Talk:Big Ben

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The tower is not Big Ben[edit]

The tower used to be St Stephen's Tower, but is now called Elizabeth Tower. The bell is called Big Ben. People often misname the tower Big Ben, but that doesn't mean the tower is nicknamed Big Ben.--78.146.175.69 (talk) 13:17, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the article explains all this. --McGeddon (talk) 19:54, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
No No No! The tower has never been officially been called St Stephen's Tower. Prior to it being named the 'Elizabeth Tower', it was merely known as 'The Clock Tower'. The confusion may arise because there is a St. Stephen's Tower in the Palace of Westminster but it is a smaller tower above St. Stephen's entrance. It is known that Victorian journalists often (erroneously) referred to the tower as St. Stephen's tower, but it is also known that they tended to refer to anything to do with the Palace of Westminster as St. Stephen's [some thing or other], probably adding to the confusion. 86.144.68.13 (talk) 18:27, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to change Main Image[edit]

Big Ben Clear Skies.JPG
Clock Tower - Palace of Westminster, London - September 2006.jpg

Dear Wikipedians,

I am proposing a change to the main image at the top right of the article.

  • Newer and clearer image.
  • Provides better perspective from street view that average reader will see.
  • Multiple faces of clock provides depth of subject, rather than 2D side on view.
  • Better weather provides a more distinct backdrop for the subject in question.
  • Easier to gain understanding of true height and size of the clock tower.
  • More recent and updated image

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. My only thought is to improve the article. Cheers. EzykronHD (talk) 13:09, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

It's a shame about the scaffolding on the tower in the background, but otherwise I'm happy with the change. It's good to refresh the image every so often and certainly the one you're suggesting is fresher than the current main image. WaggersTALK 13:44, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Firstly, I claim WP:COI, as the OP prominently mentions Lachlan Fearnley on his account page, and the newer image was contributed by Fearnley at Commons. This is also the second attempt to place the image. The first time it was just put in place without so much as a by your leave. I disagree as to the improved quality of the new image: its resolution isn't much greater than the present image; the top of the tower is out of focus, ill-lit (hour-hand design is indistinct), or hidden (the openwork through which the bell sounds are heard is almost completely hidden), and that is our emphasis here; and the distractiion of the uncorrected tapering and unreal blue sky (the sky of the present image matches the slate roof, and that is more appealing). If we need to have fresh main images from time to time, let's think about rotating through some of those in secondary positions. If this image needs to be placed, let it be in a secondary position to start (although I'm dubious about placing it at all, given the apparent COI). Dhtwiki (talk) 18:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Existing images
@ Dhtwiki, thanks for bringing up those points. I agree, there are certainly some flaws, no image will be perfect. My intent was WP:BOLD and in good faith. I am open to suggestions to allay your concerns, perhaps to release the image to the public domain and remove any references if that helps. I think the best solution would be to trial a rotation of images for a period of time and see how the wider Wikipedia community reacts. As we know, talk pages often have little traffic and can be slow to generate a thorough discussion with multiple participants. Our opinions should be irrelevant compared to the wider community. Regarding the article as it currently stands, there are two images from almost the same vantage point. Perhaps they could be merged to remove redundancy. EzykronHD (talk) 12:00, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I think you need to address the issue of WP:COI. The photographer is either you or someone else you're intent on promoting. That negates WP:BOLD as I understand it. I'm not dissatisfied with the present main image. I only proposed the possibility of rotation of images because of Waggers' comment. I don't think the main image needs to be changed periodically for freshness' sake. What we might use more of is images that further explicate the tower's and clock's inner functionality and workings, such as an image of the mechanism governing the chime bell ringing sequences (plus some explanatory text). However, I don't think your photo belongs on the page, not just because of COI, but because it doesn't add anything, it doesn't explicate something not already addressed. Plus, it's a badly composed (the distractingly shrouded - or scaffolded, someone said - structure to the right which, at thumbnail size, appears to be a cloud or puff of steam), uncorrected (no perspective control, thus the startling tapering, which a human observer would mentally compensate for) photo. The left photo thumbnail you just posted doesn't have either of those flaws, although it does have the too-bright cyan sky. Dhtwiki (talk) 22:40, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Dhtwiki Thanks for your reply. I feel you are wrongly assuming things about me for no reason and you're not assuming WP:AGF. Myself or any of the countless wikipedia photo contributors have nothing to be gained, the image is free to be used commercially for anyone worldwide. I've already offered to have the image uploaded to Commons again with no reference to my name or account, I have no problem with it. I'm happy to post it in the public domain with no required attribution. Under your philosophy, anyone who takes a photo would never contribute to wikipedia without having COI. To give you an example, have a look at Diliff, who is a great contributor to Wikipedia, on his talk page. User_talk:Diliff#Replacing_perfectly_fine_photos_with_your_own_ones. He is a great wikipedian, and he routinely edits articles with his own picture because he genuinely wants to improve the article. Should he be forbidden from doing so as it is COI?


