Flashback reveals manipulated photos
A Flashback detective ”Stig-Britt” has now revealed how the photo of His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden was manipulated. The traditional Swedish news media hired three international experts on photo manipulations, including LGC Forensic, but none were able to reveal exactly how the photo manipulation was done, until now. We the Flashback detectives, with the member Stig-Britt in the lead, have managed to figure just how the manipulation was done. See the unveiling here.
An informal group of anonymous members belonging to the internet discussion site Flashback has been successful in uncovering extensive manipulation of photographs by the well-known, award-winning Swedish nature photographer Terje Hellesø.
Pictures of lynx, wolf, badger, and raccoon dog were copied by Terje Hellesø from internet sites and pasted into his own photographs of Swedish landscapes. The images were copied from several photo stocks* and photographers but the majority were collected from the stock photo site Superstock. Hellesö published many of the manipulated pictures on his blog and also in a photo book, in magazines and send them for publishing in several web sites.
The photographs were initially questioned by an employee of the Swedish Hunters’ Association, Gunnar Glöersen. These suspicions were based partly on the very large number of sightings of lynx reported by Hellesø.
At first Terje Hellesø denied that any manipulations had taken place, and it was not until the Flashback group presented incontrovertible evidence that he admitted the alterations.
The story has generated intense interest in Swedish media, and the number of pictures that have been shown to be manipulated is increasing daily. The small town of Söderhamn, one of several municipalities that purchased photographs from Hellesø, stated on September 16 that it will not be able to use any of the pictures that it paid 740 000 SEK for (approx. 81 000 EUR).
Hellesø was awarded the 2010 Nature Photographer of the Year prize by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The prize has been revoked due to the recent disclosures.
The prize also contained an exhibition at The Swedish Museum of Natural History in 2012, and Hellesö was going to show all ”his” photos of lynx there.
The organization PhotoNatura announced in a press release in the 23′th of september that they immediately will withdraw the photo book ”PhotoNatura#1″ because they ”strongly suspects” there are manipulated photos by Terje Hellesö in it.
The members of Flashback have revealed Terje Hellesøs possible violation of the copyright laws of five* international images stocks, one Swedish image stock and also a Swedish photographer and several more photographers from different parts of the world.
For the disclosure of the manipulated photos, the group of anonymous members of Flashback has received two journaism awards.
Missing Lynx: Award-winning wildlife photographer exposed as fraud – by a cat in winter fur in a ‘summer’ shot (Daily Mail, 2011-09-16)
Celebrated Wildlife Photographer Exposed as Fraud in Sweden (The Epoch Times, 2011-09-16)
*) Superstock.com, Shutterstock.com, Photographersdirect.com, Alamy.com, Ecoscene.com