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Rolf Hicker
Works at Rolf Hicker Photography
Lives in Hyde Creek, British Columbia, Canada
31,305 followers|671,342 views


Rolf Hicker

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Dear +Vic Gundotra,

Google+ is positioning itself firmly as the social network of choice for creators. Google Photos makes it not just easy, it makes it fun to share my work. Your last Google+ presentation was all about photography.

But there’s something else happening. More and more users on this network are nothing but resharers of copyrighted content. Not that this doesn’t happen on Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, or anywhere else, but Google+ is somewhat unique in a few ways.

Not the least of which is your reaction to and (dare I say it) tacit support of content theft.

Stolen images can only be reported as stolen by the person who took the original image. Somewhere deep inside me a snarky curmudgeon wonders if that’s a ploy to get more people to sign up for Google Plus. But this community, as you well know being the network for creators, relies on friendly mutual policing. I have been supported by other photographers and writers who got thieves that stole my content suspended from Tumblr and Facebook. I have in the past done the same for friends and colleagues. I can not do this on Google Plus.

Worse, there seems to be little to no reaction to theft. Some extremely highly followed users (~100,000 and more followers) routinely steal from photographers on the site and, despite being reported as routinely, still do so. The snarky curmudgeon wonders if you simply care more for huge-follower accounts than the low-follower creators whose content is being stolen.

Communities that just exist to share images that are “guaranteed to raise your following” run rampant. If there are no consequences for accounts who steal, no consequences for communities who encourage it, and huge advantages to be a highly plussed account on Google+, people will keep doing it.

Simple, small, changes could turn Google+ into a fostering and amazing environment for creators. It takes much less time than making a snowfall Auto Awesome. And it would encourage even more use.

On the photo upload modal make it extremely clear that only content owned or with the explicit consent of the creator can be uploaded. Not somewhere in the TOS on page six. Simple language, right there.
Close down violators.
Make it easier for creators to help police each others’ content. Respond harshly to abuse of this feature but react appropriately and swiftly to violations.
When the thieves lose their platform, the creators win it. When a photographer of amazing things can make it close or even with those thieves in attention because they no longer have to compete with thieves who invest little time, they’ll focus theirs onto the network.

Dear Community Owners and Members,

Communities are an amazing part of G+. Sadly some of the photography communities are soiled by becoming hosts to more stolen images than originals. As owners please join us, the creators, in pledging never, ever, to allow non-original images or images to which the sharer has an explicit permission, on your community. State this clearly. Be receptive to communication that indicates otherwise. Ban members who violate those terms.

As a member don’t join communities that do not enforce those rules. Do not share to them. Do not follow people who share stolen content or Plus it. Confront the sharers and encourage your communities to do the same.

What are the likely consequences if this doesn’t happen?

Sharing of images will go back to the bad old days where Flash players are used. As creators find less acknowledgement and support of their work than the thieves, they will create less freely and less often, which leads to less amazing content. 

Google+ will lose creators who move to networks that actively enforce (both communally and administratively) the rights of makers. At the end you’ll have communities full of the same reshared images, nothing new, nothing original, and lose the value that G+ has, namely access to great makers and thinkers.

But all things considered, the ball is in Google’s court. A few small changes to the way Google allows image uploads, a few changes to the way they allow reports and react to them, and the network’s potential will skyrocket.

This morning I paid Google $180 for a copy for Nik Software. I am doing this because it is the right thing to do, rewarding creators, instead of stealing the code from a torrent. I would hope that Google shows the same courtesy towards my creations.
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Rolf Hicker

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I finally had time to get one more photo ready for you.
It is the always fascinating silhouette of Monument Valley during sunrise.

I was looking for something different of Monument Valley. Most of the time photos featuring single buttes or looking down into the valley but hardly ever someone gets the "feeling" how the landscape looks in total.

So I decided to get further away to photograph the silhouette at sunrise. I'm always most fascinated by view when getting closer to the Valley, if you had a chance to visit Monument Valley you will know what I mean.

Anyway, I photographed this panorama with my Fuji 617 on Fuji Velvia film and now scanned it with the Hasselblad X5 (Imacon) scanner.

