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Rolf Hicker
Works at Rolf Hicker Photography
Lives in Hyde Creek, British Columbia, Canada
31,468 followers|387,334 views


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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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.
Ralf Facktor's profile photoRolf Hicker's profile photoSarah Taylor's profile photoBarry Wilkinson'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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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
Diego Cattaneo's profile photoSiddharth Pandit's profile photoKhun Hans's profile photoIrmgard Hartmann's profile photo
Just excellent
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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:

Robert SKREINER's profile photoRandall Sanger's profile photoLayla Kuyper's profile photoJohan Peijnenburg'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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Another free high resolution computer background (wallpaper).

A dramatic sunsets with beautiful clouds and sun rays over the pacific Ocean, Cormorant Island and Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

When we are out photographing whales we often come home fairly late but we often see incredible sunsets on the way home. I must say that the sunsets I have seen here on northern Vancouver Island have blown me away many times. NO, there are no filters used on this shot, not even a neutral grad was needed, it was just a "perfect" sunset after a long day out on the water.

I just started a new page on my website with free high resolution pictures which you can use (private use only) as a computer background wallpaper...I think I got a good start so far...much more to come:

Hope you like them.

I want to contribute this picture to the following photo themes on google:
#SilhouettesOnThursday by +Siddharth Pandit
#FourSeasonsFriday by +Karin Nelson and +Stephonie Ogden
#SunsetSaturday by +TJ Kelly
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
Mark O'Callaghan's profile photoKimberly Hosey's profile photoSiddharth Pandit's profile photo
Love the colours.
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My contribution for #TravelPanoWednesday come from New Zealand today.

It is a panorama of a swing bridge over the Hollyford River which cuts through pure nature and a very beautiful rainforest in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

I captured this photo while it was raining, my preferred time to photograph rivers and rainforest because the colors are most of the time totally different and more beautiful then they are when it is overcast or sunny.

I photographed this picture with my Fuji 617 on Fuji Velvia film, then scanned it with the Hasselblad X5 (Imacon) high res scanner.

If you interested in more of my panorama photos, please have a look at my website:

Here are some more photo themes I would like to contribute the photo to:
#WhateverWednesday by +Cicely Robin Laing
#WowWednesday by +Jan Paul Anthony Zabala
#WideWednesdayPanorama by +Lucille Galleli +Ken McMahon +Andrew Marston
#WetWednesday by +Susanne Schweiger
#ThirstyThursdayPics by +Giuseppe Basile
#LongExposureThursday by +Le Quoc and +Francesco Gola
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
Susanne Schweiger's profile photoPavol Farula's profile photoPetr Hlavacek's profile photoNick Burridge's profile photo
I know that place...:) Great photo Rolf!
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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.
Sarah Sever's profile photoBarry Wilkinson's profile photoanching Aguilar's profile photoRose Hollanda's profile photo
Nice and beautiful yur family
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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
Khun Hans's profile photoAlžbeta Osztényiová's profile photoPascal Bovet's profile photoAnup Pokhrel's profile photo
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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.

Johan Peijnenburg's profile photoBarry Wilkinson's profile photoMartin Kling's profile photoChristine Bernard'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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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:

Irmgard Hartmann's profile photoAndrzej Hulanicki's profile photoChrista Niederer's profile photoIvan Torres's profile photo
Nice water fall
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Have him in circles
31,468 people
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