Image via FLOTUS

On Tuesday, the White House unveiled its holiday portrait for this year. Melania Trump’s haunting red Christmas trees aren’t present here, which might be a relief for some but a tad suspicious for others. Could the image be digitally altered?

The picture shows the First Couple of the United States holding hands in front of a heavily decked-out White House. While the gesture alone might already seem unusual, it also almost looks as if cutouts of US president Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have been superimposed onto the backdrop, further leading some to imagine that the image is “photoshopped.”

If you’re one of those who wondered why the picture looks so “unnatural” this year, here’s some clarity. According to Vogue.com’s Visual Director Emily Rosser, it’s because the lighting of the subjects and the background appear different. Rosser deduces that the Trumps were slightly de-oranged to stand out from the photo’s strong lighting.

The magazine’s Senior Designer, Durrant Santeng, chimes in that the photo lacks bokeh, which makes it seem like the First Couple “are competing with their decorations.” The effect is especially harsh with the over-the-top décor in the background.

Coupled with the yellowish filter that FLOTUS appears to have added in her Instagram post, shown below, the image might seem artificial-looking to some.

Official White House portrait


Image via White House

Melania Trump’s reposted portrait

[via Vogue, images via various sources]

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