Karam Al Snjarae – Internet Astro Thief

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UPDATE: 18:48GMT 2014-04-14 / Full Story below
Karam Al Snjarae has admitted guilt and apologized, and we have replied

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Karam Al Snjarae – Internet Astro Thief

Cory and I are amateur astrophotographers, very proud of the works we produce. We put a lot of time, money and great effort into the photos we take. It was brought to our attention that a gentleman based in Iraq, Karam Al Snjarae, has been stealing our photos and posting them as his own. He posts these images on Flickr, 500PX and various other social media sites, and is now claiming that WE have stolen his images.

Naturally we’re very upset. It’s one thing to repost with no credit – but to steal, alter by cutting off our signatures, repost with HIS signature on them and sell prints… That’s copyright infringement.

Here follows simple examples of his poor attempt to fool the public.

It saddens me that he takes advantage of users lack of knowledge on photographing and editing targets like these. To general photographers, he can find ways to justify these as his own works, but I’m hoping to serve internet justice by highlighting the “astronomical” mistakes he’s made.

Simply put:
- He has none of the original photos in high resolution. WE HAVE.
- He won’t have any RAW files containing the EXIF data. WE DO.
- Nobody is questioning him as general photographers don’t normally know astronomical objects. He’s made monumental errors, and posts wrong acquisition data with images. He’s removed stars & galaxies.
- Looking at our past images and experience, speaks volumes. He’s stolen images from the wrong couple…
- All his image post dates are AFTER ours have been posted.
- He’s murdered our data with his poor editing skills

Lets begin….

Here follows a few examples. There’s more, but this should suffice to expose him.
This is Karam

This is Mr. Karam Al Snjarae:
(His account has now been suspended by 500PX) 500PX: http://500px.com/KaramAlSnjarae
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaRaMALSnJaRaE
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78772127@N07/with/11630852833/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/karam89k
Instagram: http://instagram.com/karam89k
(Apologies if this is also a fake account – and he’s stolen someone’s identity. But this is the identity which he posts under)

Carina Nebula:
His version on 500px: http://500px.com/photo/66791953?from=user
Cory’s Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/schmitzcory/12877603255/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/schmitzcory/12536602243/, and http://500px.com/photo/66935465?from=user
Tanja’s Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/12910032393/
Carina

FUNDAMENTAL MISTAKE:

Karam has publicly stated that he photographed this from Iraq. This is impossible. The Carina nebula is a target exclusive to the southern hemisphere or near. It’s impossible to photograph it from Northern Iraq as it never rises above the horizon. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carina_Nebula)

This can be verified using Stellarium or any other sky charting software.
- Zooming in – It shows poor cloning of the section where the original watermark has been removed.
- The colour channels are incorrect, this was our image shot in Narrowband – not RGB.
- He posted a YouTube video in the attempt to pass this as his own, to show how he registered and aligned it in DSS. A closer look reveals he’s working with Jpegs. It requires effort and time on his behalf, but he can simply take 1 stolen jpeg from our Flickr page – separate the channels in Photoshop, duplicate and “fake align and combine” them in DSS. He’s putting real time into trying to prove this image as his. Here’s his YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WKxoeZ-7XA

PITY…. it’s impossible to photograph this target from Iraq.

M31. Chasing Andromeda.

This one hit hard…I traveled many miles and spent a lot of money to travel to the USA to photograph this target. He just stole it – even made minor changes in the description but it still reads as mine.
(We’ve included URLs and Screen shots. I fear that he might alter descriptions after this post is released – however these screen shots will remain)

m31B

His Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78772127@N07/12132087565/
My Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/with/9776984696/
My Blog Post: http://www.astrotanja.com/chasing-andromeda/ Here all our imaging equipment is shown

- My M31 contained an artifact caused by the HDR process I used. It’s a mistake on my part – it’s in no other image online but mine. His contains it too. Look at the center of the galaxy, there is a slightly darker spot.
- BIG ERROR! Astronomical error. He deleted M110, the companion galaxy to M31. Want to verify it should be there, google it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Galaxy
- He’s posted a more incorrect version. Highlighted below.
- He even submitted this image to NatGeo.
- In stealing my description “It’s really low on the horizon from where I live…” yes, douche bag, where I live in South Africa – where you live in Iraq, it’s at zenith… (which means overhead. See, he knows nothing of the night sky and where these objects really are)

M31A
m31C

M42, Orion Nebula.

His Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78772127@N07/12132360886/
My Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/10276522704/
My Blog post on the target: http://www.astrotanja.com/the-star-factory-m42/

 

M42_B

- He’s flipped and cropped my image, removed my watermark and placed his own.
- Remarkable how much detail & quality he was able to get with a Canon 7D, don’t you think?
- He’s stolen my description – again… changed some acquisition data.

M42 – Older version.

His Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78772127@N07/11630852833/
My image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/astro-tanja/8103586461/

newM42_2

He altered my original – although it’s clear to see the star trails that were evident photographing with my SCT C11 at 2800mm focal length.

M20 & M8.

His Image: http://500px.com/photo/56082020?from=user
Cory’s Image:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/schmitzcory/11167385835/ and http://500px.com/photo/66934407?from=user
Images was altered and flipped. Where Cory’s signature has been removed, some stars are missing. He’s erasing existing stars!

M20m8

General image theft.

Here’s a screen capture where he’s trying to pass off our images as his. He’ll have no original RAWS for these, we do. We also have multiple supporting pictures that back up other angles of the same shoot.
Do you want some original RAWs for these images…? We have them.

general

And there’s more.

Here he is presenting a workshop with a stolen star trail image I took in the Nevada desert…. passing off the star trail image as his own.

Karam, do you have all the original images of the sequence? I have…. here they are:

presenation

He’s even contacted Cory on Flickr towards the end of last year asking technical questions about my photos. Cory didn’t respond at the time as we were busy -

contact

And the evidence goes on and on…

Please leave your comment or question. Feel free to contact me or Cory should you want further information.
tanja@astrotanja.com
cory@astroshake.com

The thievery is despicable. There are more photos in his photo stream that were stolen from other imagers. Check it out, it might even be yours. And now the Internet battle continues. I have no doubt that he will fight back stating we stole them from him. The evidence is here, you decide. We can supply originals and higher resolution images of all our works, he can’t.

We’d appreciate your help in exposing him!

500PX: http://500px.com/KaramAlSnjarae
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaRaMALSnJaRaE
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78772127@N07/with/11630852833/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/karam89k
Instagram: http://instagram.com/karam89k
(Apologies if this is also a fake account – and he’s stolen someone’s identity. But this is the identity which he posts under)

We’re no longer going to waste our time on the matter. Time is better spent doing the things we love and sharing our works freely with the world. He can backpedal and try, waste his time to try rescue his reputation that is now in question.

WHY?

And importantly – how do we go about protecting intellectual and creative property?

April 14th, 2014

M16_feature

M16 re-processed

Astrophotography

In May 2013 I photographed M16, acquiring 21x 180sec exposure images to total 63min. I initially calibrated and stacked in Nebulosity, and edited in Photoshop. Since end 2013 I’ve moved over to processing in PixInsight, and have been wanting to reprocess some of my previous images.
M16

Astrophotography & Post Processing Presentation

Astrophotography

Tanja & Cory will be speaking at the West Rand Astronomy Club

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February 26, 19h00
Venue: Dutch Reformed Church, 844 Corlette Avenue, Witpoortje.
Telescopes will be set up for viewing (weather permitting)
Cost: Donation of R10 for use of the venue which includes tea / coffee

(Unable to attend? Leave your question in the comment section below for us to answer)

Introduction

The astrophotography talk touches on all topics from equipment, styles of astrophotography to processing skills. After each section we’ll have a Q&A.

DSLR Astrophotography – Part 1 – Gathering light

Astrophotography

APbeginnersBy Tanja Sund and Cory Schmitz

The magic of long exposure astrophotography reveals so much more of our universe: a plethora of colours and structures that tend to go unseen by the naked eye. From wide field lens photography to imaging through a telescope, astrophotography remains the pinnacle of long exposure photography.

“same same?”

Astrophotography

During my May 2013 Sutherland trip I photographed a lot of targets. As the Milky Way core was rising, Carina was setting. I managed to get a few images in before she set but left the data unedited the last few months as I was frustrated with some PixInsight processes. I revisited my last edit, and after using the MorphologicalTransformation process I’m happy to call it “done”.

Same image, a little more attention a few months later… a much better result.

Carina
20 min, Carina Nebula

CarinaAStrotanja

First light 8” Orion astrograph

Astrophotography

With clear nights limited during my summer months I took the opportunity to image the Carina Nebula from home with a gap in the clouds. Unfortunately imaging time was limited on this as I could only photograph it from 2am onwards, with sunrise before 5am and clouds at 4am…. and light pollution in the mix.
Nevertheless, the 8” Orion astrograph finally saw its first light.

CarinaAStrotanja
Carina Nebula, 65min ISO400

 

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