Obama Rally, Chicago
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

I was actually about 7 people back from the barricade for the general ticketed area, and I decided to walk around and take some pictures, since it would be hours before anything would happen. This proved to be a major mistake; within 20 minutes the crowd was too packed to get back to my friends. I ended up a lot further back, in a place with more room, and where the ground rose a bit and made for better viewing. Farther away. By myself. I don't really want to talk about it. Obama was a stick figure in the distance.

Whenever CNN announced a new state projection for Obama, the crowd let out a big cheer. Even more amazing was to see CNN's new holographic interview technology. I'm sure if we'd had a 3-D television it would have looked 3-D.

As the count went over 200, with California still uncounted, it become pretty clear how things were going to go.

[ tags: 40/1.4 barack celebrate chicago crowd election grant hp5 hp5@1600 leica obama park politics president rally voigtlander ]

Obama Rally, Chicago
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

[ tags: 40/1.4 barack celebrate chicago crowd election grant hp5 hp5@1600 leica obama park politics president rally voigtlander ]

Obama Rally, Chicago
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

Left by myself on the far fringe of history, I spent a little time wandering. The crowd eventually filled the entire area, but early on there was still some open space. Scattered through the crowd were reporters with cameras doing interviews, and also many people with cameras taking pictures of people. The prizes these reporters and amateurs were after were the strange people, those with Obama stickers on their foreheads, flags painted on their arms, etc.

I love pictures of people but I'm not very outgoing, and also tend to get really put off when there are lots of photographers around oogling at everything. It just feels a little overfished. So I stuck with mostly crowd shots, which was fine because my thoughts were so scattered....

To start, I was having probs loading film in the leica. Leica's have an odd loading mechanism. I kept having rolls that would suddenly misload after a bunch of pictures had already been taken. It would possible to back up the roll almost to the start (but not so much that the film disappears into the canister) and reload it, advance it with the cap on back to about where you left off...and this was tedious and time consuming.

On a leica, the bottom plate of the camera actually has to be taken off via a little turny thing in order to load more film. At one point, a few frames into a roll, I realized it was gone. I must have not replaced it correctly, and it fell off. It was not at my feet. I had changed film hundreds of yards away, and walked around....it could have been anywhere, including picked up by some curious person. I went back to where I changed film....not there. I retraced my steps and in short order came upon it, laying in the dirt. This was incredibly lucky - to lose it would have cost a bit of money, and also left me taking pictures on my little pocket camera the rest of the night.

Looking later online, it appears I was making film loading way more complicated than it needs to be - a great example of fussing with something too much. If you just lay the film in there and close it up it loads just right. I'm looking forward to working out the kinks on the leica and using it almost all the time. It doesn't take long to learn how a camera works, but there is a comfort you get in using something all the time. You know exactly how much to turn the focus, to bump the aperture up or down, etc. It's been fun shooting so many random cameras, but I look forward to just using one for a while. Especially now that I know how to load film on it.

Also the picts are gorgeous, I couldn't be happier.

[ tags: 40/1.4 barack celebrate chicago crowd election grant hp5 hp5@1600 leica obama park politics president rally voigtlander ]

Obama Rally, Chicago
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

[ tags: 40/1.4 barack celebrate chicago crowd election grant hp5 hp5@1600 leica obama park politics president rally voigtlander ]

Obama Rally, Chicago
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

[ tags: 40/1.4 barack celebrate chicago crowd election grant hp5 hp5@1600 leica obama park politics president rally voigtlander ]

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