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Photographer explains controversial Team USA Olympic Portraits

By dpreview staff on Jul 6, 2012 at 23:00 GMT

Photographer Joe Klamar's portraits of US Olympic atheletes have caused a lot of controversy this week, especially in the USA. Reaction to the shots, taken for French photo agency AFP, has been varied, with many commentors dismissing his images as unprofessional at best, and at worst unpatriotic. Others have defended Klamar, arguing that his apparently unpolished images represent a deliberate attempt to challenge the conventions of portrait photography. The truth, it turns out, is more mundane. It seems Klamar was simply caught unprepared.

According to Klamar, 'I was under the impression that I was going to be photographing athletes on a stage or during press conference where I would take their headshots for our archives [and] I really had no idea that there would be a possibility for setting up a studio'.

Trey Hardee of Team USA, photograph by Joe Klamar for AFP

Responding to the negative reaction of some commentors to his work, Klamar has insisted that 'my only goal was to show [the athletes] as interesting, as special people who deserve their fame because they are the best [at] what they do. And for the little time we had together, they were willing to work with my concepts'.

Klamar certainly isn't the first photographer to turn up to a job only to find it wasn't the kind of job he thought it was, so what do you think - did he make the best of a difficult situation, or did he just mess up? What would you have done?

via Petapixel.com

Comments

Total comments: 437
1234
looker
By looker (Jul 8, 2012)

Joe, give your cameras to the nearest child. ANY child will do for making the world a more beautiful place.

0 upvotes
Paul Auclair
By Paul Auclair (Jul 8, 2012)

"WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (19 hours ago)

Well, I think the point is for Mr. Klamar then, as he has surely sold and resold worldwide these "bad photos" so many haters have given a so wide advertisement. Thank you for Mr Klamar to make him more famous, more rich... and without knowing it having proved you were wrong."

you honestly think, using your best reckoning, that any/all images currently littering the internet are bought and paid for? I wonder how much DPR paid Mr. Klamar to "post" the image above?
you honestly believe Mr. Klamar received, or will receive, one red cent for his "work" regarding the US athletes?
really...honestly....????
Yes, surely these latest 'wonderfully non-mainstream' images of Mr Klamar's will make him rich beyond his wildest dreams.
Surely Mr. Klamar has no regrets whatsoever that his latest genius 'work' is what it is.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

Yes, I believe it is paid - not always for sure - in a way or in another. And I wouldn't be surprised to see in a near future boys and girls running the street with a T-shirt bearing some pictures taken by Mr Klamar. That's how our world works, don't you know ? Well, I bet you're not so naive.

0 upvotes
cheddargav
By cheddargav (Jul 8, 2012)

Having been a subscriber to Professional Photographer in the UK, which encourages readers to join there website and upload photos in the hope that they may get one in the magazine, only to discover that once again there is the most average wedding photo possible published, I think WilliamJ is probably onto something. The world revolves around money, it's a sad fact.

FYI, these shots are pretty cr@p, but hey, at least they're different, lol

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 9, 2012)

C'est la vie !

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Hmmmm .. just for the record. Can anyone point me to some sets of portrait photos of US athletes that you think are worthy to be called portraits of US athletes and that fulfils the requirement of being patriotic?

And I mean portraits. I am not talking about sports photos.

2 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 8, 2012)

...all of the ones that were not taken by this guy!

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Pointer?

2 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (Jul 9, 2012)

Here is one link:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/photos/track-and-field/model-olympian-trey-hardee.html

Please browse the gallery. It's that same Trey Hardee who looks not as a depressed moron (as on the above image), but as of an athlete worthy of respect... Pretty nice and creative images, if you ask me.

I do not know why you mention "patriotic"; that's not the point, not for me, anyway.

A good portrait should give some idea of who the depicted guy is. Does Klamar's image do that? Not in the least...

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 11, 2012)

@vadims. Quite ordinary images of Tray Hardee IMHO. Nothing special.

The reasons why I mentioned "patriotic" are two: (1) Lots of critiques in this thread seem to think that is important and (2) I find this particular motivation for dislike of the images just plain strange. Why on earth is there any need for the images to be patriotic. What a silly notion.

Regarding the images need to show who the guy is. I cant see why. Are they not well known American athletes?

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Strange thread. Some here seems to assume that the images SHOULD/MUST be high quality studio portraits made by a skilled studio photographer. The same impressive stuff portraying humans as super humans as usual.

But - it isnt. This guy has just taken some images - and he has done so of famous people. So - the analysis is totally uninteresting IMHO.

Its like asking why this ice cream does not taste like a perfect grilled beef. It wont. Because its no beef.

Same here.

Personally I think it is enlightening to see those humans as humans.

4 upvotes
luigibozi
By luigibozi (Jul 8, 2012)

The royal wedding was last year, as I remember... ;)
They are the best athletes US have at this moment. At this moment too, they are (just) participants in a competition. I wish them luck and as many gold medals as possible. And I would hire the same photographer for the winners.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Hmmmmm .... royal wedding? Here in Sweden? Yeah? Royalties are special people ... NOT. Having nobility and stuff like that is 200 years to late IMNSHO.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

luigibozi just had a good idea ! Well, imagine a second the same photographer - Mr Klamar - taking pictures of the (GB) royal family members: Prince Charles looking upward with his name written on a white paper... THe Queen Elisabeth fiercely pointing at us her scepter like a shotgun... By Jove ! THAT would be something !

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

It probably would. Getting important (?) people to do stupid things always gets some attention. Hmmmm .. or at least replace important with famous and we are nearer to the truth.

We have a reporter here in Sweden that for some reason have interviewed several important (?) people. And - one of the things she always get the interviewed person to do is to jump in a picture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stina_Lundberg_Dabrowski

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 9, 2012)

That's dumb enough to please around ! As had the picture of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue (cf: http://www.actinnovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Albert_Einstein.jpg ). One of the two or three portraits of the genius that people remember the best, much better than the exquise portraits of Einstein by Yousuf Karsh (cf: http://silkpurseproductions.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/karsh-comp.jpg )

What lead to the big question of the day: do people expect from photographers perfect beauty, or just something funny enough to help them enduring their hard life ?

