Love in Limbo

The paradoxes of dating and mating.

Here's Who Took Joe Wilson's Picture and How

In response to Satoshi Kanazawa's conspiracy theory about who might have taken Joe Wilson's picture at the moment of his outburst at Obama's congressional speech, I suggested in an earlier post that it might have been taken with a high megapixel camera like the Gigapan Epic. Read More


It's also possible that there was a short commotion before the climactic outburst, maybe something like him pumping his fists or shaking his head violently, perhaps muttering loudly something to the effect of "I can't believe this!" then with the infamous outburst of "You lie!!!" In any case, may have attracted some inadvertent attention, as photographer's eyes are like that of a T-Rex in the movie "Jurassic Park" and they shoot anything that moves, regardless if they are adjusting a lens.

Do you really believe that an

Do you really believe that an email from the supposed brother of a photographer who took a different picture, really answers the question of who took that picture? That being said,the linked picture is the kind of thing you would expect for the circumstances. As an event photographer I can tell you that unless you were planing the shot actually in question, or for some miraculous reason happened to be focusing on Joe at that moment, there is no way that shot would have been that well taken. Additionally the hard right has shown that it does have the will to present political events under false pretenses, or have you already forgotten the so called "tea parties" if you have look it up on exiled online or talking points memo.

I am not claiming to know what actually happened and would absolutely love to see some real investigation go into this, but to claim that its a case closed is ridiculous, especially from from someone acquainted with scientific research.

Go on and ask questions and dispute ridiculous conspiracy claims, but asking who took that picture and how has yet to be explained in any way.

Staged or Not, Why do you care?

I doubt that the camera man knew it was coming. How many camera people were in the room? I would think a lot. Still cameras and video cameras were present which have the ability to zoom and be enhanced after the shot was captured. But, that is besides the point. You are up in arms about a person in America exercising his right to freedom of speech. I am aware that it goes against the rules but why is that?
If in fact the President is lying why is congress not allowed to call him out on it. It all seems a little "dictatorish" to me as if a President never lied before. I think Mr. Wilson's action was noble and patriotic. Further more, moments after this occurrence Obama said he would let this infraction slide so that we can move on to more important things like getting the bill passed. This now is not the case. The House is taking votes as to see Mr Wilson's fate after he had already apologized to Obama. The House continues to this day to try to smear this man. That in itself is a conspiracy. This bill will FORCE! everyone who is able to purchase health insurance. While the habitually non working get a free ride. I don't want to pay for other people's problems. I have enough of my own. This is just plain wrong. The idea that America is a free country is quickly, day by day is becoming the actual Lie we should all be talking about

THANK YOU for saying that.

THANK YOU for saying that. Watch out now, you'll be getting flogged soon for having an opinion that goes against the "correct" party. It's as if one shouldn't speak unless they agree with all the anti Mr. Wilson people.

Agree it's not a slam dunk

Both previous replies make good points -- Chris's scenario is the only thing I can see might explain how this shot got taken - pre-event commotion. I don't remember for sure, but it seems the tv cameras did catch the "you lie" outburst (were pointed in the right direction) -- or was it just sound? Anybody know for sure? Even if the tv's got it, the resolution was not what we see here, and the zoom / wide-angle factor makes it pretty probable that Wilson could be caught on camera that way. Anyway, closer witnesses could answer the commotion question.

The point about the Gigapan Epic doesn't bolster anything -- as Dr. Young said, an array of hundreds such cameras was used to create a high detail composite of a historic inauguration, and I doubt the large effort and expense to create such a technical feat is done to create a composite of the whole Floor of Congress during a presidential speech ... though if it was (assuming nothing here) I suppose they might use it to capture, with cat-like reflexes, a dramatic moment coming from the assemblage.

And as Jubal pointed out, the right is all about creating distractions, and this Wilson thing delivered just what they wanted -- three news cycles in which Wilson's outburst was given more attention than the actual content of Obama's critically important health reform speech. I feel that Dr. Young's conflation of Kanazawa's question with the derogatory "conspiracy theory" really detracted from any appearance of neutrality on her part. This is the Republican Party we're talking about -- don't insult my intelligence by trying to brand people you don't agree with as conspiracy theorists. The theory that some Republicans set up this event is entirely credible.

I'm not an expert on kinesics, but I thought Wilson's timing, body language and voice during the outburst were anything but spontaneous. Anybody else notice that?

more important problems

Who really even cares? With so much going on in the world to spend so much energy on something like this...professionals? Don't you have more important things to think about like curing everyone's relationship problems?

evidence of being scripted

is the fact that NOT ONE of all of his colleagues shows any surprise at his outburst, which is hard to believe: IT'S CALLED AUTOMATIC REFLEX.

just look at the 2 on either side of him and their smugness. this was FULLY SCRIPTED!

