29 January 2009

The Halo Effect

Handlers always have to keep an eye for the background where their boss is speaking. 

They look for potted plants, odd colours, people or anything at all in the background that would turn up in a still picture or video and detract from the image.  In well-prepared situations, there is a carefully prepared backdrop that conveys the image or message they want. 

Sometimes that doesn’t work.  There’s a famous picture of Margaret Thatcher from the early 1980s speaking at one of her party’s conventions.  A clever photographer managed to take a picture of her with only three letters from the slogan on the backdrop in the shot.  The result was a beautiful shot of Thatcher in full rhetorical flight, but with the word “WAR” over her shoulder.

Stalwart photographer Joe Gibbons may not have relished being called out to the legislature in the middle of the evening to take a shot of Danny Williams. Then again, he may be totally enamoured of the man and wanted to reflected the messianic aura of the man.

Either way, Gibbons managed to come back with a shot of Danny Williams with arms outstretched almost as if he were posing like a religious statue.  Gibbons got down low to shoot upwards at Williams so that behind Williams’ head is a light fixture from the lobby of the legislature.

Take a look;  it’s work clicking the link.

The shot made the front page of the Telegram on Wednesday in full colour atop Dave Bartlett’s story on the Tuesday night scrum.