How can I improve my chances of success?

Be original. Avoid taking standard tourist shots of well-known buildings or sites – we already have plenty of tourist shots of London’s Tower Bridge for example.   See our tips for more interesting angles.

What are the guidelines on image size?

Please submit images that are as large as possible and do not “downsize for the web”. Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that values high resolution images for many purposes including print. As a guide, images below 5 megapixels are less likely to be considered for a prize as they lack usability at larger sizes, especially in print.

Last year’s third prize winner – Lobby of the New Town Hall in Hanover by Raycer

I am not the world’s best photographer. Do you still want my images?

Yes please! Even if you may not be entering in the expectation of winning a prize, your entry can still give you the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped to document your local built environment and cultural heritage, and that you have made your images freely available for future generations.

Can I enter as professional photographer?

Yes, professional entrants are welcome.

Do I have to give up the copyright in my entries?

No, as photographer you still retain copyright and moral rights in your submissions. However, as we want to encourage wide re-use of the images, we ask that you release your entries under a free licence (typically CC BY-SA 4.0).  That means you can’t charge people a fee for re-use, whether on Wikipedia or elsewhere, but you can if you wish require re-users to attribute you as the photographer.

Is there a limit on the number of photos I can submit?

No, you can submit as many as you like. Some people are taking photos of hundreds of buildings, and they will all be considered.

Can I use Photoshop or a similar program to post-process my photos before submitting them?

Yes of course: minor post-processing is encouraged. Building images can often be improved by judicious cropping, rotating, colour correction and so on. In some cases correction of converging verticals can also improve an image. But please avoid the temptation to over-process: this is a photographic not a computer art contest.

What are the red and blue pins on the interactive map?

Red pins are sites where we don’t yet have an image which has been linked to our main monuments database in Wikidata. Blue pins are where we do have a linked image. But new photos are welcome in both cases.  Eventually, red pins will turn blue as we get more images, but this does not happen in real time so don’t worry if you uploaded a photo and the pin stays red for a few weeks.

How do I quickly pan across the map?

Zoom out to make the pins disappear. Pan to the area of interest, then zoom back in.

I’m in the UK but I have some photographs that I have taken abroad. Can I enter them as well?

Yes if they were taken in one of the participating countries. But you will need to enter that country’s section of the competition as this section is just for images of the UK. Please visit the international upload page.

Can I enter even if I am not based in the UK?

Yes, of course! Please feel free to submit any photos you may have taken in the past, for example during a previous holiday in the UK.

I’ve got some photos that would be great for Wikipedia, but they aren’t eligible for this competition. Do you still want them?

Yes please.  This particular contest is targeted at listed buildings and scheduled monuments, but there are many other UK subjects such as nature reserves and gardens which we would welcome photographs of. You can upload them via this link.

I’ve taken a much better photo than the one in the Wikipedia article. Can I replace the image in the article with mine?

If yours is quite clearly much better in all respects, then yes. But if there is any doubt at all it’s polite to post a message to the article’s talkpage and say something to like “I think this photo is better than the current one. Does anyone mind if I replace the one in the article?” Add a link (using the format below) so that people can see your suggested image. Then come back a week later and make the change if no-one has objected.

Can I edit Wikipedia myself to add my photo to an article that doesn’t have images?

Yes, we’d be delighted! If you are not already a Wikipedia editor, see here to get started. Don’t forget to log in – see the very top right corner of your browser screen.

As your competition entry is already on Wikimedia Commons, it can easily be re-used on Wikipedia just by adding a link to the page in the format

[[File:NameOfYourFile.jpg|thumb|Some text to appear below the image.]]
This guide explains more.

Questions? If you have a question that is not covered by the FAQ, please ask below.

46 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. I’ve misidentified one of the pictures I’ve taken of local monuments. It’s a bow window that does not belong to the Coach and Horses B&B but to the house known as The Lanterns. How do I delete this image and upload to the correct pin?

  2. Was my question about how you propose to deal with the fact that some listed buildings are private residences too difficult to answer? This could have legal implications. Don’t ignore this please!!
    Elaine Whitesides

    • Hello Elaine, sorry for my delay in replying to you. On our tips page we do advise that since some listed buildings are residences they are respectful with their photography, and of course not to trespass on private property.

      • ‘Do not continue to take photographs if asked to stop by the occupier’ is totally unacceptable. This means that the photographs taken before being asked to stop will potentially be available to anyone who wishes too use them for whatever purpose. I don’t think you have any notion of the cost and implication of insurance of guarding against the incursions, potential accidents etc. involving ‘trespassers’. The grade 1 house in which I live is not the single residence of a wealthy family, but a building divided between five ordinary families, none of whom deserves the trouble implicit in a world-wide organisation giving tacit encouragement for anyone who chooses to invade their privacy. You should make it clear that the competition will not accept entries of buildings that are in private ownership.

        • I think the order in which the tips appear could be better, i.e. the point about taking photographs from a public place could usefully come before the one about being asked to stop. However, it is a fundamental freedom to be allowed to take photographs in a public place as long as that does not constitute an invasion of privacy. To do so usually involves capturing the actions of individuals and, as the ‘tips’ clearly state, this is not the intention of this competition. It would, however, be an unreasonable burden to try and determine the type of ownership of any property that might catch the eye and therefore it’s not feasible to exclude entries featuring buildings that are in private ownership.

  3. I’d like to enter images of ‘Locking Piece’ by Henry Moore and ‘Love’ by Lorenzo Quinn (a valued image in commons, uploaded early september), two scupltures near the Tate Britain. But as far as I can see, this sculpures don’t have official numbers and therefore do not qualifiy for the competition?