1 upvote
Joel Feinleib
By Joel Feinleib (Jul 11, 2012)

Yes, but those are pictures of Einstein the person, I have no idea who the photographer is. Showing a man who many people may have thought to be super serious always contemplating incomprehensible questions as also having a silly side, a sense of humor is enlightening. These pictures are not the least nit illuminating of there subjects. Showing one of the world's best all-around athletes, Trey Hardee, as bored, confused, puny, tells us nothing about Trey Hardee. Taking a picture of a rhythmic gymnast which shows the edges of the background cloth, tells us what about the subject.

Everybody who likes these photos tells us how much they say about Klamar's vision. Not a one has pointed out where Klamar made his subject, the person, more interesting or compelling.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 11, 2012)

Good question William. Making something beautiful is just a craft - making you laugh or remember is art.

1 upvote
Petrogel
By Petrogel (Jul 8, 2012)

Either by accident or intentionally, these portraits give an amazing humanly perspective of these athletes and some of them look like they enjoy it.
I think the images got an artistic and more reporters-like touch.

8 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Yepp - you got it!

1 upvote
Joel Feinleib
By Joel Feinleib (Jul 11, 2012)

If you google Klamar and look at his thousands of images of stars and starlets on the red carpet, political figures at political events, athletes in action, you will find none of the artistic sensibilities that somehow just emerged this day at this photoshoot.

Joe Klamar is about making glamorous, powerful, famous, intense and athletic people look just as glamorous, famous, powerful, intense and athletic as they are. I see not one hint of ironic, or humanizing artistic vision.

0 upvotes
AKPhotoArt
By AKPhotoArt (Jul 8, 2012)

Obvisiously Joe Klamar had no experience in studio shots.
He made too many mistakes an experienced studio photographer would not have done!

Apparently he shot most (if not all) of these images with his 17-35mm lens and form a short distance resulting in unpleasant and often distorting perspectives.
His 70-200mm lens would have been the much better choice in this studio environtment, with significantly increased subject distance.

Second he often decided to show the limited width of the backdrop paper, showing black studio environment in the outer areas.

Often, whole-body images of the athletes were take at eye level from a very short distance resulting in a very amateurish perspective with shrinking short legs due to the high camera angle.

Third the light setup is often unpleasant with large areas of the athelte's face completely hidden in black shaddows.

That he is often cutting off hands or feet additionally shows his lack of talent and studio experience.

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Yes. And if he had followed your advice and were as skilled as you are (or you think he should be) then the result would not differ from another skilled studio photographer. How boring would that be - on a scale?

Not saying that portraits taken by super skilled photographers are bad. Just saying that some variation in photos sometimes is refreshing.

5 upvotes
nikoncanonleicapentax
By nikoncanonleicapentax (Jul 8, 2012)

I agree Roland, if they wanted professional looking portraits they should have hired an amateur instead of this goofball.

2 upvotes
AKPhotoArt
By AKPhotoArt (Jul 8, 2012)

"Just saying that some variation in photos sometimes is refreshing."

Variations are refreshing a slong as they are creative variations.
But using amateurish perspectives, cutting off hands and feet and so on are NOT so called 'variations' but show the lack of photographic knowledge and studio experience.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

But ... new things can never be done if we dont accept possible failure. If all that is allowed is to hire those with high credibility and demand that they deliver "the usual stuff" then there will be no development.

Maybe the guy made a poor job and maybe he missed in the preparations and could not improvise. Maybe thats the case. Maybe he should have stayed home claiming he has a bad cold.

But then we will never have seen the image on the front page of DPReview. And ... actually ... I like it. Its not bad. Its rather unique. And this discussion would never have happened.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

"But ... new things can never be done if we dont accept possible failure.".
The words of the day ! Too far thinking for much as it seems, claiming "Gime my superheroes !", "Gime my superheroes !" and can't reach a ground beyond that childish demand.

You all want superheroe ? Here you are: http://youtu.be/kVFdAJRVm94

0 upvotes
mschf
By mschf (Jul 8, 2012)

"and at worst unpatriotic"
Didn't know non-US citizens should be patriotic to the US.

5 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

Personally I wonder if an US citizen only is allowed to take patriotic images. If true - it makes the land of the free look quite awkward.

4 upvotes
mschf
By mschf (Jul 8, 2012)

Land of the what? ;)

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 8, 2012)

I wonder if going further in this direction might get us into trouble at this site :)

0 upvotes
rsp
By rsp (Jul 8, 2012)

It's probably the first time that American athletes are shown as real people rather than machines.
Interesting work, specially as it has been done in a hurry.

5 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (Jul 9, 2012)

I think that's the point. American athletes are heros, who live and breathe sport. They are never out of uniform (not in the 4 yrs btwn Olympics), they never wear casual clothes, they don't even eat or go to the toilet.

To portray them as anything remotely like a human bean is degrading and unpatriotic. So unpatriotic that you don't even have to be a citizen to be unpatriotic. I mean, these photos are nothing short of an act of war. You're either with us or against us after all.

Look at the damage these photos have done. Now some people are under the impression these heros are actually human. No longer will they be able to sell their used tissues for a fortune (not that they ever need to use tissues) Productivity is lost everywhere as crazy^H^H^H^H^Hpassionate people like ALFREDofAVALON write out a post every 2hrs about the evils of... something. I'm sure he'll have enough content for a book by tomorrow.

I'd write more but I need to get to my bunker now to wait out the apocalypse...

3 upvotes
Joel Feinleib
By Joel Feinleib (Jul 11, 2012)

That's complete nonsense. Just use google. You make it seem like every other country just uses the driver's license photo's of their athletes.

Every fricking person who wins a gold medal at teh Olympics drapes him or herself in their countries flag. They stand at attention swelling with pride at their particular national anthem.

It's the Olympics. it is a national competition, not an individual one.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Jul 8, 2012)

Just been looking at some of the others - I think as a collection, they are brilliant: in fact, the first part of this entire, tired Olympics thing that has actually made me smile.

Klamar should be proud of this work, and any folks who think the images unprofessional or unpatriotic needs to chill out, and gain a little perspective.

Brian

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

"gain a little perspective"... Thank you Biowizard to this nice words. Alas, is everybody gifted the ability to see beyond his own nose ? Reading some criticts here, the doubt is allowed...

