Obama Situation Room Photo Racking Up Views on Flickr

This image of President Obama and his national security team (captured by Official White House Photographer Pete Souza) is rising through views to become the most popular photo on Flickr.  It’s also the fastest viewed image that Flickr has ever tracked.

According to the image caption provided by The White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden and the rest of the team are watching updates on the mission against Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011.

This image from Pete Souza captures an almost surreal moment with very real emotions from President Obama and the rest of his team, particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All eyes are glued to a screen that leads us to draw images in our minds’ eye of just what exactly they are witnessing.  In this case, the old adage is so very true – a picture is worth a thousand words.

From a photographer’s point of view, one of the things that struck me is just how much “stuff” that Pete Souza sees.  If he’s inside an operation like this, is there anything that he doesn’t see?

TechCrunch received details on the stats as Flickr was tracking it and noted the following numbers:

390,000 views at 3:30pm (5.5 hours later at 71,000 views per hour),
 600,000 at 5pm (7 hours later at 140,000 views/hour) and 
1,400,000 at 11am today (25 hours later at 44,000 views/hour). The White House Flickr account averages 100K views per day, and yesterday it received 2.5 million views, and as of 7pm today it already had 3.6 million views an order of magnitude greater than normal.

This image had almost 1.6 million views in just under 38 hours.  It has slowed off a bit today, but is still closing in on 1.7 million views at the time of this post.

Kudos for the great image Pete.

[Flickr via TechCrunch]



  1. Richard says

    After viewing the hi-res image, it is interesting that the focus point is Sec/State Clinton rather than someone else. I guess the hand over the mouth was the point of interest.

    I wonder if this was taken with a Leica…in the film era, they were the preferred because they were quiet and unobtrusive when documenting meetings (rather than ‘grip and grin’ staged photos).

  2. Jacob says

    It is made with a 5D2, 35mm1.4L, and they also put a note in their exif-data :P

    “This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”

    Even the photographer is not allowed to “manipulate” the picture, he shoots in JPG!

  3. GT73 says

    The White House staff gathers for a special advanced screening of “The Biggest Loser” season finale.