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Famous Wildlife Photographer Busted For Using Stock Images 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-all-look-the-same dept.
Nobody knows better than Award-winning wildlife photographer Terje Helleso how hard it can be to get that perfect shot in an out-of-the-way location. That's why he used stock photos. The 47-year-old photographer passed off hundreds of stock photos as his own over the course of several years. From the article: "On Wednesday, a deeply regretful Helleso spoke to local radio. He gave economic problems as a reason, but mostly it was about his own unreasonably high demands on himself to be successful, he said. 'I was under pressure, mostly from myself, and I gave in to temptation. Looking back, I’m surprised that I got away with it for so long, and that I managed to keep up appearances to my wife and everyone else,' he said."
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Famous Wildlife Photographer Busted For Using Stock Images

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  • by hardtofindanick (1105361) on Friday September 16, 2011 @01:30AM (#37417392)

    On Wednesday, a deeply regretful Helleso spoke to local radio

    Regretful because he was caught. If he wasn't caught, probably he would have been quite happy.

    • by MacTO (1161105) on Friday September 16, 2011 @01:45AM (#37417432)

      I realise that it is trendy to be cynical of anyone who has gained any form of celebrity, but I think that it is also appropriate to remind people that the person behind the spotlight is as human as anyone else that you meet. Just like us, the make mistakes. Just like us, sometimes they are regretful because they were caught. And just like us, sometimes the regret that they express is sincere.

      I don't know this photographer, so I don't know how sincere that regret is. On the other hand, I'm not willing to let cynicism overwhelm me by simply assuming that he is insincere.

      • by circletimessquare (444983) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <erauqssemitelcric>> on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:03AM (#37417496) Homepage Journal

        yes, we're human: we get in car accidents, we trip and fall down the stairs, we say things we don't really mean

        but we don't betray our own principles over an extended period of time in a calculated conscious manner

        that's not being human, that's being a scumbag

        "I don't know this photographer, so I don't know how sincere that regret is."

        his regret is 100% sincere: he regrets being caught

        save your human empathy for people who deserve it. this guy doesn't deserve it

        • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:35AM (#37417614) Journal

          Everyone deserves empathy. That's how empathy works. If you're applying some formula to decide whether someone's worthy then you're not really demonstrating empathy at all.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Very eloquently put. I'm considering copying and using it as my own. But ehh......

          • by Kjella (173770) on Friday September 16, 2011 @03:24AM (#37417776) Homepage

            Empathy and sympathy does tend to get mixed up a bit. I can understand that it's embarrassing and humiliating to be exposed as a fraud, that is empathy. But I don't have any sympathy for him, because he dug that hole for himself. After all those lies he has very little credibility when he claims to regret it, that's not me starting out as a cynic but a direct result of his actions. Besides there's nothing inherent to empathy that means I should believe in the good of all people, only that I am able to put myself in their shoes. And putting myself in his shoes I see a self-serving prick who is now seeking sympathy from the gullible. Perhaps in time he will be able to prove that he truly wants to make amends, but it'll take more than getting caught with the hand in the cookie jar and saying "I'm sorry" to do it. At least with me.

          • by mangu (126918)

            There are many people who don't get empathy from me and this is one of them. How could he expect not to be caught? This is so stupid that I cannot imagine the mental process that led to it.

            Stock photos are available for everyone to see, the human eye is very efficient at recognizing patterns. Especially in the world of photographers, people who would admire him for getting awarded that prize would certainly have seen the stock images he used and these people were professionals who would examine his photos c

          • by DrXym (126579)
            Empathy is not the same as sympathy. I might understand that a man raped and strangled killed children because he was abused as a child. I might emphasize with him putting myself in his place and wonder what abuse might have done to me. It wouldn't mean I have the slightest bit of sympathy if he danced on the end of a rope for his crimes.
          • by hey! (33014) on Friday September 16, 2011 @05:44AM (#37418266) Homepage Journal

            Aside from any question of another human being *deserving* our empathy, our empathy doesn't perform any useful function for *us* unless we're willing to extend it to people who are unsympathetic. For example, consider the following part of the article summary:

            He gave economic problems as a reason, but mostly it was about his own unreasonably high demands on himself to be successful,

            The reason that this man is a fit object for *empathy* is that unreasonable demands on ourselves to be successful is something we all feel now and then. The reason he is not a fit object for *sympathy* is we don't necessarily do something foolish or unethical because of it. Unrestrained ambition for undeserved position is what did Macbeth in. Combine that with a little hubris and you have the most common formula for stupid, self-destructive behavior there is.

