Olson was reportedly arrested as police stopped people gathering in Ferguson, in the US state of Missouri, the site of recent public unrest.

The picture library giant had called for his prompt release.

Getty’s vice-president of news, Pancho Bernasconi said: ‘We at Getty Images stand firmly behind our colleague Scott Olson and the right to report from Ferguson…

‘We strongly object to his arrest and are committed to ensuring he is able to resume his important work of capturing some of the most iconic images of this news story.’

Bernasconi later reported Olson’s release on Twitter, quoting him as saying afterwards: ‘I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job.’