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

You guys are mistaken about what the problem here is.

This is not about entertaining your tired bored minds. It is about the pinnacle of human physical achievement and how this laudable task in representing one's country in the WORLD Olympics should be depicted in photographic portraits.

If that is not entertaining enough for you, "see what's on the 'Tele'."

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 9, 2012)

We had perfectly understood, my dear. But everybody has the HUMAN RIGHT to think differently. We are not soviets after all, are you ? This time, that would be anti-american as hell.

Moreover, is there a law compelling any photographer to produce pictures "only according to the standart" ? Stating such a curious thing would be venturing onto dangerous ground, don't you think ?

And one more thing: the USA always claim they are the prototype of the freedom country. Is anathematizing a way to prove it ?

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Anathematizing? I must admit. I looked that one up. I don't think I was "cursing" or "condemning" the offending parties, writing shallow unthoughtful glib posts in favor of subpar technique and aesthetics for the sake of phony notions of artistic expression.

Forgive the sternness of your teacher's vigor and rigor.

Maybe you should drop this class and sign up for basket-weaving. The baskets will come in handy , when your foraging for fruits and nuts.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Jul 8, 2012)

I like them. A lot.

8 upvotes
ellumination
By ellumination (Jul 8, 2012)

In some way this story reminds me of the London Olympics logo and poster designs and the heavy backlash it caused. So it seems whenever conventions are broken, people (surprisingly also in the creative industry) get very nervous.

Personally, i think this could have been a great concept, but it is hindered by inconsistent art direction and its execution leaves to be desired. Still, props to the photographer for thinking out of the box.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ezradja
By ezradja (Jul 8, 2012)

I found these very creative. Very artistic feeling about, accidentally or not. Just like fine art, not everyone could appreciated it though.

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

Overall, these were so amateur it wasn't amusing, but embarrassing. Some of them were NOT portraits (someones backside - that's a body part), some were very unflattering, not just someone's face in a beautiful way, but also the human form as unflattering. (The best should be presented the best way - Form and Content!) It was totally inconsistent throughout, as though by a student throughout a semester trying to "find his style." Bends in paper backdrops, goofball compositions of a beautiful pose - girl doing the splits.

And if by accident, a few pretty nice shots, but really too artsy fartsy to be a portrait, that is, photos presented to the world as one's official image; image as visual representation and as essence.

Really? THE Official US Olympics Portraits? It seemed another bazaar kind of slight against America, either by the editors (or whoever commissioned and released this work) and a photo shooting of the foot in front of the world. Hoping around on one foot - buffoon-like.

2 upvotes
Lisa O
By Lisa O (Jul 8, 2012)

Who is this guy's uncle that got him this job?
Pure amateur.

1 upvote
manny_d
By manny_d (Jul 8, 2012)

Go GI Joe Klamar. We don't need to see the same portraits imitated by others.

4 upvotes
Enjoyatoy
By Enjoyatoy (Jul 8, 2012)

Go Joe!

I have never heard of Joe, but I am amazed at the attention this has drawn.

The man was hired.

He produced some unique work.

From what I read, a large number of his photos were picked up; which likely was his client's objective.

If all photographers produced the same work, we wouldn't need so many, and we would likely be bored with all the repetition.

It is hard to imagine how I would feel if everyone "Klammered" over my work after I met my client's objectives. (sorry Joe, I couldn't resist)

I wonder if he will now continue with what is now some signature work that HAS SOLD, or fold to the critics. AFP appears to be happy. If I were him, I think I would keep experimenting until AFP says different. Follow the money.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

Unique work may or may not have anything to do with Portraiture.

Ah, "the client's objective." Well your honor, that goes to motive!

"Signature work" "Keep experimenting" - There's the paradox and the problem.

Follow the money. That's going to be hard, when like stumbling into a room where people started throwing spontaneously throwing money at him and says, "how in the hell did I get here?"

0 upvotes
Lng0004
By Lng0004 (Jul 8, 2012)

DPR chooses to post what's probably the worst shot of the bunch. If people only take a look at this one shot before commenting, then yes, it's absolutely crap.

But take a look at the entire collection. It's not that bad.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jul 8, 2012)

Actually, the "entire collection" that was originally released was far worse than this more recent, edited collection that people are seeing now. The images people are seeing now really aren't so bad. The original set was downright awful. They should never have seen the light of day. And it was the original set that people were initially reacting to. So now we have basically two camps: the one that saw the originally released set of images, and the one that is seeing this more recent set of images. Whether the first set of images was released just for shock value, we don't know. But obviously, AFP is now rolling in publicity of their own creation.

5 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

You mean there was stuff worse than this?

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Jul 8, 2012)

alfred (and Lng0004):

yes, much, /much/ worse than this. the original sets of photos which caused the initial reaction have been redacted and/or replaced.

3 upvotes
KodaChrome25
By KodaChrome25 (Jul 8, 2012)

The photos are fine. You're all whack. ;)

1 upvote
xtoph
By xtoph (Jul 7, 2012)

i am sympathetic to the plight of the photographer. poor information (let's stipulate that wasn't his fault), piled on top of very difficult circumstances (too many people, not enough time).

but:

these are inexcusably poor quality photos. not because they are insufficiently 'patriotic' (irrelevant) or because they follow a unique artistic vision (please). it isn't really a subjective or even aesthetic matter. the problem is bad technique: wildly oof shots, unbelievably badly framed shots (body parts arbitrarily cut off), and extremely badly exposed shots (blown skin on the face, or insufficient exposure). even without preparation, a photographer should be able to get consistent results, at a minimum.

if pictures are worth 1000 words, then a pro photog should be fluent in the language. what we see isn't a personal dialect or style, it's poor grammar, to the point where there is no way to tell what the pics are supposed to say.

so of course it is photo news. it's embarrassing.

6 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (Jul 7, 2012)

Out of curiosity: which photos did you see the relevant body parts cut off? There's only one (#19 in the slideshow) where you could possibly claim that.

About out of focus. The JPEGs posted here seem to have no sharpening applied and saved as low quality high-compression JPEGs (as opposed to typical oversharpened low-compression JPEGs we are used to seeing these days). Are you confident the photos are actually out of focus based on the low quality previews?