            Empathy guides are sympathy to those who deserve it, and enables us to learn from the examples of those who don't.

            • I parse out my empathy. It's mine to parse.

              While I can empathize with him feeling self-pressure, I have no idea or wish to understand why he stole the work of others and used it. *That's* the part I have no empathy for.

              I would empathize with a hiatus, with a great slowing down of production, with burn-out or with giving it all up and becoming a fry-cook. *Those* I can identify with, *those* I can imagine myself doing.

              Ripping someone else off to keep up appearances I cannot empathize with. I cann
            • by ktappe (747125)

              Aside from any question of another human being *deserving* our empathy, our empathy doesn't perform any useful function for *us* unless we're willing to extend it to people who are unsympathetic. For example, consider the following part of the article summary:

              He gave economic problems as a reason, but mostly it was about his own unreasonably high demands on himself to be successful,

              You are assuming his claim is factual. We not only do not have a way of proving he is telling the truth with this explanation, but it's by nature a self-serving statement.

          • by steelfood (895457)

            It's not so much deserves as gets empathy. One doesn't have much of a choice with empathy. You either can or can't be empathetic, and it depends on both the person and the situation to be empathetic about.

            Some people can be more empathetic in that they can better understand anothers' feelings over a wide range of situations, while others are less empathetic because they're only able to do so where they themselves have been in the same situation.

            And empathy has nothing to do with how one acts towards another

          • "Everyone deserves empathy."

            Why exactly?, Lack of descerning is not really part of empathy.

            "the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another."

            Why do you feel everyone deserves to have others identify with their feelings, thoughts or attitude?
          • by ktappe (747125)

            Everyone deserves empathy. That's how empathy works. If you're applying some formula to decide whether someone's worthy then you're not really demonstrating empathy at all.

            I would agree with you if empathy were an infinite resource. However, due to our human limitations, each of us is only able to empathize a finite amount. Thus it makes sense to empathize with those who have truly done nothing to deserve punishment they are receiving vs. those who knowingly and willfully put themselves in a place where punishment results. As for your "formula" claim, I propose that every single thing in the entire universe is formula-driven. Any claim empathy is somehow immune to that fact

        • >but we don't betray our own principles over an extended period of time in a calculated conscious manner[.] [T]hat's not being human, that's being a scumbag[.]

          It *is* human; you just need to expand your understanding of the breadth of humanity and the human condition a bit.

          Also, labels don't help you do that, in fact they do the opposite. You can't sum up any human being with a label and only increase your ignorance by taking that label to be true.

        • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:07AM (#37420544) Homepage

          He might regret getting caught, but like criminals, they often regret what they are doing. People sometimes get into something, and then feel trapped. Imagine a man overcome by desire who cheats on his wife. He royally screws up, but if he stops now, the other woman may tell on him. So, the affair lasts for years. And eventually, the woman does tell anyways.

          He's regretted that he'd be found out since day 1, not just after he was caught. We often assume regret begins after they are caught, but that fear is always present. It is the emotional cost for the unethical activity, and only a true psychopath could not feel it.

          Unless you are suggesting he's clinically psychopathic, then it was about being caught, but not brought about by being caught.

        • we don't betray our own principles over an extended period of time in a calculated conscious manner

          Say what? If that were even remotely what the world is like, all our problems would be solved.

      • by hihihihi (940800)

        i don not think it is cynicism in any way to consider him insincere, from TFA:
        "In late August, a local official for a hunter’s association accused Helleso of doctoring photos, after being tipped off by Internet users.
        a Swedish website and forum, started examining Helleso’s pictures and soon found even more. They have since dedicated an entire website to the photographer’s fakery.
        Helleso (...) denied everything initially.
        But as evidence mounted, including GIF animations showing exactly how

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday September 16, 2011 @04:45AM (#37418022) Journal

          So whose stock photos are they though?

          Why is this "idle" and not a 400Million (YourCurrencyHere) copyright case?

      • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Friday September 16, 2011 @04:28AM (#37417970)

        Cynicism is the word people who don't live in the real world misappropriate to describe people who do.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        There's making a mistake or making a bad decision.

        And there's doing something "over the course of several years".

        They are vastly different things.

        He consciously decided to do the same thing over and over again. If he was really regretful he would have stopped doing it long ago. If this was digging up a few photos from years ago and nothing since then then yes it might be something he could genuinly be regretful for - but it isn't.

        He's had time to stop doing it and either be better at taking photos, submit c

      • I don't know this photographer, so I don't know how sincere that regret is.

        You know he got caught and you know he didn't reimbursed those he defrauded, so you know for a fact that his claims of regret are mere attempts at lessening the severity of his punishment, and nothing more.

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        Yeah, but I don't go around telling people they shouldn't look at porn or drink or stuff. 'Cause that's all stuff that I do. Why would I tell someone to not do something that I do? Doesn't make sense.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Deliberate fraud is not a mistake.

      • by ktappe (747125)

        I realise that it is trendy to be cynical of anyone who has gained any form of celebrity, but I think that it is also appropriate to remind people that the person behind the spotlight is as human as anyone else that you meet. Just like us, they make mistakes.

        A mistake is transposing two letters in a word. A mistake is throwing a pitch a few inches too high and letting the batter hit a home run. In other words, a mistake is when you are trying to do the right thing but through a brain or muscle slip-up, you fail to achieve your goal.

        What this guy did was not a mistake. He willfully, knowingly, and with intent stole the work of others and lied about owning them. Please use the correct terminology and also acknowledge that there is a significant difference when

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      Rule One of Life -- Never Get Caught

      There is no appeal, no reprieve, no forgiveness, no redemption, and no hope. Once you are caught, you can never be uncaught.
      • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... minus physicist> on Friday September 16, 2011 @03:02AM (#37417698) Homepage Journal

        Rule One of Life -- Never Get Caught
        There is no appeal, no reprieve, no forgiveness, no redemption, and no hope. Once you are caught, you can never be uncaught.

        The problem here is the concept that anything is ethical and proper until you are caught. The real "truth" is that he shouldn't have been doing this in the first place, regardless of if he was caught or not.

        Yes, I know human nature is that you act impulsively and ignore ethics and principles. That is why we try to pound them into kids at an early age with the remote hope that eventually some of that is going to sink into their skulls that unethical and immoral behavior eventually leads to ruin and it is better for everybody including yourself if you don't even start down that path.

        Sadly, some adults either never learned those lessons or have deliberately chosen to ignore them.

        BTW, I do think you can have "forgiveness" after a fashion. Those who you've wronged can have restitution, you can admit what you did was wrong, and you can "do the time" if you have broken criminal law. Somebody who can fess up, admit they have done something wrong, try to make things right and not do it again is to me somebody much more worthy of my sympathy and mercy than somebody who acts like a jerk and pretends like it never happened in spite of being caught red handed. You might not be able to be "uncaught", but you can be forgiven for what is human weakness if you try to be better next time. That is for me what is hope that humanity can become better in the future, however you define "better".

        • by Dhalka226 (559740)

          unethical and immoral behavior eventually leads to ruin and it is better for everybody including yourself if you don't even start down that path.

          It's more complicated than that. You yourself, in an attempt to illustrate that things are unethical even if you aren't caught, brought the reasoning back to how bad it is if you get caught. Had he not been caught, there would have been no ruin.

          Now, I agree with you. What he did was wrong and he shouldn't have done it; that is according to my own particular se

          • by hey! (33014) on Friday September 16, 2011 @06:11AM (#37418394) Homepage Journal

            This guy would be an example of misplaced priorities, even if he didn't get caught. Why perpetuate this *particular* fraud? Surely as frauds go it's not the most financially rewarding.

            I think it's because once he got started in the field and got a little taste of respect from other people, he got hooked. Everybody likes getting external validation, but he set the respect of others over his own respect for himself. This man's offense combines hubris (that he wouldn't get caught at such an obvious fraud) and insecurity in a manner that's worth thinking about.

            Ironically this man wasn't egotistical enough; at least not in the right way. He didn't value his own artistic integrity over the approval of others. That's an artistic virtue that isn't always attractive or likeable (Picasso springs to mind), but it is an honest attitude that sustains an artist in hard times and doubles the rewards in good times. There's even a kind of pig-headed magnificence to it.