      • Hello again, I’ve had a look and these sculptures aren’t listed buildings. A small number of pieces of public art built after are listed, including a similar looking piece by Moore in Westminster, but unfortunately most aren’t. So by the competition rules they’re not eligible for Wiki Loves Monuments – but thank you for uploading the pictures to Commonsit’s an excellent way to share public art with the world!

  4. The spelling is ‘languages’ … but I see that you are too scared to allow this comment to stand (and don’t know how to spell, obviously). Pure Wikipedia. An ‘encyclopaedia’? LOL.

    • If you’re using the map tool to upload pictures, it should include a description for you automatically. If not, it would be helpful to include a short note on what the picture shows to help people re-use it.

  5. I am rather disturbed by this competition and the looseness of its remit. My home is in a Grade 1 listed house which has been divided into several private dwellings. I do not like the fact that this competition gives tacit permission for anyone to come and photograph it simply on the basis of it being listed. There is a security issue here — listed buildings are not by definition open to the public.

  6. How do I link an existing image I submitted to Wikimedia Commons to the monument it is a picture of, to update the master list from which the interactive map is generated? I know it won’t be counted as a competition entry but as I am sure there is an objective to document local heritage this seems like the right thing to do.

    • Hi Alison, first prize is £250, second is £100, third is £50, and the rest of the top ten get £25 each. And the best photo of a site in Scotland gets a free 1-year membership of Archaeology Scotland. The top ten go through to the judging for the international competition where they get a second chance at winning prizes.

  7. Please can you create an Idiots Guide for this item from the FAQs:-

    Image resolution

    Please submit images that are as large as possible and do not “downsize for the web”. Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that values high resolution images for many purposes including print. As a guide, images below 5 megapixels are less likely to be considered for a prize as they lack usability at larger sizes, especially in print.

    I have no idea how to ascertain if images are below 5 megapixels – so sorry, as am a senior silver surfer. 🙄

    • Hello! On a Windows computer if you browse your files and click on an image some extra information should appear on the right side of the window. This includes dimension, which will be something like 3000 x 2000. That means the image is 3000 pixels wide and 2000 tall, so there are 6 million pixels in the image – or 6 megapixels. I hope that helps – if you want to know more feel free to email me at richard.nevell@wikimedia.org.uk.

  8. How will I know that I uploaded a photo succesfully? Also, where would I be able to see the photos I have uploaded?

    • Hi Doruk, the quick way to find your images is https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:MyUploads

      When you upload an image you’ll be asked to create an account or log in. If you go to commons.wikimedia.org you should see your user name in the top right (if not there will be a log in link). You should also see a link labelled ‘uploads’. Clicking on that will show all the images you’ve added. Hope that helps!

  9. > Eventually, red pins will turn blue as we get more images, but this does not happen in real time so don’t worry if you uploaded a photo and the pin stays red for a few weeks.

    What about if I uploaded a photo in last year’s WLM, or even before that, and it’s still red?



    Both of those pins show as red for me although those previously uploads appear to be correctly tagged?

    • Hi Steve, there’s a manual element to updating the pins which hadn’t been done yet. I’ve had a go, so more should of them should be appearing blue. I’ll try to keep an eye on that and update the pins every so often. Thanks for pointing it out, I hope you’re enjoying the competition!

      • Thanks Richard, I have figured it out, this for example https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Cemetery,_Cambridge_-_reflecting_pools,_tablets_of_the_missing_and_memorial_chapel.jpg containers the tag/reference to Q17550926, and likewise https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q17550926 has a reference back to that image. In my prior examples the images have the {{On Wikidata|Qxyz}} tag but the wikidata entries do not have a reference back to the image.

        I imagined this would be done as part of the wizard but it needs doing manually? For QA purposes? I can do it myself as I go along but does that defeat the object (an independent reviewer confirming my uploads/edits are legit)?

        Having uploaded 60 odd images at the weekend it’s a bit saddening to discover the ones I put up last year aren’t properly associated with the corresponding monuments, wouldn’t want all those uploads going to waste… so if there is anything I can do or need to do to help tag everything up do let me know.

        Particularly as I poking around WP seeing if there were articles to add to, but mostly not as I’ve uploaded unknown cottages and stuff. So if they’re not findable via WD they’re probably not usefully findable at all

    • If the faces of one or more individuals have been captured by accident (eg in a crowd of tourists), and they are in a public place, that’s OK. We don’t want images of people posing in front of a building, or selfies with buildings in the background, though.

    • You retain some copyrights and give up others when you allocate the photo a Creative Commons licence on upload. When you upload the photo through the map interface on wikimedia commons, you make this CC BY-SA 4.0 (see link above in the FAQ for the full license details) declaration:

      > I, […] , the copyright holder of this work, irrevocably grant anyone the right to use this work under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 license (legal code).
      > (Anyone may use, share or remix this work, as long as they credit me and share any derivative work under this license.)

      Photos under such a licence can still be licensed to other individuals or companies under different agreements in addition to this one, but note the irrevocable rights you grant here to anyone to share it freely as long as they attribute you and share it under the same licence.

    • Copyright in the image, and moral rights, always remain with the photographer – in other words no copyright is transferred to Commons or to the organisers. However, the photographer must provide a copyright licence that allows anyone to re-use the image, or to modify it, without payment. Attribution rights may be reserved. See the FAQ entry above, on this page.

  10. Do photographs of monuments inside churches that are listed buildings qualify? Or of gravestones in their churchyards?