As anyone who’s tried to take a group photo where everyone looks nice can attest, photography is an art. You need the right camera, the right training, the right subject (and all at the right time) to make digital magic happen.
But sometimes, you arrive at good photography from the other end; i.e. photos that are so bad they’re amazing. Whether it’s the picture of you scowling on Santa’s lap when you were five or the snapshot of a poorly-thought-through sign, photography is an art form that’s just as beautiful when it’s poorly done.
These photos are a testament to bad timing, bad decisions, bad ideas and just plain bad luck. They’re a celebration of “bad,” in all of its glory.
1. Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should: Some images tell a story all on their own. This one looks like it’s going to be a cautionary tale.2. Cats with Thumbs: This cat with polydactyly (where an animal has more digits than is typical) is very cute. But I’m pretty sure that if all cats developed opposable thumbs and could open the tuna cans on their own, they would take over our place at the top of the food chain.3. Why: Some signs make you wonder, not because you have any reason to question them, but because you can’t possibly fathom why they could have been necessary4. This Interesting Truck: I guess if the business exists, then there must be a market for it. But why? (In case it’s too blurry for you to read, the quote underneath is “we put the magic back in your game”)5. Cactus Guy: There’s something almost Shakespearian about Cactus Guy, a classic story of a man overcome by hubris and ultimately defeated by his own quest for glory.6. Happy Birthday?: Most friends are content to humiliate you by singing “Happy Birthday” loudly and off-key at the restaurant. Not Ann’s friends, though. They went the extra mile.7. Man Photographing Bikers: There’s dedication to your art form, and then there’s “lying down underneath cyclists to snap the perfect picture.” Only one of them is advisable.8. A Stroller Full of Cats: The specific thing that’s wrong with the world is that this man has eight cats and I still have none. Share the wealth, dude!9. The Barbie Dream Hearse: I actually like this. Look, just because something is a horrible concept and should never have existed, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful in its own (awful) way.10. Sign Safety: The best part about this image is that it was taken in a school. So, if any students forgot to prepare for their English exams, this gentleman was kindly providing them with the definition of “irony.”11. Pulling a Tiger’s Tail: Before you do this, I ‘mustache’ you a question: why are you pulling the tail of the world’s most dangerous big cat?12. Car Repairs: Is this a beautiful symphony to the inventive genius of humankind, or the world’s largest and worst box trap? You decide!13. Vodka-Redbull Cocktails: You know how I said, a page ago, that it’s astounding how inventive and creative human beings are? I would like to take that back and say that human ingenuity is bad. Case in point: this.14. This, um, dinosaur: I’d personally like to thank whoever created this. My nightmares were looking a little flat and stale recently, and this brought all of them back in full force!15. Extreme Driving: You know what, this is actually a pretty good idea. When the nuclear apocalypse descends on us and we have to fight for water to survive, Mad-Max-style, then this guy is going to be ahead of the curve!16. Supernatural: I would like to say, from the bottom of my heart, no thank you.