To address your concerns individually:

  • I think you need to address the issue of WP:COI - Image can be reuploaded to a different account, all mentions to my account or name can be removed, image can be posted to public domain to remove any perceived conflict of interest.
  • I don't think the main image needs to be changed periodically for freshness' sake. That's an opinion which I respect, but myself and others think having a rotation to keep the article fresh is a good thing.
  • it doesn't explicate something not already addressed
    • Provides better perspective from street view that average reader will see.
    • Multiple faces of clock provides depth of subject, rather than 2D side on view.
    • Better weather provides a more distinct backdrop for the subject in question.
    • Easier to gain understanding of true height and size of the clock tower.
    • More recent and updated image

I acknowledge your points regarding composition, scaffolding, and correction. My comment regarding this is that each and every image on Wikipedia could be critiqued in similar ways. The image was not post-processed, it was taken from the lens as is. The sky colour is reflected in the same colour as the one posted in the thumbnail. I hope that addresses your concerns. EzykronHD (talk) 09:14, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the edit history, I see that you originally placed your image on 3 November 2013. That placement replaced the current one, which is by Diliff, but was not placed by him (and thus no COI there). Then, this article has had the main image replaced on 8 April 2014, to a different image, then back to the Diliff image on 23 April 2014, before your recent attempt to replace it again with your image. I'd say this article is not in need of a fresh image, it's in need of people slowing down this constant main image replacement. Then, I took a look at Diliff's talk page you reference, which regards Fountains Abbey. Note that, while his image was accepted, it was not without demur; and Diliff did not respect WP:BRD, as he merely reverted the revert of his image placement. So, I don't think his actions there serve as a model. Dhtwiki (talk) 00:18, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Dhtwiki Thanks, this has been a good discussion, and it's nice to hear your opinion even if we don't always agree. You haven't responded to any of the points I've listed above, so from my understanding it's just a matter of subjective merit of each picture, and your philosophy of keeping articles stagnant vs keeping them fresh, which is perfectly reasonable. What I'm proposing is this: I'll make another edit and slightly change the article. Once the article is edited it will gain a lot more exposure from wikipedians, and after this we can continue the discussion with a wider audience. This would be the most logical way to gain a consensus on what's best for the article moving forward. EzykronHD (talk) 11:32, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Consensus is gained on the Talk page, not by just going ahead and making edits once they're disputed. Not only have you not gained a consensus on this go-around, but you effectively got no, or negative, consensus the last time your picture was taken down, just a few months ago. You have done little to allay or address my concerns, because you evidently have not given up trying to place your flawed photo in prime position in the article. Dhtwiki (talk) 15:39, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Dhtwiki, I've been nothing but respectful to you so far. It's quite obvious that you are "trolling" now though. I changed the image in November - it stayed there until the 10th of April when it was changed by "Ceaton89" to an inferior image by guess who - "Ceaton89". Funny how you weren't crying about conflict of interest then. On this talk page there is twice the number in favour to those against - that is a consensus my friend. If you feel strongly about this, please go ahead and address my points listed above and gather your own consensus than using a distraction tactic. But if you are going to try to use a "brute force" type of edit war, I will be calling in editors to arbitrate. EzykronHD (talk) 12:12, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Revised images[edit]

The image proposed above, which was inserted until now, is just awful. Most people don't see Big Ben from just below, looking up. It's a huge clock tower so that most people will see it from a distance. And the standard way of presenting buildings (unless one is being deliberately artistic) is to ensure the verticals are true. David Illif's version of the tower is the most eye-catching in thumbnail, with vivid blue sky and sunshine. Some other pictures in the article were not adding anything much so I've revised the selection to include different aspects. I have myself taken a good image (below) of the tower, including the surrounds, which is very high resolution. However it isn't as colourful or simple as David's. So I'm not going to be bold about replacing it.

