« H.C.-B. in Ink | Main | H.C.-B.: The Invisible Man »

Friday, 29 January 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Is it just me or does the photo make President Obama look like he has the biggest feet on the planet? Reminds me somewhat of the photograph of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner. Lincoln's boots were prominent, but not so oddly proportioned, perhaps because Gardiner was using a normal lens to cover the size of an imperial glass plate negative!

Aren't people used to that sort of wide-angle distortion by now? To me it doesn't say "big feet," it say "close quarters." There's not a whole lot of room behind the desk in the Oval Office....


Even if Callie would not tell you what she was paid, you might have asked if she smelled cigarette smoke. The pen in his hand brought that to mind.

Newsweek seems to have taken a similar tack with some of its recent covers as well as coverage on its inside pages. As a subscriber it's a delight to peruse them.

The cover photograph is indeed evocative and, I think, far more effective in black-and-white than it would be in colour. It demands exploration. Congratulations to Ms Shell. And to Ms Pollack for selecting it.

For me, the photograph and the caption generate several questions. Is Obama really asking himself “Now what?” or merely reading the day’s events in the newspaper? Is the placement of the caption (speculation) over the evidence (photograph) inserting a false meaning to the photograph? Is some of the poignancy of this photograph due to Kennedy-era moments in the Oval Office, also recorded in black-and-white, or is it wholly because it forces us to consider the mind of the President?

Supposing the original shot was in color, who makes the decision to convert it to black-and-white? Is it the photographer, or the people in charge of the magazine?

"Supposing the original shot was in color, who makes the decision to convert it to black-and-white?"

I don't think you can ask "who makes." You can only ask "who made." That is, who made the decision in this one particular situation; surely it's not always consistent. Anyway I don't know, but if I end up interviewing Ms. Pollack I'll ask.


...."you can ask "who makes."

Yeah, but I'm loving it!

I saw one of Callie Shell's portfolios and it was extraordinary! I'd love to see her featured in one of your "Excellence" posts.

I like it, as photo and as statement of editorial purpose and style. But is anyone else bothered a little by the framing (or is it cropping)? Everything seems a little to the left.

robert e, now that you mention it, yes, there does seem to be a slight tilt to the image.

I for one am very encouraged to see TIME return to it's classic style. My only hope is that other mags have some of the commons sense shown here and follow suite. I'm not surprised that Callie didn't give you an answer either. I wouldn't! ;)

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007