A little cheat in my Tiger Beat photo homage


One thing nobody has called out in my tribute to the Bill Gates Tiger Beat photo, either because it was too subtle or too obvious, is that the photo is actually a mirror image.

The arrangement of furniture in the room was not correct: The big table was on the wrong side of the room. It was also too heavy to move around, so we cheated. We staged the entire picture as a mirror image, flipping the Windows screen shot. And then back in the virtual darkroom, Ariel flipped the photo to put the furniture on the correct side of the photo.

Here are the clues in the photo:

  • The SONY logo on the monitor.
  • The Multiscan G500 and Trinitron branding on the monitor.
  • The Microsoft logos on the binder on the table.
  • The arrows on the recycle bin propping open the door.

Chatter: The day after I put this article into the queue (which makes it visible to Microsoft employees), somebody posted a comment pointing it out. Coincidence? You decide.

Comments (9)
  1. Antonio 'Grijan' says:

    The recycle bind is blurry at the size the image is shown in your page, but the monitor is clearly visible. And then I didn't notice it!

    In other words, I'm amazed that your article queue averages to three months, which means you have about 60-70 articles already written. Great work!

  2. @Antonio says:

    It's actually a year and three months. That comment was from 2013. ;)

  3. Adam Rosenfield says:

    Did there used to be a higher-res version of the photo?  The photo on the linked page as well as this copy I found on Flickr c2.staticflickr.com/.../3213320169_33911c356f_z.jpg are pretty low-res and require a very sharp eagle eye to notice those clues of the mirroring.

  4. Sockatume says:

    Nice try, Mirror-Universe Raymond Chen, but you're fooling nobody.

  5. Azarien says:

    I fail to understand the problem with furniture.

    [The table is asymmetric, and the asymmetry was backwards. You can't really see it in the final photo, so we obsessed over nothing. -Raymond]
  6. DebugErr says:

    Also, your hair goes to the other direction, unlike the first image on the jobs site ;-)

  7. Alex H says:

    I preordered your book, or something, don't remember, but I was one of the first people to have a copy.  Excellent read!

  8. BIgStew says:

    There is a third possibility, as to why no one noticed...

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