US Olympic Portraits are pretty bad.

I don’t have any pictures of my own to post this week, but It was brought to my attention that the pictures posted on http://solsticevisuals.com/post/26229830602/outrage-over-the-photographs-of-the-united-states by photographer Joe Klamar are bad. Really bad. Embarrassingly bad.

I’m not sure what the copyright situation is on those pictures so I won’t post any here, but you can see some of the really bad ones on the link above. There are torn seamless paper pictures, wrinkled seamless paper, bad angles, very dark shadows with no artistic value, the background rig showing, body parts cut off at weird areas, dirty seamless paper, and just overall it looks like an amateur walked into a studio for the first time and had no idea how to work with lights.

Far be it for me, some semi-anonymous amateur photographer on the internet to criticize a working pro who obviously has to be great to get access with world class athletes, but Joe, what the hell man? You’ve got the absolute best in camera gear, access, and probably assistants. How can you release this?!? I’ve looked around the web and his work in sports and action photography seems to be pretty good, but portraits are a different animal so if he couldn’t do it, I’m sure there would be many who would have loved to had the opportunity. Even if they were screwed up, he could have just not released them.

I really would love to hear the explanation of how something like this could have happened. Here is a link to the full set on CBS’s website: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296.html

Also, to be fair, here is another link to an actual professional portrait session: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/picturegalleries/9270482/London-2012-Olympics-portraits-of-Team-USA-athletes.html?frame=2221308

*Update 7-6-2012*
I had no idea this story would be as big as it is and I kind of feel bad for the guy. Here is an explanation of what happened: http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/2012/07/05/Pixels-and-piety%3A-Photographing-Olympic-icons .  It’s sort of a nightmare scenario no matter what your job is be it you’re an electrician or a photographer and walk into a situation expecting one thing and bringing the tools and mentality to deal with that problem and then seeing it’s something else.  I get it.  I can’t arm chair quarterback that or say “well he shoulda turned it into gold because that’s what the greats do”.  True.  But hey, even Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant miss buzzer beaters now and then.

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