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.

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67 Comments

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Jeff Walsh's picture

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

Deleted Account's picture

"Or have our standards sunk so low?"

No, these photography communities generally fail to realise that technical perfection does not equate to imagery that people will emotionally respond to.

It would seem you are trapped in an echo chamber.

michaeljin's picture

Fantastic visual spectacle. Admittedly a complete waste of money. The photos being tweeted are crap. I'm not sure if it's really an example of standards having fallen since even before smartphones, tons of people used garbage compacts and disposable cameras to capture memories anyway... we just didn't have a platform to share all of our horrible photos with the rest of the world back then. Not entirely sure why this is a story.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

At this rate, Ffstoppers will be the next CNN.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Still better than FOX

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Pull your head out of the sand, look at their dwindling ratings. And, they're having to get rid of people so they're taking early buyouts. Those that choose to remain, will roll the dice at layoffs.

Deleted Account's picture

I am uncertain that revenue is a proxy for quality; given that peoples' concentration is now worthless, likely the converse.

Christian Fiore's picture

Will be?

Sridhar Chilimuri's picture

I am assuming that photo was taken with a smart phone. If it is so I have no problem with it. It captures the story of the day.- a gloomy day with fighter jets flying by over the Lincoln memorial. I wish one of the American flags being waved was in the center. Cropping of the photo is uneven. The pilots seem to have done a nearly perfect job.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Trump, Twitter, photos, post... wait there’s the word Photo there, let me write a photography article.

Don Payne's picture

All politics aside, the smartphone and social media has seriously dumbed down what quality photography is. Millions of people taking happy snaps with their smartphone think the pictures are awesome. Millions of people looking at FB, IG, etc all think the photos are stupendous. They don't know what they don't know. They all also think that all images on the internet are free for the taking. Dumbed down. Then when they want to get married they are in shock that a professional would charge $5,000. What???? You want what??? To take some pictures???? :)

A. I. Borj's picture

I'm just here for the comments.

Jordan McChesney's picture

Not enough popcorn on earth.

Jimmy Dozer's picture

PLEASE, F-Stoppers... Stop with anything political. The comments here should easily indicate that anything critical of a politician quickly spirals downward into anything BUT photography. The forum for this can be found almost everywhere else- I come here for education not to read this. And it makes me visit less.

John Martin's picture

Trump could take a dump on their wives and his supporters would love it. Theyd probably collect rhe feces and frame it.

Christian Fiore's picture

Well, he DID replace the feces that was in the oval office before him. That's certainly something to be happy about.

Kevin O'Neill's picture

Pigs. Respect the President. You all adored The Obama... it is time to switch your adoration to The Don.

No, this will not happen; yet, at least say something great about your next K.A.G.A. President. You're going to have to deal with it... or... finally, keep those empty promises and move to Canada... wait, move to Mexico. It's so much better than the USA.

I end as I begin. Pigs.