Wiki Loves Monuments

A different perspective: many uploads

on Sep 10, 2012

When good photographers take photographs of a monument, they carefully find the best camera locations and choose the best time of day and year to get the perfect illumination. If trees can hide part of the building, they wait until winter clears leaves out, and even some exceptionally dedicated photographers find out the day street trees are pruned to take an image of the buildings behind without disturbing branches or parked cars. I would like to be such a photographer. I’d like to be, but I can’t. I lack the skills and the equipment, and, most important of all, I lack the time, just as any wikipedist with a job, a family, and a life beyond Wikipedia does.

Light is important in photography, but darkness shouldn’t prevent you from photographing monuments. Author: Pere prlpz, CC BY-SA

Anyway, there is a lot of articles in any edition of Wikipedia that need to be illustrated, and a lot of lists of monuments that need images. A perfect image of each monument would be great, but if such a perfect image is not available, a reasonably good and descriptive image will be very useful. Even if you can’t produce a perfect image, you can still take profit of every opportunity of taking a photo of a monument. Even if you can’t go in a long hunt for monuments, surely you move around a lot: to work, to school, on shopping, on tourism… And in every move, some monuments will be on sight. Take a photo of all of them, and you will soon get a nice collection.

If you can, change your usual route to get different monuments. If you can, cross the street to get a better angle. If you can, stop the car or leave the bus or the train to get a stable position. If you can, choose the best hour of the best day. If you can, get better equipment. However, if you can’t, don’t refrain from taking a couple of images of every monument you can see, from where you are, when you are, and with the equipment you have at hand. This is what I do, and I know this way won’t lead me to win a prize in any photographic contest, but I’m getting a lot of pictures that can improve a lot of articles and lists. And, by doing this, of course, I’m having a lot of fun and learn a lot about the monuments in every place I go.

(Post by Pere López (User:pere prlpz). Pere has at this moment with almost 5,000 photos (16 GB) by far the most uploads of all participants world wide. See the statistics page for the latest numbers and other champion uploaders.)


  • Lodewijk

    Lodewijk "Effeietsanders" Gelauff has been an active member of the Wikimedia community since 2005; over the years, he helped out as a steward and an administrator of several wikis as well as a board member of Wikimedia Nederland, member of the Chapters Committee and organiser of various internal Wikimedia activities. In 2010, he led Wiki Loves Monuments in the Netherlands together with Maarten, and was mainly responsible for the community-related part of the contest as well as for documentation, and internal and external communication. In 2011-2013, he was a member of the international organizing team. After that, he has remained involved as jury coordinator and advisor.