Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 24, 2014

October 21, 2014

Getting the Job Done in Media Scrums

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Getting the Job Done in Media ScrumsThere are many competitive photographers in D.C. I’ve learned from guys such as Stephen Crowley of The New York Times, Win McNamee of Getty and The Associated Press’ J. Scott Applewhite since I came here as an intern with six months of experience at my college newspaper. They don’t need to be the closest or most aggressive. They put some elements together, capture a moment, or catch a piece of light that will tie a picture together. Colleagues I respect will always try to be aware of where the other shooters are in a crowd and flash a “You OK?” look when they are close to being in your frame. I try to operate this way, too, but sometimes it can be difficult on the road.

Covering candidates in their home districts is an essential part of the job, but adapting to the style of the local visual journalists can be challenging. In D.C., there are so many still photographers that we have to work together so we don’t get in each other’s shots. A lot of journalists in smaller markets aren’t used to working in crowds, and I think they focus on what they need and not where others are.

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September 22, 2014

Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieu’s Keg-Stand Assist

LAPOL14 302 092014 445x295 Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieus Keg Stand Assist

Landrieu holds a keg nozzle for a LSU football fan as he does a “keg stand” at a tailgate party on campus before the football game on Sept. 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieus Keg Stand AssistBATON ROUGE, La. — Soon after arriving in Louisiana to cover the Senate race, Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and I found out Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu would be campaigning at the massive alcohol-infused ritual that is Louisiana State University tailgating. With thousands of spirited football fans gathered for all day feasts on Cajun cuisine and every imaginable type of libation before the 6 p.m. kickoff of the LSU-Mississippi State game in Baton Rouge, I knew we were going to be witness to a spectacle with a high chance for the unexpected.

Thanks to the Southern hospitality of Fred and Lou of the Tequila Tigers tailgate crew, we were quickly invited into the fold when we arrived early at the first designated meeting spot on campus for Landrieu’s tour of the elaborate tailgate parties. Soon I spotted Landrieu’s entourage winding through the purple and yellow encampments. She moved quickly from group to group, saying hello, passing out campaign stickers, shaking hands and posing for photos. She even dared to approach what seemed like hostile territories, greeted with a chorus of boos or occasional shouts of, “Go back to Washington!”

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September 19, 2014

Fast Forward Friday: How a Photographer Uses Instagram’s Hyperlapse

Have you ever wished you could put Congress on fast forward? You can now, with the help of the Hyperlapse app from Instagram that’s now available for iPhone. (Sorry droids, you are going to have to wait.)

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve put this nifty little app to the test, and I love it. It shoots video at normal speed, then gives you the option to save or publish the video at normal speed to 12 times the speed.

Just imagine how much Congress could get done at 12 times the speed.

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August 19, 2014

Behind the Camera in Ferguson

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Behind the Camera in FergusonOn Aug. 14, I was in St. Louis with reporter Emily Cahn waiting to fly back to D.C. the next day. I knew about the protests in Ferguson and thought about going, but I had to file pictures from the Illinois State Fair and had little storage space on my computer after nine days in the Midwest for our Roll Call on the Road project.

I had also heard reports of street blockades and journalist arrests. I wasn’t familiar with the area from a logistical standpoint, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting there.

Around the time I was thinking about it, Photo Editor Bill Clark sent me an email floating the idea of checking it out and that was all I needed to get going. Full story

By Tom Williams Posted at 2:39 p.m.
On the Road

August 14, 2014

Iowa: The Fair of Entourages

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Guests walk though the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa on August 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I attended the Iowa State Fair last week with Roll Call Politics Reporter Alexis Levinson to cover the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The candidates running for the seat are Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Senator Joni Ernst. I’ve have enjoyed taking photos of politicians at the fair in the past, but it proved tricky this time with the volume of people following them.

Braley delivered his stump speech on Thursday and then walked the grounds with a motley crew in tow, including: staff, reporters, filmmakers, opposition trackers, hecklers holding signs and random hangers-on. Luckily, I was the only still photographer from the media. However, if the candidate did something that would make a good picture, it was hard to get into position, and nearly impossible to exclude all the extraneous people. At that point, as a photographer, you have to try to make a photo that shows everything going on. Full story

August 7, 2014

#tbt: Intern Duties

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Part of Roll Call’s 1989 “continuing series of photos of dog-walking interns, here’s Jodie Martin, Diet Coke in hand, and Sen. Bob Dole’s pooch Leader on leash.” (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

A recent visit to the Roll Call archives uncovered this 1989 photo of a young Senate intern from University of California, Santa Barbara named Jodie Martin walking then-Minority Leader Bob Dole’s dog Leader 25 years ago this month.