            “When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

            -- Picasso

            Yeah, that Picasso was an egomaniac who thought he was a creative genius, but he was right, and he could back it up any time he cared to. If anyone claimed he painted the way he did because he didn't have the technical ability of his nineteenth century predecessors he could prove them wrong if he felt like it, which he seldom did because he was secure in his ego. Picasso knew he deserved his success in the way few of us ever do.

            When you read a novel with a character who is successful because of plagiarism and gets away with it, that character is always pathetic. In movies or stories with a sympathetic con-man protagonist (e.g. Terry Pratchett's *Going Postal*), they guy is sympathetic because the art of the con is more important than the financial payoff. Plus, he's usually shown plundering rich, undeserving people.

            • by lee1 (219161)
              Just when Slashdot seems to be devolving into a stagnant pool of mediocrity, along comes an eloquent comment like this. That's a wonderful quote; it reminds me of an interview with Nabokov, where he was asked for his assessment of his position in the world of letters. He replied that the "view is pretty good from up here." Like Picasso, whom I think he admired, he was fully aware of the timeless value of his own work.
              • by retchdog (1319261)

                you got the quote right, but even better: they weren't asking about his position; they were asking about the literary world in general.

            • by tragedy (27079)

              Regarding _Going Postal_, I would have to argue that the protagonist isn't shown plundering rich, undeserving people. He had thought of himself that way, but he was rather starkly confronted with the fact that his cons hurt plenty of others. For example, Mr. Pump calculates for him that he's effectively killed 2.338 people based on all the direct and indirect suffering he's caused. Not to mention discovering that his love interest used to work as a bank teller and that he'd passed off counterfeit bonds to h

          • by Teancum (67324)

            I'll admit there isn't an absolute here, but I should note that harm is still happening in spite of the claim this was a "victimless crime". At the very least, this particular individual (the wildlife photographer in this case) was perpetrating a fraud that he was creating these photographs as something original when in fact he was merely mining photographic databases and taking credit of that work for himself.

            As the son of a professional photographer (I'll admit I'm not one myself), I can tell you some of

        • OMG, this is one cynical crowd, and self-righteous, too. The best way to never get caught is to never do anything that you would not want to be caught doing. If that moral lesson isn't obvious, then I think I caught you. The lesson still holds. Even if you are forgiven and acquitted and saved and redeemed, you still were caught. That indelible mark is a great reason to confess once you have made the mistake of doing something that you regret. If you are caught instead of revealing yourself, you always
    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:03AM (#37417494) Homepage

      Indeed. "Regretful" is when you confess BEFORE anybody finds out the truth.

    • On Wednesday, a deeply regretful Helleso spoke to local radio

      Regretful because he was caught. If he wasn't caught, probably he would have been quite happy.

      Exactly. It should have said: "On Wednesday, Helleso guiltily spoke to local radio". The guilty regret being caught. He had been sliding down that slippery slope for a rather long time, and had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing before finally being cornered.

  • by walkerp1 (523460)
    Deep down where there should be outrage, there's just nothing.
  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Friday September 16, 2011 @01:52AM (#37417452) Homepage
    It's not like this type of fraud hasn't happened before. Does anybody else remember Milli Vanilli? [wikipedia.org] No? Good! In ten years, probably less, Terje Hellesco will be just as forgotten, for the same reasons.
    • Does anybody else remember Milli Vanilli?

      The thing I remember most was the burning of their recordings. Did the music somehow sound different now because it was two fat guys singing? To me it was more of a display of the shallowness of the people who bought the music more than an exposure of of the front men.

      • That was pretty much my thought on that situation... And, that the actual singers should have had any appropriate awards turned over to them. Then it happened a few years later with Ashlee Simpson.
      • I wonder if - 20 years of technology later - we had found out that they couldn't sing well, but were using digital pitch and tone correction (autotune/melodyne style) to make them sound awesome there would be any fallout at all. It's basically what every cute boy/girl pop star is doing, to varying degrees, but now it's mainstream so it must be okay.

