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Jean Schmidt’s Shadow

Peregrin Wood wrote about Jean Schmidt possibly being Photoshopped into a marathon to get a better time than she actually got. Commenters to his post write that, to them, it looks like the shadow would naturally be out of the picture.

I decided to take a look myself, finding a more complete version of the picture:

Jean Schmidt marathon photo with parallel lines for projected shadow path

Using the previous two runners, I found a line (drawn in red) that represents the path of all shadows at that moment. Jean Schmidt’s shadow should follow the same angle. I’ve guessed where her shoes ought to be, and added a red line from it. By my guess as to her shoes’ position, there should be a bit of shadow. If I’ve guessed wrongly and she’s actually shorter, there should be more shadow. If I’ve guessed wrongly and she’s a bit taller, there should be less shadow.

We need to know how tall Jean Schmidt actually is to resolve this. Can anyone find a picture of her standing in sneaks? The only pictures I can find include her in high heels, which throws the whole thing off. If someone can find a picture of her standing in sneaks, we can take that picture, match the scale to the marathon picture, and figure out where the shadow really ought to be.

Can you help?

Update: OK, I figured out after a couple of minutes of not-too-hard thinking that you can just take a high-heels photo of Jean Schmidt and crop her off at just below the ankles to represent the idea of how tall Jean Schmidt would be if she weren’t wearing heels. I’ve taken two photos below and done my best good-faith effort to render her to scale with the marathoning Jean Schmidt. If anything, I made the parallel shadows a bit smaller to be most sympathetic to the “missing her shadow” hypothesis. Also, these pictures are of Schmidt in office, who should if anything be a bit shorter than the younger marathoning Schmidt. This also would tend to make the office Schmidts too small, biasing results again toward short legs.

Jean Schmidt extrapolated shadow marathon run 1993

The pink x and green x represent my two guesses, working from these pictures. I know the result is amateurish, but it’s my good-faith best guess. And the thing is, working from those examples I can definitely see how she would be tall enough to have her shadow be obscured in the photo by the guys running ahead of her.

This does not take away the fact that Jean Schmidt is a political Neanderthal. But the whole faking a marathon photo thing seems far fetched, at least to me.

If my comparison with other photos is somehow off in logic or in empirical detail, chastise away.

4 comments to Jean Schmidt’s Shadow

  • Iroquois Honky

    I do see just a hint of a shadow bisected by the lowermost red line. Not a heavy shadow like the big guy in back of her, but a lighter shadow like the top of the one two runners back.

    Also a transparency in the T-shirt under the right armpit similar to the one on the guy behind.

    Also sunlight on the right leg, shoulders and top of the head, just like the other runners–she is placed in exactly the same angle with respect to the sun.

    No, I don’t see anything fakey about the picture.

  • M from China

    OK, so how about posting the new photo of the earlier picture which clearly shows her in the race? The guy in front of her sent it in from Montana. Noy’s complaint was thrown out and he’ll be paying for costs related to his frivolous charge. Time for you to come clean.

  • Jim

    “Come clean?” Pardon me, M from China, for being too “dirty” to your taste. I don’t know if it’s a Chinese thing to consider it dirty to write “the whole faking a marathon photo thing seems far fetched, at least to me.”

  • jenna

    its kind of sad that you probably spent more than an hour or two on this…is it that you are either really bored or really trying to back up Noy’s false comment

    how about u come clean about having no life what so ever and then go out and find a diffrent hobby

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