This image looks amazing as a large print, it always sucks me right in when I look at it. Hope you like it!

I forgot to put the link to my panorama pictures in this post - here it is:

I want to contribute it today to:
#TravelPanoWednesday curated by myself when we are not sick (which is about 10 weeks back from now)
#WhateverWednesday by +Cicely Robin Laing
#WowWednesday by +Jan Paul Anthony Zabala
#WideWednesdayPanorama by +Lucille Galleli , +Ken McMahon , +Andrew Marston
#VibrantWednesday by +Ajay Hatti
#SilhouettesOnThursday by +Siddharth Pandit
#TravelThursday by +Laura Mitchum
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
Davor Maksimović's profile photoramesh shahane's profile photoHugo M's profile photoJan Paul Anthony Zabala's profile photo
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Northern lights dancing above mountains in the Brooks Range, Alaska.

This is another medium format scan, original format 4.5x6cm, Fuji Provia, Hasselblad X5.
I won't be very active again this week as it looks like right now - we spend Sunday in hospital and our son got another virus, a nasty one. We still hope he gets right fast but our hope is fading after being sick almost all the time for over 8 weeks - very frustrating but I guess nothing really we can change right now.

If you interested in more of my northern light pictures please have a look at my website:

Anyway, I want to contribute this image to several photo themes again:
#NatureMonday by +Rolf Hicker
#MountainMonday by +Michael Russell
#MinistractMonday by +Tom McLaughlan
#MoodyMonday by +Philip Daly
#MysteryMonday by +Jenna Lynn Monroe
#MediumFormatMonday by +Antoine Bonfort
#MinimalMonday by +Olivier Du Tré
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
jorge henrique de oliveira's profile photoℊℯℎℯℊℯ •'s profile photoVeniamin Kremer's profile photoСаша Савонькин's profile photo
The most beutiful pic ever..thumbs up.
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Rolf Hicker

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A picture with many elements - fitting to some different photo themes today.

Sunset behind the silhouette of Destruction Island Lighthouse with heavy wave action in the foreground and a huge sun fireball in the background.

I photographed this on a trip down the West Coast and started here on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. I may said it a few times already but the Olympic Peninsula and the National Park is one of my favorite travel locations in the Pacific Northwest.

I was working a bit on my new free wallpapers and computer backgrounds in the last few days and "stumbled" over this image which I overlooked for some time.

If you using wallpapers on your computer please have a look at my collection I just put together for the topic "sunset backgrounds". All my high resolution computer backgrounds are available for free up to 1440px:

And here my list of photo themes I want to contribute the image to:
#ThirstyThursdayPics by +Giuseppe Basile
#SilhouettesOnThursday by +Siddharth Pandit
#LongExposureThursday by +Le Quoc and +Francesco Gola
#TravelThursday by +Laura Mitchum
#LighthouseThursday by +Heiko Köster
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
Shamir Majgaonkar's profile photojorge henrique de oliveira's profile photoImran Khan's profile photoJacqueline Silver's profile photo
Just excellent
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Rolf Hicker

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Sometimes I feel a little bit home sick for the city of Freising which I was born and raised. Freising is a little city with about 48000 people, located 35Km north of Munich. it is a beautiful city and got a lot of attention through a visit from Pope Benedict XVI a few years back.

The Pope was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977.

Freising is not far away from the Munich Airport, in fact the airport is much closer to Freising then it is to Munich. if you make it to there make sure you have at least one day to check out Freising, there is lots to see. No wonder, the history goes back to 996 when Freising was given the right to be a city.

I want to contribute this photo today to #MyTownTuesday by +Melanie Kintz and +Eric Leslie.

Людмила Соколова's profile photoMaria de Lourdes's profile photoChristian Niedermeier's profile photoLinda Dee's profile photo
I Love Friesing!  It is one of my favorite cities in Germany.  I usually plan my flights for a day of Friesing before my Munich flight to my next destination.  If you are in that area you should become acquainted with this picturesque charming ancient city.  Darling shops, Pubs, cafes and the best pastries in Germany.  beautiful!  Rolf, is this your town?
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Rolf Hicker

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photo of vertical flowing water lit up by a sun rays in Parque Nacional De Ordesa Y Monte Perdido, Aragon, Spain.

