Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Come Not to Bury Yuri Gripas, but to Praise Him

I've sung the praises of Reuters' star Condirazzi Yuri Gripas over and over (and over and over), but it's nice to have a fresh case study from today's meet 'n' greet at the State Department*. First up, the stand-up:

AP Photo/Heesoon Yim

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

See the difference? First of all, Yuri's photo is simply better from a technical standpoint; he's compensated for that nasty, dull State Department lighting. Second, Heesoon's composition is crowded and lacks focus, and one gets the impression that he is afraid to include background elements in his ill-conceived attempt to imply intimacy. Gripas, on the other hand, knows full well that the background is the photographer's friend in a situation like this, because the people themselves are boring. Advantage: Gripas.

Next up, the championship round: the matching armchairs photo-op. Ohhhh, you thought I'd exhausted that subject last week, didn't you? Let's see how Gripas VS Yim plays out in this crucial arena:

AP Photo/Heesoon Yim

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

No contest... Gripas wins. He knows the set-up, and he knows exactly how to shoot it. Yim again makes the mistake of trying to portray the moment as intimate and casual, which it most certainly is not. And the result, as you can see, is that the matching armchairs refuse to meet the photographer's needs, and awkward cropping ensues. Gripas shoots the truth of the event: this is a heraldic display, please handle it accordingly.

*Oh, do you care who the guy is? Really? Um, OK, he's Cyril Svoboda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.


Lulu Maude said...

What happened to that lil furry animal in the foreground? Did Condi have it put down?

Unknown said...

Yuri is hands down the king of condo shooting..Yim just sucks pond scum..seriously.

And to answer your last question..um no. you seen one HOS(head of state) in the infamous Condi-shot..you seen them all,afterall its Princess Ferigamo that is the mainstay..not the HOS.

Anonymous said...

Um, hello? Yes? He's like totally cute. Jeeze. But yeah Gripas is clearly Master of Armchairs.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Any matching armchair shot of Condi that doesn't feature her Ferragamos du jour is simply unacceptable.
Her shoes say it all. If one is pointing at the guest, that's a thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your analysis of the matching armchair photos. Of the first pair, however, I think Yim has some interesting points.

The twisted, uncomfortable position of Cyril shows an awkwardness that is not captured by Yuri's straight ahead pic. He also caught the bemused expression on Cyril's face, implying the ridiculousness of the staged event. Further, Condi is much more vacant in his picture- that is, her mind is clearly elsewhere. In Yuri's photo she has simply lost her eyes.

Anonymous said...

By the way, what happened to Condi's right foot?

Anonymous said...

Yes, seriously. What happened to her foot? It looks like somebody shopped out the shoe and replaced it with the background carpet instead of toes.

Anonymous said...

And, (shiver), there seems to be some snouted thing crawling out from under Condi's chair. Maybe it just ate her toes. She is sooo professional, not even a tiny little scream.

samael7 said...

Compositionally, Gripas knows his stuff. Look at that flower arrangement, so perfectly balanced on the minister's finger, like a ring or wine glass offering, blended with some kind of David-Copperfieldian balancing magic.

Oh, how flowers bridge the gaps. And look at her smile: it's a smile that says, "I'll have the torturer go easy on my minions today. They got it right for a change."

That said, I think the flowers are brighter in Yim's photos, and the colors in general look better. But he apparently doesn't know how to work within the confines of Godzileezza's Photo-Op Playbook. He plays a dangerous game, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

But anyone know the photogs real name? Makes sense, no, that a guy with such a keen eye for the interesting/scary hands of La Mandoleeza would choose a nom de lens like "Yuri Gripas?" If he were fixated on her feet, he'd be Yuri Pedas or Yuri Tootsies or something.

Name game aside, the man's brilliant at revealing some deep Condi. He's the best, hands down!