Trump Tweets Blurry Smartphone Photos of Salute to America and His Followers Love It

Trump Tweets Blurry Smartphone Photos of Salute to America and His Followers Love It

Love it or hate it, Donald Trump’s salute to America was clearly a spectacle, one that provided for ample excellent photo opportunities. Which makes it completely perplexing is that the only photos the president chose to share of the event for more than two days after were grainy cell phone photos.

Even more perplexing was the number of commenters that thought the photos were awesome. Have our standards sunk so low?

The photos in question were a retweet of conservative commentator Eric Bolling, who credited the photos to a “B Tessler.” You can see this Tesslers handiwork below:

While it’s not clear who “B Tessler” is, one possibility is Lenard B. Tessler, Vice chairman of Cerberus Capital Management Group and definitely not a photographer.

Judging by the responses to the retweet, when you filter out the political objections, most casual viewers thought the photos were actually good, and that’s scary. We’re in an age where “good enough” is fine for most people, including the White House. It’s an age where, if you can’t get a fast aperture lens on an actual camera, then portrait mode is good enough. When confronted with actual better quality options (Betamax versus VHS, CD versus MP3 or smartphone versus cameras), it seems that convenience has always trumped quality, and for us photographers, that’s a troubling thing indeed.

Because it means the next time the White House needs photos, they’ll just crowdsource sloppy cell phone pictures instead of hiring a real-deal professional photographer. It’s the continuing theme of this White House not caring about photographs, a surprise given how much showmanship went into this event and photo opportunity.

Trump did eventually retweet out an actual nicely done professional photo (without credit) that was posted by deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley:

But by July 7, three days after the event, does anyone care? Any other social media manager would likely be fired over the sloth-like pace of photo-posting here, as anyone knows that getting images out soon after an event is paramount. Every college sporting event I shoot required a gallery to be ready 30 minutes after the end of the game, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for this White House, nor does it seem the public even notices or cares.

In case you are looking for actual professional photos of the event, The White House did post some professional photos on its Flickr feed. Significantly less people saw them there than on Twitter, but if you’re looking to drop an “awesome” comment on a photo of the event, it’s much more worth it on these ones.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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Hardly makes up for the racism, misogyny and praising dictators.

Oh, you must have him confused with the Democrat Congresswomen. You poor little sheep. You have your wool over your own eyes.

Two people can’t be racist at the same time?

Silly, of course two people can be racist at the same time. You need not look further than the Dems. And, to clarify, minorities can be racist. It ain't just the white folk.

So? Get rid of al of then. Let’s start with the most powerful racist fist though. The one with the nukes and Executive Order powers. Then we can look at the one from a small congressional district, whomever they may be.

It disgusts me when I see people stand up for Trump. Left or Right...nobody like Trump should ever be president and I am befuddled as to how someone could appreciate what he has done. It's truly bizarre.

Turn that frown upside down, kiddo. I'm dumbfounded by you anti-Trumps. I can clearly see you have 2 eyes and a head. Presumably, there'd be a brain in that head. Someway, somehow or another, there seems to be a disconnect. Probably blinded by hatred; and being gullible to the liberal media and the politicians antics.

You do realize he's going to win 2020. Hell, if I had it my way, he'd be president for the next 1000 years. We cannot go back to the Obama days. And, the Dems have shown their true face and nature, so we can't ever let them have control. Ever.

Well it's a blessing that this great nation doesn't work like you want it to, because in the United States we don't have kings, and the Constitution details term limits for our leaders. Might want to check that "2 eyes and a head" you have and remember what beautiful country you live in and the political system we fought for and cherish.

Check your history: ruling for one thousand years is something tyrants and their weak followers wish for. Not citizens of a republic.

Gosh bro, take your meds! btw the only one is spreading hate here, that's you.

The majority of the US citizens haven't voted for your Supreme Leader. But they have still the right to criticize. It's in your first amendment. Seriously, sometimes I think Trumpists were undergoing some kind of brainwashing.

