Posted in Behind the News

Eyes of History, eyes on Washington

, by Lauren Easton

Two AP photographers have won first place awards in the annual Eyes of History: Still Contest of The White House News Photographers Association.

Carolyn Kaster’s photograph of Donald Trump at a tea party rally took first in the “Insider’s Washington” category, and Andrew Harnik’s image of Sen. Bob Menendez, D­-NJ, speaking with reporters after being indicted on corruption charges, won first prize in the “On Capitol Hill” segment.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets a supporter as he works his way through the crowd during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Kaster described how she positioned herself to capture her winning photo of Trump:

I took this image after an event in front of the Capitol. There were a lot of supporters and media trying to get close to Mr. Trump as he left. As he exited the back of the stage, he was mobbed. I could not get close to him right away, so I positioned myself in his path in front of a solid table of audio equipment near the stage, hoping the bottleneck would bring him to me. It did. The crush opened up so I could capture this moment.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, speaks with reporters after being indicted on corruption charges, accused of using his office to improperly benefit an eye doctor and political donor on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Harnik recalled how he got his winning shot of Menendez:

It was a busy day on Capitol Hill and we had a number of AP’s photo staff spread out across the Capitol building and the Capitol Hill office buildings to cover various meetings and hearings. One of the big stories that was developing was on the indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez and I was assigned along with another photographer to track him down. I found him at the Senate subway, where reporters often wait for senators to come and go between the Capitol building and their offices. Reporters and photographers quickly swarmed around him as he attempted to board a train. I happened to be directly in front of him just as he reacted to a reporter’s question. I knew I had something when I took the photograph but because it was such a big story I stayed with him, boarding the train and following him back to his office. His unhappy reaction to such intense, unwanted attention definitely summed up the story visually.

Other AP photographers whose work was recognized by WHNPA include Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Alex Brandon and Jacquelyn Martin. You can see the complete list of honorees here.