    • by Pesticidal (1148911) on Friday September 16, 2011 @03:21AM (#37417764)
      A better analog is the indie PC game Limbo of the Lost [wikia.com] that stole all its backgrounds from numerous other commercial games. And the developers would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids...
    • by geekmux (1040042)

      It's not like this type of fraud hasn't happened before. Does anybody else remember Milli Vanilli? [wikipedia.org] No? Good! In ten years, probably less, Terje Hellesco will be just as forgotten, for the same reasons.

      Yeah, now let me show you the clear difference between being caught red-handed, and the slow deliberate creep of audio manipulation that can tarnish an industry using the weapon of time, with one simple word.

      Autotune

      Tell me how in the hell this legal(and now practically encouraged) vocal butchering is really all that different than the crimes of yesterday. In either case, it sure as hell doesn't sound like what's coming out of the source. Worse yet, now it doesn't even sound natural.

      • by iknowcss (937215)
        Yeah! Those damn kids and their rock and roll! Who do they think they are calling that garbage music! It doesn't take any talent or thought, it's just noise!
  • by bky1701 (979071)

    Norwegian-born Helleso, who is famous not only for his art, but also for being a strong advocate of keeping digital photography real and speaking out against manipulation or theft of material, denied everything initially.

    Seems to be a pattern of those who most want to control information actually being the ones to plagiarize it from others, all while lying about it. Somehow, this isn't really shocking, though.

  • So he was "under pressure from himself" to become rich and famous, but not to be honest or even a decent human being. I hope, he will die in a fire. Or move to US.

    • I hope, he will die in a fire.

      Indeed, he deserves no better!

      Or move to US.

      No, that would be cruel! Faking doesn't deserve that harsh of a punishment!

  • by klui (457783) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:01AM (#37417492)

    It redirects to https so Google translate won't work.

    http://www.flashback.org/t1641161 [flashback.org]

    • by HopefulIntern (1759406) on Friday September 16, 2011 @05:34AM (#37418220)

      Är aktiv jägare och läste på jägareförbundets blogg om naturfotografen Terje Hellesøs bilder och huruvida dom var äkta eller inte. Själv blev jag mycket skeptisk när jag kollade in hans sida, men jag är helt okunnig vad gäller fotografering så jag frågar expertisen här vad ni anser. Jag är inte okunnig vad gäller djur och natur och Terjes berättelser om hur han "blir vän" med lodjur etc. låter väldigt tvivelaktiga. Terjes sida där han även försvarar sina bilder:

      "Am active hunter, and read on the Hunter's [organisation] blog about the nature photographer Terje Helleso's pictures and whether they are real or not. Personally I got very sceptical when I looked at his page, but I am completely ignorant with regard to photography so I am asking the experts here what you reckon. I am not ignorant with regards to animals and nature, and Terje's explanations of how he "makes friends" with deer etc. sounds very suspicious. Terje's page where he even defends his pictures:"

  • Won't anybody think of the poor photo models who got cheated out of any money due to this guy's copyright violations?

  • In my opinion a good Photoshopped picture that looks awesome is worth just as much as a good snapshot someone took. A friend of mine is a Photographer and a fairly decent semi-professional PS guy too, and his Photoshops are at least as neat as his originals. They sometimes take days of hard work to composite. Photoshopping is a skill at least as high up as photographing, and if the guy managed to make some neat wildlife composites - stock material or not - I couldn't care less. I might even hang one up on m

    • Yepp. Those sure are some bad composites [designtaxi.com]. Apparently a few professionals actually did notice and rose the stink. His reward is up for review, his site is offline [helleso.com] and he's probably out hiding somewhere. This guy is toast.

    • by Kalewa (561267)
      I agree with you on pretty much every point.

      Good Photoshopping is worth at least as much as good photography. Look at any high quality professional photography these days, and a large portion of the quality and look comes from post-processing. The only people who would disagree with that are either delusional about the current state of photography, or desperately clinging to the last vestiges of the analog age. Obviously journalistic photos aren't edited to the degree in the article, but most things no

  • by bergelin (1320345) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:44AM (#37417644)

    This is pretty old news here in Sweden by now. He won the prize of wildlife photographer of the year and has held several courses, so I'm pretty sure he cashed in on this.

    When the accusations started, he said that he was completely innocent and a lot of people believed him thanks to his reputation (one of the most - if not the most famous - wildlife photographers in Sweden.) However, he wouldn't show the raw pictures which added on to the suspicions.
    A large "investigation" started on internet forums and eventually people found the original pictures of animals that he had pasted onto his pictures. Like http://a.yey.nu/QHL7RE.jpg [a.yey.nu]for example (mirror reversed). This forced him to admit of course.

