Posts Tagged ‘joeklamar’

Bad Olympic Portraits Rewarded with an Exhibition in NYC

You know the expression, “there is no such thing as bad publicity”? It’s certainly true in the case of Joe Klamar’s “bad” Olympic portraits. After getting the Internet talking about (and criticizing) the images earlier this month, Joe Klamar has been given an exhibition in NYC at the Powerhouse Arena. Here’s the description of the show:

Many of the photographs were first met with harsh criticism from a bevy of news sites and photo blogs quick to highlight the images’ alleged defects—citing the off-hand poses, the stressed lighting, the scarred backdrops—and labeled the work an affront to the elite status of the American Olympic athletic team.

Such criticisms miss the work’s powerful and nuanced compositions and display of personality. Here we see real individuals at the peak of their athletic career in ordinary and impromptu poses, sometimes playful, some quite intense, in an unplanned setting. You will not see world-class athletes like this anywhere.

The exhibition is set to kick off on July 27th to coincide with the London Olympics.


Image credits: Photographs by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Photographer Joe Klamar Explains His Controversial Olympic Portraits

AFP photographer Joe Klamar’s portraits of US Olympic athletes have caused a firestorm of controversy in the past week, with people calling the images “insulting” due to their lighting, angles, and concepts. Klamar has responded to the controversy over on AFP. Rather than being intentionally “bad” for the purpose of making a point, they were simply the result of being unprepared:

“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,” [Klamar] explained. “I really had no idea that there would be a possibility for setting up a studio.” It was the first time AFP had been invited to participate in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Media Summit, which was held this year, in May, at a Hilton Hotel in Dallas.

Joe had come armed with two cameras and three lenses (17-35, 70-200 and 300), plus one flash and a 12-inch laptop. To his horror, he saw upon arriving that 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.

Pixels and piety: Photographing Olympic icons (via A Photo Editor)


Image credits: Photographs by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Are Joe Klamar’s US Olympic Portraits Intentionally “Bad”?

Update: Klamar has responded to the criticism. The photographs aren’t ‘anti-establishment’. They were simply the result of being unprepared.


I came across a series of supposedly bad US Olympic portraits taken by photographer Joe Klamar via a post on my Facebook page. I just had to take a look to see if they could really be as bad as reported.
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US Olympic Team Portraits Come Under Scrutiny

Photographer Joe Klamar has been receiving some criticism over his portraits of the US Olympic Team that many believe could have been done better. Most of the criticism, as you would imagine, comes from photographers who believe they could have done a better job representing the athletes. And with access to these athletes for photographic purposes being so restricted, it’s understandable that photogs would get upset over sub-par portraits. Read more…