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September 22, 2014

Posts in "On the Road"

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

IA POL14 185 080914 Iowa: The Fair of Entourages

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

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.

 

 

Full story

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.

airport4 251x335 Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

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,

bullets3 445x333 Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

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.

flask3 251x335 Westward Ho! Day 1 of Roll Call on the Road in Arizona

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 8, 2014

What You Missed: An Independence Day Parade in 69 Seconds (Video)

When Independence Day rolls around in an election year, the Roll Call photojournalists head out to small towns in contested districts across the country to catch candidates and beauty queens marching in their local parades. This year I found myself at the Ripley, W.Va., Fourth of July parade billed as “The USA’s Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration.”

This is a collection of every frame I shot of the parade, most which never get filed or shown publicly. The music is a recording I captured on my iPhone of local musicians hanging out under a tree. Leo Enoch was on guitar and Leonard Whiting was on banjo.

Have a look for yourself as Roll Call presents 623 photos of the parade in 69 seconds.

June 3, 2014

On the Road: Mississippi Politics

MSPOL14 023 052814 445x292 On the Road: Mississippi Politics

Ashton Ware, 9, looks at stickers for Gene Taylor, Republican candidate for the 4th District of Mississippi in Hattiesburg on May 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 On the Road: Mississippi PoliticsThis trip through Mississippi had a lot of challenges. Missing candidates, late schedules and zealous handlers can make it tough to get informative and creative images, and this swing through the Magnolia State might have generated more stories than art.

I was looking forward to covering Senate candidate Chris McDaniel because his campaign events sounded promising. We arrived bright and early in Philadelphia, Miss., at gas station/diner for a sit down with some locals at 7 a.m. While we were waiting, my colleague Kyle Trygstad interviewed a friendly gentleman (almost everyone I met was friendly) who told us the campaign had informed the locals that McDaniel wouldn’t be coming.

So we moved on for the next scheduled event, at an equipment auction outside of town. With the visuals of excavators, bulldozers and people bidding, I thought this had the potential to illustrate a campaign in the rural South. Soon we saw a McDaniel volunteer, who informed us that the candidate wouldn’t be attending this event either. Apparently, there was something wrong with the bus.

The two cancellations didn’t help me, but it did make a really good story for Kyle.

Full story

By Tom Williams Posted at 11:10 a.m.
On the Road

May 13, 2014

My View of West Virginia

photo 2 My View of West Virginia

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The West Virginia House and Senate campaigns officially start after the primary elections on Tuesday. I was sent to cover some of the candidates in April and caught some great moments.

 

Full story

May 5, 2014

Bill Clark: Memories from Marietta

Marietta2 445x333 Bill Clark: Memories from Marietta

(Kyle Trygstad/CQ Roll Call)

Every two years, Roll Call photographers hit the road to see what we call the “real world.” Over the Easter recess, we kicked off our 2014 campaign travels with Tom Williams in Kentucky and West Virginia, and myself hitting the familiar confines of Georgia with Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad. And wouldn’t you know that our first stop in Georgia was the Cobb County Commission meeting room in downtown Marietta, which just so happened to be the city where I got my start as a newspaper photographer over 20 years ago.

Entering the room for a GOP Senate candidate forum, I had a flood of memories from my days at the Marietta Daily Journal. The early-mid ’90s was a very exciting time in that county just north of downtown Atlanta. As Atlanta was just starting to gear up for the 1996 summer Olympics, the Cobb County Commission passed an anti-gay resolution, which led to large protests (by Marietta standards anyway) and eventually to the Olympics pulling official venues out of the county. The meeting room seemed like it hasn’t changed a bit form those days, with the exception of a some red, white and blue bunting placed there for the candidates forum.

 Bill Clark: Memories from Marietta

(Photo by Bill Clark)

Marietta was also the home of Newt Gingrich. And in 1994, I was there to photograph Newt’s election victory party on assignment for US News & World Report when he became speaker. Back in those days, digital photography, FTP and email were not an option. I had to shoot the event on slide film (Kodak Ektachrome 320t pushed 1 stop) for the magazine as their courier waited in the hallway to whisk my raw film off to Washington for processing as fast as possible.

newt gingrich 09 1994 445x298 Bill Clark: Memories from Marietta

(Photo by Bill Clark)

The truth is, The Marietta Daily Journal was an awful place to work. The work conditions were terrible, the pay abysmal, and the publisher… I better stop right there. However, it was a fantastic photojournalist’s boot camp which shaped my style of shooting in so many ways. On those days when I might get a little down with things around here, all I have to do is click my heels three times and repeat: “At least you’re not in Marietta anymore.”

Trivia Quiz: Guess who else was working at the MDJ in those days. Give up?

Current CNN Political Director and former Roll Call reporter Mark Preston.

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