Inauguration Day through my eyes and my lens - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Inauguration Day through my eyes and my lens

Inauguration Day: A woman wearing an American flag hijab on the Nation al Mall moments after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. The woman was unable to be identified. (Michael Jordan)

I attended the inauguration of President Trump to capture some images of the day and hoped to get a photo of the new President. By the time I left Washington late that night I’d gotten my photographs and so much more. These images tell the story of Inauguration Day; both sides. I can honestly say that walking through the streets of D.C. on January 20, 2017, was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life.

The city was eerily quiet on the drive in. No vehicles other than Police and National Guard. I took the metro halfway into the L’ Enfant station. When I exited the station I walked into a surreal place that felt more like a police state than a democratic republic. As I entered the National Mall through multiple Secret Service checkpoints and bag checks, I walked into a world surrounded by quadruple fences similar to a jail. There were mostly supporters in this area, but also the occasional silent protester too.

As I headed over to the parade route through another set of Secret Service checkpoints I entered another world of ultra high security. I felt as though there was at least one agent or police officer for every member of the crowd. With permission from my local agent, I climbed on top of a 7′ tall narrow electrical box with my camera and 400mm lens. From my perch of boredom I sat waiting for a couple of hours. It was a wait which was only momentarily interrupted by the sound of flash bangs and police sirens from the violence only blocks away. From my high-security zone I could neither get out or back in to photograph the action. But the waiting paid off, as two hours later, from on top of that electrical box at Pennsylvania Ave and 10th Street NW I got photos of POTUS, FLOTUS and VPOTUS exiting their vehicles right in front of me. Luck, planning and a gut feeling ultimately did the trick. I suspected “The Donald” would want to walk in front of his hotel which stood directly behind me. Thank you for not disappointing Mr. President.

Once darkness fell, and the fanfare of the parade was over, I walked the streets of D.C. — photographing whatever I saw.

The city felt more like a war zone than our beloved nation’s capitol. Amid truck barricades, protestors, violence, and the frequent convoy of police vehicles rushing along, there were people dressed to the nines walking to their Presidential Balls. The lines were long and protected heavily by police in riot formation. There were occasional dust-ups, the charging of the Marriot Hotel lobby and a number of other incidents, but largely the nightfall did not signal the violence we saw earlier in the day.

I took away many thoughts from the day. Mostly I took away sadness. Sadness because our Capitol felt more like a battle ground and a police state than a shining symbol of freedom. And sadness because we are bitterly divided yet in desperate need of unity and resolve.

Inauguration Day: Trump supporters are seen holding a pro-Trump flag. (Michael Jordan)

Trump supporters are seen holding a pro-Trump flag. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A Libertarian yells to a nearby group of protestors. (Michael Jordan)

A Libertarian yells to a nearby group of protestors. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A group of protestors gather just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the Inaugural ceremony had concluded. (Michael Jordan)

A group of protestors gather just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the inaugural ceremony had concluded. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: Three women who were Trump supporters clash with Trump protestors who gather just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)

Three women, who were Trump supporters clash, with Trump protestors gathered just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A Trump supporter responds to the chants of Trump protesters who gather just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)

A Trump supporter responds to the chants of Trump protesters who gather just outside of the National Achieves Building at Constitution Ave NW and 7th St NW after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A Trump supporter (left) reacts after a fellow Trump supporter (right and just off frame) had her hair set on fire by a Trump protestor. The incident appeared to be accidental and the protestors apologized profusely but it is unclear how it happened. Nobody appeared to be smoking nor were there any other sources of flame. (Michael Jordan)

A Trump supporter (left) reacts after a fellow Trump supporter (right and just off frame) had her hair set on fire by a Trump protestor. The incident appeared to be accidental and the protestors apologized profusely but it is unclear how it happened. Nobody appeared to be smoking nor were there any other sources of flame. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: "The digital age" A man uses his smart phone to live stream or video call from the National Mall moments after the Inauguration of President Trump. In the background President Trump signs his first executive order. (Michael Jordan)

“The digital age” A man uses his smart phone to live stream or video call from the National Mall moments after the inauguration of President Trump. In the background, President Trump signs his first executive order. (Michael Jordan)

NYPD Pipes and Drums during the Inaugural Day parade. (Michael Jordan)

NYPD Pipes and Drums during the Inaugural Day parade. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A member of the Talladega College Marching Band in the Inaugural Parade. As a historically black college, Talladega College faced harsh criticism for attending this event. (Michael Jordan)

A member of the Talladega College Marching Band in the Inaugural Parade. As a historically Black school, Talladega College faced harsh criticism for attending this event. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: President and Mrs Trump wave to the crowd moments after exiting their vehicle to walk Past the Trump Hotel. This photo was taken at Pennsylvania Ave and 10th St NW. (Michael Jordan)

President and Mrs Trump wave to the crowd after exiting their vehicle to walk past the Trump Hotel. This photo was taken at Pennsylvania Ave and 10th St NW. (Michael Jordan)

The Pence family moments after exiting their vehicle to walk along the parade route at Pennsylvania Ave and 10th St NW. (Michael Jordan)

The Pence family moments after exiting their vehicle to walk along the parade route at Pennsylvania Ave and 10th St NW. (Michael Jordan)

People dressed to the nines walk on their way to one of several Inaugural Balls. Amid heavily armed security and occasionally violent protestors, the scene had the duality of two worlds colliding. (Michael Jordan)

People dressed to the nines walk on their way to one of several Inaugural Balls. Amid heavily armed security and occasionally violent protestors, the scene had the duality of two worlds colliding. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A police officer in riot formation and gear assists a party goer with directions. (Michael Jordan)

A police officer in riot formation and gear assists a party goer with directions. (Michael Jordan)

A couple heading to one of the many inaugural balls pose for a photo as a convoy of police vehicles pass. (Michael Jordan)

A couple heading to one of the many inaugural balls pose for a photo as a convoy of police vehicles pass. (Michael Jordan)

Police in riot formation push back unruly protestors who just charged the lobby of the Marriott Hotel across from the Henley Park Hotel. Michael Jordan)

Police in riot formation push back unruly protestors who just charged the lobby of the Marriott Hotel across from the Henley Park Hotel. Michael Jordan)

"Waiting them out" Protestors who were seemingly a part of the event at the Marriot hotel sit down in the intersection across from the Henley Park Hotel. This became a waiting game that lasted some time. (Michael Jordan)

“Waiting them out” protestors who were seemingly a part of the event at the Marriot Hotel sit in the intersection across from the Henley Park Hotel. This became a waiting game that lasted some time. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: Former Speaker of the House John Boehner is seen just outside of an event in DC. (Michael Jordan)

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner is seen just outside of an event in D.C. (Michael Jordan)

Arguing about dissenting opinions a Trump supporter holds his phone up to show the other man something. (Michael Jordan)

Arguing about dissenting opinions a Trump supporter holds his phone up to show the other man something. (Michael Jordan)

Inauguration Day: A woman who identified herself as "Morgan" is seen holding an American flag upside down in protest of President Trump. Morgan was seen on the National Mall moments after the Inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)

A woman who identified herself as “Morgan” is seen holding an American flag upside down in protest of President Trump. Morgan was seen on the National Mall moments after the inaugural ceremony concluded. (Michael Jordan)


About the author

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is originally from New York. Mike moved to the Baltimore / D.C. area in the early 90’s. Having attended grade school through high school in Maryland, Mike considers himself a native Marylander with a side of New Yorker. "With a passion for photography and interest in news, photojournalism is a good fit for me." Contact the author.
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