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February 21, 2014

The Petal

Isn’t it interesting how much a subject’s personality can influence the way we respond to a more impressionistic photo? Shots like this used to make Benedict look like a goof (1, 2) but here, when I saw that collar, the first thing I thought of was a flower.

(photo: Gabriel Bouys—AFP/Getty Images via TIME’s best pictures of the week caption: Feb. 19, 2014. Pope Francis salutes the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter’s square at the Vatican.)

  • bystander

    There is a Reuters photo taken more from the side, where Francis leaning with his hand extended into the crowd, and his head, face and neck are fully obscured by the capelet which has blown forward. A friend sent it in an email with the caption: “The Pope won’t leave his stitches alone either…” Haven’t been able to look at shots like this since without that quip popping into my head.

    • black_dog_barking

      My first thought too although mine was not expressed so well. The guy has certainly built a bunch of goodwill, at least with me, in that such shots don’t invite ridicule. He seems to be one of us, automatically winning our empathy.

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