The Conversation

For All the Skeet Truthers...

Earlier today, as I hadn't seen the tweets from Obama's camp saying he was shooting on August 4th of last year, I checked the pic's Exif data on Flickr—a great feature they include for photo wonks to see the aperture, shutter speed, etc. when they're checking out others' uploads. "Date taken: August 4, 2012." Okay, cool.

Later on, when people started throwing up a screen grab of some Reuters story saying that Obama went golfing that same day, I got rather pissed off. It's extremely easy to do a round of golf and a round of shooting in the same day with plenty of sunlight to spare.

So I went back over to the photo's metadata page to get a screenshot, and I realized this time that it also included the time as well as the date. Great! I'll make my case that much more cleanly—

"Taken on August 4, 2012 7:19 PM PST."

No. That cannot be right. Can it?

So that's 10:19 PM eastern. Sundown that day was 8:16 PM eastern.

Well, can't tweet that. It'll just drive everyone even more bananas.

So, before this becomes a thing on the right, it seems very likely that Pete Souza's camera is set to the wrong time zone. Looking over the rest of the Flickr feed, this seems to be the case. This photo of Obama at the December 16th Newtown vigil, for instance, is stamped at 7:59 PM PST, when Obama went on stage after 5:30 PM PST and the event was over before 6:15 PM PST. 

DSLR cameras aren't like cell phones in that they automatically change time zones (and honestly, I don't bother setting the time on mine), so it seems to match up that with both photos, the time was eastern rather than Pacific. 7:19 is plenty of time before sundown, which would also explain why it doesn't look like a particularly sunny day.

So, everyone—please, for your own sakes, CTFO. With the resources at his disposal, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that, yes, the President can play a round of golf, fly to Camp David, and shoot a shotgun at least once all in the same day.

I've reached out to Pete Souza for confirmation, for what it's worth.

Meanwhile, something which interests me far more: '90s rockers-turned-hipster-cult My Bloody Valentine today announced the release date of their long-awaited return album, and that release date is... right now. Unfortunately, they appear to have underestimated the size of their cult, and the server instantly crashed. So, once it's no longer a universal 403 error, enjoy.


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