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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.

16 thoughts on “FAQ”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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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