    The funny thing is that he has been outspoken against editing of photos and said never to use Photoshop on his images: "I'm a photographer, not a pixel artist".

    • by Piata (927858)

      "I'm a photographer, not a pixel artist"

      That much is true. I spend a lot of time in Photoshop and most of his "edits" involve cutting out an animal from stock photography, putting it in another image, flipping it and reducing the opacity by 50%. How people didn't notice this sooner is kind of baffling. It takes maybe 10 minutes at most and the results are painfully obvious. I don't think he even knew how to colour match (or even colour adjust) his photos.

  • Especially because I, just like Hellesö, is a Norwegian photographer living in this part of Sweden (northern Småland). When I saw his book Året (http://www.fotosidan.se/shop/viewproduct.htm?ID=17869) where he took one great shot every day of a full year I was flabbergasted and couldn't believe it was possible. Obviously it wasn't. Everybody manipulates photos, just by adjusting the ISO you're manipulating, but he stole stock photos, passing them off as his own. And yet, I accept his apology a

    • by Legion303 (97901)

      "If you're interested in nature photography, do check out his portfolio still."

      But how will I differentiate his real work from the stock photos he claimed were his?

  • by bugnuts (94678) on Friday September 16, 2011 @02:56AM (#37417678) Journal

    Plagiarism is everywhere, and only gets worse as people are better connected.

    Information wants to be free, and people want free information... especially to call their own to make money or higher grades or other personal gain.

  • The whole issue was raised when a state wildlife inspector got puzzled when Terje had seen so many lynxes (sp?) in such short time when the inspector, (for 30+ years or so) only had seen a couple.

    On a personal note, as a Swedish avid amateur photographer I've personally been a part of the discussions on the Swedish phtography forums where Terje has been posting and he has always sounded snotty and acting like a jerk. So this suits him right. His wife who is a photographer too also has doctored photos of lyn

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @04:50AM (#37418046)

    That he used stock images is just one small aspect of the story, the whole story is so much larger than that.

    It should be mentioned that he preached never to retouch or edit the pictures you take. He claimed himself to pre-visualize the whole image, only to create the image in the camera and carefully take that one shot (in contrast to what many other wildlife photographers say, that they take series of pictures of animals in the wild in hope that one of them will be the one that catches your eye). One of the more outrageous claims was how he framed the composition of two flying dragonflies over a pond. In the description of the image he told us of all the choices he made before pressing the shutter. Today these claims seem more like boasting about his own ability. Not all his images are fake and he is a good photographer, just not as good as he claims and he puts it on a bit thick when talking about his own skills. In his own blog he even critizised Steve Bloom for manipulating images.

    Also, he was a fervent advocate of hunting down people using other photographers pictures without permission. In his blog he lashed out at a photo site when they used one of his pictures to illustrate a article about him. The editor apologized for the mistake and offered to pay for the used images. Another time he came down really hard on one of his fans, having used one of his photographs as inspiration for a painting she did. He himself pointed out the differences and how that painting would be impossible as a photo. Then he uses stock photo images in manipulations and claims that they are his own (unedited) works.

    Unfortunately he has a big following of fans that still defend him. He has groomed, through various photography forums and his own blog, an almost sect-like cult around him. Any mediocre images he posted was raised to the skies and any critizism was hammered on by the fans with comments like "you don't know how to appreciate his greatness", "he has progressed so much further in the field of photography than you, how dare you criticize him", etc.

    At Fotosidan.se (a Swedish photography forum where he was very active for a few years) one member claim that he noticed that several of Hellesøs images got top votes, earning them spotlight positions on the website. Several voters had very typical undistinctive names (the swedish equivalents of "John Smith"), never posted any work themselves, only rated Hellesøs images and only gave top scores. The member brought this to the administrators attention but the practice continued. When Fotosidan started logging the IP-addresses these accounts were deleted according to that member.

