The photos were taken for Getty and AFP at the USOC media summit by Joe Klamar. While other photographers at the event chose to shoot the portraits straight up, Klamar’s had a different feel. Members of the photography community weren’t going for it. While the photos were taken in May, they’ve only recently gained a notorious reputation thanks to a thread on reddit’s photography page. Here’s a typical comment on reddit’s photography page:
“wow… he’s trying something new for press shots, concealing some details in shadows… using FOV and perspective to distort subjects in a not-so appealing way… Oh wait, these haven’t been processed… Wow they’re getting worse… Ok this wasn’t on purpose…these are terrible…”
You know when you’re watching a basketball game and the director cuts to a floor-level camera from behind the basket and you’re thinking, “huh, this is neat” for about two seconds before realizing that you can’t see anything? There’s a reason that camera has been positioned halfway up the stadium at half court for a reason. It looks good for a reason. That’s sort of my thought on Klamar’s photos. He tried to do something different and it didn’t work. (Making Natalie Coughlin look anything but beautiful, for instance, was a big miss.)
That’s my uninformed opinion. Some folks in the photography field were a bit more harsh: “This is an embarrassment to our country and my profession,” one wrote.
How about you, what is your take on Joe Klamar’s Olympic portraits? Does his new form of “art” gain a Like or a Gripe?