Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The President Of The United States Of America


Care to guess who came to town today? You probably won't be able to tell from these pictures, but trust me when I say that President Barack Obama is in these shots. He flew into Sarasota this morning to visit the new solar power plant in Arcadia, and I caught him after he was flown back to the airport, during the short walk from Marine One to Air Force One. I would guess he was on the tarmac no more than a minute. That's him in the center of the photo above, in front of the satellite truck for channel 8. Marine One is to the right.

As you can see, Obama was moving on. I don't think he even stopped to wave at anyone during his walk. These pictures are crops of much larger shots, and I really couldn't see what he was doing as he walked. In fact, I wasn't even certain I'd caught him. But I went by the comments from the folks around me who had binoculars and better eyesight. We were all observing from an access road behind the airport, maybe a quarter mile away. You can see the nose of Air Force One intruding in on the picture above.

I hadn't planned on going up to the airport at all, but after lunch I decided that I needed to at least ride by to see what I could see, and I was glad I did. My timing couldn't have been much better.

One thing that I didn't think of as I was shooting these pictures was the heat rising from the runways. Most of the distortion you see in these shots is due to the hot air rising from the tarmac that I was trying to shoot through. But this is probably as close as I'll ever get to a sitting president with my camera. I shook hands with Bill Clinton once when he visited UF, but I didn't have a camera at the time.

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