For first time in decades, photojournalist captures images of live presidential speech

National Press Photographers Association
President Barack Obama’s Wednesday night address on U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan marked the first time the press has photographed a president during a live speech in several decades. The address was the first since the White House decided to discontinue re-enacting speeches for still photographers, a practice that was brought to light after Obama’s announcement that the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden. David Ake, the Associated Press’ assistant bureau chief for photos in Washington, told NPPA’s Donald Winslow that the AP used two cameras: one held by AP photographer Pablo Martinez Monsivais as he sat in a chair off to the side, the other mounted below the video camera and triggered by a cable. Both cameras were covered in sound-buffering “blimps” and were operated in settings to reduce noise. The AP distributed several photos during the speech, and Winslow noted that the New York Times posted one of them within minutes.

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