By Donald R. Winslow
© 2009 News Photographer magazine
WASHINGTON, DC - In a new view of an American Presidential Inauguration that's never been shot or seen before, photographer Chuck Kennedy from the McClatchy-Tribune Photo Service today made this image of President Barack Obama taking the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States. (More story beneath the photograph.)
McClatchy-Tribune Photo Service managing editor George Bridges said that Kennedy began lobbying for the remote camera position shortly after election day.
"He took photos from previous inaugurations showing that there is a lot of equipment there (speakers, mikes, teleprompters) so a camera there would not be a distraction," Bridges told News Photographer magazine moments after the inauguration wrapped up.
"When the stand was being built Chuck went out and did test photos to show to the Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee and the Senate Press Photographers’ Gallery to show how dramatic the images could be."
The camera was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with wireless transmitter attached and mounted inside a Pelican case customized by Kennedy. It was mounted on a camera plate that was screwed into the platform and then mounted on a Bogen arm. The camera was wired via Ethernet for transmission through a DSL line at Kennedy's position on the balustrade above and behind the platform. The camera was trigged via a hardwire to eliminate radio interference.
McClatchy senior photo editor Linda Epstein said that Kennedy's remote shot with a wide-angle lens is closer than any camera has been before during the inaugural oath. "It's a shot that's never been gotten," she said. The pool photo was sent to all McClatchy newspapers and the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.