Previous news story    Next news story

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
henhen
By henhen (Jul 19, 2012)

im not a pro photo/art critic but i like the style in these.

Sure they arent flattering or 'glamorous' but they look good in their own category.

the photographer's excuse as not being prepared? i dont believe him....he's just saying that after all the negativity on his shoot.

i mean look at trey hardee's pic above...classic! his claim as not to have the right lenes etc...hard to believe when you're taking shots 'unposed' like that!

0 upvotes
darellmatt
By darellmatt (Jul 12, 2012)

This has to be one of the most fascinating photographic and artistic controversies I have come across. The photographs are not "constructive" they are "deconstructive" and are squarely post modern in their aesthetic. As constructive images they are "crap", as decostructive images they are brilliant. I can swing both ways. Personally I am a little bored with both polarities, to me it's like listening to democrats and republicans argue. But there you are, the world is polarized. Some want to enshrine the gods, some want ridicule them. Just be grateful we live in a country where no one gets shot for taking unflattering pictures of a herd of sacred cows...

6 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 12, 2012)

Post modern photographic deconstructivism.

Good phrase to remember next time you turn up at a job inappropriately prepared and equipped for the situation you find yourself in and have to take a lot of hurried shots of tired subjects in a horrible booth the size of two toilet cubicles with a torn and stained backdrop.

Klamer's photos are far more interesting and engaging than nearly all of those taken by other better prepared and equipped photographers on the same day.

Whether he intended them to be "deconstructive" and "post-modern" I'm not sure - even if they turned out that way.

3 upvotes
7enderbender
By 7enderbender (Jul 12, 2012)

Good way of looking at it. These are clearly not "good" pictures and I think that most people arguing here could do a better job, even under pressure, even under unforeseen circumstances - even with a decent point & shoot. This is not to be arrogant, because it pretty much doesn't matter. We're talking and we're thinking. That should be enough. That makes it art, really. Just like Metallica's "St. Anger" album, or anything by Tom Waits. It's pretty bad by conventional standards, but so what? This shoot - failed or not, intentional or unintentional- caused a reaction. And it in a way portraits an ever changing nation and it's symbols in a different light. Literally. We may not like what we see. Maybe that's a good thing.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 13, 2012)

You are talking about unintended consequences, if the whole shoot was an innocent mistake, OR intended consequences if done on purpose. In either case, I and many here find it unseemly and an abuse of the photographer's position and the Photo Agencies power.

Because the very real consequence to those athletes was ridicule and jokes at their expense.

I can imagine if they had an Public Relations Agent there at the shoot, and they noticed what was going on, they would have stopped the shoot, and told off the photographer and complained bitterly to the Photo Agency.

Would it matter to you if you dressed your kids for a school portrait, and the photographer was doing stupid angels and telling yours and the other kids to make weird ugly faces, etc., etc?

In the analogy above, it wouldn't matter what that photographer does on his own time, but school portraits are not the time and the place for making Art "that pushes the boundaries," deconstructive, post-modern-smodern or otherwise.

1 upvote
TxCamFan
By TxCamFan (Jul 12, 2012)

You can be "real" and original and still turn out a quality product, which IMO, doesn't include torn backgrounds and equipment in the shot. I applaud the idea of being unique but not the final products the editors decided to select and publish. I think the editors are to blame for putting photos out that do not show the quality and respect deserving of these fine athletes. There are plenty of pros who can go into an unexpected situation and will produce outstanding quality and a unique concept and result, AND who likely came prepared for anything regardless of what the client may or may not have said the shoot would be like. The editors could and should have at least processed out the wrinkles in the paper. That makes everything looks so cheap and amateurish - and again, very disrespectful.

1 upvote
eNo
By eNo (Jul 11, 2012)

I bet half of those complaining wouldn't even know how to pull off the archer shot. Some are not to my liking, in some the lighting is either to harsh in the highlights or shadows for my taste, but in no case will I put this photographer's work down so that I can feel better about mine.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 12, 2012)

I hate that kind of thing too. So speaking for myself, according to my "How to Photograph Anything" Book, I'd just have him pull back slowly... AND THEN PUSH DOWN ON THE SHUTTER.

And maybe try a few times, from different angles.

How would you pull it off? :)

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DDFreed
By DDFreed (Jul 12, 2012)

The Jennifer Nichols shot is amazing! As is the Codey Cogdell shot with her looking through the barrel of the gun!

I flipped through many of the other photographers portraits and found them bland and uninspiring. The same ol', same ol' standard posed and photoshopped, BORING photographs.

Joe's use of light, shadow and angle was exciting and, in some cases, brilliant!

2 upvotes
mblg
By mblg (Jul 11, 2012)

Photos of people in their normality, photos that have a message. Not cheer-leading, not praising values which no longer exist. Reaction is not surprising. For a nation that pampers fake, I am surprised he wasn't bludgeoned.

2 upvotes
Alfalfa
By Alfalfa (Jul 11, 2012)

what was he thinking?

1 upvote
Spooner
By Spooner (Jul 11, 2012)

Anyone who's shot either for work or assignments has either taken on or been surprised by a situation outside their experience or preparation. Hubris, and a real or imagined set of large stones causes us to wade into the unknown, cocky and confident. Sometimes it works, and when it does you puff up, feel like a million and add the shots to your portfolio. Sometimes it tanks and you retire to your lair to lick you wounds. That's life.

But when the whole thing goes south, as it did here, the professional makes professional decisions. You save the ones you can, delete the rest if you have to, and don't release anything that doesn't make the cut. Your cut, your standards, or at least the standards of the client. That's where it all fell down in this case.

Whether it was the shooter, an agent or the wire service(s), none of them stopped and used their common sense. As is so common in the epic history of human-created disasters, no one said no.

