When U.S. President Barack Obama visited Prague in April, the world's press establishment followed. Photographers scrambled to capture an iconic image. Joe Klamar succeeded.It's an eccentric aesthetic, and that's what they got for these pictures of the U.S. Olympic team, which many people are complaining about.
"It seemed like an obvious shot at the time. I thought all the other photographers would get it, as well," says Klamar, winner of the Czech Press Photo (CPP) "Photo of the Year" award for 2009.
One reddit commentator said: 'There is no way any photographer with a mind for composition would make these mistakes. … If you were to tell me to set up shots to be as ugly as possible, but to not get caught, I would do these same setups.They are real people, not works of art.... but the implication is: The photographs are art.
'I think he must be making a statement about the way society paints athletes as perfect. Showing flaws in the photos to illustrate the fact that they are people, not gods. The mistakes are intentional. Especially considering about half could be fixed by any redditor that has Photoshop.'
Speaking on behalf of Mr Klamar, Director of Photography for AFP Mladen Antonov told the MailOnline: 'The results of this photo shoot are exactly why we sent Joe Klamar in the first place. He has a very unconventional view and approach to both photography and the world.
'We are a news agency, not a PR or advertising agency hired by the Olympics and may I stress - as some internet sites have suggested - that these are not the official portraits of the U.S. Olympic team but only the images distributed by us.
'We have made them look like human beings, as was Joe's intention, not like pieces from Madame Tussaud's as other agencies did. They are real people, not works of art..."
How artistic should journalistic photographs be? No, that's not the right question. The right question is: Is it wrong for journalistic photographs to be artistic in a strange way that undermines the beauty of a notably beautiful subject and calls attention to the quirkiness of the photographer?
Or is the right question: What will make you look? Or: What will make you remember Joe Klamar?