Obama Biden Presidential Inauguration Washington DC, Day to Night

Fuji Crystal Archival Photograph

Signed, titled and numbered from edition of 12 on verso.

“Five days before the Inauguration I received a call from the office of the Inauguration committee that they wanted to meet with me. I happened to be in Washington DC and I literally ran over to their offices. I was so excited when they told me I had been granted permission to photograph the inauguration of Barack Obama. When photographing his second inauguration I was positioned in a 50-foot scissor lift centered above The National Mall. The lift truck driver had to be vetted by the secret service as did I and my team. They delivered the lift truck on the Saturday before so I could move it into the perfect position. I was situated in the middle with CNN on my right and CBS on my left. It was a bitterly cold day but the light was beautiful, crisp winter light. It was a remarkable sight to see the Mall transform from a quiet nearly empty expanse to a sea bursting with red, white and blue. After shooting from sunrise into sunset, I finally began doing our night exposures. At approximately 6:10pm, I made my second night exposure, 5 minutes later I was being battered by 30 mile-per-hour wind gusts causing the scissor lift to tremble – erasing all possibility of capturing another night exposure (which requires complete stillness). If the wind had started blowing just 5 minutes earlier, I would not have had the photographs for the night portion of the image. I still can’t believe how fortunate I was to capture the night exposure and be able to document such an historic moment.” – Stephen Wilkes