Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Exclusive 25% off Affinity Photo: Professional photo editing with no subscription!

Award-Winning Nature Photographer Admits To Faking Photos

Award-Winning Nature Photographer Admits To Faking Photos - There's a lot of annoyed people in Sweden after a well-know photographer admitted he faked a number of shots.

 Add Comment


Nature Photographer Of The Year
Photo by Terje Hellesö. From the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website.

An award-winning wildlife photographer has caused quite a lot of chatter over the last few days after admitting to faking quite a few of his wildlife photographs.

Terje Hellesö, who was named Nature Photographer Of The Year in Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2010's competition, finally admitted to doctoring photographs after a conservationist named Gunnar Gloerson looked at Helleso's work. According to the website The Local, Gloerson used his wildlife expertise to come to the conclusion that "Hellesö's alleged accomplishments were simply too good to be true." Reports suggest Hellesö used a number of stock images of animals and simply 'photoshopped' them into nature shots.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is deciding if Hellesö should be allowed to keep his title.
Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More


7 Sep 2011 9:44AM
photoshop for retouching agreed but for stock images.. thats just cheating!

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

thatmanbrian 6 342 3 Spain
7 Sep 2011 10:12AM
It's getting harder and harder to believe what we see! Mostly, it doesn't matter as I think it's the end result that matters - is it interesting, pleasing etc? But when the image purports to be a 'scientific' record then it is vital it is genuine. Photoshopping to improve composition, colour, exposure etc is expected, but cloning-in totally fake elements is pure deception.
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
7 Sep 2011 10:32AM
It's not even that good an image, I've seen a helluva lot better within the galleries on EPZ.....
adonoghue 14 519 England
7 Sep 2011 10:37AM
I would have thought there would be something in the small print about only allowing minor post production work - levels/curves/cleaning up etc. I agree with WillUK...to fully don the 'Photoshop hat' and faff around with stock images is cheating.
7 Sep 2011 10:47AM
Oh wow, and he had a reputation as an amazing photographer too.. I cant understand why someone who has the tools needs to cheat! disgusted Sad
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
7 Sep 2011 11:13AM
Another controversy relating to a Wildlife photographic competition ! !
gazza 13 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2011 4:14PM
SadWe did not have any of this with film as such.At least not on the scale that it is today, every book and magazine shop full of photoshop(no1) and other photo manipilation programs all will give you a well improved photograph as long as you take a descent photo in the first place.I'm sure we all agree on that, but why use it to the extent to gain position in a competions or standings as a Professional photographer for sale.If your good enough they will sell them selves.I am just a amateur who uses photoshop but never to gain to win a competion ,only to enhance one or two photo's a month by sharpening or sometimes clour correction.Thats it.
barryworth 9 12 England
7 Sep 2011 6:56PM
"We did not have any of this with film as such"

When I was an active club member in the 80's & 90's there was amember of my club who was responsible for national and international competitions.
He was a good photographer and I envied a lot of his photographs.
he even gained a distinction from the RPS.
It turned out that he copied a lot of work, mainly from international entries, and would reject the original and then use the copy to enter other competitions.
Of course he was eventually found out.
It gave me great pleasure to realise that, while my work did not reach the standard that he was passing off, it was all my own.
psiman 14 572 Wales
7 Sep 2011 8:28PM

Quote:Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is deciding if Hellesö should be allowed to keep his title
what the hell is there to decide, of course he can't keep it!
rajkn 8 16 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2011 8:47PM
Not surprised at all ..If its too good to be true then it is most likely a fake ..recently saw some prize winning photos for another contest and most of them looked too good to be true Smile
Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
8 Sep 2011 1:35PM
It's instances such as this that are damaging to digital photography. A lot of people when faced with a great photo are often suspicious of digital trickery where none exists, but these kind of incidents do nothing to relieve suspicion.
MrDennis 9 261 Wales
8 Sep 2011 2:16PM
When it comes to the crunch, those that are good photoshop manipulators (digitizers) will nearly always win. So there should be two comps, one for natural nature photography (as in FIAP & PSA rules) and one for digitizers. But there again, 99% still clone out the unwanted bits from their image anyway, even when the rules say not to.
NEWDIGIT 7 401 United Kingdom
9 Sep 2011 11:51AM
Just how many award wining photos are "straight out of the box" my guess is zero.
It looks as if this swedish chap took editing to the extreme and beyond, but just what where the rules of entry if any?
The amount of post processing going on has put me off entering any photos anywhere.
My local club has just had its annual awards for prints and slides.no I did not enter
The A3 print titled "Girl and deer in winterwonderland " which won the top award did indeed look stunning.
The trouble was the girl was my daughter who was with me at Bradgate park early one morning last JULY, during a club shoot.no sighting of deers
The entrant, openly boasted of using a local digital processing lab he simply tells them what he wants the finished picture to look like and then leaves them to get on with it.
A very heated debate broke out which ended up with twelve members including three from the committee and me resigning as we felt the club has become a "look what i can do with a processor" rather than a photographic club
jaktis 14 84 Sweden
9 Sep 2011 1:22PM
The problem was not with any competitions, it was when he started to upload pictures of Lynx around the region that he lived. As proof that the animal was common there, wich it not is at all
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
9 Sep 2011 2:34PM

Quote:Photographer Terje Hellesö, recipient of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's Nature Photographer of the Year award, has been reported to police after admitting that he manipulated a number of his pictures of predatory animals.

The Police??

Get a flippin life
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
9 Sep 2011 2:46PM
mattmatic 14 598
9 Sep 2011 3:15PM

Quote:These fakes are hilarious however

The goose-stepping horse is the best Grin

I notice that his official website has gone offline...

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.