Wikipedia:WikiProject College football/Images

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The WikiProject College Football Images guidelines aim to define what does and does not constitute desirable and usable images in the world of college football related topics.

For further information on this topic, read Wikipedia:Images.



One of the many controversial uses of images in the world of the college football project concerns the use of copyrighted logos. Many common images (such as team logos, the NCAA logo, the NAIA logo, conference logos, bowl game logos, television logos, etc.) are copyrighted logos and should be avoided whenever possible.

Team logos may or may not be copyrighted. If a logo is copyrighted, it may be used provided its use meets Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline.

Team Page Copyright? Notes
Notre Dame Fighting Irish football no Text in a general typeface is not copyrighted. Simple geometric shapes are also not protected.
Army Black Knights football no This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers YES Must meet Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline.


The image "Image:NCAAFootball.jpg" can be used on banners for the college football project.


Images of people are often used to enhance articles about people related to college football. Oftentimes, a simple photo is contained in the infobox of an article (see Tim Tebow. Other inline photos may be used to improve the quality of the article.

As a general rule, photos in the College Football Project should be selected to show the subject in its best light. As an example, 1968 Heisman Trophy winner O. J. Simpson earned infamy for having been tried for murder in 1994, but photos are maintained to show the positive side of his college football career. This rule is not always possible for "crossover articles" where other editors may be more enthusiastic about showing a more negative image.

The "best light" guideline may be broken when the article calls for it.

Editor's note: I'm not happy with the wording on this particular section because I want to make sure that we maintain WP:NPOV, but I'm not sure if we would be violating non-point-of-view by only showwing "best light" photos... anyone?--Paul McDonald (talk) 13:44, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


Team photos are encouraged. Some team photos are placed with the head coach's page, such as Samuel Colgate, Jr. and others can be found on the specific team's season page, such as 2007 Texas Longhorn football team. The Colgate team is a posed photo that has managed to find its way into the public domain, where the Texas team photos are taken by fans who have voluntarily selected either GNU, Public Domain, or provided another fair use rationale.

Modern-day teams tend to have copyrighted photos only for posed group pictures. This can make obtaining a team photograph a bit more challenging for Wikipedians.


Project team members and other Wikipedia editors are enocuraged to take their own photographs during games and (when legally allowed) place them into the public domain and/or GNU fair use licensing.

Other image issues[edit]


The best quality images should be used whenever possible. If there is a dispute about the quality of an image, the subject can be discussed on the article TALK page until a consensus is reached.


When possible, photos and images should be not over-used. Encountering the same photo on many pages can actually weaken the image of the college football project. Seek to include new photos when possible and re-use only when it is necessary.

One exception to the "over-use" guideline is the image "Image:NCAAFootball.jpg" which can be used on banners for the college football project and helps to build the "brand" of the project among Wikipedians.

Non-photo images[edit]

Non-photo images such as plots, graphs, scale images of football plays, and other items can be a welcome addition to project pages.

Photo taking tips[edit]

General Ideas[edit]

  • You can do a surprising amount with a simple pocket, point-and-shoot camera if you know how to take advantage of its features.
  • Use the highest resolution setting, that way if you capture something interesting in a portion of the photo, the cropped version will still be in good shape. This is especially true when taking photos of a sideline (and hoping to catch players looking in your direction). You may not realize what you have until you go and look on a computer screen later. Along this same line, you can sometimes get two different cropped photos out of a larger resolution one.
  • Stadiums are often well lit, so lighting is not always an issue on the field.
  • Unless you have a top camera, movement is not your friend: try to take photos of stationary people and objects. However, the further you are from the action, the easier it will be to photograph with any camera (of course, you lose detail).
  • "Garbage time" can be your friend: if your seats aren't great, or you want a new angle, the mass departure of fans towards the end of a decided game can open up entirely new sections of the stadium (often quite close) for you to go in and snap photos of both on-field action as well as people on the sideline (who are often the top players being rested).
  • If you're sporting team colors, don't be surprised if opposing players ignore you; they have no idea why you're taking a photo. Neither will your own team's players, however your clothing will work in your favor.
  • Always be courteous.

Where to find players and coaches[edit]

There are many opportunities to photograph players.

