Here is why the Bidens seem to tower over the Carters in that bizarre viral photo of the president and first lady with their oldest living counterparts

  • A photo of Joe and Jill Biden meeting with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter last week has puzzled the internet.
  • The Bidens appear to tower over the former first couple in a photo taken at the Carters’ Georgia home. 
  • A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the oddity.
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The internet was set ablaze Monday evening after former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter’s nonprofit, the Carter Center, shared a curious-looking photo of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden posing with the former first couple last week in Georgia.

Like something out of a house of oddities, both Bidens appear to tower considerably over the Carters, who look like miniature figures seated in their chairs.

The photo seems to suggest that the Bidens are twice as large as the nonagenarian couple. 

Jimmy Carter’s height is listed as 5′ 10″ while Biden is two inches taller. Rosalynn Carter, meanwhile, measures up at 5′ 5″, about one inch shorter than Jill Biden, who is 5′ 6″.

So, if the Bidens aren’t giants and the Carters aren’t tiny, what accounts for the bizarre photo?

A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the illusion, according to The Washington Post and BBC News.

The photographer’s use of a wide-angle lens caused the Bidens, who are situated close to the edge, to appear enlarged. Meanwhile, the Carters, seated in the middle of the frame, look “pushed back,” BBC picture editor Phil Coomes told the outlet. 

Marlena Sloss, a freelance photographer, told The Post that a strong flash also contributed to the effect. The flash reduces shadows, which play a role in giving photographed objects depth.

The Carters are both leaned back in their chairs, while the Bidens appear to be kneeling forward, giving the illusion that the two pairs are side-by-side and on the same plane, Sloss told the outlet. 

The Bidens met with the Carters at their home in Plains, Georgia, during a trip to the state last week. It was the first time the two Democrats, who have a decades-long bond, had met in person since Biden’s inauguration. 

The meeting was held in private, according to Yahoo News, as Jimmy Carter, 96, suffers from health problems that have impacted his ability to hear and speak.

The Carters are set to celebrate 75 years of marriage later this year.

 

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