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Al Gore Stumps from a Block

August 12, 2010

What do you do when your candidate needs to give a “stump speech” and there’s not the usual platform nor even a plain old “stump” to be had on a shopping center parking lot? Grab a couple of concrete blocks, of course! That’ll work.

Al Gore gives a stump speech from a concrete block

VP candidate Al Gore delivers a "stump speech" from a concrete block during a 1996 campaign stop in Springfield, Missouri. (Copyright John S. Stewart)

That’s what happened during this October 1996 campaign stop in Springfield, Missouri. It provided a break from the usual, “look for great facial expression while he’s talking” shot or maybe something with the candidate pressing the flesh in the crowd.

The trick was to get the crowd in the shot as well as the concrete blocks and not have the blocks so small they are barely visible.  A wide lens would have reduced them to a small white speck under his feet. The solution: move way back with a long lens and get as much gray asphalt around the blocks as possible.

John S. Stewart

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