The Free Lance-Star Photography Department shares the stories behind the photos.

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Palin in Fredericksburg

I spent the day with the FLS photo department covering Gov. Sarah Palin’s campaign stop in Fredericksburg today. My job, along with another photographer, was to work the crowd that couldn’t get in to Hurkamp Park in downtown Fredericksburg. Meanwhile we had three staffers inside the secure area using both still cameras and video to record the event.

I felt like this sort of event, including Sen. Obama’s visit a few weeks back, could be handled by two people, but I suppose the more the merrier. The upside is that when it is time to edit for the paper, we have a lot to choose from. Maybe too much!

It seems like the story is almost more about the people who turn out for the rally than it is about the candidate. I suspect this is partly due to the scripted nature of political campaigns and the fact that politics tends to get people excited.


Amid thousands of supporters, a dozen or so protesters showed up. I’m not sure what they hoped to accomplish as I get the impression that people who wait for hours to get into a political rally are not exactly undecided and therefore not likely to be swayed by their posters and chants. Of course it is their right to assemble and say their piece and worth recording. I include this picture not because it is any good but to put their presence in perspective. If i had used a telephoto lens, it could have suggested a much larger and/or disruptive presence of which it was neither. While it is important to document the protest, it is equally important to reflect reality.

As I said earlier, we had a lot of pictures to edit and the photographers as well as the page designers gathered to make their choices. We spread out our selects in a conference room and talked over how the pictures would play on the front and jump pages, how they would play off of each other and what worked well. Once we had a loose plan, the photographers captioned and filed photos for both print and web while the designers worked on their pages. Meanwhile our multimedia editor put together a slideshow of still images and a video of the rally. All in all, I felt like we put out a solid report today. Check out the slide show here.


- Mike Morones