I thought this would be a nice contribution today for #FlowingWaterFriday which is curated by myself and +Kate Church (when we both half way fit), I also think it fits well to #FourSeasonsFriday by +Karin Nelson and +Stephonie Ogden.

I'm still very busy catching up after being sick for weeks, it is quite scary to see how far one gets behind if he can only work 50% of normal, it takes weeks to catch up.

I wish you all a great weekend and hope everybody is well. We are still waiting for spring here and for the rain to stop, hopefully this will happen soon, it has been a long and very wet winter here.

If you interested in more of my water pictures, please have a look at my website:

Linda Dee's profile photoАндрей Берн's profile photojorge henrique de oliveira's profile photoDakini Dream's profile photo
Nice water fall
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Rolf Hicker

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
to all our friends and followers.

I hope to be able to give an update soon why I have not been active here for some time. Unfortunately there are several issues in our way right now.

We are still doing major upgrades to our website - please come and visit once a while, even when I'm not active here right now.

Thank you for all your support in 2012.
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Rolf Hicker

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Happy Easter to everybody.
As you can see, I'm still not able to post much at this stage. Maybe I'm able to post a new picture tomorrow for #NatureMonday .

I want to introduce you to +Jen Baptist, Jen will help me curating #NatureMonday in the future. I'm very happy to have her onboard, especially right now when I can't be as involved as I would like to be. Jen will also do the G-Page.

Please submit your best Nature photos to #NatureMonday , what we would like to see are beautiful, relaxing quality nature images to give people on G+ a good relaxing start for the new week.

I hope you all enjoying great holidays. I hope I will be back soon.
Barry Wilkinson's profile photoRalf Facktor's profile photoSarah Taylor's profile photoRolf Hicker's profile photo
Thank you very much for all your easter wishes - I hope you had a great one too.
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Rolf Hicker

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Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite photos of Mount McKinley with alpenglow. It is a 6x12 panorama photo originally captures with a large format 5x7 Sinar camera with a pano film holder, Fuji Velvia 220 and now scanned with the high res Hasselblad (Imacon) X5 scanner.

I photographed in fall on a warm'ish morning above Wonder Lake. It was magically being here all by myself sharing the wilderness with moose, caribou, bears and wolves - it was simply amazing.

As always, please find a larger version as well as my blog write up about this image on my website, and more panorama photos here:

Sorry for not being active on G+ right now - our house is sick now for over 8 weeks, the latest extension to our "sick list" was the strep throat virus. I guess we had more antibiotics here in the house in the past weeks then red wine - and that is a scary thought! I really hope that we get the last bugs now out of the house so we can have a somewhat normal live...and I'm hopefully able to do some more work again and share with you again too.

I want to contribute this image today to the following themes:
#NatureMonday curated by myself (when not sick)
#MountainMonday by +Michael Russell
#MoodyMonday by +Philip Daly
#MediumFormatMonday by +Antoine Bonfort
#TravelPanoWednesday by myself (when not sick)
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
INGA BABAYANS's profile photoAbdollah Ruoas's profile photojorge henrique de oliveira's profile photoVeniamin Kremer's profile photo
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Rolf Hicker

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I want to wish you all a great weekend - Thanks for checking out my photos!!

Had time to do another scan. This photo is originally photographed in the format 6x7cm with a Mamiya RZ67 (Fuji Provia, Hasselblad X5 scanner). It was featured on one of my high quality poster series back in Europe. it is up to date one of my favorite bear photograph - simply because the quality and details is unbelievable.

Right now it seems like being one of those times when I have to work 4x as much as normal to get 1/4 of income of normal - I really don't like those times, especially not when the kids getting teeth at the same time.

Because I'm not sure how much I will be able to show you next week I want to contribute this photo to more photo themes, even the ones which are coming up next week.