Joe Wilson photograph

At the time of Obama's speech, everyone knew that the Republicans were/are outraged at a public health care option and are doing everything they can to bring this down. I noticed the cameras were pointed toward the front row of Republicans a lot during this speech. Joe Wilson and his Republican buddies were all seated in the front row directly to the left of Obama and looked like Vampires who had just been told there would not be any blood for them to drink from now on. So it does not surprise me that cameras were directed and/or fixed on these people.

Joe Wilson or any other "spontaneous" phot

Many late model high resolution cameras posses a "look ahead" feature that creates a constant "capture mode" that contain a memory buffer anywhere from a few to several seconds. If a high resolution, wide shot is being trained on a large subject (body of congress), the operator simply has to "click" in the shot after the fact....this method is most commonly used to capture those magnificent "lightning" and other instantaneous "nature shots"....

high resolution cameras

Just to clarify some magical thinking:

A search online shows that the highest resolution cameras out there are special-purpose scientific imagers used by universities for archiving, and in astronomy. These imagers have hit the 1000 megapixel size, which is huge enough to perhaps create the kind of result we're speculating could've been achieved by the camera focused on the congressional crowd ... however, the cameras are huge and not suitable for this photographic application.

Bleeding edge Hasselblads coming out now are around 50 megapixels. (Hasselblad H3Dll-50, just $39,995). To put that in context, realize the to achieve the digital resolution of typical 35mm film, you need somewhere between 20 - 40 megapixels. So the highest resolution commercial camerals now available don't have much on 35mm in terms of absolute resolution. Look-ahead features give you time domain leverage (the ability to capture a photo after the thing happens, because it's buffered in cache memory), but don't get around the problem of how small a crop-and-blow-up of a photo image you can do and still get a high-quality picture. You couldn't get anywhere near this crop-ability from 35mm film ... nor even 2.5" format, which would amount to around around 5.7 X 20 mpixels = 115 megapixels.

And of course, with larger format film (2.5", 10") you don't get the potential "look-ahead" advantage.

Photographers still have to aim cameras, zoom-frame their shot with something close to the subject's expected crop size, and then shoot (with fast reps) to capture those great sports and nature shots. True, many pictures show up that depict interesting things that happened to appear in a larger picture, but they are always blurry and poor quality -- because they are cropped below the useful resolution of the camera medium as applied to the larger picture as a whole.

The camera is not yet available that allows us to just aim it at a general wide area and sit back and extract that great shot from within a little window within the wide angle capture. Maybe in another few years though ...

Now for something worthwhile

Well, I've whipped this digital photography subject to a fine point, now to take on the "who really cares" objection.

First, I really do care about the depths to which Republican politicians have sunken to achieve their manipulation of American voters to vote against their own self-interest. The Joe Wilson moment was a true low-point in politics this year, and a lot of people smell a stinking prank was again put into play. Like a previous poster observed, there was a noticeable lack of surprise on the part of other Republicans in the neighborhood of the unprecedentedly rude and demented outburst. The whole thing was staged, not spontaneous, a school-child's deliberate act of verbal vandalism.

If instead of focusing on this I could just "cure everybody's relationship problems" I would gladly go for that goal. Heck, I solved all my relationship problems a long time ago, I should start solving other peoples' too! Where should I start, though? I can't very well do 6 billion people one or two at a time, so I need some way to solve the relationship problems of a few million people in one mighty insightful group effort. I'd like to start with everyone in WAshington DC, starting with Congress!

Actually I've tried that but I just get form letters back from Pelosi, Reid, Sanford (God knows I tried with him) and it's really frustrating because the form letters just say something like "We share your concern about the cycle of disfunctionality in this congress and Senate, including domestic violence, torture, marital infidelity and downright sick sexual perversions, but we feel it is more important to focus on the very important legislative tasks we've taken upon ourselves like raising your minimum wage by half a buck and ... well, some other important stuff like schoolchildren."

I know it's off-topic for this thread, but please let me know your ideas of how we can solve other people's relationship problems. I certainly share you apparent belief that they can't be expected to solve their relationship problem by themselves.

Verbal Vandalism?