John

3 upvotes
alexmmx
By alexmmx (Jul 11, 2012)

Sorry did not like the photographs, Lighting was not favorable, Your no Karsh or Penn. Looks like that you Rush it - Shot it - post it before the games started. Just hope that you did not curse the US team... Sorry

1 upvote
ItsaChris
By ItsaChris (Jul 11, 2012)

They look like simple portraits in a small studio.
It sounds like there was a miss-communication between the client and photographer. So someone messed up (most likely everyone messed up), we dont know who but the client did not get the images they were expecting/wanting...

Jobs get botched all the time (all jobs not just photography), the fact that he is getting so much press from this job is unfortunate. There is part of the story that is left out on this site ----

on petapixel it states he had come with one flash!!!! "upon arriving his colleagues from other news agencies and media organizations had set up studio booths with professional lights, backdrops and prop assistants. “It was very embarrassing to find out that I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of a studio,” Joe told us by email."

If this site wants to be a photo news site (not just tec) I would like to see more posts and not just the polarizing ones and update to cover the full story!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
stevepow
By stevepow (Jul 11, 2012)

I like them - they may be quirky or unexpected - maybe that's the point. Mission accomplished. If your art doesn't ruffle some feathers, then it is probably mundane and too safe. Who is Joe Klamar? - nobody knew until now.

2 upvotes
DDFreed
By DDFreed (Jul 12, 2012)

Me, too, Steve.

I'm a HUGE fan of using light and shadow in photography. I have this one photo of my niece where she has the bottom half of her face covered with a red blanket, in shadow, and the top half of her face - with her incredibly blue eyes! - in the light. I have gotten more compliments on that photo than any of the "perfect" shots I have taken!

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Jul 11, 2012)

these are rubbish pictures to show a team of top sportsmen and women proudly representing their country

they are more interesting as "street" or character pictures. However as they are all posed I still think the lighting and background are poor

As the objective here seems to be to show the athletes in the former category then the professional photographer has simply failed on his contract and objectives. No amount of taling about "art" and "interesting" will correct that.

2 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 11, 2012)

Thanks for saying it a little more succinctly than I could.

You are exactly right.

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

Maybe they are street and/or character pictures? Maybe they are not meant to show anything at all about proudly presenting nay country? Maybe this is the main mistake those hating those images make?

0 upvotes
sean lancaster
By sean lancaster (Jul 11, 2012)

Each shot makes me think about the event the person is competing in and shows some of the character of the participant. Nicely captured set.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 11, 2012)

And so what event do you think about when you see the close-up of the string bikini and tattoo?

0 upvotes
JonathanRphoto
By JonathanRphoto (Jul 11, 2012)

Swimming!

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

Olympic Swimmers don't wear bikini's. It's a picture of a track and field athlete, specifically a heptathlete 9the most difficult of women's events).

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 13, 2012)

Yes. "Bikini" was actually the wrong description. "Thong" is the word I should have used.

But that's another issue. That's how the runners and Olympic Committee have decided to run their races. Reminds me of Basketball and running shorts of the 70s - but for women.

In any case, it had no, or very little portrait value for the athlete depicted or for one of the Olympic's own.

Adding to the impression given to the audience, by the photographer (and approved by the Photo agency) - the tattoo, this was not flattering, as it might seem. The photo seemed very much like a statement about this athlete, this society, this country, this Olympics, the West, et al as immoral and decadent.

Again, that may or may not be the case, but choosing this venue to editorialize through one's art was stupid, abusive and inappropriate.

0 upvotes
akaeke
By akaeke (Jul 11, 2012)

Photos are meant to stir emotions and these photos did just that. So good for Joe Klamar!

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 11, 2012)

Your confusing two senses of the attribute "emotion."

Think about it.

0 upvotes
NoVI Photo
By NoVI Photo (Jul 11, 2012)

These photos remind me of the first time I experimented with an off-camera flash when I was teenager back in the 1970's. My results were similarly awful. I never showed the photos to the people whose time I felt I had wasted.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
fdvilla
By fdvilla (Jul 10, 2012)

The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to ask as much as you can about the shoot before actually doing it... his mistake was that he assumed it was going to be a location shoot

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
R Thornton
By R Thornton (Jul 10, 2012)

Just pictures. No myths.
Great fun and humour!

3 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Don't speak of humour please, some here lack crashingly of this particular sense !

5 upvotes
cdembrey
By cdembrey (Jul 10, 2012)

Nice work, some are even outstanding!

The people complaining about these "portraits" are the same people who belittle the talents of successful photographers like Terry Richardson, Juergen Teller and Mario Sorrenti.

Time to stop living in the past, 'cause the times-they-are-a-changin'.

4 upvotes
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 10, 2012)

I must say you paint a very grim picture for the future of photography if these portraits indicate standards of excellence.

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Who said EVERY photographer had to take pictures in order to " indicate standards of excellence" ? Is that a Moses commandment ? Is it a law ? Is it a Constitution article ?

Or is it just nonsense ?

1 upvote
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 10, 2012)

To the casual observer it would appear that you did, WilliamJ. I certainly didn't. But isn't that the great thing about art in general, it's so subjective. There are those who achieve standards of excellence through perseverance and study, hard work and discipline. They work hard at their craft. Then there are those who put a turd on a plate and try and sell it to everyone as sushi. Suddenly, one or two people (usual in an attempt to be different and hip) become convinced that this must be the new sushi, and the rest is now 'old school'. Okay, fine, opinions may vary - but when I see a turd on a plate I'm going to call it for what it is, especially if it's something which is being sold to the masses. If it's your kind of sushi, happy eating!

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Funny attempt to reverse the position, but it failed. Your statement about " indicating standards of excellence" is yours, nobody can be fooled about that.

