Is a recent Annie Leibovitz photograph shot for the 2009 Lavazza espresso calendar the worst photograph ever made?
This picture as a whole has absolutely zero connection to reality or honest depiction, but is unredeemed by any countervailing expressive or artistic purpose. And (and this puts it out in front of many other contenders) it was all done intentionally, front to back, top to bottom, money-no-object, by an army of the most talented professionals, from art director to stylists to make-up artists to baby-wranglers to lighting assistants to photographer to digital retoucher, all working assiduously in concert in pursuit of the utterly pointless.
It is a horrible photograph. Leibovitz’s recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth was also digitally stitched up…the Queen was photographed inside and later matched with a garden background. I’m not going to say that these aren’t photographs, but they aren’t the kind of photographs that I’m fond of.