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jul 8, 2012)

@ppastoris - the photos have actually been edited down now. The original set of images released to other sites, and which people were originally reacting to, were far worse. Those images should have never seen the light of day, and yet AFP decided to put them out. Lots of really bad compositions, lots of limbs cut off in unappealing ways, etc. Now, the slide shows people are seeing are of the more successful images.

5 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

Exactly

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

Sharpening applied; low compression? Are you kidding? Sharpening are no sharpening. If they are out of focus, they are out of focus.

1 upvote
xtoph
By xtoph (Jul 8, 2012)

ppastoris:

first of all, many of the worst examples which caused the initial reactions to this episode have been removed, and many of the remainder seem to have been re-edited. [also, many action shots by different photos have been added--notably without as many amputations in spite of shooting active competitions.]

second of all, even from the remaining set linked in the dpr article above: really, "only" one? how about #32?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-32.html?tag=img
or #40?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-40.html?tag=img
or #42?
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-33747_162-10012296-42.html?tag=img
there are others. even if we don't count shots like 48 and 49 and assume it was intentional, merely bad composition, i can only assume you didn't bother to actually watch the slideshow before you replied. [or, cbs changed the selection again--#19 isn't even by klamar.]

on focus: i am talking about wildly oof shots, not poor sharpening. i know the difference.

4 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (Jul 8, 2012)

high compression? 18kb for 620x438 JPEG is a very strong compression. You can see the compression artifacts with naked eye :). See e.g. http://blogs.afp.com/english/public/.000_Was6468282_m.jpg . I don't think you can tell anything about lens focus at this compression level.

@ALFREDofAVALON : based on what criteria did you make this conclusion (especially taking into account the low quality JPEGs that you are looking at)?

1 upvote
whyamihere
By whyamihere (Jul 7, 2012)

My response to all of this is about as mundane as the reason for this so-called fiasco:

The only people who even seem to give a darn are photo enthusiasts. I read a lot of news sites during the course of my day, and the first time I heard about this whatnot was when it appeared on the DPR site. (In fact, it's the top Google hit. Further down the results is Yahoo! Sports and Slate headlines that effectively read: "Should we care?")

To borrow the words of John Oliver, there's proper news, celebrity news, news about strange things that pets do to beat the heat (it's hot here in the States), a second look around just to make sure nobody missed any other news about celebrities, pets, or the heat, then comes the Olympics, and then - just maybe - someone might report about this silliness.

Really, nobody but a small handful of people actually noticed.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jul 8, 2012)

your are a moron this is a website for photo enthusiast. so they run stories about photography. If your not intrested in photography this website is not for you

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

What is a Portrait to you?

What should be Portraits of the US Olympic Team?

These are the questions of great import here. This is much more than what "photo enthusiasts" care or don't care about.

0 upvotes
Klaus dk
By Klaus dk (Jul 8, 2012)

As much as you may be right about the lack of interest in the general public about this, I fail to see your point in pointing it out to those who /do/ care.
As Kodachrome200 wrote: "If your not intrested in photography this website is not for you". Despite the poor grammar, I think he's right.
As to the quality of the pictures, I can't see a personal style, only poor technique. There are so many talented photojournalists in the US, that I wonder why they chose this one.

0 upvotes
whyamihere
By whyamihere (Jul 11, 2012)

Well, you've proven yourselves true enthusiasts of the internet.

Kodachrome: Replace 'are a moron' with 'have offended my sensibilities' (and drop everything after that), and you'd be correct.

Alfred: As a painter, I wish I could say that canvases covered in one color and cleverly titled, "Red," or, "My Soul," weren't called art, yet they are. It's a form of expression, however base or inane as it may seem. I learned to let go.

Klaus: You wonder because you practice your form, and you're mad because someone else 'lesser' than you got away with being unprepared and unskilled. Congratulations, you've discovered one of the big perks of being an artist.

Those who may question my intent on DPR, let me be forward: I'm here to learn the tools and a few techniques. After that, I'll experiment. If I can take a few people who take themselves too seriously down a few pegs - maybe get them to loosen up a bit - all the better. (PS: Loosen up. Art doesn't flow from a rigid mind.)

0 upvotes
nathaniel m
By nathaniel m (Jul 7, 2012)

I find them refreshing and original. They seem to show more of the fun and grit of sports than the typical "all glory" shot.

0 upvotes
wilsonbello
By wilsonbello (Jul 8, 2012)

Good point; I agree with you.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

"All glory" is another way of saying the ultimate in (Athletic) human achievement. So they should be ultimate and glorious portraits.

Fresh? Yes, by all means, but only if these ideas can be achieved. A photo of an athlete's big toe, might be fresh (unique), but is that really a relevant portrait of an athlete?

It might be compared to sending overweight middle-aged men to run the 100 yard dash? That may be "fresh," but America would not get any medals, and we would look foolish. Just like these "portraits."

Outstanding Form should follow Outstanding Function (or more to this discussion - Being) So we (everyone, whether you are a photo enthusiast or not) rightfully expects outstanding portraits of outstanding athletes.

That is why "we care."

1 upvote
Jeff Greenberg
By Jeff Greenberg (Jul 7, 2012)

There is a deep meaning behind these images:

we are now in the digital age where anyone with
a fully automated camera can be a professional photographer

2 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

And thats part of the rub. This seemingly total novice produces amateurish work and gets paid for it.

Sheeesh.

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (Jul 7, 2012)

French people are a little edgier than Americans. They can probably handle this. Also, Trey is almost making the "Gallic Shrug," the national gesture of France.

Hey, is there an American national gesture?

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Thanks for your humour, that's so refreshing in this thread. For the "national gesture" of America, I would say it's the OK one, which means "O (zero) Killed" (the "no-problem" of old US army) as everyone knows... THat's a good gesture in my opinion, much easier to do and so much more photogenic than the "Not OK" one !

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jul 7, 2012)

Edit: I now see the French connection that I originally missed. That could explain making American athletes look so bad.

And if the French are so edgy why do they need the state to take care of them so much?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

AFP is the very first press agency in History. It has millions of times covered american issues without proved any anger or fierce feeling about Americans. Why would it begin now ? Furthemore, AFP is associated in work to Getty which is an american company, would you credit Getty for being anti-american too ? Laughable at least !

