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The Presidency In Pictures: 10 Takeaways from Trump, Week 1

By David Schonauer   Thursday January 26, 2017


Memes, crowds, and marches:

After six days of the Trump administration we thought it was time to catch up on the visual news surrounding the new president, which has been abundant.

Our round-up starts with the internet’s response to a portrait of Trump writing his inauguration speech. There was also a gaff in which the a photo from President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 was used as Trump’s new Twitter header. Photos of the crowds at the inauguration ceremony also proved to be controversial, with the new president’s press secretary telling easily verifiable falsehoods and a top aide explaining with Orwellian logic that the falsehoods merely "alternative facts." 

In other news, the new president’s official photo was debuted — and though we don’t know who shot the picture, we learned what camera was used to shoot it ... and what people seemed to think of it Meanwhile, photographers brought us a view of the inauguration from Moscow and a look at the massive women’s march in Washington that followed Trump's rise to power.

Here's the most important takeaway: In a world of “alternative facts,” pictures matter.

1. Internet Roasts Photo of Donald Trump Writing Inauguration Speech

Donald Trump let it be known that he would be writing his own inauguration speech and then went on to tweet a photograph showing him laboring with pen and pad at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. But as Yahoo News  noted, “the staged photo and Trump's cold, dead gaze sent the internet straight into ‘meme mode alpha,’ where it was pointed out that Trump was actually holding Sharpie marker, which may or may not actually be closed.” The takeaway: Memers gonna meme.


2. Trump Uses Photo From Obama’s Inauguration on Twitter


With the transfer of power came the transfer of social media accounts for the President of the United States. Just after 9 am on January 20, the @POTUS Twitter account dropped Barack Obama’s portrait and replaced it with a photo of Donald Trump set against an image of a crowd of people waving American flags at the inauguration. However, noted PetaPixel, the crowd shot was actually a photo taken at Obama’s 2009 inauguration. The takeaway: Photo gaff number two.


3. Photos Reveal Small Crowd. Sad.


The biggest blow-up of the president’s first week in office was over the size of the crowd that showed up to watch him begin sworn into office, and pictures were at the center of the yuge controversy. President Trump grew irritated by reports that the size of his inaugural crowd did not rival that of Obama’s in 2009. Speaking at CIA headquarters, Trump said such reports were clearly false, noted the New York Times. That charge was repeated by his press secretary, Sean Spicer, in a combative press conference. But photos published across the media showed the Trump turnout to be far smaller. The takeaway: Who are you going to believe, Sean Spicer or your lying eyes?


4. The Era of Alternative Facts

Soon enough, Spicer’s easily verifiable falsehoods became the focus of the internet’s newest meme, noted BuzzFeed. Then Trump aide Kellyanne Conway took the whole thing to an Orwellian level when she appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and explained that Spicer had merely been presenting “alternative facts.” Thus, another meme  was born. Meanwhile, at FOX News, Chris Wallace  confronted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus about Spicer’s disregard for the truth. "Take a look at those pictures," Wallace said. The takeaway: Welcome to Oceania.

5. CNN Publishes 360-Degree Gigapixel Image of the Inauguration

Size matters to the new president, and to CNN, which used gigapixel technology to capture an ultra-high resolution interactive 360-degree image  of the ceremony. If he so chooses, President Trump can nw explore the photograph in detail to see all the people who was there. You can do the same. The takeaway: Bigger is better.

6. Inside the Inauguration


What was the inauguration really like? Media covered the event from different perspectives. The New Yorker  featured images by Redux photographer Mark Peterson, who captured details like the changing of the license plate on the president’s limousine (above). Time posted photographer Davide Monteleone’s view of the inauguration — as seen from Moscow. Time also had photographer Dina Litovsky’s coverage of the Gays for Trump Deploraball in Washington, as well as a portfolio from photographer Natalie Keyssar, who spent 12 hours with members of the Answer Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) as they made their way from New York City to Washington to protest. The takeaway: Everybody's got an opinion.


7. Subject of an Iconic Photo Returns for Women’s March

Photos also confirmed the massive size of the women’s anti-Trump march following the inauguration, irking  the new president. Time  found a more specific photo angle to the march, noting that one of the women at the event in D.C, was Jan Rose Kasmir, the subject of an iconic photograph from another protest. In 1967, photographer Marc Riboud captured the moment when Kasmir, then 17, raised a chrysanthemum to the tip of a soldier’s bayonet during a march on the Pentagon protesting the Vietnam War. “I see things happening that absolutely amaze and disgust me,” Kasmir told Time. Pro Photo Daily reader Susan Silas was also at the march; you can see her photos at her blog. The takeaway: A movement begins.


8. Trump’s Official Portrait Was Shot with a Canon 1Ds Mark III and Was Voted "Horrible"

With the inauguration came the release of the official portrait of the new president. No information was released about who shot the photograph, but PetaPixel  noted that metadata in the image revealed it was shot with a Canon 1Ds Mark III using a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens at 145mm, f/2.8, 1/320s, and ISO 640. The website polled readers for their reaction: 12 percent thought the portrait was “great,” while 45 percent found it “horrible.” The takeaway: Totally poor ratings.

9. Six  Journalists Were Charged with Felonies For Covering Inauguration Protests

Six journalists, including a freelance photographer and a documentary producer, are facing felony rioting charges following their arrests while covering protests during the presidential inauguration, reported PDN. If convicted, the journalists face up to ten years in jail and fines of up to $25,000, added the Guardian. “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests,” said Carlos Lauría of the Committee to Protect Journalists. The Takeaway: Felony charges are being used more and more  to suppress reporting.


10.  Trump Moves to Eliminate NEA Funding

The Hill  reported that the new Trump team is ready to slash government spending. And, as Hyperallergic noted, the slashing will include the elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA’s current budget is $146 million, which, according to the Hill, represents 0.012 percent of federal discretionary spending." The takeaway: Trump won, arts nothing.

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At top: Mark Peterson

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