Photographer Shocked When His Image was Used for the New iPhone 6 Wallpaper

Photographer Shocked When His Image was Used for the New iPhone 6 Wallpaper

Imagine the surprise if your photo was being used on the new promotional images of the iPhone 6 as it was announced earlier this week. Photographer Espen Haagensen was in for the shock of a lifetime as the opening images of the new iPhone 6 were released and his Milky Way photo was used for the new product announcement.

I do quite a lot of starscapes and Milky Way shots but this was the first time I brought a decent wide angle and full size tripod to Demmevass,” he told 9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber. “There was a rather big moon so the Milky Way was faint, but around midnight there were some skies and the moon disappeared and I was able to capture a nice series.

Haagenson's photo of the Milky Way has been added to the release of an iconic Apple product launch and will grace millions of customers hands come September 19th. Quite the kudos by Apple as the photo was first published on 500px where it originally gained popularity and eventually noticed by the company. The photo was taken while on a yearly excursion to the Norwegian Tekking Association where a group stays in the hut pictured in the original photo below, which was later removed by Apple. Apple contacted Espen for non-broadcast use and then upgraded the license to broadcast in July.

Obviously quite the honor for any photographer to have his worked attached to such an iconic company during a new product launch especially Apple. See the comparison photos below along with the promotional images of the iPhone 6/6 Plus as they were announced earlier this week. 

Be sure to check out more of Espen's landscape and nature photography here on his website. 

[via Business Insider]

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79 Comments

olivier borgognon's picture

after the swiss railroad system clock, and the background from another artist for their MacPros... apple goes again with this image. they do it each time as they are big... sick times.

Zach Sutton's picture

You obviously didn't read the article....

I also thought that Apple stole the image at first. I had to reread part of it to understand that Apple legally used the image. I think the title and the fact that so many photographers have their photos stolen gives the reader the preconceived notion of Apple stealing the image.

Now thats out of the way. This is very cool. I'd love to have one of my images use this way!

Andrew Griswold's picture

I wouldn't mind having my image used by Apple either, curious how much that image was licensed for. I haven't used 500px much in the past year but look to here soon!

if they licensed it through 500px, then it costs $250. 70% to the photographer.

olivier borgognon's picture

Does that mean technically that the guy is going to receive 175$ for his picture to be on X million iPhones around the world as a wallpaper ?

Seems that way. From 500px prime: "Straightforward licensing, where the price reflects the usage. Our Royalty-Free option gives you the highest resolution and a worldwide, any-media usage license, for $250 per photo."

olivier borgognon's picture

hmm, always better than the new Shutterstock decision on a unique price for all file resolutions though, but still, I find it very disturbing from major companies... we won't know the terms but i hope it's not that, for the sake of our business and industry.

The article doesn't make it obvious that apple legally used it.

Zach Sutton's picture

"Apple contacted Espen for non-broadcast use and then upgraded the license to broadcast in July."

Pretty clearly stated to me.

I think he meant that the title is misleading. And it is. "Photographer Sas Shocked When His Image Was Used". His image was used, as in, used without his permission, hence the shock...erm...ness.

I appreciate Fstoppers, but the title is tabloid like. Congrats to Espen Haagensen and please, Fstoppers, don't fall into the clickbait trap. You have a great website.

John Sheehan's picture

Agreed, the title was very misleading. I thought it was as others did, that Apple stole the image. It's not until the third paragraph that you find out that it was on 500px, and not until the end of that paragraph that licensing is mentioned. The title does smack of click bait, which is not something I like from websites I frequent.

olivier borgognon's picture

Zach, I have like many others and below stated, read the article, but i had misread that line on the purchase. Now i believe that you guys get many critiques and might be a bit tense, but we can't make mistakes, sorry.

Clearly makes me think i won't write apart for ranting now, shame. been very regularly commenting to congratulate on quality of Fstoppers and work. that kind of pisses me off.

Zach Sutton's picture

Perhaps my tone was misread in my comment. It wasn't meant to be vindictive, pissy or aggressive. We certainly appreciate all comments from our readers, which is why the redesign of Fstoppers is so community focus. I hope my comment hasn't changed your opinion of Fstoppers or swayed you on commenting on future articles.

Take Care,
Zach

olivier borgognon's picture

2 wrongs don't make a right, I would be enclined to say lets close the case, hope that sounds good to you :)

As I am in the "now", when I write something, I think i'll get over it pretty soon, and look forward to future articles, posts and sharing views.

Might be worth taking the whole scheme of things into consideration with the various complaints on the title/article relationship for future, could avoid a few moans or misinterpretations maybe.

Take care,
Olivier

Zach Sutton's picture

Certainly we've made note of the outrage concerning the headline. That said, the story itself is more about his surprise than anything else. He knew apple purchased useage writer to his photo, but he really didn't expect it to be used as their main promotional images for perhaps the biggest piece of tech this year. Even the source story has a title that may be considered misleading to many people. But we'll definitely make note of it, and watch our titles more closely.

John MacLean's picture

Hi Zach, Since it's electronic and not in print, why don't you just edit the title and be done with it then? Best regards, John

To be fair, the article was written rather poorly. The lede was completely buried and the headline was very misleading.

@olivier borgognon ... you must feel real dumb right now eh? ;)

olivier borgognon's picture

I actually don't feel real dumb no Morten, we can all mis-read a part of the article, however sending me in the face that i should feel dumb is a very infantile, but i shall happily leave that to you and your thoughts, and i might have hurt a FanBoy, sorry for that.

apple has a series of stories with non payment of rights, and using stuff without doing it the right way, as many companies do, and the article, apart from the small line i misread can lead to any interpretation in that sense.

David Arthur's picture

I would threaten an huge lawsuit. The only settlement agreement would be free apple products for life. Whichever ipad, iphone, mac pro, macbook, Watch, whatever. Update every 12 months. (or at new product release)

Did you read the article?

Dave Elle's picture

why? was it related to the headline?

Zach Sutton's picture

....they bought the rights to the image. It's just that the photographer didn't know how extensive they were using it until yesterday. There is no need for a lawsuit, as they bought the usage rights.

You gotta read the article, dude.

Why read the article? This is the internet where being the first with a "hot take" is important. Facts? Who cares about those?

"photographer shocked when his image was used for the new iphone 6 wallpaper". While I agree that everyone should read the article, the title itself is a little misleading. A more appropriate title is "photographer delighted when his image was used for the new iphone 6 wallpaper". See how that doesnt assert to there being anything wrong? Or is the title purposefully misleading to garner clicks?

"...the title purposefully misleading to garner clicks?"

On fstoppers? Really?!? How dare you even suggest that....

Really though, I think you nailed it.

Zach Sutton's picture

Look at the source article though....title isn't much different.

"This Man Had No Idea Apple Was Using His Gorgeous Photo Of The Milky Way As The IPhone 6's Background"

Felipe Zabala's picture

I agree about the "misleading" title, but seriously... just read the article before making comments.

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