©The Washington Post. Photo © Melina Mara/Washington Post

©The Washington Post. Photo © Melina Mara/Washington Post

Yesterday photographer Melina Mara of The Washington Post got a photo of Senator John McCain playing poker on his iPhone during the Senate hearing on military action in Syria. Mara’s photo is the most widely seen photo of yesterday’s meeting of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

This isn’t the first time a sharp-eyed photographer has managed to zoom in and figure out what was on a politician’s mind during a long meeting.

© Rick Wilking/Reuters

© Rick Wilking/Reuters

There was the famous close-up of the note that President George Bush slipped to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice during a 2005 UN summit, asking if he could get a bathroom break.

Reuters photographer Rick Wilking photographed the note, and the wire service enlarged the image to make sure the writing was legible before distributing the image.

In 2011, Mario Tama of Getty Images got a shot of the text of the speech Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered to the UN General Assembly, including the revisions he had scribbled on the page– possibly while he was listening to the previous speaker, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tama told PDNPulse he shot over Netanyahu’s shoulder from a booth above the Assembly using a 400mm lens, and then zoomed into the image in Photoshop to read the words.

The takeaway for photographers: Bring a long lens with you, and remember to look down.

The takeaway for politicians: Look behind you.

Unless, that is, the politician doesn’t care who sees what you’re doing. After he was caught playing online poker during the hearing on Syria, Senator McCain made a sarcastic joke about the photo on Twitter.


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

PDN Video: Natalie Keyssar on Sexism in the Photo Industry

Posted by on Monday September 18, 2017 | Photojournalism

  Photojournalist Natalie Keyssar discusses how women (and photographers of color) are denied the same opportunities as white men in the photo industry, and why that needs to change. “It robs everyone, including white men, of the ability to understand other perspectives. In such a terribly polarized country as we’re in today, lack of empathy... More

Photojournalist Covering Rohingya Crisis for GEO Detained by Bangladeshi Authorities

Posted by on Friday September 15, 2017 | Photojournalism

Photographer Minzayar Oo, who was reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh on assignment for GEO magazine, was detained with his assistant Hkun Lat on September 7, according to Oo’s agency, Panos Pictures. The two men have been accused of espionage. Police say the journalists entered the country on tourist visas rather than journalist visas, and... More

No More Excuses: Diversify Launches Database of Photographers of Color

Posted by on Wednesday September 13, 2017 | Photojournalism, Social Media/Web

The home page of Diversify.Photo.

After five months of planning, Diversify Photo today launched a database of 340 photographers of color from around the U.S. Brent Lewis, senior photo editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, told PDN in May that he and independent photo editor Andrea Wise had begun compiling the database to show photo editors, art buyers and other creatives... More