New York, Jan 15: Obama's official presidential portrait has caught the attention of critics. They have given their verdict on it. The picture, which had been taken by newly appointed White House photographer Pete Souza. The photograph shows the incoming commander-in-chief wearing a navy suit, light blue shirt and striped tie, with an American flag pin on his left lapel.
The picture, which also features the slightly blurred American flag and the flag of the Office of the President in the background, is said to give an insight to Obama's energetic and fun-loving side. "You can look at it as a photograph and value it on its own merit, but you also have to look at how it's being used and what its purpose is," the New York Daily News quoted Elisabeth Biondi, visual editor of New York Daily .
"It's going to be used widely and has to appeal to a very wide audience. You look at the flag on the left side, you look at the tie, which is red, white and blue, and you look at the seal on the flag - all of that gives the message of 'America,' which is very patriotic."If you look at his eyes, he looks resolute, confident; he doesn't look arrogant. His eyes are smiling; his smile is not a smirk. He looks off into the distance a little bit, which seems to me like looking into the future," Biondi said.
Where a portrait photograph is concerned, the photographer needs to capture the inner life of the poser also, and Souza has managed to do just that. "By and large it is better than many of these portraits," John Smock, a photojournalist and adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School, said.
"You are getting a little window into who [Obama] is - a guy with a lot of energy and a lot of personality. "His gaze in this portrait is very direct - not confrontational, but demanding of the audience. It says to some extent, 'I am willing to do the work if you are willing to do the work with me'. "It's the first digital portrait, it's a very well done picture.
"I expect it will make a statement compared with the rest of the presidential portraits wherever they're all displayed together," he added.