Wikipedia:Photograph your hometown

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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 and most computers 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[edit]

Some places have restrictions on photography, even in public places like these. Don't get in trouble just for a picture.

  • 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
    • These might include the tallest building in town (often a church), the very center of town (corner of Main St. and State St.), the oldest, biggest, strangest and most beautiful buildings, houses of the rich or famous, and the "most typical" house in town.
  • Public squares and parks
  • Unique signposts and welcome signs marking the location of the place
  • Airports, train stations, freeways, and other transport.
  • But remember, if you know your town, you'll likely know better than us the most interesting sights!


See also[edit]