The day after Bin Laden was reported murdered, this stunning photo was released. It’s a photograph reportedly taken during a viewing of the live feed of Bin Laden’s murder. I’m a big fan of the White House Flickrstream and have posted countless photographs on Facebook but I was reluctant to post this here due to the sheer number of stunning photos taken that night. Each one captivates me much longer than normal. The fact that most of these photos are staged doesn’t remove value from this photograph.
At first glance, you would say The Situation Room is stunning due to the looks on people’s faces, the events surrounding the photograph, the burn bag, and the mystery of exactly what they are looking at. I agree that this alone makes this photo remarkable. However, the true value of this photo is in it’s reflection of America right now. “Isn’t that what a photograph should be?”, you say. Sometimes.
If this photograph were to be shown 10 years ago to an American, they’d have a tough time picking out the President. If you look closely, technically, the only person in focus is Hilary Clinton. Obama is off-center, slouching, out of focus, and is not in alpha-male form. He’s not wearing a tie or a blazer. If you go back and look at the historic Presidential photographs of the U.S. you will not find a woman of power in them. This photograph not only functions as a historic time-stamp but also subtly captures the face of America right now in the most honest fashion. It captures current America in a way no other photograph has. That’s remarkable.