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All posts for the month January, 2013

I tend to think I’m a social (sociable) guy. But I know I also love solitude. I love to go out by myself, to places where I know I’m alone, where no one can hear me, where I can hear no one.
When I was in the Rocky Mountains with my Buddy Wayne we had an absolute great time, spent together of course, mostly. But there was one moment when we were supposed to shoot the sunrise over Grand Lake, but replanned because there was too thick a fog. We went out on a hike instead and at some point I ventured one way and he the other. I veered off the path and walked about half a mile or so into the bushes, until just at the edge of the forest line.

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

See, not very good for sunrise, or what? :D

Got some surprising company in the end:

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

D800, ISO800, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor TC2 III

 

It was awesome. Yeah, it could’ve been a black bear, I realize. In which case it would’ve still been awesome, but things may not have ended in the same way as they did :D
It’s a completely different feeling than when you pull up behind the other 10 cars with people (and their pockets / cellphones with flash).

If you put it in the search box over on the upper right, you’ll find a number of posts on copyright infringement and stealing images on this blog.
The other day I did another quick search, and I ran into one of my images being all over the place.

Satellite dish on an overcast day

D200, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/9, Sigma 28-200mm

I checked with Google Chrome reverse image search, and it came up with about 10 pages of results with this image. A lot of corporate websites, but also a few royalty free stock sites. I went to check the stock sites and was stunned to find the image used in a medium large resolution uploaded and offered as royalty free by to different individuals. WTF???
A few of the websites were based in China. I contacted them, but -surprise, surprise- no sign of life. Those f***ing, annoying, thieving little bastards!!! (you’ll have to pardon my grossly and bluntly overgeneralization here, it’s the frustration talking).
The other one was bigstockphoto.com. Back in the day when I was still naive and thought I wanted to hook up with the microstock sites I actually considered uploading my stuff with them. I never actually ended up doing it, but I was familiar with them. So I log onto live chat, spoke with a very agreeable Liz, who directed me to send an email to support, so they had everything in official writing. I did that. Almost a week went by, and I didn’t even get a (automated) response.
I check back on the website and go through the portfolio of this person, “appropriately” named painkiller009. I do a reverse search on a good number of images in the portfolio, thinking that if he stole one image, he probably stole a good number more. And lo and behold: about 90% of the images that returned with concrete information had a different name with it. Or two. Or three.

It’s getting elaborate. There were a few images that I checked which had a different name on each website that they were posted on. Of course there is the possibility that someone’s using a different username on every single website, but from a marketing perspective that would be a terribly foolish thing to do when you want to market yourself as a photographer.

I have no idea how this person came into possession of my image in a larger resolution, because I always plaster my images with a big fat watermark dead center. I do remember having this image up on a microstock website (before I came to my senses and deleted my account there), but there was no sale or download recorded for this image. What I otherwise think is going on is that people download an image for a few credits and then upload it somewhere else under their own name and try to make some profit out of it.

With all the corporate websites I found this image of mine on I estimate I lost about 3.000-4.000€ worth of licenses. If I could nail the bastard who’s responsible for this, I maybe able to sue for say 10.000-12.000€. But will I ever see any of that money? Of course not. Unless of course someone can point me to a Chinese copyright lawyer who knows how to deal with these cases. I think I’d be willing to spend some money on this if I knew I’d come out good on the other side. But I guess this is another case of someone who gets away with theft…