Have a question for us?  Leave a message at the bottom of the page during the contest.

Royal Albert Hall - Central View 169 by Colin
Highly Commended 2016 and 2nd placed international winner: Royal Albert Hall – Central View 169 by Colin, CC BY-SA 4.0.

How can I improve my chances?

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. One of our judges has also written a useful blog post.

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. Images below 5 megapixels are less likely to be considered for a prize as they lack usability at larger sizes, especially in print.

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. Your entry may even end up on Wikipedia, especially if you have gone to the trouble of photographing a lesser-known site.

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 require re-users to attribute you as the photographer.

How many photos I can submit?

You can submit as many as you like. Some people are taking photos of hundreds of buildings, and they will all be considered. Please be selective, though, and enter only your best shots: we don’t want large numbers of near-duplicates!

Can I use Photoshop to post-process my photos?

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 map?

Red pins are sites where we don’t yet have an image which has been linked to our Wikidata database. 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 day or two.

How do I quickly pan across the map?

Zoom out, pan to the area of interest, then zoom back in.

Can I enter the UK contest via the international map that’s used in other countries?

Some countries use an international map called Monumental to accept entries.  UK entries uploaded via that map are valid, but be aware of a limitation:  the filename is pre-defined and can’t be edited on entry.

I took some photographs outside the UK. 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 UK, for example during a previous holiday here.

What about structures that are neither listed buildings nor scheduled monuments?

This particular contest is targeted at listed buildings and scheduled monuments, but we more than welcome submission of photographs of non-listed structures, archaeological sites, and the built environment generally.  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 talk page 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.

44 thoughts on “FAQ”

  1. Hi Michael,

    I have some questions regarding the missing monuments prize. I have uploaded images of graded buildings listed on the interactive map before the contest end date. But a lot of images need editing the details properly, which I am doing now. Also I am yet to connect them with Wikidata, which I would be doing next. So, will they be eligible for the contest, that the images were uploaded within contest time, but edited and added to wikidata later on?
    Also are you maintaining / will be maintaining a leaderboard for this somewhere which could be seen by us?
    Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Sumit, there isn’t a leaderboard as the final count needs to be done semi-manually. It’s based not on images being (later) linked to Wikidaata, but on the actual status of the monument at the time of uploading. We count the number of ‘missing’ monuments photographed by one person, ie the number of monuments that – at the time of uploading – had no image on Wikidata and were represented by a red pin. Those are tallied on a daily basis, so the numbers aren’t affected by later editing. (We’ve been adding links to Wikidata throughout the contest, so you may find that some of your Wikidata links have already been done. Please feel free to improve/correct them, though).

      1. Hi Michael, thanks for clearing everything 🙂 Yes, I saw some images were added to wikidata during the competition. Awesome work there! Just wanted to let you know, I did some bulk uploads within 30th September, and am now adding proper descriptions and changing the names to reflect the buildings. Would be completing them by tomorrow.

  2. Hello. In checking my photos I realise I put the wrong year of creation. Can one edit photos after sending? Also the comment about copyright is of interest. If an organisation uses an imagr for commercial reasons, it seems unfair that the photographer has no remuneration. Admittedly we seem to waive rights to our work, I shall be more careful in future.

    1. Yes the year of creation can be edited if you typed that in as part of the file description. I can make the change for you if you could tell me the file name and the correction you’d like to make.

      The rules on licensing apply throughout Wikipedia and its sister sites: they aren’t created just for this contest. The rationale is that educational content can be disseminated more widely, to the greater public good, when avenues of re-use are unrestricted. Newspapers that share images of historic buildings (with the required attribution of course) are themselves helping to advance public knowledge.

      1. Hello. The file is Royal Naval College Greenwich In the file description is 2016, should read 2014. Many thanks

    1. Under the terms of the CC licence, the photographer allows anyone to re-use the image without fee, even commercially, provided that the licence terms are complied with. The photographer, however, retains ownership of the copyright, the right to be attributed in connection with any use, and his or her moral rights (essentially, the right to object to any alteration of the work that is prejudicial to the his or her reputation). Any use that fails to comply with the strict terms of the licence is a copyright infringement, and the photographer retains the full right to take legal action if desired; although in practice if an image is unlawfully used, few photographers are likely to go that far.

  3. When I clicked on the interactive map, the map area appeared totally blank. I tried all my browsers available(Chrome, IE, Edge) and they all don’t show maps. What happened?

  4. Hello. I cannot find Slains castle Aberdeenshire on the interactve map. The nearest town is Cruden Bay but it is not on that map. Also I am wanting to know if I can upload Findlater Dovecote on the Aberdeenshire link?

    1. Hi Jacqueline, thanks for the feedback. I’m not sure why [New] Slains Castle, Cruden Bay is missing from the map. It is a bona fide Category B listed site according to Historic Scotland . If you’d like to upload your photos via the standard (non-contest) upload wizard, then come back here to let me know, I’d be pleased to make sure they go into the competition. I’ve not been able to find any listed structure called “Findlater Dovecote” unfortunately. Could you say more exactly where it is? Perhaps it’s not listed?

      1. Hello Michael. Findlater Castle,Dovecote can be found under that title. It is a Category A listed building [Feb 1972] It is located in Fordyce Aberdeenshire. There is a point on the interactive map for Findlater Castle,so I thought I can use that. Please advise. Thanks.