And about your last words, some could say that if French need so much their state protection, it's maybe because France can't flood the world with a funny money called the Dollar; each french man or woman is not allowed to spend 7 dollars each time he or her produced just 1 ! Some would say that, but not me, I have to much respect for American people, you know...

0 upvotes
Bunk599
By Bunk599 (Jul 7, 2012)

There is a time and place for creativity....two instances where respect and tradition should receive higher priority are singing the national anthem and photographing the USA Olympic Team.
So much of photography is about the privilege of access.....this guy was given access and failed on all accounts. As others point out, aside from the disrespectful composition the quality of the photos is stunningly poor.
I suspect Klamar took a giant step backwards in his career and his access to famous subjects will be restricted...

CFynn's link points out the contrast with what was possible and illustrates a far more appropriate use of the athletes time.

To each his own, but my vote is two big thumbs way down.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

And that's why you won't ever work for a world-renowned press agency, and will be left alone judging others with your limited understanding of things.

Are you happy now to have been unmasked ?

3 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 7, 2012)

williamj

I wrote this further down the thread but i am reposting this here.

Who says we want cliche photos and why should inovation or sensationalism mutually exclude QUALITY? I thinks its precisely the contrary. I am all for innovation and if it makes you think about a subject even better but honestly I cant see a dam thing in these photos, not even a thread of thought

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Some people don't like these pictures, and it's their right. They can criticize them with good faith, because that's too their right. What I can't stand is dishonesty and the way some here seem to be willing to "kill" the career of Mr Klamar just because he didn't achieved to produced what they would expect from an olympic team shooting.

I do recognize some of Mr Klamar's pictures are failed but some are not so bad too. Anyway, some pictures only will be selected at last, not the whole pack then there will be enough good-to-quite-good pictures for the client.

And ultimately, we don't know if that "missed ones" won't become collectors because of their "bad-taste" approach...

0 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 7, 2012)

Ok I agree with you somewhat but its irritating as hell that some pseudo intellectuals (im not talking about you) praise bad quality for the sake of sensationalism and then promote it like its a winner by saying (here I am criticizing you!) that these pieces are colectors works of art because they have a naif/bad-taste approach!!!! especially when disregarding the subject matter. why praise the BAD instead of promoting the excellence of these athletes... I am sure your correct that these pics will be sold for thouands, its sad though

5 upvotes
AoxoA
By AoxoA (Jul 8, 2012)

If I had hired him... they'd be making me fire him.

3 upvotes
Prime_Lens
By Prime_Lens (Jul 8, 2012)

WilliamJ,

I am sure that someone will always find them interesting, but these photos were not meant for just "some" people. They were meant for much broader spectrum of audiences.

I will never truly know what really happened to Mr. Klamar (inexperience? spark of creativity?), but even if he intended what he captured.. it is like a bad joke that no one really gets it. Even if you did somehow managed to get the joke(?), you have to remember that it just wasn't the place or time to fool around.

2 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 8, 2012)

I very much agree. Protocol is still important.

Forgive the crass example, but would you overtly scratch you genitals in public? Or audibly pass gas in public in the same overt crude way?

If this is still a little too grey an area for you to consider for yourself?, how about the President of the US?, to give a very extreme example. What if you witnessed that?

This is the same thing. There's nothing old-fashioned, passé or UN-fresh about what is proper and what is not. These photos are as appallingly inappropriate as the above examples.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

OK guys, I understand your point of view. But hey ! What do you ask Mr Klamar to do ? To destroy all his photographs now ? When people gather to lynch a man and destroy his intellectual works, do you know how it looks like ? Who of you want to be like that fellows who destroyed books and paintings and sculptures they just didn't find "appropriate" while not being explicitly offensive ?

0 upvotes
Prime_Lens
By Prime_Lens (Jul 9, 2012)

No, I do not believe it needs to be dealt that extremely.
The photos were already seen by those who cared to see them and whatever affect they had, it has been done and done.
If they were mistakes, the blame is not of Mr. Klamar. (I am sure he did as best as he could) The blame should go to those who made the poor decision of choosing him for the job.

Poor Mr. Klamar has been tortured enough as it is.
I actually feel bad for him for how crushed he might be from this experience.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 9, 2012)

Certainly, it will be a damn lesson for Mr Klamar, in a way or in another !

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jul 7, 2012)

you can sell everything to stupids when you have a good excuse.

that´s what i think when i read comments like "artistic" or "unusual approach.

if the guy had no "name" and would not work for AFP... nobody would p i s s on the burning images to extinguish the fire.

8 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Are you sound of mind ? Or is it just a childish bouh-bouh reflecting a deep, deep feeling of jalousy ?

Well, having read some of your former "pieces of poetry" on Dpreview (cf: http://www.dpreview.com/members/6250561430 ) I come back to my first question...

0 upvotes
Desert Cruiser
By Desert Cruiser (Jul 7, 2012)

I like the photos, they are not like the regular mug shots we usually get. Nice work.

2 upvotes
TJWest
By TJWest (Jul 7, 2012)

These photos are pretty artistic, but I would not have passed my 9th grade photo class submitting photos like that. He is a pro who is trying to make a statement. Well the statement I read from that is....go back to school and learn more about composition, lighting and a lot about tailoring your shots to the situation, not tailoring the situation and the athletes to your career needs and/ or wants.

There is no excuse for this type of photography. The photo of Trey Hardee, I mean come on, it looks like a mugshot at a sanitarium, not a world class athlete who is about to represent his country at the Olympics.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Paul Auclair
By Paul Auclair (Jul 7, 2012)

am i mistaken?
is the Olympics no longer a profit driven cash cow event?
PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT... right down to the small stuff like key chains, hats, mugs, t-shirts, and, finally (to the point of this post) POSTERS, images of your "favorite" athletes, big and small.
you folks whom claim that you 'like/love/understand/respect' this latest "work"(if you will) of Mr. Klamar's...
was Klamar not supposed to 'capture' (or show that he is able to capture) sale-able images for the event?
how many Art Klamar posters will be available for sale at the event or after?
how many vendors/kiosk/shops will have his images for sale?
how many of you will seeking his "work" to hang on your walls?
how many of the athletes he shot will be asking Mr. Kamar for a 'print'?.
calling Mr.Klamar's work artsy/outside the box/fresh/modern/intentional (i love that one...intentionally not good),etc., etc., is also slapping him in the face because the work surely is not what it is supposed to be. SALE-ABLE.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Well, I think the point is for Mr. Klamar then, as he has surely sold and resold worldwide these "bad photos" so many haters have given a so wide advertisement. Thank you for Mr Klamar to make him more famous, more rich... and without knowing it having proved you were wrong.

