Who Shot It Better? Peter Yang vs. Platon: Bill Clinton

Who Shot It Better? Peter Yang vs. Platon: Bill Clinton

Two great photographers took a portrait of Bill Clinton twelve years apart. An intentional homage at the behest of the DOP? A subconscious shout out?

Platon’s famous and controversial portrait of Bill Clinton in 2000. Despite the pleas of the art directors, Platon took a last frame with his signature wide angle lens and blue hue, and asked the President to “show him the love.”

The February 2012 issue features the President in a slightly less imposing style as photographed by the incredible and ubiquitous Peter Yang. Head cocked, thinner, less symmetrical. The brown three piece suit obscures the tie, which so famously pointed out the obvious twelve years earlier.

Not so surprisingly, I think both photographers effectively captured Clinton effectively for the time and in a photographic style that was (is) contemporary at the time.

Winner: It’s a draw!

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Kathleen Nayhan at 9:06 pm

    The 2nd portrait gets my vote. The open gesture of the 1st portrait is offensive….to “in your face”. The second shot has a more relaxed gestue= open and sincere look. Both iportraits so are similar, changing the hand position transforms the resulting image 100 percent.

  2. Allen Murabayashi Author at 9:09 pm

    @Kathleen, your comments echo the controversy. It had been a year after Clinton’s impeachment trial, and the image had so many obvious queues: open legs, huge hands, big grin, tie pointing to his nether regions.

    that said, i think it’s interesting to view the portraits through time. platon’s work was really groundbreaking around this time, and peter yang is one of the hottest portraitist right now. really incredible juxtaposition in my mind.

  3. Kevin Warren at 12:55 pm

    Getting old the blur of the light cast by the spot behind him and it’s shape in Plato’s takes on another uniquely interesting shape as well. Honestly I think they both speak to the man at the time of the photo. It was about the impeachment and personal matters at the time of Plato’s and today he is a humanitarian in his work who has mended bridges. The stool which get’s to the original question of similarity is probably as simple as all studios have them, coincidence. Lovely images.

  4. Kevin Warren at 12:56 pm

    Getting old eye’s that slowly compensate the blur of the light cast by the spot behind him and it’s shape in Plato’s takes on another uniquely interesting shape as well. Honestly I think they both speak to the man at the time of the photo. It was about the impeachment and personal matters at the time of Plato’s and today he is a humanitarian in his work who has mended bridges. The stool which get’s to the original question of similarity is probably as simple as all studios have them, coincidence. Lovely images.

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