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August 8, 2009 11:15 AM   Subscribe

All at once, they practically screamed, “We’ve got ten minutes with the President on Monday…do you wanna do the shoot?!!”. Don’t let anyone tell ya photographing the President ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! posted by netbros (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, more than anything, this gave me a sense of just how crazy Barack Obama's life must be. His staff schedules his time in ten-minute increments. Everyone who meets him is on the qui vive all the time. Frankly, I wouldn't last a week of that before I'd crack, and that's without considering the constant surveillance necessitated by security and the media and all the other pressures.
posted by orange swan at 11:27 AM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. Obama's got some serious snow on the roof. I knew he was a little grey last summer, but it's really progressed over the past year. Gosh, I wonder why.
posted by maudlin at 11:33 AM on August 8, 2009


Nice photos.
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2009


Hey, Brad's got good taste in music, too. Downloading madly now ...
posted by maudlin at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2009


Nice little article....

Stuff like this is bringing the White House and the Presidency out of the bottomless black pit of deception, lies, and slime it fell into during the Bush years.
posted by HuronBob at 11:39 AM on August 8, 2009


It was pretty cool to see the Bo and President Barack Obama light test picture pop up in the RSS feed for Light-Test.com (not always safe for work) late last week.

According to the comments, President Obama actually offered to hold the test card for them but Brad's assistant really wanted to be in the picture.
posted by Kikkoman at 11:46 AM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice article. Great photos from an otherwise normal sit-down. You can see how this could have been a total bust.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:02 PM on August 8, 2009


What's up with that strange door next to the grandfather clock?
posted by Tube at 12:07 PM on August 8, 2009


Nice shots, there.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:18 PM on August 8, 2009


Thought you were talking about the dog for a second there, Kikkoman.
posted by Jilder at 12:21 PM on August 8, 2009


Tube, I believe that's the door to the office of the President's secretary. The door's curved to remain discreet, because it's an oval office. Didn't you watch The West Wing?
posted by steef at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2009


Those are intensely processed, to the point of looking HDR-ish here and there, where facial features look unnatural. That's what brings out the snow, I'd guess.
posted by raysmj at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2009


Or it's a combo of lighting and processing (which is intense to the point of being harsh and distorted or nearly HDR-ish in many of the photos in the guy's portfolio--it's a trademark thing, apparently), as well as a shorter 'do.
posted by raysmj at 12:34 PM on August 8, 2009


Off topic but...

How long has Barack Obama been president? Seven months? I swear I'm still so very proud to have him as our president. And, you know, it's really really nice to feel this way for a change. Somehow, he gives me hope in a world that doesn't always seem very hopeful. That's all.
posted by belvidere at 12:46 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice portraits, but spotless (retouched?) eye whites take away a lot of the warmth and humanity.
posted by zippy at 12:55 PM on August 8, 2009


That glow around his head? So lame. Just take a friggen photograph, it's like he's trying get a thousand favorites on flickr or something.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 1:01 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


The post-processing is pretty garish on *some* of these - what's with the chiclet teeth and perfect eye whites? This and this are the worst of the lot.
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 1:39 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re: Photoshoppery
Check it out. I'll eat my hat if this is not fakery.
posted by yaymukund at 1:44 PM on August 8, 2009 [17 favorites]


I agree that this photographer goes a little nuts in "post" - like generous use of unsharpening mask cranked all the way up. In something like the Obama shoot, he could be compensating for lack of sharpness in the first place, but his portfolio makes it clear that it's part of a trademark look.

It's definitely supposed to be stylistic, but it looks cheesy to my eye - when I worked in a pro photolab it was always the prosumer market that would have that look - like "hmmm, this looks great so sharp! what happens if i make this 400%? yeah! that's perfect!!!".

But I can't argue with success, the guys on top of his game at this point - and there are some pretty awesome if somewhat surreal portraits in his portfolio.
posted by smartypantz at 1:49 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I ilke them. I think the President is cute.
posted by kindalike at 1:54 PM on August 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Terrible. Photoshop at its worst.
posted by sonic meat machine at 1:57 PM on August 8, 2009


Tube: "What's up with that strange door next to the grandfather clock?"

That leads to the shoot down to the presidential escape rocket.
posted by octothorpe at 2:02 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Terrible. Photoshop at its worst.

I know, right? This guy is clearly trying to make it look like America elected a black man president. Absurd.
posted by The Bellman at 2:17 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was a really fun article, thank you for posting.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 2:27 PM on August 8, 2009


Too much Lightroom fiddling...
posted by the cuban at 2:39 PM on August 8, 2009


The coolest president in the coolest part of the coolest city in the world right now is walking towards me, but you wouldn’t know it. He looks like a lanky student in his white shirt and dark blue suit. Then he says to the photographer, with calm authority: “Could we do this quickly because I don’t have long?” The photographer looks rather impressed (and he is, he calls me afterwards wanting to know more about “that guy I photographed today”.)
posted by Artw at 3:02 PM on August 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Stuff like this is bringing the White House and the Presidency out of the bottomless black pit of deception, lies, and slime it fell into during the Bush years.

It's just a photo shoot. Bush didn't pal around with journalists?
posted by Beardman at 3:05 PM on August 8, 2009


That leads to the shoot down to the presidential escape rocket.