Yikes. People like this actually exist?

...if they would watch FOX NEWS for an entire day instead of the lying, pitiful MSNBC & CNN. Oh, how their minds would either find the actual truth or pop their blissful tops off.

"You can't handle the truth."

Yeah people hated that alternative yet she still got 3 million more votes.

And you have your wooly behind backed up to Trumps groin. Now say baaaa.

It has to do with the photojournalistic source and perspective.

He's told us why he does what he does. It's on video. This is not a shy mysterious man. He gives you plenty to work with straight from his own mouth.

If you really believe that you're probably a racist and misogynist. That's the only way you couldn't possibly notice.

I see youre proficient at posting factless drivel.

Except he will not cure cancer; his only redeeming feature is that he inherited $430 million from daddy. Trump is empirical evidence that we do not live in a meritocracy.

1a. You do not know me, and therefore you are unable to draw any inference as to my intrinsic qualities.

b. However, Trump's life, history, and consistent behaviour are a matter of public record.

2. You just tried to offend me by insulting the nation state that I live in. The simple fact is that I don't care about your nonsensical insult; which demonstrates my point in 1a.

3. I don't think "empirical" means what you think it means.

4. You have zero content in your profile, and you are making overwhelmingly politically contentious statements. This permits an inference that your only purpose here is to troll.


You were well and truly engaged in the political discussion before I commented.

Will MurrY just stuffed you into rhe ground and you are too stupid to realize it. Continue to post childish babble.

Rob, the guy could cure cancer tomorrow and the robot like response from the left would be the same.... "but, but, but, he's a racist, misogynist, bigoted, homophobic, narcissistic, wealthy, hateful white man!"

The psychological drive to paint that picture is so strong in some people I know, that they'll grasp at any shred of conspiracy they can to add to the paint brush. It's a condition similar to flat earthers.

This is a photography forum and I think most of us would appreciate the division being left at other political outlets.

Well yeah, curing cancer doesn’t excuse racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc... You don’t stop being against bad things because good things exist, even if they exist in the same person. Count me in as part of that “left.”

Rob, you're missing the point. You see, all those left leaning people I know would have voted for him had he run as a Democrat. Identity politics is bad and getting worse. Those "adjectives" you and everyone else so loosely throw out are mostly due to media bias, conspiracy, and downright lies. Look at how the sheep on the left now view the Betsy Ross flag. Blatant misinformation to further an agenda. Watch Jimmy Kimmel pole people on the streets with fallacies just to make them "group think". It's sad really.

Anyway, I won't change your mind and these arguments have no winners. I'm just getting tired of politics infiltrating every inch of my life. A sign that government is too big!!

Children being taken away from their parents, often permanently, for misdemeanor trespassing isn’t a creation of the media. Banning transgender soldiers from serving their country based on exaggerated if not outright false information about healthcare costs is not a creation of the media. Criticizing America in front of foreign dictators is not a creation of the media. Saying it’s okay to “grab women by the pussy” because famous people can get away with it is not a creation of the media. Denigrating a former prisoner of war while you dodged the draft is not a creation of the media. Pardoning convicted criminals because they say nice things about you is not a creation of the media. Yes tribalism exists, no it does not exist equally. Trumpism is tribal unlike anything we’ve ever had in America. You have to go back to European fascism to find anything like it. It’s Unamerican and those of you who support him are probably not going to be easily forgiven when he’s gone. Personal responsibility.

I happen to be pro-life, but within reason. If you support what’s happening on the border you are not pro-life.1 John 4:20

It’s 100% the fault of the President. He ordered it. He can stop it. Being anti-abortion does not make you Pro-life. And being anti-abortion is not a moral get-out-of-jail free card. You wanna how someone can be relative about abortion?