Besides, I'm astonished by your propensity to assert things as if it was of common sense, while not being so. The more recently just above shows enough it one more time: "There are those who achieve standards of excellence through perseverance and study, hard work and discipline. They work hard at their craft. Then there are those who [...] ".

First: once again, you talk of "good standart" or "standardization" il for industry, not for art. Don't you know that ?

1/2

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

2/2

Second: do you know anything to creation ? Some like J.S Bach had to work very hard to create something new. Others like A. Mozart wrote music as they breathed. Some like T. Edison had to sweat as hell to produce inventions. Others like N. Tesla invented novelties with less pain and more genius. It's not fair but that's life. And anyway that has nothing to do with the fact someone tried something different while tens of good profesionals produced very high standart official-like pictures. Don't muddle everything up please !

0 upvotes
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 10, 2012)

WilliamJ - you're the one who said 'EVERY' photographer, not I. I'll admit though that it was a pretty crude attempt on your part to put words into my mouth. Similarly, 'standardisation' instead of standards of excellence - different things. Also, I never said there weren't gifted artists who didn't need to try as hard as others, so way to go off on a complete tangent.

As you seem to be quite the expert at misinterpretation I'll leave at that, lest you grab the wrong end of the stick again. I think I was clear, you're entitled to your opinion and I have better things to do.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Dear Dave, I'm sorry to teach you're dishonest. When people don't speak of something particular, their expression is to be taken generally. Thus when you say "I must say you paint a very grim picture for the future of photography if these portraits indicate standards of excellence." you intend that some particular photographer should take pictures according to a "certain" standards and/or shoot in order to establish/confirm such a standard.

If you didn't intend to say such things, what's the point of telling what you have told ?

For the rest, of course you haven't talked about "gifted artists", that's my words. I said it to show your idea to tell impostor artists destroyed art by producing false art pieces while real artists worked hard to achieve something was not relevant, because nothing is constant. And in the first place, is Mr Klamar such and impostor ? I don't think so.

But you will tell now you were not talking about Mr Klamar's very case. Well, so what are we talking about?

1 upvote
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 11, 2012)

1/1 Well it seems that we're talking about your complete misinterpretation of my intention, and now you feel you're qualified to call me 'dishonest' to boot!

I made a comment about the decline of standards of excellence. If you think that standards of excellence have no place in photography, I suggest you take it up with the likes of Magnum, the APS, the RPS - the list goes on. You brought 'EVERY' photographer into the equation, I never did = YOUR confusion. Of course there are standards and there always will be, otherwise (IMO) it will be a very sad day for photography. Furthermore, I was indirectly referring to Mr Klamars work in this instance as the fact that these images have been published and seen good enough by the Agence France-Presse is a clear sign of a slip in standards. Clear enough for you? Have a spelt it out enough now to remove any further confusion?

0 upvotes
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 11, 2012)

2/2 ...Will this subtle hammer to the head stop you from going off on any other wayward tangents unrelated to the point I was making? I hope so. Now back under the bridge with you.

NB: I really won't be responding to this thread anymore, or you again as I don't intend to continually defend myself against your confusion over my original statement You may feel you need to have the last word, perhaps insult me again. Go for it. I'm sure it'll give you a nice warm feeling and you'll sleep better at night.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 11, 2012)

Oh my goodness, it's ok for me too. Communication's over !

0 upvotes
kuda
By kuda (Jul 10, 2012)

I think pictures are great! It's RAW, real and beautiful...
My favorite - portrait of Jonathan Horton!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
gasdive
By gasdive (Jul 9, 2012)

A few days ago I, a hobbist, wrote in response to Canon Australia's facebook question, "what makes a successful portrait". Had this poor sad award winning professional only read my advice he could have saved himself from this ire and made a successful portrait. Though several posters have pointed to "how it should have been done" galleries that obviously followed my receipe, they lacked specific advice. In order that no-one else suffer the same fate, I'll reproduce my advice here:

Tonnes of makeup that they never wear normally, hairstyling done with superglue and rollers. Clothing they've never seen before. Hair light, fill light main light, snoot, maybe a ringflash. Background of marbled paper from a roll. Un-natural pose, fixed blank expression or badly faked smile. Shot with a soft focus filter. Sadly, that's what sells and what keeps many "pro"s in bread and butter. Isn't that one measure of "success"

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Anyway asking for the recipe for "a successful portrait" tells a lot about the level - both technically and mentally speaking - of the one who wants an answer to that nonsense.

We can for sure list what is a no-no for a type of portrait, but for all types it's ridiculous and if we can pay attention to certain basic - or advanced ? - mistake not to commit, there is not ANY recipe that guarantee the success, there are too much parameters both about the subject and the wiewers. Moreover, sometimes it happens that something that "should" have been a big fail becomes a success-story, in art as in other fields. Don't forget the inventor of FedEx received a very bad mark by his Yale University Professor who found his project absurd. Absurd was the prof in fact, and the pupil became later a billionaire.

0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Jul 9, 2012)

I would rather think this was someone clearly outside of their area of expertise and comfort zone. Technically they are reminiscent of images I saw in photo school and they were not graded well then. The whole lot should have been viewed as a failure and never submitted by the photographer or trashed by the editor. Somewhere there was a complete disconnect from reality.

2 upvotes
n3eg
By n3eg (Jul 9, 2012)

Klamar shouldn't quit his day job at the DMV...

"...as interesting, as special people who deserve their fame because they are the best {at} what they do." Nope, the caption doesn't fit the picture. My granddaughter is a "special" person, and I as a point-and-shooter can bring out the best in her. This seems to be a case of "I blew it, so now I need to call it artistic license." Where can I get one of these licenses? Oh yeah, at the DMV.

2 upvotes
kuda
By kuda (Jul 10, 2012)

You wish you could get a job at the DMV.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

In fact, I'd like a lot to see what our friend n3eg can produce as a portrait of his granddaughter...

