close with the Nikon 70-200mm. In situations like this, I can’t wait until I can get my hands on the Nikon D3s complete with the quiet mode function as silent as the Canon 5d’s quiet mode. Now, the sound of a D3 shutter firing in a quiet room during an interview is as loud as a cannon going off.
The best angle I could manage had to be shot with the non-soundproofed D3 and the 200-400mm lens while hanging out over the edge of the WUSA television camera.
This was going to be loud.
I looked at my watch which I had started the stopwatch at the top of the interview and waited to the very end of my time before pulling up the 200-400mm. It was quick and dirty but I fired off just three frames before getting the nod to finish. Two of the frames were completely unusable, the President’s eyes were shut. Only one frame from this angle was usable and it was the one used by the Detroit Free Press on their front page.
The most memorable thing about the Map Room besides a rare 1755 French version of a map charted by colonial surveyors Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson (Thomas Jefferson’s father) hanging on the east wall is the “out of the way” lavatory which looks like it hasn’t changed too much since Roosevelt. As it turns out, this restroom is officially a women’s lavatory. After three hours of waiting, no one seemed to mind if the trio of all male photographers took turns. And, all of the paper towels are embossed with the Presidential seal.