The Atlantic’s McCain Cover
Gerard Vanderleun posts about some quite amazing perfidy from The Atlantic and photographer Jill Greenberg, whose photo shoot with John McCain was deliberately set up to produce ominous, threatening pictures—by using outright trickery: Out-Takes: Behind The Atlantic’s McCain Cover.
At Photo District News, there’s an article with more details, and Greenberg’s own words about this disgraceful episode: PDNPulse: How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain.
When The Atlantic called Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat, to shoot a portrait of John McCain for its October cover, she rubbed her hands with glee.
She delivered the image the magazine asked for—a shot that makes the Republican presidential nominee look heroic. Greenberg is well known for her highly retouched images of bears and crying babies. But she didn’t bother to do much retouching on her McCain images. “I left his eyes red and his skin looking bad,” she says.
After getting that shot, Greenberg asked McCain to “please come over here” for one more set-up before the 15-minute shoot was over. There, she had a beauty dish with a modeling light set up. “That’s what he thought he was being lit by,” Greenberg says. “But that wasn’t firing.”
What was firing was a strobe positioned below him, which cast the horror movie shadows across his face and on the wall right behind him. “He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.