When the President of the United States visited Dubuque in August 2012 I thought I got pretty close and had a once in a lifetime chance to make some good photos. Three days before the presidential election both candidates came to Dubuque again, of course to different locations, and held campaign rallies in order to get the votes of the people from Iowa. Barack Obama had his event in Washington Park, Downtown Dubuque. After passing security I realized that a big crowd had already gathered around the stage and I tried to find a spot on the side where I could snap at least a few pictures with my longer lens while the president would have his speech. Suddenly the gate I was leaning against got moved away and security guided me and other people to an area that was actually reserved for people in wheelchairs. Bingo! It was slightly behind the stage and right at the fence where the President would enter and leave the arena. Would I have a chance for a close up picture again like in August?
To make a long story short, seconds after Barack Obama arrived he turned towards our side of the aisle and had a brief conversation with a gentleman just next to me. I clicked away, the lens wide open at f/4, ISO 400 dialed in, and shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/90s, just hoping that one image would be sharp.
Despite the stage was illuminated by big spotlights and a little bit of daylight left, I had to crank up the ISO to 800. Not my preferred shooting mode with the D300s! At the end, after a very good speech that summarized what Barack Obama stands for, he walked along the fence and talked with people. The secret service guys told us to keep the cameras down, and that's what I did. Well, here was my chance to shake hands with the President of the United States, and we did... :-)