    Hellesø claims to have asked for forgiveness, but in fact, all he has done is taken down his blog (with the evidence, luckily Google caches it still) and the regret he wants us to think he shows is overshadowed by him victimizing himself. He even went so far as to compare the search for truth about his alleged original work as a witch hunt like he was Khadaffi or Breivik (the norwegian bomber and mass-murderer). So far he has done very little to deserve any forgiveness. He has lied from day one until he was revealed big time. Until the first hard proof came he claimed in radio interviews to be subjected to a plot, even when wildlife experts questioned why pictures of a lynx taken in the summer still had the winter fur, and that he never had seen any traces of the lynx prey, despite him claiming to see 150 lynx sightings in 19 months (much more than skilled wildlife experts and hunters have on record). Also he claimed to have found the racoon dog in a place of Sweden where it should not have be, and the hunt started to find it since it might be a carrier of rabies. He has used his pictures and "expertise" as proof in political debates.

    The man is a liar and a hypocrite and should really be treated as one, but I couldn't care less about him and his, IMHO, uninteresting and uninspiring work. But this affair has so many layers to it, ethics, legal, political, et

  • People got suspicious he was using stock photographs when they saw his image of a female lynx sitting in front of a computer with two male lynxes behind her, one of them pointing at the screen. One of the lynxes was looking thoughtful while the other two were smiling.

    (Er, seriously, apparently one of the giveaways was the fact that the Lynx in the photo supposedly taken in summar had "winter fur". So it wasn't crappy photoshopping or obvious ripping off that initially tipped people off- if he hadn't made
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Friday September 16, 2011 @06:34AM (#37418506) Homepage

    iStockphoto is the web's original source for user-generated, royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, video, audio and Flash. Whether you're a designer, advertiser, entrepreneur, professional photographer or blogger, we have millions of affordable images, vectors and clips to help you tell your story.

  • If you Photoshop, you're not a photographer but a phony.

    Yes Photoshop has it's uses,I use it to do airbrushing or any fancy effects. I then present it as a Photoshopped image and not, "my photograph". But the number of "pro photographers" that cant compose a shot right and have to fix things like color or white balance or composition in PS is appalling.

    If you cant take the photo with the camera and print it direct from camera, then you suck. Go learn photography and how to use your camera you hacks.

    • This might sound a bit rude, but put your words where you mouth is: lets see your portfolio and see what your work looks like. Even better, lets see the original negatives (You are shooting film, right? Digital cameras do some post-processing in the camera itself depending on the model and usually require minor correction on the computer just to compensate for how warm the sensor was when the photograph was taken.) and I want to see one perfect shot for each frame on the film.

      Pretty much every professiona
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Does the same apply to colour-correction at (e.g.) the printing stage using traditional chemical-based photographic processes?

      Is there any inherent difference in altering the white balance on the LED before the photo is taken or altering it via Photoshop afterwards? And are you sure that those photographers aren't just doing it in Photoshop because it's *easiest* that way rather than because they *can't* do it any other way?

      Is it cheating to add colour-correction filters to the front of your lens?

      And was An

    • by durdur (252098)

      Digital photography differs from film photography and one of the differences is that some adjustments that you used to do in the camera are now commonly done in the computer. White balance is one, so to some extent is exposure. Large sensors can also give you the ability to crop the image if that's desirable. I don't regard this as manipulation of the image in a bad sense of the term. Not that you can't spend the time to do it all in the camera at the moment, but why do you think everyone should do this, al

    • by Geeky (90998)

      Lots of other people are mentioning Ansel Adams, but one of his famous quotes is to the effect that the negative is the score, the print is the performance. One of the fascinating things in the "Ansel Adams at 100" exhibition a few years ago was seeing how he changed his interpretation of the negatives over the years - generally making them more dramatic as he got older.

      Cameras are limited, most post processing is an attempt to overcome the technical limitations and to choose which tones captured by the cam

    • by ScentCone (795499)

      If you cant take the photo with the camera and print it direct from camera, then you suck

      So ... other people that suck would be Avedon, Adams, Leibovitz, and all of the others that used substantial darkroom work (and later, digital post work) to finish up their work? Yeah, those people suck.

      You're an idiot.

  • Hmmmm... So where was he really all that time he was supposed to be shooting?
  • If you publish stock photos as your own, you of course get caught sooner or later.
    But what if you have them printed and just paste them in your family's photo album? This idea could save me thousands of dollars on my next exotic vacation.

  • .. that jackalope looked familiar.

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