        1. Ah, OK, found it. Again, that ought to be showing as a separate pin, but isn’t. We’re looking into it but in the meantime if you could upload via the standard upload wizard I’ll enter it into the contest manually. Thanks for pointing these out. Could you let me know here when done, please?

          1. Hi Jacqueline,
            “New Slains Castle” and “Findlater Castle, Dovecote” should both be showing on the map now.
            “Findlater Castle, Dovecote” had been confused with “Findlater Castle”, but they’re now independent items and should both be visible on the map.
            Thanks again for flagging this up, do let us know if you have any more issues.

      2. Hello Michael. Done. One final site- Dalgetie Castle Aberdeenshire, Near Macduff. Not on map. Also, how can I check if the images have been recieved? This is the first time I have entered this competition, so I am unfamiliar with the procedure. Thank you.

        1. Hi Jacqueline, four photos received safely, thanks. You should find that the pin on the map for the dovecot turns blue soon now, if it hasn’t already. You can always see the images you’ve uploaded by clicking on your personal uploads page, here.

          I’ve pinged Navino with the query about Dalgetie Castle.

          1. Dalgetie Castle showing on the map now. I’m running a few queries now to catch any others that may not be showing. Thanks again for the feedback.

  5. I have made a monument which is not permanent – not listed, not structural, not of the built environment, but emotive –
    “Dark Sea Rescue”
    Can I submit this in any area? The link to Wikimedia Commons appears to need a log in.

    1. Hi Melanie, this contest is for officially-recognised monuments only, I’m afraid. To upload an image directly to Commons outside the contest you’d first need to set yourself up with a login, as described in section 1 of this page. Then, go to this link to upload your image via the Commons wizard. You should be aware, though, that Commons is essentially a repository for material that has some sort of educational value and that self-made art is not normally hosted unless it’s noteworthy in some way.

  6. Hello. Are there any rules regarding size and shape,ie square or letterbox images? Also,is there an easy way to check if the subject fits the monument criteria? Thank you.

    1. There are no rules regarding image shape, and it’s fine to crop to whatever shape works for the subject. On size (image resolution), we’re looking for high-resolution images, so please don’t “downsize for the web”: see the FAQ entry above: “What are the guidelines on image size?“. The best way to check that the subject is eligible is to search on the interactive map. Hope that helps.

  7. I recently made a photo of a Grade II listed memorial in London that moved me profoundly. I would like to submit it, but it is not on your interactive map.
    Can I submit it? If so, how?
    I also did a lot of research and dug up a lot of interesting background on the memorial. Do you just accept the image file, or is there a way to submit text to accompany and support the photo?

    1. Hi David, thanks for your query. If you could post details of the monument in question, we’ll happily look into it for you. As a first step, could you try locating it on the official Historic England register and note the List Entry Number, please? In one way or another we can get this sorted out, even if we have to label the image manually. On the issue of accompanying text, we may be able to add that to the image description for you, or if you have good multiple sources there may even be enough to write or improve a Wikipedia article on the monument.

  8. I have some photos I took a couple of years ago of Hockley Viaduct near Winchester which I want to submit. There are several pins showing sites in the areas nearby, but I can’t see any along the actual viaduct so I thought I’d submit mine. However, I’ve clicked on the viaduct on the map, but I can’t see any way to upload them. Please help!

    1. Hi Caroline! According to this article it appears that efforts to have the viaduct listed have not been successful, which unfortunately means your photos won’t be eligible for entry into the WLM contest. The Wikipedia article on the viaduct could do with some better material, and we’d really love to have your images anyway for possible use there and elsewhere. You can upload via this link.

      If you’re not (yet) a Wikipedia editor yourself, I’d be happy to check for you once the files are uploaded to make sure they’re categorised properly and, if suitable, added to that article. Let me know if that would help.

  9. Hello,
    I’ve found comprehensive list of monuments only in the Grade I and Grade II* categories, such as this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_II*_listed_buildings_in_North_Warwickshire
    Could you please initiate making of such lists for Grade II monuments as well? It would greatly help people to identify the monuments with missing photos.
    The map mentioned above is good, too – perhaps you should place link somewhere on the front page.
    I was in England this summer and tried to take photos of some monuments, but searching through the Historic England list was far less convenient.

    1. Hi Jiri, sorry for the delay in replying. Your message hit the spam filter for some reason.

      The easiest way of finding grade II listed buildings, as you’ve found, is via our interactive map. The problem with having lists on Wikipedia, as with the grade I and II* buildings, is the sheer number of them: around 500,000 around the UK. Because of the limit on the number of items that can appear in a single Wikipedia list, that would mean having tens of thousands of Wikipedia pages, each covering only an extremely small area.

      The Historic England lists are indeed not easy to browse, but they do provide their own map as well, which you might find interesting.

  10. Is a stone pillar, about 1.5 metre, with a metal plaque recording the site of an event of national importance, relevant?

  11. Can the photo show people if the focus is mainly on the building, like people in the far distance, hardly visible or even in the forefront but mainly to draw attention to the building. What are the rules?
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, it’s fine for people to be deliberately included to show scale, or incidentally in locations where it may be hard to take a photo without some distant tourists in the shot. Obviously, we want the building not the person to be the subject of the image (no selfies with an historic building in the background, thanks!) Something like this is fine: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Broadway_tower_edit.jpg/1280px-Broadway_tower_edit.jpg

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