Photo of Bidens, Carters Looks a Little ... Off

Bidens look enormous and the Carters tiny, but a wide-angle lens probably explains it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2021 12:19 PM CDT
Presidential Photo Prompts a Double-Take
Jill Biden, Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, and President Biden.   (Twitter/The Carter Center)

The Bidens visited the Carters last week, and the Carters tweeted a photo of the get-together on Monday. People on the internet have been scratching their heads over it ever since, notes Yahoo News. The current occupants of the White House look downright enormous in comparison to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. And, yes, the Carters are both in their 90s, but that doesn't seem enough to explain just how not-right the image looks. So what gives? A photo expert at the Guardian says the photographer likely used a wide-angle lens in order to squeeze everyone into the photo in a tight space. "Unfortunately, if you use a lens that is really wide, while also standing very close to the subjects, it will distort the photo, making those close to the camera appear giant while shrinking those further away," explains Carly Earl.

Freelance photographer Marlena Sloss tells Teo Armus of the Washington Post that another factor is likely at play: a flash. "Although President Biden is kneeling much farther in front of Rosalynn Carter, the flash reduces shadows, a key part of what allows objects to have depth," writes Armus. "The resulting effect is that Biden and Rosalynn Carter appear to be side-by-side on the same plane." For the record, President Biden is listed as 6 feet, Jimmy Carter at 5-10, Jill Biden at 5-6, and Rosalynn Carter at 5-5, notes Yahoo. Regardless of the explanation, the image has triggered an outpouring of puzzled comments as well as jokes of the "Honey, I Shrunk the Carters" variety. Another tweet getting a lot of traction switches things up so it's the Carters who look huge. "Fixed it," wrote the author. (More Jimmy Carter stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.