1 upvote
DtEW
By DtEW (Jul 9, 2012)

I have no problem with Joe Klamar. Every photographer will have great days, off-days, and WTF-days, which is apparently what happened here.

I don't know why nothing has been said about the editors who chose these images to be published. As far as I'm concerned, they were the ones who completely dropped-the-ball on this one.

9 upvotes
plastique2
By plastique2 (Jul 9, 2012)

exactly !!!

2 upvotes
BadPicturesNC
By BadPicturesNC (Jul 9, 2012)

Personally, I thought some of them were pretty fun. I don't understand the use of the terrible backdrop with rips and such, though. And some of them are decidedly amateurish looking. I am curious how these got out in the wild. Did he think that all of these were good? Cuz... not so much. Some might not be as terrible as some people are saying, but even the best of them seem like they could benefit from some fairly heavy post - processing to make them decent.

It just seems to be a weird thing to me. Maybe the guy is just getting his wings in serious photo circles though and this was just a simple mistake that he will learn a lot from. Good luck, mate!

3 upvotes
DaveBowman
By DaveBowman (Jul 9, 2012)

Regardless of whatever concept was behind these pictures (or is now hurriedly trying to be attached), these photographs are really terrible. Bad lighting, awful poses, creased backdrop. It's not about perfection with photoshop, it's about photography 101 - basic portraiture. The photographer, I've never heard of him, but if he was payed to do this job I'd have expected something considerably better than this, unprepared or not. I'm sure it's quite possible to show athletes as ordinary people without throwing ALL of the basics out the window. The worst set of portraits I've seen in a long long time.

6 upvotes
francoisphoto
By francoisphoto (Jul 9, 2012)

I strongly agree with DaveBowman.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Jul 9, 2012)

Do I understand right that all this fuzz is 'bout some kind of American ritual of producing a heroic-looking perfect (in the commercial sense) portraits of the olympic athletes for symbolic purposes ? Kind of like the portraits of cosmonauts ?

If this guy's task was to create that kind of American "perfection" that can be seen in TV series from 70s, then he failed miserably.

5 upvotes
Damnedd
By Damnedd (Jul 9, 2012)

Very good works. It`s much better than boring tipical portraits.-

7 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Jul 9, 2012)

Showing torn background paper, equipment in the frame and rumpled flag?

I wouldn't upload these to Facebook.

3 upvotes
DeNak
By DeNak (Jul 9, 2012)

Nice shots!

1 upvote
Chris2210
By Chris2210 (Jul 9, 2012)

I really like what I've seen of these images. He is clearly a very technically proficient photographer and although these photographs may not have as wide an appeal as the typical staged and airbrushed 'heroic' depictions of athletes we've become accustomed to seeing, they will appeal to a minority.

If what you like is 'beer' produced to a chemically controlled specification; predictable and without variation, you're clearly in a majority. If you prefer something which is the product of individuality, with character, variation and potentially what might be seen as 'flaws' by the B_d* lovers, then you're probably in a minority.

The moral of this little tale is if you don't like it, don't drink it. Just don't condemn the rest of us to your bland tastes.

*Other varieties of chilled urine are available.

3 upvotes
26081989
By 26081989 (Jul 9, 2012)

Just as you should. "If you don't like these pictures you are a mindless, bland conformist sheep".

1 upvote
Chris2210
By Chris2210 (Jul 13, 2012)

That's your inference.

I'm reminded of the famous statement by Gombrich, which goes something like "there are no bad reasons for liking a painting*; there are bad reasons for not liking a painting".

*read any work of art.

What I've seen here are mainly bad reasons for disliking these photographs. I'm not saying there couldn't be good reasons for not liking some of these images [and in truth I don't think they're uniformly good], but I've not seen any reasonably articulated. I have read much criticism which seems to me, a direct result of prejudice and preconceived ideas. These things are ultimately ephemeral and unimportant.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
eths
By eths (Jul 9, 2012)

I don't really know Klamar's other work, so it is hard for me to judge his level of competence, however, one way or the other, these pictures are terrible.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Jul 9, 2012)

A really good graphic designer could still make a good looking result ..

1 upvote
chris102
By chris102 (Jul 9, 2012)

Seemds Klamar had some ideas how to shoot the personalities of the athletes and went for it, even though he did not have the 'proper' equipment. Ever since I saw this set last week, I have found the pictures to be unique and interesting.

In my view, Joe Klamar did "show [the athletes] as interesting, as special people who deserve their fame because they are the best [at] what they do."

4 upvotes
d99007
By d99007 (Jul 9, 2012)

I agree with your view and feel the same. The pictures are refreshing and demonstrated an original approach. Much better than technically correct, but boring pictures.

4 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Jul 9, 2012)

"Challenging conventions"...

This is all you need to hear to determine that something is a piece of crap. It's the catch-all response to the vast majority that hate it.

You can create a modern art exhibit with a lump of feces resting in a pasta colander and say that it's "challenging conventions".

You can take a blurry, (artful) black-and-white photo of your hairy scrotum and get the Tate Modern to buy it, and be pleased that you're "challenging conventions".

For the next Olympic athlete photos, I would like to see their nude back view, with them bending down and spreading their ass cheeks. That would further "challenge conventions".

7 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Funny !

0 upvotes
Marques Lamont
By Marques Lamont (Jul 9, 2012)

The photos are completely unacceptable and embarassing.

Going against the grain for what?

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Unacceptable ? For you, OK. But you're not the model, you're not a judge, you're not the buyer and you're not the client. And this client precisely seems to be happy enough of the work and for the very wide publicity it got. Who complain ? Athletes ? Not at all. Olympic Games Comitee ? Not at all...
Who do you think you're talking for except for yourself ?

