Obama pic taken by Leibovitz

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Obama pic taken by Leibovitz

So they released the official Obama family portrait taken by Annie Leibovitz and I have to say that I am completely underwhelmed. I usually like her work or at least can see the artistic merit in it but this, not so much!

I posted this on ILP so forgive me if you already saw it there but I don't think that everyone here goes there so I thought some people here might be interested

Here is the flickr link.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4035513827/

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I was just coming here to see if anyone was talking about this! It's obviously not the worst picture I've ever seen, but I'm wondering why she made some of the decisions she did...

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It's very casual...a lot like a snap...which perhaps was the intent?

I guess if Annie Leibowitz wasn't terribly concerned with chopping the president's fingers, I shouldn't be so worried about the finger chop in my siggy. LOL

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"AmberBella" wrote:

It's very casual...a lot like a snap...which perhaps was the intent?

I guess if Annie Leibowitz wasn't terribly concerned with chopping the president's fingers, I shouldn't be so worried about the finger chop in my siggy. LOL

This is actually the only explanation that makes sense. I mean she obviously knows what she is doing and deliberately chose to shoot at f/8 with that distracting background. I just think that there was probably a better way to try and show that they are a down to earth average family without taking an average photo, right?

ETA: I was very surprised to see the exif data still intact. Someone on ILP even pointed out that it was edited on CS3 rather than CS4. Kind of interesting. I would have expected her to be using CS4 wouldn't you?

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I was thinking all of the above. Very odd to me. :confused:

And yeah, I'm not nearly as worried about chopping anymore. :LOL:

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how funny are we critiquing Annie Leibovitz?! I love it! Wink

I totally get what y'all are saying, it really isn't that special of a family portrait.

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"coolmama72" wrote:

how funny are we critiquing Annie Leibovitz?! I love it! Wink

It is kind of funny! Smile But we paid tax money for part of that $100,000 sitting fee that she has, right? (BTW, I don't really know that she charged the Obama's that, just that $100K has been her sitting fee in the past. I was really just joking. But I do wonder what the cost was.)

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BTW, I love the new siggy pic Amber! Very nice!

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It's very traditional. I was looking at a book at my daughter's art class last week. It was Hollywood portraits by famous photographers from the first half of the 20th century. All of them, we'd consider average and not well composed, bad lighting, etc. It was underwhelming and made me wonder why I critisize myself so much!

It was really interesting to me to see where photography has evolved from!

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"jendodd" wrote:

It's very traditional. I was looking at a book at my daughter's art class last week. It was Hollywood portraits by famous photographers from the first half of the 20th century. All of them, we'd consider average and not well composed, bad lighting, etc. It was underwhelming and made me wonder why I critisize myself so much!

I think this is a really good point! I often look at famous photographer's works and notice all the technical flaws. But if you look at all the flickr comments on the Obama photo you can see that the image really speaks to people, which is what photography is supposed to do!

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"tokidokikashikoi" wrote:

I think this is a really good point! I often look at famous photographer's works and notice all the technical flaws. But if you look at all the flickr comments on the Obama photo you can see that the image really speaks to people, which is what photography is supposed to do!

Very true, good to remember the other side of photography... the part that the viewer sees. I automatically critique within a few seconds of first seeing a picture/portrait taken by a ''pro'' .. I can't help it. Though basics are non-negotiable, there is something so much deeper that goes on, whatever that may be or mean to the viewer.

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"tokidokikashikoi" wrote:

I think this is a really good point! I often look at famous photographer's works and notice all the technical flaws. But if you look at all the flickr comments on the Obama photo you can see that the image really speaks to people, which is what photography is supposed to do!

I don't know that it's that traditional. I mean..we're looking into open doors into a hallway. The green room is a GORGEOUS room! It's grand and elegant. Clearly Annie was trying to bring the Obamas as down to earth as possible, and I understand that, but still...the background is terrible. What is so wrong with celebrating the first family as being the First Family!? I like that they don't look too posed, and the photo has great clarity. Other than that, it's just a snap with uneven light and poor composition.

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Maybe she nervous to be there and the one taking a photo that the entire nation would be seeing, that magazines would publish, maybe the expectation of it was somewhat overwhelming... I'm not over the moon about obama, but I would still be nervous- they're practically the most famous family right now,.. and she must have realized that the photo she produces will be around for centuries to come... but then again, all the more reason to be extremely focused and pay attention to the surroundings... etc. Not sure how I'd be under that pressure... I do like how she linked each of them

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"MollyDoll" wrote:

Maybe she nervous to be there and the one taking a photo that the entire nation would be seeing, that magazines would publish, maybe the expectation of it was somewhat overwhelming... I'm not over the moon about obama, but I would still be nervous- they're practically the most famous family right now,.. and she must have realized that the photo she produces will be around for centuries to come... but then again, all the more reason to be extremely focused and pay attention to the surroundings... etc. Not sure how I'd be under that pressure... I do like how she linked each of them

This is the expectation of most of her work. She is famous in her own right. She took John Lennon's photo the morning before he died. She has been around the block so to speak. Though she is having financial difficulty right now.