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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Gali Tibbon

May29

Trump visits Jerusalem

By Gali Tibbon, Monday May 29, 2017

© Gali Tibbon

Last week, the US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrived to Jerusalem. It was a historical event as it was one of the stops in Trump’s first trip outside the US since the election. I was assigned to cover his visit to Jerusalem, which lasted 26 hours but was full of events. When covering high profile events, I’m always looking for the shots in between expected photo ops – the moment after the drama.

One of the assignments I covered was the Trumps' visit and meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the first lady. I decided not to go crazy carrying a lot of gear, so I just brought two cameras: the EOS 5D Mark III and 5D Mark IV with the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. To be honest, the usual photo op was a little boring as always. From what I had seen of Trump on TV he seemed like an interesting character to shoot, but in real life it wasn't that exciting.

From this event my favourite image is when they were leaving and the Israeli president escorted them back to their car. I was far behind with a long lens and Melania just turned around looking very elegant and glamorous with her dark sunglasses. The light was soft and there was also something about her body language. Later that day, I saw this picture published in many fashion websites. I think my favourite was the one in Vanity Fair where they converted it to black and white.

The following day, I was assigned to photograph them during their visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum. At the end of the ceremony, Trump and his wife were coming out of the Hall of Remembrance and they were surrounded by people who wanted to see them up close and maybe try to snap a picture with their mobile phones. The Hall of Remembrance is very dark, normally illuminated by very little light coming through a chimney-like skylight and the ambient light of the eternal flame. But, on this occasion, there was some light coming in from the door. I was standing very close with my 24-70mm lens and it was difficult to get a clear view, with only the Trumps in the picture. Luckily, there was a split of a second where I could see just the two of them without anyone in the way and with the dramatic light coming in from the door.

At the end of the visit, just as Trump and his entourage left, I asked the Yad Vashem spokesperson to see the guest book. I was very curious to see what Trump had written and I knew the rest of the world would be as well. Once I started to take pictures of the guest book many other journalists gathered around as well, snapping pictures with their mobile phones, casting a shadow.

© Gali Tibbon

© Gali Tibbon