We tracked her down thanks to the power of the Internet — she’s now Jodie Martin Ellis and works in the San Francisco Bay area.

Reached via email, Martin Ellis recalled that interns were not usually “thrilled” to be tasked with the duty of walking the Kansan’s appropriately named terrier, but on the day the photo was taken she was eager to get away from her desk.

“I’m a little foggy after all these years, but like most terriers, I believe Leader had a big attitude for a little dog,” Martin Ellis said, adding that unlike Dole, “Leader’s bark was bigger than his bite.” Full story

Day 2: Arizona, Why Do You Hate Photographers?

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Day 2: Arizona, Why Do You Hate Photographers?

I set my alarm to 6 a.m. the night before so I could get some pretty sunrise photos.

Problem #1: I wake up at 5 a.m., because, you know, its 8 a.m. in D.C.

Problem #2: The sun is already up.

Luckily, the coffee bar is open in the hotel. My new mission for the morning, while the light is still good, is an old mission. The Mission San Xavier del Bac, to be precise. This turned out to be the highlight of my day.

 

 

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By Bill Clark Posted at 11:20 a.m.
On the Road

August 6, 2014

Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

My alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. to give me enough for a quick shower, a shot of caffeine and a ride via Uber to National Airport for my 6 a.m. flight to Las Vegas via Atlanta. I get to the airport and guess what? The TSA lanes aren’t even open. I could have slept another 30 minutes.

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Empty-handed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eventually, I get on the plane and land in Sin City, where I manage to bypass all the slot machines as I make my way to baggage claim and the shuttle bus to the rental car hub. Now comes my favorite part: I LOVE driving through the desert, and I now get to drive from Vegas to Tucson, taking in some absolutely spectacular scenery.

Here are a few of the shots I made with my phone, including a roadside place where you can shoot guns and have a burger,

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Combo dining. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

a Route 66 sign in Kingman, Ariz.,

rt663 445x333 Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

Get your kicks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

and a flask from the souvenir shelf at a gas station.

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Drink up! (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Part of my plan for the day was to find a beautiful scene to shoot at sunset with my real cameras. And had it not been for a few self-imposed detours and a couple traffic jams (how is there traffic in the desert?) I would have made it through Phoenix with plenty of time to find that perfect spot, maybe with some cacti.

But as I clear the Phoenix area, the sun is setting way too fast, and there isn’t a single cactus to be seen. Thank you Arizona, for 75 mph speed limits. Just as the sun was about to go behind the mountains, I found a small clump of pitiful cacti. Here’s what it looked like.

 Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

The sun sets in the West. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This journey started almost 22 hours ago, and now it’s time to sleep.

By Bill Clark Posted at 1:28 p.m.
On the Road

July 31, 2014

#tbt: Eric Cantor Edition

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Cantor works out the final details of his new office with members of his move coordination team. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Eric Cantor gave his last speech as majority leader on the House floor, Capitol Lens decided to dig into the Roll Call archives for different views of the outgoing majority leader’s time on the Hill.

Cantor, talking about his time in Congress, said Thursday:

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as majority leader of this distinguished body. I look around this remarkable chamber and I see so many friends and colleagues who have inspired me and who have inspired this congress to do great things for the American people. Walking into this building, and walking on to this floor is something that excited me every day since I was first elected to congress.

“As it should.

“Not one of us should ever take for granted the awesome honor and responsibility we have to serve our fellow Americans. This is a privilege of a lifetime. I think of the sacrifices that help me rise to serve the people of the Virginia’s 7th District. … I have truly lived the American dream. That’s what this country is supposed to be about; dreaming big, believing that each generation can do better than the last.”

Our photographers have tracked the Virginia Republican since his freshman year, and our trip into the archives taught us something about Cantor’s Hill personality.

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July 15, 2014

Small Victories

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Although it seems there’s not much to these pictures, it is a major victory in the effort to photograph the back-to-back weekly news conferences of Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on the Hill.

The House leaders normally host a press conference every Thursday in Studio A of the Capitol Visitor Center. They speak alone from a lectern and it normally looks the same every week, except for what they’re wearing.

Pelosi’s avail is held first and usually wraps up at about 11:20 a.m., to allow some time before Boehner’s which starts at 11:30. As I was setting up a shot of her walking out, which wasn’t shaping up to be much, I realized Pelosi was ending late and Boehner would be there at any moment. I thought there was a good chance of them passing each other.

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