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jul 9, 2012)

Commercially uninspiring yes. Unpatriotic yes. If it was done for a "personal art exhibit" for Klamar by no means would I find them any bad at all, but given the purpose for which the photos were to be used for, I think he threw reasoning out the window...

...and I am inclined to think that while he may not know the parameters of how, where and what the shoot might look like, he probably knew already what it is for, and that's where he failed. The photos still look good to me, but not for an official Olympic exhibit.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jul 9, 2012)

"they were willing to work with my concepts"

They agreed.

Sadly.

.

2 upvotes
Bunk599
By Bunk599 (Jul 9, 2012)

If they had access to a Time Machine allowing them to view the photos in advance, I wonder how many would still be willing?

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Did athletes only complain about the photo of them shot by Mr Klamar ? If yes, you're right to tell such things. If not, you're wrong. So did they ?

That's the point, anyone should refrain from talking for talking.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

The objections really have nothing to do with patriotism, but quality - aesthetics, visual grammar, protocol and respect are enough, without even bringing up the subject of patriotism and/or your disdain for patriotism.

His work is not inspiring, indeed. And if any subject should be depicted in an inspiring way, new, fresh, unique or otherwise, it is these athletes who are the very tops in human athletic achievement.

Who the heck thinks they have the right to denigrate their achievement with debasing them as common, by way of humiliating photographic depictions, under the phony guise of "unique or fresh?" They are anything but common. They are heroes, whether you acknowledge that or not. These Olympians have proven their mettle. They are in a VERY exclusive club.

Olympic Portraits are not really the place for photographers (or art directors) to contemplate their navels with the drivel of "fine art" absurdism and purposely offensive imagery.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Bunk599
By Bunk599 (Jul 9, 2012)

Amen!

It is highly unlikely the person who had the poor judgement to produce these photos will understand or be concerned by the objections.

The final judgement of any artistic endeavor is ultimately determined in the court of public opinion....I doubt many voters will reach for their wallets for the privilege of owning one of these prints and I doubt 20 years from now these will be the prints the Olympians chose to show their grandchildren.

4 upvotes
DrGerm
By DrGerm (Jul 9, 2012)

What's so special about running around in a circle, even if you can do it really, really fast?

4 upvotes
AShimon
By AShimon (Jul 9, 2012)

While their athletic achievements are outstanding -- broadly painting the lot of them as 'heroes' is as shortsighted as you accuse the photographer of being.

I am sure we can find more than a few Olympians with the inner makings of heroes. But simply being an Olympian does not bestow such honor by default.

4 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Oh, I disagree. I personally accept the common sense view that as defined:

HERO - a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities: a war hero.
• the chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.

AShimon, how fast can YOU, your neighbor or anyone in you town run the hundred yard dash (100 meters)? Swim 100 meters? Can you even swim a 100 meters? Lift? Jump? Throw? Etc., etc., etc..

Everyone's a Star, these days, even you, huh?

I don't mean to be so harsh, but only to make a point. And that is, you are wrong. All of these athletes are heroes, compared to you and me and 99.9999 % of America, France or where ever you call home. And as such, they deserve heroic treatment, not this sniveling, "Oh. Hmph. They're not so great!" BS from winey nobodies sitting in Lazy Boys with dang Remotes in their hands.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Like many here, the "portraits" by this hired hack are abysmally bad. That is without a doubt. Who cares about that. If that idiotic French "Photo Agency" wants to support morons like that, that's their business.

But what is so infuriating is that it was disrespectful and a hatchet job against HEROES. (Knucklehead!) Broadly speaking OR otherwise!

Regardless of nationality, these athletes deserve some modicum of respect for making their country's Olympic Team.

Why insult them?

0 upvotes
Anonymous Gerbil
By Anonymous Gerbil (Jul 9, 2012)

alfred: Athletes are not heroic merely because they reach the top ranks at some large country. They doubtless worked hard to get there, which is admirable, but there must be a billion people on this planet who work just as hard to survive. But there can be no heroism without risk (i.e. risk of death).

1 upvote
Bokeh_freak
By Bokeh_freak (Jul 9, 2012)

Olympians are good role models for work ethic. Living in America, I notice that even as a rich nation, Americans are the most overweight and obese. Elevators instead of stairs . Fast food instead of home cooking. Somehow I doubt we are doing everything we can to survive.

0 upvotes
AShimon
By AShimon (Jul 10, 2012)

ALFRED --

You are misguided. Your definition might be verbatim, but you are ignoring any burden of agreement. A hero, to me, is someone that performs an act for the betterment of life in all its forms when they could have chosen to do otherwise. That is to say these people may very well be capable of heroism or have already performs acts of heroism.

Simply being an Olympian may or may not warrant admiration. You bait me with your backhanded insults and ill-favored tenor.

Bait denied, sir.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 11, 2012)

Sorry AShimon,

I get a little too... em, I don't know what to call it....

In addition to being a photographer for 30 years, I've read a lot of philosophy, art history, laymen science and so on. Coupled with a very pedantic nature, I guess I can be kind of irritating, when in my teaching mode.

I apologize for my examples, and how they not only seemed to, but actually did draw you and others into hyperbolic examples, meant to illustrate my points.

I don't want to simply state my opinion as to this or that, my tendency is to draw the same conclusion out of you, by mental illustration, so that you will realize why I've stated this or that opinion. I don't want to dictate knowledge, I want to share it.

I'm sorry to you and some of the others here for my heavy handedness. It was a bit mean spirited, born of my own frustrations, and you all certainly don't have anything to do with that. I apologize.

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 11, 2012)

If you'll read back your own definition of a hero, you think that your own definition may very well apply to Olympians? Given their effort IS for the betterment of life ("all" is a bit overreaching and not realistic), and that Olympians could very well have chosen to do otherwise (alarm snooze button).

"Simply being an Olympian..."

