All this talk about al gore reminded me that the first time I met Sal DiMarco was at an al Gore rally in 2000. It was the day he'd announced Joe Lieberman as his running mate. I was there because I'd happened to be standing in a room with a congressperson about three hours before when an aide came in with a bunch of tickets. In any event, I had 200mm f 2.8 and my
domke vest. I squeezed into about the 76th row of what was literally an airplane hanger at a point where a person would almost fill up the view finder in a horizontal composition. not the best place on earth to be standing, but there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it.
I was in place about 12 minutes when someone grabbed me by the vest and barked "hey! you know the rules! no press up here!" i tried to explain that I wasn't press, but the guy tugged me out of the crowd, handed me over to a very small woman in a blue suit and said "get this one back to the press riser." So she lead me back to a riser, about sixty feet further back,
filled with offical looking news guys with 600mm lenses on expensive tripods. they all looked at my 200 like I was some sort of crazed impostor, except for this one guy at the very edge who yelled "Kyle! Kyle Cassidy!" -- it was Sal DiMarco. I'd never met him, but he recognized me from the Leica Users Group online. He shared his taped off spot on the riser with me (it said TIME MAGAZINE, which I thought was very cool). I took some photos of a miniature Joe Biden giving what was really a great lecture about economics off the top of his head
while we waited hours for Gore. Sal had a Cannon 300 2.8 mounted on a Leica R8. Finally Gore showes up, and sal snaggs the woman in the blue suit and points to me and says "He needs to go up front". So she lead me to this roped off area in front of the stage, I photographed the whole thing with a 28mm lens from three feet away.
Al Gore's wife, before she decided to devote her life to ridding the world of the evil that was Twisted Sister, was a photojournalist. I have one of her books, it's not bad. And Al was, for a time, a member of the fourth estate himself.
I didn't get a single good photo of him that day though. in every shot I have he looks like a raving madman with terrible teeth.
Bill Clinton, on the other hand, you can't take a bad photo of that guy. he
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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