These are difficult and troubling times in travel photography. Covid-19 has seen many freelance photographer’s incomes drop to zero as the effects of lockdown begin to bite. One of the biggest issues in travel photography is stolen images. It’s a problem whose scale is virtually impossible to comprehend.
To highlight the depth of this problem I have started a video series looking at some of my images that have been extensively stolen. In the first of the series I look at this image, A Sense of Scale.
My Most Stolen Image.
This image went viral on 500px in 2013 and from there, the copyright theft became rampant. At first with wallpaper sites, then more widespread, to the point where a major 24 hour tv news company is using the shot illegally. Now a Google reverse image search show well in excess or 20 pages of results for this image alone. This makes it virtually impossible to stop infringement, a serious situation for a stock travel photographer. Check out just how and why this images was stolen in the following video.
These days I use a copyright enforcement agency to to track down and claim compensation on stolen images. Of the many, my preferred choice at the moment is Copytrack. I wrote a review of them over at Light Stalking.
If you have ever had an image stolen, let me know in the comments. Would love to hear your experiences. If you are looking for a reverse image search tutorial, I have done a brief tutorial here.