1 upvote
Ionian
By Ionian (Jul 7, 2012)

Um, Williamj, I don't think this is the kind of fame Klamar wants.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

You're probably right, but his name is now known and when people will check his previous works (what they would't have done without this scandal) they will discover that this photographer is usually very capable.
After that, some won't ever ask for him to work for them, but some for sure will and it will surely be enough to make a linving and more than that.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 7, 2012)

Come on people, for comparison also take a look at the photos taken by the US Presswire / USA Today photographer on the same day:

http://www.uspresswire.com/search/fulltext/jairaj%20summit/page1

Now tell us which photographs are "better".....

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MavisCruet
By MavisCruet (Jul 7, 2012)

Whilst those photos are 'good' they're horrible. Flawless and bland with over accentuated highlights from excessive flash. Totally unlike a real person, and what I find repulsive about most staged photography.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Two different opinions about what a good photo is, that's why we need CHOICE in photography like in other fields. CHOICE is the keyword for peace, art, philosophy, humour, originality and even bad taste that is part of the human psyche.

2 upvotes
MavisCruet
By MavisCruet (Jul 7, 2012)

Very fair point, well made.

0 upvotes
Robert Ragan
By Robert Ragan (Jul 7, 2012)

These photos are typical good professional production, but after seeing few shots they all look the same and become boring. I prefer Joe´s collection, it is not for mainstream taste, but it is interesting.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jul 8, 2012)

i semi hate this work too. the backdrop used on the headshots is silly and not the kind of thing a photo editor is likely to use. nice production.

i cant stand that ugly backdrop though

0 upvotes
Cal Native
By Cal Native (Jul 7, 2012)

I think some people are giving this guy way to much credit for being "artsy" these images are just plain bad. I'm tired of having stuff shoved down my throat as being "outside of the box". Being new and different is fine when some thought goes into it, but these look like a last second thought. IMO.

7 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Jul 8, 2012)

amen

0 upvotes
Dan Desjardins
By Dan Desjardins (Jul 7, 2012)

Ok - this does explain a lot, but in the end the photos are amateur attempts and the convergence of inexperience and failed conceptualization. They never should have made it past the proof stage and the fact that they did (and the photographer admits he struggled) means not only was he not prepared to take these photos, but he was unprepared to do the right think and walk away (or signed a bad contract). Perhaps he was thinking he'd get lucky - but luck plays very little part in this kind of work.
So now it moves from bad to laughable.

2 upvotes
Alfalfa
By Alfalfa (Jul 7, 2012)

Very poor taste and bad judgement.

3 upvotes
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (Jul 7, 2012)

I think some of these images are actually pretty interesting.

In fact, I would say as a body of photos, they are not boring to look at. Not your typical slick portrait shots. I kinda like that.

Yes, many of them are technically awful. But sometimes technically good photos can be boring. Maybe it's my artistic side overpowering the logical side.

3 upvotes
AZBlue
By AZBlue (Jul 7, 2012)

What on earth is interesting about the above Trey Hardee photo? To me, the facial expression and resulting photo appear to be saying "I'm Trey Hardee, I'm nothing special". It would appear to me that this particular photographer's intention was to make fun of the athletes. If he was going for a certain style, he certainly did not make the right choices in order to make his point of view clear.

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jul 7, 2012)

"I'm Trey Hardee. I'm terribly constipated or suffer from cerebral palsy. Here I am posing as if I'm having my mugshot taken at the police station."

Yes, some of these images are, indeed, interesting. But some of the images are also interesting for all the wrong reasons, too.

2 upvotes
R Dunlop
By R Dunlop (Jul 9, 2012)

Each photgraph tells a story, AFP and Klamar put the series together. Without the AFP script its hard to make an assement here, the pictures could represent exactly what was agreed and what the customer asked for. If AFP left it all to Klamar let him go hang the pics in a gallery and see who buys them, there does't seem much support in this forum.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

I'd like to tell something about the "unpatriotic" critic. First, do photographers from around the world have to be "american patriotic" and produce "patriotic pictures only" as if they worked for the Pravda ?
Second, where is gone the freedom of speech ? Do expression have to be "according to" the wishes of "flattering images" supposed to be a universal expectation ?

7 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Third, speaking of respect... Don't Americans feel it's a little bit too much asking others to be more respectful than they are themselves ? Two examples: the "Last Samurai" and "Master and Commander". In the first movie, the hero is American but in real life, he was a french officer named Jules Brunet (cf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Brunet ). In the second movie, the hero's ship fights against a french one, but in real life, the "evil ship" was an american one. In one case, a merit has been stolen, in the second one, a bad role has been given to another country to falsify the History. Do French have ever made a fuss for such a disrespect of themselves or the historic truth ?
Fourth: what's the point having every photographers taking exactly the same pictures ?

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Fifth: there are bags of photographers who are introduced to us as "brand new genius" for having produced very crappy pictures, and I never see any of this sort of "Joe Klamar's scandal", they are even loved for their crappy pictures, totally over/under-exposed and blurred and showing rubbish. Where does this two-standarts come from ?
Sixth: I've always heard in my life people shouting "I too can make a painting/picture as good as that"... but I have never seen what they produced in the actually. For most of them, probably nothing at all.

Note: I'm not related to Joe Klamar in any manner.

0 upvotes
AZBlue
By AZBlue (Jul 7, 2012)

Come on, this is the Olympics! Make an effort...

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Well, I understand your point of view, but don't forget there was tens of photo teams right there for the shooting ! Tens of them who produced hundreds of top-class official portraits. Just one photographer taking another path is not too much for the liberty of expression, the width of choice and some originality. Is it ?

1 upvote
bronxbombers
By bronxbombers (Jul 7, 2012)

Well, but what if you were the athlete who got their shot messed up? Then you might think differently.

