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Photo Editors Discuss Iconic Situation Room Photo, Get it Wrong

WWD asked some very fancy people what they thought of the now famous Situation Room photograph shown here. Almost every single one mentions Hillary Clinton as the most pivotal part of the picture, but they all saw something that wasn’t there.

Here’s a quick rundown of their thoughts:

Kira Pollack, Director of Photography, Time:

The Hillary Clinton expression is the one that holds the photograph fully. The reaction of her hand over her face. Her eyes. Clearly, she’s reacting to something she’s watching. She’s very unaware she’s being photographed. To me, the whole image is about Hillary.

Scott Hal, Director of Photography, Newsweek:

What’s most interesting to me about this photo is what you’re not seeing. The mystery of what’s happening off camera is captured wholly in the expression on Hillary’s face.

Michelle McNally, Assistant Managing Editor for Photography, The New York Times:

It’s pretty simple. It’s just the intense expression on Obama and Hillary’s faces.

We can’t blame them for thinking Clinton was doing something noteworthy, but it turns out, she was just coughing. “I am somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs,” she told the AP. “So, it may have no great meaning whatsoever.”

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