Welcome to the inaugural post of 1000Words. This weekly post will feature a Bloomberg News photographer and his or her insights on how the shot was obtained.
1000Words caught up with staff photographer Andrew Harrer on his return from his third tour of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. He explains how he got this amazing shot from one of the most crowded convention center floors. — Jane Hwang
“For this particular photograph, I was walking around trying to take feature photographs as well as product photos. I noticed the large 3D video wall and decided to start my day there. When I got to the large LG Electronics video wall, I started taking photos of people wearing their 3D glasses, which did not look all that exciting. Then I noticed an attendee putting his 3D glasses over his iPad. I moved close to him and fired off a few frames before he stopped taking his video. He then looked at the video, and I waited, hoping he would put the glasses over his iPad again, so I moved in front of him. He did, and I got the shot I wanted. In addition to paying attention, it pays to be patient.
“At CES, many innovative gadgets and electronics, ideas and people are all competing for attention. The challenge is to zero in on innovations that are most likely to grab headlines, while also looking out for products and moments that make a visually strong image. Having covered CES three times, I now know what to expect. With a keen eye and a fresh perspective, you can come across quirky moments and see typical situations from unique angles. A different lens, taking a shot from the ground, or seeking out an angle you have not seen before can be all it takes to get a fresh take on CES’s business as usual.
“To prepare for CES, my editor and I talked about what we wanted to do differently this year. My colleague David Paul Morris and I took a lot of video and time-lapse sequences for Bloomberg Television, which was a first for us at CES. So aside from still photographs, we were tasked with carrying around extra gear. It was a balancing act, producing multimedia and still photos at the same time.
“This year I learned that my 14mm lens was too wide for most situations, since my shadow was in all the frames. Meanwhile, another lens I rarely use in my daily Washington, D.C., assignments, the 16-35mm, was the lens I used most at CES to capture wide-angled shots of the technology and presentations surrounding the company booths.
“One of the most challenging aspects of CES, besides trying to make fresh and unique images, is getting around and making it to news conferences and keynote speeches on time. Besides just the convention center, the press day and keynote speeches are held in a hotel across town from the convention center. The night before you have to plan your day, where and what companies you are going to cover, and which news conferences you need to attend. Then you hope there will be a front row seat for you so that nothing comes between you and the image you need to capture.
“Surprises are constant, so you have to keep your camera to your eye — always. You never know when a high-profile chief executive officer is going to run out on stage. This year Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer surprised the audience at the Qualcomm Inc. keynote address.”
Specs –- Camera: Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Length: 59.0 mm, ISO: 2500, Shutter: 1/200 sec, F-Stop: f/3.2
Andrew Harrer is the Washington, D.C., chief photographer for Bloomberg News, covering government, politics and business news at the White House, Capitol Hill and everywhere in between since 2009. He began as an intern in the New York bureau seven years ago and was brought on as a staff photo assignment editor for Latin America.
Bloomberg Photos clients can access more amazing imagery here. If you’re not a client, click here for licensing options.