You are so one sided that I would be surprised to see you walk upright.
Mr. Wilson might has been put up to the task if so, who cares. He obviously believes the President is lying and was voicing his opinion.
That is the American way. Unfortunately he was in a place where raw human emotions are not tolerated. It is a shame that a representative for thousands of people can not voice his opinion in a so called Democratic government with out being attacked. This is supposedly a free country. I find it very very hard to believe that their is no downside to this bill since Obama talks as though this is a bill with no flaws or problems to be had. What government organization have you ever seen worked to its full potential and has not become an over bloated broken mess? For instance Social Security. If you know of any please let me know. I am personally sick of paying into the government and receiving little or nothing back and I certainly do not believe the government will be able to provide me with good reliable health care. Furthermore, I do not believe the government should have any say what so ever on what health care I shall have.
Both parties are a joke imo and the U.S. needs to make it easier for 3rd parties to become involved in the "democratic" process.

The American Way -- Not What I Was Taught

If I were one-sided I would think that it would be ok for democrats to cobble together staged distractions like this -- well, I don't think that. However, your own little barbed insult indicates I must've hit close to a nerve there, Dlease.

"Mr. Wilson might has been put up to the task if so, who cares." What's with the apathy about pulling staged disruptions during presidential speech? I do care about that. He obviously believes what he said? Then he was pitifully uninformed about what he was talking about, as multiple sources easily showed after his outburst -- and he apologized for it. It's possible for me to believe that he (and many other fools on the Hill) are just that uninformed about the bills they are supposed to have some knowledge of, but in his case, I just wasn't buying his act.

If this were just raw emotions, I don't have any problem tolerating that, although our lawmakers are supposed to be rational-thinking clear-headed professionals (all right all you cynics out there, I'm happy I gave you a good laugh). But Wilson's behavior was so phony, which is the whole point of this discussion, that some pent-up brain blister bursting is not what happened here. [Now the guy who threw his shoe at Bush, that was raw emotion for ya! Did you cheer for that?]. When Ted Kennedy died, some people got outraged that his name was invoked in support of progressive reform -- well, now I'm reflecting that that is a poignant example of how little they tolerate the influence of basic human emotions -- I'm thinking you may be on to something here. Point taken.

Back to freedom to voice his opinion: if he wants to voice his opinion, there are lots of avenues for him to do this. In no way is his freedom of speech being curtailed by the rules of congressional decorum, as there are many forums open to him in which he can express his opinion.

He of all people has more access than the rest of us! He could have held a press conference, gone on TV, spoken on the floor, etc. and made a reasoned argument against the point he supposedly found false. Why didn't he? A. Because there was no substance to what he had to say; B. He couldn't wait; C. He has a history of impulse control issues; D. All of the above. (Hint: Do you really think his behavior was that of a mature adult?)

FYI, Social Security is the most efficiently run program in the Federal government, with well under 10% (I'm not sure of the exact number, but I think it's even under 5%) administrative overhead. Some things done by government actually do work.

I don't know if your generation or mine will get everything back we put into Social Security, but my parent's generation sure did. The Republicans have been forwarding the scenario that Social Security is bankrupt -- well, um, not now but at some time in the future -- to create the impression that you've accepted must be true. Read Paul Krugman. Minor changes to the social security schedules have pushed back the supposed insolvency date by decades already.

The extent to which the government fails to provide us returns for our tax dollars is the extent to which we forget that it is not "the" government, but *our* government, We The People, and we are responsible, as participants in the process and responsible citizens to be involved, well informed, and voting, to make the thing work right.

Health care reform's reason for existing is that the government doesn't have any say in what your health care is like. (Well, they do protect the pharmaceutical companies from the profit-cutting competition they'd face if you could order your drugs from outside the US). But really it's the corporations that have the real say in your health care. Not everyone comes out and says that, but no one, on either side of the aisle, is trying to claim that that system is not broken. Are you doing your part and writing to your representatives and telling them that you think the system is fine the way it is?

I have no disagreement with your last sentence. Problem is, no matter how many parties there are (and our constitution is unfortunately not well structured to support third parties, as they never get their proportionate representation under its rules for electing representatives); and even with new parties, the same dysfunctional corruption will follow as long as corporations are allowed to overwhelm the democratic process with money.


Not staged. That is too funny!

WAS Planned!!

Ha Ha Didn't anyone see Saturday Night Live? The republicans all planned to say you lie but then changed their mind except Mr. Wilson had gone to the bathroom and didn't know because they forgot to tell him. So one could conclude that the cameraman was in the bathroom with Mr. Wilson also. LOL

The only "insane" posters at

The only "insane" posters at the rally to restore sanity were photographed by the same photographer that got this incredible shot. He is either the greatest photographer of all time, or he is staging at least his 'signature' photographs. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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Linda Young, Ph.D., is a psychologist and relationship coach whose work has appeared on or in CNN, NPR, The Oprah Magazine, and USA Today, among others.


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