  • In-game: The most common thought is during the game, while players are on the field; however many fans are not close to the sidelines, and players in action on the field are not easily photographed in any detail. Still, in-game photos can capture pivotal moments that make good season or game article photos as well as player article photos for their college years.
  • In-action photos often require a photographer to predict a completed pass or successful run and snap at photo at a key moment in the hope that it actually happens (the ability to delete digital photos off the camera helps a lot!). It can be distracting to remember to move the camera while you pay attention to the game (and who wants to watch a live game through a camera's view screen?); with practice you can watch the game with your eyes but move the camera to keep things in frame naturally (if you have a larger view screen, I recommend keeping it in the peripheral field of vision).
  • Sidelines: Another technique is to take photos of the sidelines, since many players take off their helmets. This can be difficult if your seats are far from the sideline; another factor is many players are watching the action on the field with their backs to the crowd. However, moments to occur and even visiting teams do look back to see how the home crowd is reacting. If you're within vocal distance you can always ask for them to turn for a photo --but many players are good at shutting out the crowd noise, especially in hostile environments.
  • A few stadiums, like Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, allow people to walk right behind the bench (separated by nothing more than a short fence). If you're at a stadium like this, you will have a golden opportunity to snap numerous sideline photos on eye-level. However, it is not a good idea to start talking to players during a game, other than maybe a brief "can I get your photo?" or "Wikipedia!" if they look at you with a "what the hell are you doing?" look.
  • Arriving at the stadium: Many teams, even visiting teams, will have a set time where they will arrive at the stadium; usually several hours before the game. Home teams often have a traditional time and place (some are elaborate traditions); visiting teams will often let the public know a time/place as well (fan message boards are often a good place to find out). Depending on the set-up, the players may walk through throngs of fans; this is a great opportunity to place yourself on the route and snap numerous photos of players and coaches on their way to the stadium. Some players will be trying to shut-out distractions (eyes forward, headphones on, all the way to the locker room); others will be gregarious and high-fiving people on the way in. Just keep in mind, these can get crowded so place yourself strategically.
  • After the Game I: If the team traditionally celebrates next to the band immediately after a victory (as home or visitor), there may be an opportunity. As players leave the field, particularly after a victory, many will look to the stands as they exit --there should be opportunities, though the players often keep walking (and sometimes quite fast) so plan accordingly. Don't hesitate to shout encouragement (or, if you can remember/identify, a player's name) to get them to look and hopefully pose for a photo ("Great job, _____! Photo?")
  • Remember that big players and key gamebreakers will often be the last to leave as the on-field press will mob them after the game.
  • After the Game II: A number of teams, particularly visiting teams, will meet outside of the stadium after everyone's showered and changed to get back on the team buses. They also use this time to meet up with family and friends who've come to see them play. You might spot this gathering (or find out about it) and get an opportunity to take a photo if you ask nicely. If you feel awkward asking a player to stand alone for a photo, you may want to ask to have someone take your photo with the palyer and simply crop yourself out for uploading it to Wikipedia.
  • Spring, fall and in-season practices: when open to the public, offer an opportunity to get very close to the players.
  • If practices are closed, you may be able to catch players, coaches and staff on their way to or leaving the field. (Try not to get in the way)
  • Always remember to use common sense. Be courteous, if you create a problem you may cause a team to have a stricter policy for practices.
  • Spring Game: For some schools they're very well attended, others not so much. In certain cases fans can get much closer to the players than they normally would.
  • Rallies: If players attend a rally, it can be a good opportunity to snap photos if you can get close enough before, during or after.
  • Other football events: Some teams have public events involving players and coaches; if you have the opportunity to attend one, bring a camera.

Other opportunities[edit]

  • There are more opportunities than just the game: you can take photos of the stadium; the marching bands; any pre-game tradition --do a bit of research before you go and see what might be needed.
  • While you're going to an event, considering taking some extra time to visit other related areas:
  • Some university articles need campus photos
  • If a school has an athletic hall of fame or other public trophy case, you may be able to capture a good photo of a rivalry trophy; historic championship (or bowl championship) trophy; as well as personal trophies (Heismans, Nagurskis, etc).
  • Is there a tradition closely tied to the program? Take a picture. Some may not even be on campus, i.e. Toomer's Corner (which, incidentally, could use a better photo).