A wonderful way to end this year of great adventures, I was lucky enough to be invited by PACAF to photograph President Barack Obama’s late-night arrival on the island of Oahu for his annual Hawaiian vacation. Air Force One landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before midnight, and along with Senator Daniel Akaka and U.S. Representative Mazie Hirono, descended the stairs from the aircraft to the waiting motorcade and was swiftly taken to his vacation home in Kailua. (The President was also greeted by Pacific General Gary North, 15th Wing Commander Sam Barrett, and Air Force Captain Tyisha Owens, but the greeting and lei-giving was behind an SUV from my vantage point.)
This was one of the most difficult photography situations I’ve encountered this year, though I certainly learned a lot and have a better game plan if I ever find myself in a similar situation. Next time, I’d attempt to use my flash at full power, as you can see my sharpest image of the President is when I caught another photographer’s flash.
Also spotted Pete Souza, the chief White House photographer!