FAQ

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

Commended 2018: Wemyss Bay railway station concourse, by Colin, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
Commended 2018: Wemyss Bay railway station concourse, by Colin, Wikimedia Commons 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.  You can use that map aif you want to, 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.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

23 thoughts on “FAQ”

  1. As a new member I registered on 14 sept and tried to log in but my user name or password isn’t being accepted. I used my full name as my user name (see below) and made a note of my password but can’t seem to get anywhere. I’m not the most computer savvy person so might have made a mistake somewhere. Maybe you can help.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Richard, sorry to hear you’re having problems. Once you’re set up you should be able to login via the small ‘Log in’ link at the top right of any Wikipedia page. You need to make sure you use the exact username you initially entered (capitalization matters), followed by your password. If you get an ‘Incorrect Password’ message, you can rest it by clicking the Reset Password link. Let me know if that works.

  2. This is a fantastic initiative and a great way of enhancing the photo assets on Wikimedia. However, the experience for the entrant is underwhelming and discouraging. I submitted several nicely composed photos last year of local historic sites, built up the Wikipedia articles to support the images. I didn’t expect to win a prize (would have been nice) but the experience as a contributor was rather empty: nobody said thank you, nobody offered any recognition of some fairly good quality photography – nothing.

    I don’t expect to be showered with accolades, I don’t expect a prize, but some acknowledgement would have made it worthwhile. Even if it’s just a Wiki bot going around saying “well done” and automatically dishing out barnstars. – that would be better than the indifferent silence that pervades Wikipedia.

    1. Hi, thanks for your helpful feedback. We have made yearly efforts to thank entrants on their talk pages, but we’ve probably not been systematic enough, and have not been sufficiently careful to make sure that we thank everyone. Your feedback will spur us to do better this year and make sure that no-one is missed. We’re very sorry about that, and we really do value your contributions!

  3. Hi I’m wondering if the Priory in Birkenhead would be permitted. It’s an amazing place where the first monks settled on the Wirral peninsula and created the Ferry to Liverpool. I know part of it go back ten centuries. What do you think? Anyway if so I’ll make the effort to go and photograph it.

    1. Hi Suzy, yes, absolutely. It’s a scheduled monument, and although we already have one picture you may well be able to do better. Ideally we’d like images not only of the tower but also the older remains. To find it on the map, type ‘Birkenhead’ in the search box, click on Show, zoom in and pan over to the river. Right next to the Priory is Number 4 Dry Dock, a Grade II* listed structure that doesn’t yet have any photo at all. Maybe you could do that as well? Many thanks.

  4. I’m interested in uploading photos of the scheduled monument which is the water supply system to the former Catrine Cotton Works. I’ve looked at the map and there is one pin it would seem for the whole system which is about 1,000 metres in length. If I take photos 600 metres from the pin location will this cause problems in uploading?

    1. Hi Richard. No, that will be no problem at all. Just take the best image you can of the whole thing, or of part of it, from wherever works best. The pin location comes from the official listing, and is supposed to represent the location of the monument not that of the camera. Thanks for contributing!

  5. Re clayhanger lane , clayhanger , Brownhill’s the coop , fish shop& jade garden Chinese. was not built on a factory site as stated . But was a motor dismantler’s (Anderson Brother’s). Thankyou .

    1. Hi Craig, thanks for the message. I’m note sure where the ‘factory site’ information comes from, but if it was part of the official Historic England listing particulars we don’t have any way to change that. If it was on Wikimedia Commons or Wikidata, we may be able to correct things. Are you able to post the URL of the page where you saw it?

  6. How many pictures can I submit.

    It might be that I have miss read the rules but I can’t see at the moment the answer. Can their be more than 1 monument or several different images of the same.

    1. You can submit as many images as you like, and there can be (and often are) many images per monument. We positively encourage variety; it’s often useful for example, in addition to a photo of the entire building, to have pictures of the rear, the interior, closeups of architectural details and so on. If there are several listed buildings close together, it’s not a problem if your photo includes several, but you’d have to decide which one you consider to be the main one, for upload purposes.

  7. I would like to make a donatiom. To Wikipedia, In hospital at present and awaiting my
    Master card. Will complete soon.

    1. Thanks Edwin, we’d very much appreciate that. You have two options for donation: (1) donate to the Wikimedia Foundation (the US non-profit that runs the Wikipedia websites), or (2) if you prefer to support a UK charity, donate to Wikimedia UK, the UK chapter that supports the local community here. You can find out more about Wikimedia UK at: https://wikimedia.org.uk/, and the link to donate is at https://donate.wikimedia.org.uk/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=3. Many thanks again, and all best wishes for your hospital stay.

  8. You sent me an email re this competition as I entered once before. This year I’m trying to upload a photograph of a National Trust property – Wray Castle, Ambleside, Cumbria. LA22 OJA – via the interactive map and your database simply doesn’t recognise the address. Is there any other way to submit a high res photograph at all?

    1. Hi, it is on the map. The easiest way to get to it is to enter Ambleside in the search box, then scroll down. There are several pins near eachother, so when you get to roughly the right point you’ll need to zoom in a bit to separate them. The one you want is the blue pin – Wray Castle already has an image, but we’d love yours as well!

  9. Can I enter a picture that I took a while ago? I have one I took last year of somewhere that you’re looking for, and I haven’t ever used it for anything – in fact, only one other person’s ever seen it! If pictures don’t have to have been taken specifically for this contest, I’d be happy to upload it

  10. Castle Sween in Argyll is labelled as ‘Clickimin Broch,broch and settlement (Q56667351)’ which is in Shetland

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