If you've been following our daily posts, you'll remember that the first batch of photos of Chrysler's 200 Convertible, previously known as the Sebring, were leaked onto the net last Thursday (January 13, 2011). The following day, Chrysler posted the photos on its official website. End of story? Well, not exactly as we discovered a very interesting posting on the photographer's official Facebook page.
Webb Bland, the person who shot the admittedly impressive press photos of the 200 cabriolet accused a “misguided idiot somewhere outside of the fantastic marketing team at Chrysler” for leaking the images “weeks in advance of the meticulously scheduled unveiling”.
“Rage-induced”, Mr. Bland added that “it's goddamn infuriating that so many car blogs have already run many of the photos cropped awkwardly, without context or back story, and at a horribly compressed resolution, on top of that.”
While we can understand the photographer's disappointment, we think that his reaction was over the top. Leaks (intentional or...not) are all too common in the automotive industry and you just can’t accuse all blogs for the quality of the photos. Neither can you expect them to crop a photo just like a professional photographer. Furthermore, all sites posted the HD pictures once Chrysler decided to drop the ball.
Any website - be that a news outlet or a blog- jumps at such an opportunity in order to be able to convey the latest information to its readers. But in any case, we’re not the enemy of professional photographers and we’re pretty sure the online media wasn’t trying to sabotage Mr. Bland’s work.
Maybe Mr. Bland should’ve concentrated on finding out who was that “one selfish arrogant douchebag who got a hold of the digital files before the CEO was set to review the images”, rather than taking a shot at blogs and automotive websites that present his work to the public.
We don’t want to add any more fuel to this fire, but it seems that Mr. Bland has a good idea about who the culprit might be and maybe the fact that it could be a Chrysler exec is what caused him to lash out.
Granted, if someone inside Chrysler leaked the photos, there’s not much Mr. Bland can do, other than maybe re-evaluate his professional relationship with the automaker.
In any case, reporting the news shouldn’t be confused with wrongdoing.
By Csaba Daradics