Friday, January 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton photo: Too good to be true?

I do not want to be too mean here but I was looking at the official photo of Senator Hillary Clinton as posted on her campaign web site. Under the "Newsroom" tab there is a link to "Official Headshot" where you will find the black and white photo that I show below. On that page there are instructions for how to download it, presumably so media sources can use it. Now, I do not fault anyone for wanting their official photo to look their best. However, when I looked at the official photo it just looked to good to be true. It is a great picture of her but it doesn't seem to look very realistic.

So, I looked at the photos listed under "Newsroom/Photos" and saw lots of candid shots of Hillary campaigning recently. Now, I know there are differences between candid shots and those that are posed but still it seems that the official picture must be from 10 years ago or it was significantly doctored. You can make your own judgment. Below you will find candid shots of Hillary (from her web site) that show a similar profile compared with her official photo.

By the way, I checked all of the other candidates web pages. While many have a "photos" tab or link, only John Edwards (besides Hillary) has an "official photo." His picture looks like an accurate picture of what he looks like now.


Anonymous said...

It's black and white, which will hide many skin coloration and texture flaws.

The rest of the difference I think can be attributed to heavy makeup and getting everything right for an official photo.

Anonymous said...

yeh, black and white, make-up, and the most important thing is lighting. In candid shots, you are not in as much control of light sources, intensities, direction, etc. A soft box is most likely used, which doesn't create harsh shadows that the early morning/ mid-afternoon light does in the candids. There's also facial expressions. But it's true that it's probably photoshoped at least to some extent. And it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for it to be an older photo reused. So you could be right that it's doctored, but depending on the skill of the photographer, you could get an awesome photo that look like that pretty much untouched.