A mother of three children is six weeks pregnant and is suffering complications. If she carries it to term, there’s a good chance she could die and the fetus is unlikely to survive outside of the womb as well. Terminating the pregnancy ensures the mother will survive and can be there for her other three children. They won’t have to grow up without a mother and deal with all of the grief that a family being torn apart entails (e.g. depression, addiction, etc...). The fetus will not survive no matter what is done. Which option promotes and sustains life more?

This is an exact situation I’ve encountered personally. And no it’s not rare. Troubled pregnancies are extremely common and can carry very high risks to the mother when an abortion is not available. Not performing an abortion in that type of situation isn’t saving any lives.

I would argue that another word for relativism is mercy.

Yes, i'm well aware of every single issue on your list. Some I believe you need insight on, others are issues of political correctness, and some I actually agree with you on. I'm not arguing for Trump or any other political candidate.

Oh, fascism... so glad you brought that up too... Here's the thing, limited government can't be a fascist power house. A fascist party has to disarm the public first as well and we know which love to do that.

"Personal responsibility", yes, lets get back to that instead of relying on the government!

Politicians are still angry people got sick of their games and voted for an anybody for president. And some of you are begging to have the used car salesman back in office so you can bath in the lies some more. Hopefully he is a lesson for them to get real.

Yes, mediocrity is so endearing, let's give him a participation trophy.

Do you find that endearing?

I don't, I find it mediocre for a person with so many resources. But whatever, I won't try to change your standards.

Not interested in discussing politics, the post is about a picture selection that could have been much better showcase of a parade.

The only response to this post I have is ???

Slow news day? Find something to hate on Trump about. You'll get plenty of hits and ad revenue. Guaranteed!

Nothing about this is surprising. Not just that people have low standards for photography, but that people believe that everything coming from their own "team" is automatically great.

Maybe even a resurgence for photo books! It's been a loooooooong standing project of mine. I've been waiting for 200 solid images before I begin. I'm well past that now. So, let's get started!

Yes standards a really low! People don't know anymore, what a quality image should look like. I think, it's because everybody is a photographer today. The other problem is, that the most phones producing aweful photos and people getting used to it (it's not a rant against phone pictures)...

Here is another example how low standards are:
People really think that's a real photo... yes of course... the moon sets like the sun and it's in front of the clouds....

Yes! I think people have become accustomed to the cell phone look and overall standards have gone down, it's sad, especially when you see a cell phone photo printed. I'm just surprised though because this event was basically designed as a photo opp and then wasn't even capitalized on as such.

Nice pun. ;-)

Mobile phone images are absolutely fine to print. In the first instance, I have seen exceptional phone photography. In the second instance, I shoot a lot with a phone, and am intending to print many of them.

Snobbery much?

This photo was shot, handheld, on an iPhone 6S.

It wasn't my intention to start a "war". I've seen also very good phone photos, but to be honest, most phones have crappy cameras.

Perhaps not, but I shot it a couple of days ago, and it was accessible. In any case, the lighting wasn't exactly easy for a tiny sensor, hence my choice; and in terms of brightness and contrast, that captures the subject.

That aside, no normal person pixel peeps.

I wouldn't call it snobbery. While a phone can do a 4x6 perfectly fine, you really start to see images breakdown at 8x10 or larger, at least that's been my experience with a Canon Pixma Pro-10 and a wide variety of camera phones and actual cameras. That said I just ordered a Google Pixel phone so we'll see how the latest and greatest holds up. Believe me, I'm hoping for better.

And since when do all prints have to be at 8x10 and larger - although I'm betting 8x10 will print just fine, and I'm intending to test that in the next week.

They don't, but if I'm taking a nice portrait of someone, it's likely I'd print it that large, in which case the camera will capture much more detail than a phone at that size. Good light and base ISO can eke it out on a phone but that's not the reality of all situations.

Too good is shopped and thus fake news.

This post not to original and in my view not worthy of Fstoppers. Of course this is about photography but the editorial style of the writer, underwhelming . My rant for the day


Non professional photographer takes unprofessional photo and Fstoppers turns it into a sign of the ages. Holy hell, slow day?

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