Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 7/3/12

The image you see above of gymnast Nastia Liukin is the type of photo that we are accustomed to seeing in the months leading up to the Olympic Games. The athletes typically strike various poses against simple backgrounds. Oftentimes, the athlete will be standing in front of their country’s flag. It is the Olympics, after all.

On particular photographer, Joe Klamar, decided to switch things up a bit at the USOC media summit back in May. Now, he’s being ripped for it. Klamar took photos of various U.S. athletes in front of unusual backgrounds with strange color shadings. The images themselves are difficult to describe, so here are a few examples:

These photos have not been well-received. Here is an example of the type of feedback Klamar’s work has been subject to on Reddit and other social media sites.

“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…”

The photos have been described as “shoddy” and “unprofessional.” Many believe Klamar intentionally aimed for that effect, while others feel that the photos are so terrible that there is no way someone could have done this on purpose. As Yahoo! Sports pointed out, one photographer called the work “an embarrassment to our country and my profession.”

Whether you’re a fan of the photos or not, there’s no denying that they are unusual and unique. As we saw with the outrage that was created over Great Britain’s uniforms, issues like these become very sensitive around Olympic time.

Photo credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images

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