C'mon, how could it possibly be simple to be an Olympian.

IT is very hard. THEY have worked very hard.

They deserve that recognition, don't you think? I do. Some others do.

And being photographers, we were dismayed when one of our fellow craftsmen, seemed very much to denigrate their achievement with what seemed very much like shoddy work.

Even he admitted his shortcoming and disappointment.

So why try to make his failure into "Art?"

If he tried to wholeheartedly justify as Art, wouldn't he be just a BSer?

When others try to do that, they denigrate Art, and possibly cause Joe Klamer some degree of shameful embarrassment.

A few were good.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AShimon
By AShimon (Jul 11, 2012)

ALFRED --

Since you are fond of definitions I am a bit surprised how you zeroed in on my phrasing "Simply being an Olympian...".

Simple and simply are different words and have seperate definitions. Please, allow me.

Simple - Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.

Simply - 1.In a straightforward or plain manner.
2.Merely; just.

Since we have two definitions here, we must look at context to derive which definition of 'simply' I intended to convey to the reader.

Quotes from my original post:

"While their athletic achievements are outstanding..."
"I am sure we can find more than a few Olympians with the inner makings of heroes."

I conclude that I intended to convey the first definition of 'simply'. I chose not to charge, headlong, into the melee; flag-waving and proudly proclaiming my undying defense and support of Olympic athletes the world over. Instead, I chose to get to the heart of the matter.

Apology accepted.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 12, 2012)

Thank you.

It was a play on words, simply put - my humor is not always so simple. And really, simple is best. (I sometimes hear crickets.) But as its been said, anything worthwhile, is not simple. It requires effort. Sometimes great effort - like making the Olympic team or being hired by an International Photo Agency.

Since I wear a cape and mask part time, I am also prone to take up for the abused, hoodwinked and others, like young athletes that were asked to show up at a studio for Olympic promo pictures, getting a pie in their face instead. And seeing that Joe Klamer seemed to be competent in photography, I wondered why he would snap, or really, edit as good, a photo of one of these young subjects caught in a between-shot goofball smirk, a shot as a fluke of the process, not as a "keeper." We all get those, but they usually are not meant as an intended portrait, especially when they are unflattering, making them look like a _________ < [insert mentally challenged phrase here.]

0 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 12, 2012)

Coupled with the other odd shots, it seemed there was something else going on. That is why I was so harsh as to motives of the photographer and the French Photo agency. Also, that some where genuinely technically very bad, some where pretty neat - the guy shaking his dread locks - I must admit, I was not certain of anything. But seeing someone getting beat up in a side alley, a caped hero (yes hero), runs in to save them, then asks questions later.

One thing I am pretty certain is that, this post facto apologetics about making Art, modern, post modern, deconstructive or the "artist's right to express himself" nonsense is sadly side stepping some important question me and others had.

We felt this was a phony circling of the wagons, by beatnik pseudo want-to-be artists, seemed very much like defending the victimizers not the victims. The shoddy and/or abuse of these fine young athletes - wherever they were from, Tennessee or Timbuktu, will not go undefended.

Finally, simple enough?

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Filthy McNasty
By Filthy McNasty (Jul 9, 2012)

Props to Klamar!
The photo of Trey Hardee is especially befitting that of an East German Olympian circa 1972....in all her glory.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 12, 2012)

Yea, that's funny.

How do you think he feels about that kind over humor - at his expense?

0 upvotes
Sperho
By Sperho (Jul 8, 2012)

No problem with the picture concepts... They are different. It isn't like this is going to be the only photo op to show them in a traditional "patriotic" light... Good grief...

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
gil hadani
By gil hadani (Jul 8, 2012)

a bit childish, obvious, not inspiring

1 upvote
ecube
By ecube (Jul 8, 2012)

I hate the expression "Don't get me wrong"! It is meaningless, cop-out, an excuse. Feel free to disagree with my comment. Feel free to agree if you wish. All I ask is for you to be objective and abstain from labeling or name calling.

I find the Klamar photographs not up to par. The backgrounds seem to be patched-up of wrinkled bedsheets. I find the lighting somewhat offensive. It Klamar's intention is to present his interpretation of ARTS, then I simply have different preference of Arts. If I were his client, that would be the last assignment he would get from me. I would refuse to give him referrals.

While supporting myself towards my engineering degree 50 years ago, portrait photography was my specialty. During my time as a professional photographer, I REFUSE on the spot assignment rather than compromise the quality of my work. I gave up being a "professional photographer after earning my engineering degrees.

I am troubled by the personal attacked on Klamar.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
twstriving
By twstriving (Jul 8, 2012)

I didn’t know Trey Hardee was a Special Olympian (see headline photo). In fact, I have no idea who Trey Hardee is.

1 upvote
twstriving
By twstriving (Jul 8, 2012)

That’s what makes these photos so cool. If you didn’t know the people in Klamar’s photos were Olympians, you probably wouldn’t think much of the photos. These photos show ordinary looking people in relatively mundane poses. They don’t reflect what most people would consider to be appropriate depictions – airbrushed, hyperrealistic – of a countries greatest athletes. Some of the photos look quite “normal,” but, for some reason, the publication editors who bought Klamar’s photos (which included “‘serious, funky, official’ [shots] – not all of them were offbeat” - http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/2012/07/05/Pixels-and-piety%3A-Photographing-Olympic-icons) tended to gravitate towards the photos that truly ordinary people do not appreciate. There may be dozens of reasons why some editors chose these photos over others, but one reason could be the simple fact that these photos are original and honest.

