I have covered a number of US presidential elections in my carreer. It’s probably the most important event in politics, and consequently draws enormous interest worldwide. This is reflected in the media circus that surrounds the campaigns and election itself.

Once you’ve been involved in covering it, it becomes part of you – and every times it comes up, it’s almost like a call of the wild. It is hard to resist, even though you know how frustrating, tireing and crazy it is.

I was lucky to witness both Obama’s victories up close. I was in Grant Park in Chicago 2008 when he delivered his victory speech, later in the immense crowd in Washington DC for his inauguration,  and again in Chicago 2012 when he was reelected.

I have always found it more interesting to watch the spectators rather than the stage. It’s all a choregraphed show, but people’s faces are fascinating to watch. Especially during an election night, when their expressions change over time.

This year I did not cover the campaign – I was watching from the sidelines as my collegaues went deep into the madness. Meanwhile I was torn between the feelings of sadness of not being part of it, and a relief of not having do deal with it. Maybe especially so because of the level the rethoric has apparently sunk to between both the candidates and their supporters.

However, by a twist of fate (yes, really!) I found myself in New York on election night. With no assignment this time.

Again, I watched people’s faces. But for the first time, I decided that rather than shooting stills, I would try to film them. As I wasn’t working, I could afford to take the chance.

Since I am new to moving images, and especially editing, this should really only be seen as an experiment. A glimpse of what I saw when others processed the news of what was happening to their country.

Chris Maluszynski

Obama inauguration

 People watching as President Barack Obama is being sworn in. National Mall,  Washington DC, January 20th 2009.

People reacting to the news during election night in New York City 2016.