Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Waiving Man

This photo of Bush & Obama walking in the White House is taken by AFP & found from quite an interesting article on Bush's most memorable pictures during his presidency tenure. Please pause a moment before continuing reading, and look at the picture again. What do you think is going on in the picture?

Excerpt from the article:
ERROL MORRIS (Interviewer):
Yes. Why do you like the picture so much?
VINCENT AMALVY (Photo Editor of AFP):
We don’t understand what is going on. Why does the shadow appear? I suppose it’s a shadow of somebody else beyond the corner. But the picture is only of two guys walking. It’s a profile of George Bush and Barack Obama. And he’s near the Rose Garden of the White House. And so in the back is a shadow of somebody who says, “Bye-bye.” And it is looking like a joke, but it is amazing.

My initial thought of the picture was that there must be some bodyguard behind them, trying to stop someone (presumably the surrounding press agents) to approach nearer... But as one of the article's readers' comment pointed out, it's actually Obama's shadow (you can see a little bit of his finger under Bush's cheek, that becomes part of his shadow). What intrigues me is that even the editor himself can miss the factual circumstance of a photograph. It just reminds me how perception of readers can be so much altered by a selection of photos put on a newspapers or even video shootage on the news.

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