3 upvotes
twstriving
By twstriving (Jul 8, 2012)

The public outcry over these photos has little to do with their quality or photography (despite some claims, most people could NOT do better with a cell phone) and everything to do with celebrity, the media, and politics. Unlike most celebrities, Olympic athletes, it could be argued, are not beautiful people. However, if they are dressed up and painted to the contrary, the camera can capture that lie, and that is exactly what the masses want. Unfortunately, the truth is many athletes are big and/or ugly. To show the world that a country’s athletes are anything less than the best, brightest, most beautiful, or to show them any less reverence than you would a real celebrity (movie stars, etc) is sacrilege. But Klamar’s photos show these athletes for what they really are: despite their, sometimes, super-human abilities, they are ordinary people. There is nothing special about special people, and these photos attest to that... but “the people” don’t like it.

5 upvotes
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

There you go with this hackneyed "Shock of the New" so called "modern art" (as in modernity) post classical dribble. "Original" does not necessarily mean quality. It can sometimes, but that does not make it quality. And BTW, "original" does not necessarily mean "honest."

These ARE special people and they deserved to be depicted in a special way. They are the top three athletes in each field of competition, from a country of 300 million people! I don't know why you feel that they need to be debased and brought down to some approachable or accessible level. When it comes to their given sport, they are not accessible! You, your neighbor, your cousin, your uncle and whoever else you think are safe in their regularity don't deserve parity with these athletes. (If you think you do, feel free to climb into the ring with any on the Olympic boxing team.)

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

And this is not about make-up and making "beautiful," so called ugly people. Its a about respect for great achievement and a well wish of congratulations for beating all others for the honor and glory of representing the USA in the World Competition we call the Olympics.

AND BTW, it does not matter that they are from the USA. Any Olympic team from even the smallest of countries deserve respect for their achievement at getting to the pinnacle of their countries athletics. This has nothing to do with patriotism, however pejorative or not you wish to apply that in this case. This has to do with respect and protocol.

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

If you were invited to an Awards Ceremony for a highly competitive and exclusive Award, would YOU show up to your photo session for the Banquet Program, unshaven in a dirty coffee stained Tshirt? Not exact metaphor? OK, how about you showed up dressed to impress, suite and tie let's say, and the photographer shoots you from odd goof-ball angles, purposely unflattering lighting, and asks you to turn to the side lift up your shirt and stick out your belly; would you not think it odd? But the metaphor is not yet complete. Now you show up to the once-every-four-years Banquet to honor you as the VERY pinnacle of your profession - the top three of thousands competing for this reward YOU are up for, and you look in the Banquet Program and you see the most bazaar, unflattering, unprofessional (technical and professional) photos of you and your other Award Nominees. What would you think about that? Or further, what would your boss, all your co-workers and peers think about that? "Original?"

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Save your railing about Hollywood, beautiful people, politics, profit and all those other personal pet-peeves for other opinion venues more relevant to those topics. This is quality photography for quality subjects to an audience that has every reasonable expectation for quality presentations.

That Fine Art eventually seeps into Commercial Art is a given phenomenon, and to be appreciated as homage to artists. But sadly, the fine art of our time is infected with this morose, self-hatred flavor of the gross anti-aesthetic and absurdism that does not lift the spirit of the viewer, but is nothing less than visual vomiting of an Emperor with No Clothes. After 30, 40 or 50 years in the fine arts, don't you think we "got it" already?

Much more, it does not deserve a place in the Commercial milieu of Advertising, Fashion and Celebrity OR Olympic Portraits, in this country or any other. To the degree that it does - "Look Mommy. Why is the Emperor wearing no clothes?"

1 upvote
ManuelRaposo
By ManuelRaposo (Jul 9, 2012)

You really are overreacting, Mr. Alfred. As someone said, these aren't the only photos taken to those athletes. They are human beings, not Marvel heroes. Don't you think they (and we) deserve some normality? Do you think they deserve to live forever on a pedestal? And don't you think the photographer has the right to express his view to the masses?
If you don't like the photos, don't look at them. I and many more people like them. Get over it. Get a life :P

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Mr. Manuel,
Forgive me for "overreacting," passion is just a part my particular brand of human makeup - I'm an artist and maybe just a bit upset that a perfectly competent photographer (I went to his website) was hired by the premier Photo Agency in France (and the world), yet decided, for some reason, to purposely slight these wonderful athletes with what seems like a hatchet job smear and offer them for sale to the world.

No, they aren't the only US Olympic Portraits (thank goodness), but these athletes don't deserve this seeming slight, and we are reacting to it.

I appreciate your sarcasm. I use sarcasm and hyperbole too, when I express myself, as well. No, they aren't Marvel heroes. Who said they were? Marvel heroes are drawings of fictional characters with bazaar abilities, not even close to normal. Its just that some of these mere humans can run the 100 meter day in 9 seconds and change. You think that's normal?

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

As to "normality," you're mixing meanings of the word. Relative the discussion at hand (sports) you and I, we are normal, they are well beyond normal. My contention, and others, is that they deserve beyond normal treatment. Which, by the way, they got sub-normal treatment photographically, and many of us being pros and serious photo enthusiasts, were a bit taken back by the shoddiness of the photographer's and the agency's work. And since they didn't have a PR agent to take up for them, I and others seem to be taking that role. They were hoodwinked and taken advantage of by this very competent photographer and this premier Photo Agency.

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

Now if you want photos of the great athletes, with say her in her sneakers and running suit, holding a baby on her hip, leaning into the washing machine, pulling out the laundry, saying in effect, this is the normal life of this great athlete, then fine, I agree, that would be a cool day-in-the-life portrait. But these were studio portraits. The subject is isolated, that becomes more difficult. Still, if that's what you wanted, and the photographer were to deliver a this-is-a-great-athlete, but-see-how-down-to-earth-normal-she-is-photo, then fine. More power to you (the photographer and agency).