Elizabeth Tower and surrounds (cropped)
Elizabeth Tower and surrounds

-- Colin°Talk 19:33, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Looks like you were actually bold in replacing it! In any case, I agree; while I initially supported a change in principle in the above discussion I wasn't overly sure, and User:Dhtwiki raised some very valid points. David Illif's 2007 image is preferable to his 2006 image, which is the one we had previously used at the top of the page. WaggersTALK 11:24, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Did this feeling against EzkronHD's photo exist last month in August? If it did, it didn't get expressed. EzkronHD felt he had consensus with Waggers' support and I couldn't be sure that he didn't. I know the discussion we had was onerously long-winded and, especially at the end, contentious; but absent anyone else joining in, I didn't have much to go on except my own aesthetic sense, or my hardly vetted and possibly erroneous interpretation that it was WP:COI for a photographer to promote his own work in such a way. I myself got to like the EzkronHD's photo better after some helpful edits—removing the distracting background structure (as well as some slight color alteration?)—were made before final placement.
The new photo that Colin included here is certainly an excellent photo, as it shows more of the grounds, and Westminster Palace, etc., than other photos I've seen here, in good focus, with attractive coloration, but with flawed composition. The cropped version shown here makes me think, "What is that monstrosity in the background?" The un-cropped version is better in that its attractive foreground shifts focus considerably and leaves The Shard's impact lessened. Dhtwiki (talk) 23:18, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, wrt the effect of The Shard on the "composition", well I wish you'd spoke up when the developers were seeking planning permission! Looks like something out of Doctor Who. No, I'm not proposing either as lead images since David's is simpler and more colourful for a lead. What mine does have, is extremely high resolution and uniquely a viewpoint level with the base of the clock -- so there is no vertical perspective distortion (most other shots are either very distant -- so miss off the base or are low resolution -- or are shot from below). Another photo (left)
Palace of Westminster and surrounds
shot from the same viewpoint, shows the tower in even more context with surrounds and other buildings that make London's skyline. I think this wider one might be useful to provide the reader with an idea of where it fits in modern London. Perhaps there is room in the first section. I wouldn't replace the photo with double-decker buses, though, as that one nicely shows how the clock face is visible from far. -- Colin°Talk 07:13, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Regarding speaking up, you are one with strong feelings in the matter. Did you miss the discussion we had before? I, too, like the Illif photo, the 2006 version, not the 2007 one, where the too-bright, too-clear sky, colorful as it is, is distracting. However, I think that if we are going to be changing photos monthly, we should have a gallery or a list where displaced photos can be kept. Some people might miss the EzkronHD photo, and they shouldn't have to look far to find it. Your new photo has flags hanging limply, but otherwise is a splendid photo. I see that it's already been nominated as a featured picture and has strong support. Dhtwiki (talk) 06:54, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Dhtwiki, the comment about "speaking up" was a joke. There is no good argument for changing photos monthly. Goodness me, we all have better things to do than argue about what the lead image should be next month. Both of Diliff's images have good qualities and are good choices for the lead. The colours are a bit muted on the 2006 one (not just the sky, but the shields and gold work). EzkronHD's photo can be found on Commons and you are welcome to create a page on Commons where you display high quality photos of the tower/clock. That's what Commons is for, and meets a multi-wiki need. Really, there are lots of OK photos of Big Ben and I'm not sure EzkronHD's even qualifies as as a QI. From the look of the "usage on Wikipedia", someone has stuck it in the "London history" template so it is widely displayed. Don't really see what that shot has to do with London history so I suspect it won't last long there. What I'm interested in now is whether there is support for another "in context" photo such as the landscape "Palace of Westminster and surrounds" shot in the body of the article. -- Colin°Talk 09:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm in two minds about the "in context" thing. The image looks great and it does make sense to show what the tower looks like in comparison to its surroundings. But on the other hand we need to be careful that we don't expand the scope of this article and start adding content that really belongs in the Palace of Westminster article. I don't think adding an image like this does that, but it's something to be wary of. WaggersTALK 10:08, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
One of the images Colin has supplied should be used because each supplies top-to-bottom coverage of the tower; has an oblique view of the tower, showing the clocks multi-faceted nature (one of EzykronHD's complaint/selling points); and shows the colorful trim to good effect (the main advantage of EzykronHD's photo). Dhtwiki (talk) 23:58, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
To answer Dhtwiki's question on my input or lack thereof, I'm no expert on photography so didn't want to get heavily involved when it was fairly clear there are others more qualified to comment than me. Wikipedia is, after all, a meritocracy not a democracy. WaggersTALK 09:07, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 January 2015[edit]

The statement that "The tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world..." is contradictory to the established List of largest clock faces that the "Minneapolis City Hall, 7.0 meter clocks on four sides with chimes on the quarter, half, and full hour. 345 feet (105 m) tower. Largest four-faced chiming clock." whereas the next biggest is "Big Ben, London, 6.9-meter clocks on all four sides of this 96-meter tower built in 1859."

I would propose changing the statement on this page to read "The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world (Minneapolis City Hall being the first)." 64.122.147.30 (talk) 16:59, 21 January 2015 (UTC) 64.122.147.30 (talk) 16:59, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thank you. Mlpearc (open channel) 19:18, 21 January 2015 (UTC)