Yesterday’s Taipei Cycle show was opened by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. He walked the show surrounded by burly secret service agents and was followed by a horde of Taiwanese press photographers. At the opening ceremony, guests had to walk through airport-style scanners to gain access. (In the recent election campaign, the losing presidential candidate was shot at so Taiwanese security is pretty tight).
I didn’t let any of this bother me when I saw the President walking the aisles, bringing a crowd in his wake. He was being led by King Liu, founder of Giant and I guessed that the two – and the President’s entourage – would head to the Giant booth. I ran ahead and clambered over a bike on a platform to see if I could nab a grab shot. It turned out my guess was a good one: King Liu and the President walked right over to the low booth wall where I was perched and I had the perfect position to take photographs of the President.
When the local news photographers realised where the President was heading they went ape, and squeezed in to the gap I had made for myself. Barking what I assumed were orders for me to move the Taiwanese paparazzi tried to dislodge me, pushing me from the back and the sides. I held firm.
King Liu asked the President to sign a Giant bike. I was right behind this bike and was able to fire off a number of shots before the President smiled, and moved on.
I checked my shots. They were sharp and good close-ups of the bike signing. Bingo!
The Show Daily newspaper had some shots of the President opening the show but it was one of my close-up pix that eventually graced the cover.
I’d shot the President and survived to tell the tale.
The Show Daily is produced at the Taipei Show and Eurobike by K.B. Media of Ireland.