4 upvotes
Quoth
By Quoth (Jul 7, 2012)

Theyre still crap though.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

To bronxbombers: who can answer for them ? By the way, as I've already said, the "bad photo" will maybe become part of their souvenirs in a near/far future.

To Quoth: photo is like food. Sometimes you want to have a real meal, from appetizer to the digestive cognac. Sometimes you just want something fun on your tongue. Both are called "a meal" and both have their raison-d'etre (reason to be).

0 upvotes
Matt
By Matt (Jul 7, 2012)

This has nothing to do with patriotism, american or other wise. Is has everything to do with respect for every athlete, their accomplishments and the Olympic ideals. Too many here are not seeing the total picture. Humanity and respect at certain times should be one, the Olympics are a great example of such a time.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Don't be afraid Matt. Just better pictures will be sold/published. Anyway, olympic people still own the right to forbid a too irrespectful picture to be printed. It's a point very important that a many here seem to have forgotten. No missed picture will be used unless a sportman/woman will agree !

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jul 7, 2012)

Lighten up WilliamJ, those are movies, not documentaries. Easy on the knee-jerk defensiveness towards things American.

You wouldn't happen to be a Brit, would you?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bronxbombers
By bronxbombers (Jul 8, 2012)

Wel, to be fair, Trey did seem sort of like he was having some fun with it himself, so no I'm not sure all were displeased, some were probably having fun with it all and some came out good/cool, but there are some that just look kinda taterred and rushed plain out.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 8, 2012)

To Basalite: you missed the point, I fear. These movies are not just imagination works but are based on actual facts, twisted. American scenarists/directors cheat with reality and the ones who have been stolen/defamed as they are dead won't ever have the ability to demand the truth to be said. That's worse, as the olympic athletes being well alive still have today and tomorrow the total ability to make some "bad pictures" of them forbidden. They even can sue the photographer if they feel offended. But do they ?

0 upvotes
AZBlue
By AZBlue (Jul 7, 2012)

So when someone like Klamar takes photos like these it is deemed an "artistic choice", yet when I take photos like these they are deemed "crap". Sure, makes sense.

3 upvotes
Fuzzypiggy
By Fuzzypiggy (Jul 8, 2012)

That's 'cos you're not well known enough to accidentally make hash of something and excuse yourself by saying it was an "avant garde" experiement! LOL!

1 upvote
Edward Crim
By Edward Crim (Jul 7, 2012)

It's always great to have an excuse for our failures.

5 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Jul 7, 2012)

Klamar shoots a lot like me. Not many keepers.

3 upvotes
Martin_Kay
By Martin_Kay (Jul 7, 2012)

Well... an ape could have taken these exposures- almost. These exposures don't even rate pretentious. My guess is that maybe something sinister lies behind these shots- they are some sort of statement- maybe contempt.

2 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Unfortunately, I have that sad feeling too, by both the photographer and the Photo Agency.

I went to the photog's site and he appears very capable. And given the Agencies prestigious past, I don't understand why they would direct him to purposely produce such poor work and/or edit and approve such terrible results.

This failure could have been prevented before, during and after the shoot.

I hope I'm wrong. Sad.

0 upvotes
PanErwin
By PanErwin (Jul 7, 2012)

Some are nice, some are weird, too much variability for me. It's not a dog show, creativity is fine, but this should be a serie? The "dark side of Michael Phelps" is funny and revealing, but not at par with the best shots.

Is this some kind of official portraits or is just a photograph having fun with some of the best athletes?

0 upvotes
Wubslin
By Wubslin (Jul 7, 2012)

At least he wasn't using a Nikon. We should be grateful for that at least.

1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Jul 7, 2012)

"dick"

Lovely irony.

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (Jul 7, 2012)

:)

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Jul 7, 2012)

You go to the gig and because the guy who hired you didn't have the knowledge or communications skills, now you have wrong equipment, no pre visualized concept, and are unprepared. What's worse, the other photogs have everything.
So now your angry. Your first instinct is to just leave the scene.
But wait - your a photographer and really need the money to keep up with equipment devalue at 50% first year and 30% second. So you do the job anyways, but find it hard to really give a darn, but your creative instincts say "do what you feel (which is angry)", be creative, ignore convention. And so you come up with poorly conceived work fueled by anger and some people see it as good becuse it's offbeat. The gun in my face shot is pure anger expression.
It's not really appropriate and your career is hurt.
If Klamar had an agent I think he is fired now.
No agent? Why does the "hire a photog" job get handed down till it can go no lower, like a receptionist for example. That is the question!

5 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Very interesting reconstruction. Very plausible.

0 upvotes
owenleve
By owenleve (Jul 7, 2012)

My definition of a professional photographer is being able to adapt and make 'it' happen and overcome challenges-which occur in one way or another on any given shoot. These photos are pretty awful. Would have been better to make it a stupid instagram assignment. The photographer should be ashamed of himself on many levels. For a job so important sounds like he really didn't ask enough/the right questions. Also sounds like he's not a quick thinker. Couldn't come up with anything better??? Wow.

1 upvote
trulandphoto
By trulandphoto (Jul 7, 2012)

The bottom line is how does AFP, who are paying the freight, feel about the images? If they're happy who cares.

6 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Right ! I'd love to know the AFP point of view.

Anyway, achieved of failed that bunch of pictures succeded hand over to create the buzz on the web. For a tight budget campaign, it's not a so bad result.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 7, 2012)

Obviously he should have found out more about the job ahead of time but the 60 photos of Team USA on the CBS site includes shots taken by several other photographers besides Klamer - however CBS chose more of his shots than those from any other photographer when they didn't have to - so he must have been doing something right.

Many of the other shots are just the sort of photos people expect from a professional photographer working for a news organization (and most of those were obviously shot in more favorable circumstances) - but somehow it is Klamar's images that stick in the mind.

You are right about the bottom line. AFP & Getty are earning money on Klamar's images right now. I suspect much more than from images taken by any of his critics.

2 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 7, 2012)

I wish people would get real and stop justifying crappy photos whether done on purpose or not. It may not be the photographers fault but theses photos are for sure different...and very BAD

If he wanted controversy or just was making a statement then do so but not with these people that deserve something better

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
7 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jul 7, 2012)

I agree. If you want to do experimental "bad" photos, hire a bunch of models that you can use as your guinea pigs. But amateur athletes like these mainly toil away in obscurity, with a very short window in which to bask in a tiny bit of glory as recognition for their hard work...and they *still* might end up with nothing to show for their years of dedication!

