Pet photographer finds himself in the dog house after passing off composites as original photos – DIYphotography

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Hacking Photography – one Picture at a time
September 23, 2021 by Leave a Comment


New Zealand pet photographer Ben Sheehan found himself in the dog eat dog world of Photo Stealers, a site dedicated to outing cheating and stealing photographers.
The award-winning photographer ended up on the front page of the Photo Stealers site when several photographers noticed an uncanny resemblance to many stock images in the backgrounds of his dog images. Compositing images together from various photos is a common and reasonable way to create original art, but usually, there is some unwritten understanding that the artist acknowledges the fact that they are composites and doesn’t usually try to pass them off as their own.

According to Photo Stealers that is exactly what Sheehan had been doing on his Facebook Page (since taken down) and Instagram account. In particular when anyone congratulated him on how he had taken the images or asked about their location.
Sheehan has also submitted composite images to photo contests. His finalist photo in the Dog Photography Awards (since revoked) was created with a Getty Images photo of a waterfall in New Zealand, as these screenshots by Photo Stealers shows:
Sheehan apologised to the photography world admitting to Petapixel that he had “learned a life lesson” by passing off composites as his own work. He did add, however, that the images were not actually stolen, he did in fact pay for and license all the images that he used.
The lesson here then appears to be one of transparency and honesty. Ben now says that he has received death threats from vigilante Photo Stealers followers that are trying to “ruin his life and business”. Composites are all fun and games until you try to pass them off as entirely your own original work, which makes everyone a bit barking mad. It’s stories like these that make me wonder if photography is going to the dogs 😉
Sorry I couldn’t resist!
[Via Petapixel]
Filed Under: news
Alex is a commercial photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She mostly shoots people and loves anything to do with the outdoors. You can see her work on her website and follow her Spanish landscape adventures on instagram.




















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John Aldred is based in Scotland and photographs people in the wild and animals in the studio. You can find out more about John on his website and follow his adventures on YouTube.
Dunja Djudjic is a writer and photographer from Novi Sad, Serbia. You can see her work on Flickr, Behance and her Facebook page.
Alex is a commercial photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She mostly shoots people and loves anything to do with the outdoors. You can see her work on her website and follow her Spanish landscape adventures on instagram.
Adam Frimer is a Guinness World Record holder, producer, and DoP based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Adam owns a production company that specializes in corporate marketing and brand strategy. His work has been commissioned by Adobe, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, Dell, AVS, Starbucks, Viber, and WeWork.
His videos have over a hundred million views, have been extensively published by news outlets, and has even received recognition from a few film festivals, such as International Ocean Festival
Creative photographer based in Scotland, Sigma UK Ambassador.
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