Wikipedia:WikiProject Scotland/Edinburgh Photography Workshop

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20 - 22 July 2012, Base at Mcdonald Road Library, 2 McDonald Road, EH7 4LU
See our uploads on Wikimedia Commons.


Poster for the workshop
For any queries contact Daria Cybulska at
Phone 0207 065 0994 or 07803 505 170.

Organisation: Daria Cybulska, Brian McNeil and Peter Weis

From 20 - 22 July 2012 an international group of Wikimedians run the first "Edinburgh Photography Workshop". Our idea was to improve photography skills amongst the attendees, share the tricks of the trade and show how to make the most of your photographs throughout Wikimedia's projects, focusing on Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia.

We covered a variety of topics, depending on their individual skills and interest:

  • GPS - photography and geodata
  • camera setup - understanding the manual
  • tripod photography
  • image editing (Photoshop/Lightroom/GIMP) - improving your results
  • composition - how to avoid common mistakes in the field
  • tricks of the trade - tips and gadgets you might find useful
  • panorama photography - stitching images
  • architectural photography
  • landscape photography
  • image licensing
Edinburgh workshop, McDonald Rd. library.

The workshop was designed for participants with different photography skills - attendees were encouraged to present on a topic of their choice to share knowledge.

There was a limit of 20 participants, including as many locals as possible and interested attendees from elsewhere in the UK (up to 10) as well as Germany (up to 3). Anyone with a camera (point-and-shoot camera or a high end DSLR) could participate.

Local transportation[edit]


  • Mcdonald Road Library, Business Hub. 2 McDonald Road, EH7 4LU, Edinburgh. Accessible by Lothian buses lines 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 22, 25, 49. 'Hillside' bus stop on the Leith Walk road.
  • Internet connection available
  • Refreshments available
  • This is where we had the initial workshops/explanations, it was our base to be used when going out for photography trips.


Trainers were supported with costs.


Participants user names:


Possible photography locations included:

Arthur's Seat
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
outside McDonald Road Library


Mcdonald Road Library opening hours: 10am-5pm

Time Mcdonald Road Library Outdoor activity
16:00 - 17:00 meet&greet  
17:00 - 18:00   open space
18.00 - 20:00   tea
20.00 - open end    


Mcdonald Road Library opening hours: 9am-5pm

Time Mcdonald Road Library Outdoor activity
10:00 - 10:30 meet&greet  
10:30 - 11:30 camera introduction: dial m for manual mode - Lead by Peter Weis with help of Robert, Andrew and Magnus.
Mention of what we are looking for in a Commons picture.
11:30 - 13:30   photo tour I, focus on architecture, close to the library - lead by Robert Veal
13:30 - 14:30   lunch break (Vittoria - opposite McDonald Rd Library)
14:30 - 15:30 evaluation of photos taken on the tour (in groups, supervised by Peter, Magnus, Robert and Andrew)  
15:30 - 16:45 Wikipedia & Wikimedia commons by User:Brian McNeil and User:Peter Weis  
17.30 - 19:30   optional - dinner/pub


Mcdonald Road Library opening hours: 1pm-5pm

Time Mcdonald Road Library Outdoor activity
10:00 - 10:15   meet and greet @RBGE, main entrance on Inverleith Row. Bus 8 stops nearby.
10:15 - 12:30   photo tour II starting @RBGE, ending at McDonald Rd Library
12:30 - 14:00   return for lunch. grab some sandwiches at Tesco opposite McDonald Rd Library
14:00 - 15:00 uploading photographs on Commons - lead by User:Peter Weis, supported by experienced Wikimedians  
15:00 - 16:30 Questions, sum up and what’s next by User:Brian McNeil  


  • Peter Weiss
  • Brian McNeil
  • Magnus Gertkemper
  • Several others willing to share their photography/editing and Wikimedia Commons Knowledge

Follow-up information[edit]

Photo knowledge & blogs[edit]

RAW editing[edit]

For those who saw editing of RAW format photos, and would rather not spend the money on yet another piece of software, there are free alternatives. This video shows a program called RawTherapee. Yes, the demo is on Linux, but there is a version available for Windows.


Wikimedia Commons has an official policy on licensing. Although a large variety of free licences is suitable for your content, we focused on Creative Commons licences throughout the workshop.

  • CC-0 By using CC-0 you release your content into the public domain or release as many rights as legally possible if you can't release content into the public domain under the legislation of your country. The idea of this "licence" is to waive requirements such as attribution in order to simplify re-use and strengthen the public domain. People who re-use CC-0 content may create works that are fully copyrighted. The complete legalcode can be found here.
CC-BY 3.0 EXAMPLE:Zonnetafel - Valthe by Richard Broekhuijzen,
  • CC-BY 3.0 To properly re-use a CC-BY 3.0 file you are required to provide the 1.) name of the author 2.) title of the work (if provided) and 3.) the URI to the legalcode of the licence. People who re-use CC-BY 3.0 content may create works that are fully copyrighted. The complete legalcode can be found here.
CC-BY-SA 3.0 EXAMPLE: Stenella frontalis, Foto: Martina Nolte / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-by-sa-3.0 de
  • CC-BY-SA 3.0 To properly re-use a CC-BY-SA 3.0 file you are required to provide the 1.) name of the author 2.) title of the work (if provided) and 3.) the URI to the legalcode of the licence. People who re-use CC-BY-SA 3.0 content may not create works that are fully copyrighted, since the licence requires them to "share alike". The complete legalcode can be found here.
  • DISCLAIMER Please not that only the legal code of each licence is legally binding. You should read it carefully. The URI may depend on the medium of re-use: while on the internet a hyperlink (see CC-BY-SA 3.0 example) is considered to be sufficient, in print you'd have to use the entire link (see CC-BY 3.0 example) - since hyperlinks don't work on paper.

Using Commons images elsewhere[edit]

As mentioned in chats during Saturday's session, some people do use other tools (WordPress, for example). In this case, WordPress is freely licensed, similarly to text on Wikipedia and images on Commons.

However, as a blogger, you can have all of Commons at your disposal. This WordPress plugin is designed to allow you to do that. This allows far more scope in making your images available to a wider audience; in return, you - relatively conveniently - have the entire Commons media repository at your disposal.

For those, like our friends from OpenStreetMap, absolutely any installation of the same software as used by Wikipedia can use something called InstantCommons. Again, it puts all of Commons at your disposal. This, on an individual level, may not be particularly useful. However, many small-to-medium companies can employ the MediaWiki package instead of the far more costly Sharepoint suite from Microsoft.

The big advantage of tools like this is you, as a content creator, are not left dealing with the technical details of downloading from Commons, perhaps resizing the image, uploading to your content management system, and correctly attributing the image - you just use it.


If you upload pictures to the Commons you usually do that to illustrate a Wikipedia article. However it's nice to know about the metrics of re-use.

Featured pictures[edit]

Featured pictures are images that the community has chosen to be highlighted as some of the finest on Commons. The idea is to award this honour to extraordinary images, which will then be featured on the main page of Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia (for Wikipedia's featured picture project see Wikipedia:Featured pictures). Every year, featured pictures elected in the last 12 months will be part of the picture of the year contest.

Featured picture candidates is a good way to get feedback on your images and see if the community considers them being the finest available. Please note that critique on featured picture candidates may be rather harsh sometimes. In addition you'll encounter several non-native speakers or people who don't speak English.

You can learn more about featured pictures on Commons:Featured pictures and Commons:Featured picture candidates