The Secret Service is pretty sure you meant "chute."

I do think the photos are over-tweaked, too. There are auto filters that you can run for this effect -- I forget who makes it, but it jacks up the shadows, and it's supposed to be for an old-timey look. Also, the intentional blurring for a wide F-stop look is over-used.

Still, a couple of the compositions themselves are quite good. I'd love to see the raw files & the layered .psd's to see what all was done.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:10 PM on August 8, 2009


That's no escape rocket, that's Thunderbird 1.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Secret Service is pretty sure you meant "chute."

Unfortunately, Firefox's spell checker doesn't check for stupidity. I hate it when I ruin a not very funny to begin with joke with a brain fart like that.
posted by octothorpe at 3:18 PM on August 8, 2009


Unfortunately, Firefox's spell checker doesn't check for stupidity.

It's all cool. We're turning the helicopters back right now.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:24 PM on August 8, 2009


Stuff like this is bringing the White House and the Presidency out of the bottomless black pit of deception, lies, and slime it fell into during the Bush years.

Yes, it is just a photo shoot and a fun little write up of it. The reason superficial stuff like this seems so revelatory is that Bush was such an utter disaster as a head of state that we couldn't enjoy cute little items like this, even though there doubtless were some, because such enjoyment seemed totally inappropriate and even impossible in the light of how bad everything else was.

How happy would it make you if your drunken, abusive asshole husband brought you roses as a little surprise? Now compare that to how you'd feel if your loving, respectful, nearly model husband brought you roses to surprise you, and you'll have a good idea for how anyone who ever despaired over the Bush administration feels right now.
posted by orange swan at 4:09 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder what it's like to know that everyone who meets you for the first time is scared shitless.
posted by jayder at 4:13 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think I'd be scared shitless to meet Obama. I'd be nervous, certainly. But I think if I weren't meeting him on a professional basis (and therefore would be worrying about screwing up whatever job I had to do), my biggest worry would be that I would act like some idiot fan girl and gaze at him with blatant adoration. That might be cute in a 12-year-old, but I'm 35.
posted by orange swan at 4:24 PM on August 8, 2009


I would be scared shitless. The sources of the fear would be complex --- meeting someone of such immense power would be inherently intimidating; as would the sense that I am a small, quivering nonentity in comparison to his colossal world-historical magnitude. I would be mind-blown by the fact that this universally recognized individual of unparalleled power was, however briefly, turning his attention to me. Yes, scared shitless is about right.
posted by jayder at 4:54 PM on August 8, 2009


Wow, how 'bout them apples! (Referring to large bowl of apples on the Oval Office coffee table.)
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 4:55 PM on August 8, 2009


More hard-hitting news about Obama's hair. His hairdresser swears he's not dying it, even though different pictures seem to show him with more/less gray hair.
posted by Houstonian at 5:05 PM on August 8, 2009


It's just a photo shoot. Bush didn't pal around with journalists?

You know, I thought that was a good question. So I googled "bush jokes with reporters".
First hit: Bush jokes with reporter about CIA leak.
Second hit: Bush jokes with legally blind reporter: "You gonna ask your question with shades on?"

Then there are some "wmd jokes" he told? A time he tap-danced? Joking about 2800 deaths? Yup, those were goooood times.
posted by Houstonian at 5:16 PM on August 8, 2009


It's just a photo shoot. Bush didn't pal around with journalists?

It's just a poop shoot. Bush didn't defecate?

What exactly is your point again, concern troll? Ah, right. Exactly.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:45 PM on August 8, 2009


Check it out. I'll eat my hat if this is not fakery.

You just invented Obama Folds.
posted by cillit bang at 8:23 PM on August 8, 2009


Terrible. Photoshop at its worst.

I know, right? This guy is clearly trying to make it look like America elected a black man president. Absurd.


Hmm. Black people look like their skin is made from plastic. I didn't realize that—I'll keep it in mind!
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:08 PM on August 8, 2009


I didn't really like the look of the photos, but he does state he's not a photojournalist and doesnt do "real", at the end of the comments page:

--quote-begin--
Blue cast? I dunno what blue cast you speak of…I’m working on color-calibrated monitors and I kinda think they all have a warm, if sightly desaturated, painterly look to them. And as to oversharpening, I can guarantee that these images haven’t seen one bit of unsharp masking…but I will admit to a few other Photoshop contrast adjustments, as I use in all of my photographs, but no extra ’sharpening’, per se.

In case you were wondering, I don’t do ‘real’…..if you’re looking to tag what I do, my style can be best described as hyper-reality. I don’t profess to being a photojournalist and therefore don’t adhere to any kind of ‘rules’ that photojournalists may feel the need to follow. That said, my photographs of the President have received the least amount of post manipulation of anything I’ve shot in years. I left the moles, the wrinkles, the freckles…..all of it! And no…I didn’t change his hair, either! The gray hair is all his and it comes with the job!
--quote-end--
posted by lnc at 9:02 PM on August 9, 2009


The moles, wrinkles and freckles are all there....but the shadows and highlights had to go, apparently. God, I'm tired of "HDR" which is antithesis of hyper-reality IMHO. It is truly the Carpet Elvis Painting of our time.
posted by Poagao at 1:41 AM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


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