#FlowingWaterFriday by +Kate Church and myself
#FilmFriday by +Richard Call
#FrighteningFriday by +Alexis Coram (being very close to the bears)
#FurryFriday by unknown
#NatureMonday by myself
#MediumFormatMonday by +Antoine Bonfort
#WaterfallWednesday by +Eric Leslie
#WildlifeWednesday by +Mike Spinak
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
Imran Khan's profile photoZelia maria correia gomes's profile photoVeniamin Kremer's profile photokaya halil's profile photo
catch it
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I got no idea how I ever catch up with work, it is getting more and more to deal with. Sorry for not being able to be more active right now here on G+.

I at least want to contribute to my own theme today: #TravelPanoWednesday

It is a panorama photo of the Quirpon Island Lighthouse. I would guess that most of you never heard about it. It is located on the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland, overlooking the Strait of Belle Isle and the Labrador Sea. it is an amazing place but can be bitter cold in the winter.

I wrote a little story about my experience when I was out here for you if someone wants to know a bit more about the experience. You also can find more of my panorama photos here:

I also want to contribute the image to:
#WhateverWednesday by +Cicely Robin Laing
#WowWednesday by +Jan Paul Anthony Zabala
#WideWednesdayPanorama by +Lucille Galleli +Ken McMahon +Andrew Marston
#LighthouseThursday by +Heiko Koester (sorry Heiko, not sure why G+ does not let me link you?/)
Shimizu Nagayuki's profile photoBettina Johl's profile photoElle Pereles's profile photojorge henrique de oliveira's profile photo
Thank you very much to everybody for checking out my photo and leaving a comment. It is a very interesting place but not very friendly in winter.
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Storm clouds over the Tuscany countryside.

I hope you all had a great weekend. I'm starting my week with this contribution to #NatureMonday which I curate myself (right now I'm not finding lots of time for it - sorry).

I think it also fits well to #MoodyMonday by +Philip Daly and to #MinimalMonday by +Olivier Du Tré.

I was doing some processing work on some of my background pictures (wallpapers) and this one can be found in the sub category for "sky backgrounds".
If you interested in more of my free high resolution computer backgrounds for your screen please check out my collection here:

Rolf Hicker's profile photoIrmgard Hartmann's profile photoRoger Stegeby's profile photogodišnja doba's profile photo
All your comments are very much appreciated - I'm simply not finding the time right now to be very active BUT I do appreciate that you look at my pictures and leave comments!!!
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Have him in circles
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Professional Photographer
  • Rolf Hicker Photography
    Professional Photographer, 1984 - present
Basic Information
Professional photographer, specialized on nature, wildlife and travel photography, well published worldwide.
I'm a professional photographer since I turned 16. I did public live slideshows in Europe for over 15 years, having up to 120000 visitors per year.

My strongest portfolios are on some European countries, New Zealand, Galapagos Islands, the western USA including Alaska as well as Canada.
I moved from Germany to Canada in 2002 where I live now with my wife Michelle (from New Zealand) in British Columbia, Canada.
My images appear regularly in well known magazines and advertisement around the world. Some of the most known are National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Readers Digest, Porsche, BMW, CNN and many others. And I won a few awards for my movies and pictures I produced.

Please visit my websites for more information about locations, buying one of my fine art photos or about my custom private photo tours.

My website:
Animal, Nature and travel stock photography combined with travel information

Photo themes curated by me:

I thought this would be a great idea to start the week with a beautiful nature image. If you want to join please select an outstanding, relaxing nature picture and put "NatureMonday" in the post. This way they can be found in the search for NatureMonday.

Share your photos of flowing water, add "#FlowingWaterFriday" in the description and show me what you got.
The results can be found here: FlowingWaterFriday.

Show us your best travel panorama pictures, including nature and landscape..of course. Results will be here TravelPanoWednesday

Complete list of ALL photo themes on Googe+:
All Photo Themes on Google+
Bragging rights
I survived for 25 years being a full time professional photographer - was it ever easy - no - never!
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Hyde Creek, British Columbia, Canada
Freising, Bavaria, Germany