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

And BTW, this being "up on a pedestal," does not last forever. They are young, and this is their time. You don't want to honor them for years of hard work? Among other functions, Photography, as you know, does that. It preserves great moments now, for later when time has marched on, and the only thing left IS a photograph. That is why greatness, above normal achievement - heroism, deserve and call for the same when being photographed. It is not unreasonable. It makes a lot of sense.

As to getting a life, now that YOU mention it. Maybe I'm a little frustrated, that MY career, as maybe with some others here, is not what it could be, and I'd give anything do assignments for this Photo Agency [fat chance now, LOL].

But here we see these kind of shenanigans, and think, "well heck!" Thirty years and....

Well, you get the picture. It ain't pretty. So this story has a lot of irksome aspects to it.

1 upvote
ALFREDofAVALON
By ALFREDofAVALON (Jul 9, 2012)

And then I (we) come across trite flippant remarks like yours: "...don't you think the photographer has the right to express his view to the masses?
If you don't like the photos, don't look at them. I and many more people like them. Get over it."

Oh brother. You seem to not have any clue at all.

But hey, you got "a life!" you special person you.

Or were you normal, and wanted these beyond normal people brought down to your level? I'm confused. Are you a super star with a super life, or just a normal guy, wanting non-normal "unique" "fresh" work for the masses, by a photographer that has the right to express his disdain for Olympians?

That's normal?

I know what. Pick up the phone and have a Reality TV show about your life. That shouldn't be too hard.

1 upvote
neroangelo
By neroangelo (Jul 8, 2012)

All art is subjective...including photography...

2 upvotes
plastique2
By plastique2 (Jul 8, 2012)

LMOF

0 upvotes
plastique2
By plastique2 (Jul 8, 2012)

Theh photo of Try Harder is hilarious!

0 upvotes
plastique2
By plastique2 (Jul 8, 2012)

I see a new era of photography on the rise :)
Cool. The guys look really cool, a refreshing approach ;)
Especially with a D70, hehe. Maybe they'll discover some new talents as comedians.

0 upvotes
guinness2
By guinness2 (Jul 8, 2012)

Klamar, Klamar .... I see, the Czech Press Photo 2009 winner.
Don't trust him, he can't do it better, his name means "Liar" :-), which is a cheap joke from my side. Viral commercial ?
If he can invent such gobsmacking composition ( see Obama in Prague), he really can do it better IMHO.
http://www.czechphotogallery.cz/en/klamar2011.html
Don't get me wrong. I admire his work and don't know/judge his reasons or artifical intentions, just couldn't believe, it was just a bad day.
Btw, funny words about US patriotism, he's Slovak

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
guinness2
By guinness2 (Jul 8, 2012)

EDIT .. sorry, I mean artistic intentions, not artificial ones :-)
I never got these dpreview editing limits, seems to me discriminating the non-english contributors :-)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
francoisphoto
By francoisphoto (Jul 8, 2012)

Its really very simple and basic.
Anyone that is a Photographer by Profession will know all the mistakes made by Klamar and his level of expertise and as Paul Farace puts it, he was unprepared and no Pro Photog goes unprepared into any job, especially not a job with this caliber. He tried his best not knowing the results and a real Pro will do his job, knowing how they will look like with only a bit of fine tuning in the end. Almost any Pro Photographer, 99% or more would have done an exponentially better job. Pro Photogs know this and everyone else's comments on the contrary shows where they stand in the food chain of Photography!

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

You are still not getting it. You judge it as a school photography or wedding photography job, by a pro that have made the same kind of photos for 20 years. One that knows exactly what to do and exactly how to get the same pro result as always. Neat and tidy.

But ... this obviously did not happen this time. For some reason this guy broke the rules. Like sticking a stick into an ant hive. Things happen.

Maybe the photos are not superb quality. Maybe the guy who took them was just lazy and did not prepare himself - and failed - Maybe. Or - maybe he added something new.

Or maybe he just started a healthy debate over the view on athletes as super heroes and the demand to be patriotic Americans.

5 upvotes
francoisphoto
By francoisphoto (Jul 9, 2012)

I remember taking images like these for sporting events, but only once was I unprepared and out of my comfort zone, and the images weren't up to par and eventually used, something which I'm today still ashamed of... but I've learnt from that and a Photorapher with Klamar's stature should know better and not shoot with the same skill and mindset I had at the age of 18 or earlier. An established Photographer would value his brand and his name too much to release these images. Rather get paid and release nothing than release such a bunch of tripe. It was a poor choice but it also showed some Photographers their level of expertise and experience and what has turned out a bad thing for Klamar could be a good inspiration to other who already knows how to be a better Photographer.

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Jul 10, 2012)

Dear Francois, you're presently judging Paul Klee with the same criteriums you'd use to judge David. May loving the way David painted give you the right to forbid Klee to paint his way ?

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

Reading the posts below is more interesting than the story above. I think we can all agree that the pictures basically suck and that good photography of olympic athletes should be somewhere between Lenni Reifenstahl (Nazi propagandist photographer - sp?) and some nudnik with a Lomo... this is too close to the latter than the former.
Klamar says he was unprepared (case-closed-amature)... you never leave the shop unprepared... or you work within your situation and limitations.

1 upvote
Suave
By Suave (Jul 8, 2012)

The man was hired to produce a set of shots that would attract attention to the members of US Olympic Team. He did that job brilliantly.

I like the photos. I love all the whiny "I woulda done that better" responses.

4 upvotes
art1sta
By art1sta (Jul 8, 2012)

I dont agree at all. I am not even looking at the people or why they are there im looking at the photographs and questioning why someone was allowed to make fun of these people

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (Jul 9, 2012)

If he dressed the team into nuns' uniforms and put mud on their faces, he would attract even more attention...

Yes, great many things would be better than a boring stern face (or a broad smile, for that matter) on a US flag background, but this? It's a cheap stunt (which you just admitted), and I do not think an Olympic team should be associated with something like that.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 437
1234