Wikipedia:Photograph your hometown
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: Take local photographs, upload them to Commons, and post them on Wikipedia to show the world what your hometown looks like|
Ever noticed a landmark in your neighborhood that is mentioned on Wikipedia, but has no picture representing it? What about your hometown with no images at all?
Why not improve Wikipedia by photographing your home town and nearby places? You can give the world a taste of your local area. It doesn't require expensive equipment; a point-and-shoot camera or even a camera phone can do, provided you hold it straight and get the sunny side of the subject. The number of Megapixels in the camera is particularly unimportant, as most pictures in articles only display a small fraction of a Megapixel. A zoom lens costs money and weight, and is only useful when you can't get close enough to a target.
Shoot perpendicular to the sunlight for deep dramatic shadows. Shoot downsun for even illumination to prevent deep dramatic shadows from hiding good parts. Experiment with upsun pictures after you understand the easier ways. Shoot wide so readers can understand the location. Shoot narrow for details that will help them understand the target.
Most cameras come with picture editing software so you can learn to repair bad pictures (tilted, too pale, too blue, etc.) and crop and adjust good ones. You can also download and use a fancier editor such as GIMP or Picasa or you can just send the picture as the camera made it. When you upload the picture, you should describe the location precisely in words. Geocoded photographs can be even more useful, if you are equipped for them; see Commons:Commons:Geocoding.
Please license your photographs in a free license format (preferably public domain) and upload them to Wikimedia Commons so other language Wikis may use the photographs. You can also participate in a Wikipedia:Wikipedia Takes The City photo scavenger hunt.
Places to photograph
- City halls, courthouses, post offices, and government offices
- Board of education or school district headquarters
- Schools located in the hometown or serving significant numbers of students from there
- Libraries and museums
- Police and fire department buildings
- Other prominent buildings and historic sites
- Public squares and parks
- Unique signposts and welcome signs marking the location of the place
- Airports, train stations, freeways, and other transport
- In some places it is illegal to photograph certain transportation venues, like rail stations, checkpoints, or bridges. Please check before photographing; if you are arrested, you cannot take more pictures for Wikipedia.