So I don't think these were the best people to take advantage of for self-serving "statement" photos. Do it to the multi-millionaire pro athletes who really *are* treated as Gods (financially & otherwise), not to amateur athletes who mostly don't make much money and just want to enjoy their short time in the limelight while it lasts. They deserve to at least have some decent photos taken of them, even if they might be a bit more "normal" and "formulaic". I think people are forgetting the athletes in these photos who are just like you or me or our clients...they just want some decent, flattering photos. Too much to ask?

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 7, 2012)

EXACTLY...

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 7, 2012)

@T3 - Those athletes had their photos taken by a host of photographers from different media organizations that day and so they have plenty of those "decent, flattering" images you say they deserve to choose from. At least these are something different and they will have them as well. Personally I don't think any of Klamer's photos shows any disrespect to his subjects - which is what some people seem to be accusing him of.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 7, 2012)

CFynn

Why do you think that? Who says we want cliche photos and why should inovation or sensationalism mutually exclude QUALITY? I thinks its precisely the contrary. I am all for innovation and if it makes you think about a subject even better but honestly I cant see a dam thing in these photos, not even a thread of thought

0 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (Jul 7, 2012)

Every one is looking for cliched shots. I am glad that he did something different and as the previous poster mentioned they turned out to be successful as art. Successful art has many times been controversial, so this is not the first time.

I think there are some people here in the US who invoke "patriotism" to criticize others when they differ in opinion or it does not meet their stereotypical expectations. I guess they have the freedom of speech to do it. These images are art and the artist has freedom to express himself. There is nothing unAmerican about them. Actually, they are more American than these detractors feel, because they are more creative and emphasizes the freedom of expression that the artist enjoys in the US. Think if it was done for Chinese athletes!!! Remember how the Chinese had a pretty young gal lip synch their national anthem on TV during beijing Olympics because the original singer was a chubby gal but with a golden voice.

I think Klamar did great.

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

As far as I'm concerned, I too appreciate some choice in the offer, and as so many pros made "their duty" producing hundreds if not thousands of flattering/official pictures, it's not too much asking to be able to get another point of view on the same topic. Some, here, intended to say the amateur sportsmen would prefer flattering pictures to humoristic ones. Maybe in a short term but who knows if some of them won't like to see themselves in a funny way, in 10 or 15 years ?

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jul 7, 2012)

I agree that the standard cliche shots are what is expected but I really feel (and the 'tog admits) that his lack of prep caught him wrong-footed.
These images are not well conceived "interpretative" images but those of a photographer in a panicked state. I sincerely doubt that the surprise of the venue engendered a burst of euphoric creativity.

2 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (Jul 7, 2012)

I don't like it's pictures.

But they are engaged, with a clear point-of-view, a vision, so this is art, and something subjective. As an artist myself, I prefer creation hat not everybody will like, including myself, instead generic "clean" pictures.

APF selected he's pictures, medias too, so it's a commercial success, and for me an artistic success too. I like it when it's not generic soften images, if my artistic sense is awakened!

Not prepared, without half the time of the other photographs, with the wrong equipment, he choose a personal point-of-view, and it pays! Bravo!

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 7, 2012)

Well said.

0 upvotes
Vibrio
By Vibrio (Jul 7, 2012)

pics are pretty poor wither you are unprepared or not.

as for unpatriotic just photoshop the US flag in the background lol

3 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (Jul 7, 2012)

I've looked at the pictures, and all I can say is they are actually interesting. More importantly, they are not cliches, which is after all refreshing in a world where templates are abused everywhere. Yes, maybe the lighting is off in some of them, but hey, it makes them stand out and make a point.

Unpatriotic? Wow! I don't know how Americans see themselves or think, but for me the idea of "unpatriotic", especially when talking about pictures, makes me think about my own country's sad and fairly recent history of being a Eastern European communist country. Before 1989, "unpatriotic" was the label communist propaganda put on every item that didn't strictly follow their awfully narrow view of the world. Come on, where are the American openness and diversity we all hear about?...

1 upvote
altendky
By altendky (Jul 7, 2012)

The openness is long since gone, along with most of our morals. At this point, unpatriotic is anything that doesn't agree with your views. It's really a pretty useless word at this point, just like our entire political process (not just the politicians, but the people too).

Good or bad, it's kind of nice to see something other than generic boring repetition. I didn't like all the shots, but some were fun and interesting.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Personally, for me, this has nothing to do with Patriotism,
so don't go there for that negative criticism.

I would be as critical of this drivel,
if the team was American, French, Nigerian
or from the lovely Island of Schmossizel.

These athletes are the best of the best,
from their country's elite.
Shouldn't they be spared this mess,
for so lofty a feat?

Poetry's not even my thing. (Good thing I can't sing.)
By the way - Do you Yahoo, Google or Bing?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Jul 7, 2012)

Have a cup of your own soup and shut up!!
First it was forbidden to at least draw half smile on our passport pictures, which was a counter terrorism measure (..?)
Then we could no longer smile on our driving licenses, thus avoiding some smart Al Kaida wizard to interact with face features (...?)
Olympic athletes have the BEST built and toned bodies in the Whole World, but God forbid we take pictures of them featuring sensuous forms or displaying sexy attitude with their posing.
Look what they have done to our National Swimming Team...They look like black chorizos.
So... Let's have shitty pics to represent our ridiculous era of hyper security and political rectitude.
And don't get me commenting on Cirque du Soleil vegetable attire, please.

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Jul 7, 2012)

I don't think I've seen so much divide in the comments; siding/believing the images are great the way the are, or absolutely ridiculing the work.

Arriving unprepared and not having a plan in mind for the "in case" is certainly not all too professional, but still the guy wasn't informed and he just got to work with what he had and what ideas he had to come up with.

Absolutely horrible? Not good at all? Well at least I'm not seeing the boring everyday head-and-shoulders shot that barely asks for a first glance, these photos ask for several looks and all this conversation! Can they be better? Sure, just about anything can be made better for someone else's preference...

0 upvotes
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