I've just received my new e-passport, and nearly sent it back for being faulty.
I renewed it early because the photo in my old passport (taken and printed by myself) was very faded. The photo in my new one is worse, I can barely make it out.
When I saw the page opposite the identity details, I thought someone had left some wet printing across the page.
Honestly, it just looks a complete mess. However, a did a search on images, and apparently it's supposed to look like that. Who on earth designed it, and how much were they paid?
It seems that the microchip in the passport contains a "proper" photograph - but I'm still not convinced I'll get out of the country and into another one with it.