Now, the other question might be just what exactly does that copyright protect? If the photograph has been widely circulated without any copyright designation, the photographer might be in a weak position to now claim copyright.Yep, unless he has asserted his rights to other publications, it may not ultimately matter. Copyright partially relies on your willingness to defend it.
That said, if he does have the copyright to this photo, Wikipedia could be sued for quite a bit of money. They willingly subverted his copyright (multiple takedown requests, now articles on it), which carries a much heftier fine that unknowingly violating copyright.
And, finally, copyright is not an absolute bar to reproducing a creative work. There are exceptions for educational, critical and artistic uses. Might not apply in this case, but it can apply in others.There's also the interesting argument that he created a derivative work (which he would own copyright to), and people are stealing that.
But, the act of cropping, color correcting, and rotating are probably not enough to make that claim