Filling in the gaps with Queensland photo runs
- Originally published at http://blog.wikimedia.org.au/2015-08-filling-in-the-gaps-with-queensland-photo-runs/
"Many major Australian cities have articles about places and buildings in them which have not been systematically photographed."
The camera grant has provided a valuable tool with which I can share knowledge about my part of the world. It has served as proof that edit training workshops (which I often assist with) do actually occur. It was also planned to improve my knowledge of photography however I rarely use its manual settings. As time if often of the essence I tend to leave the camera on automatic with a landscape scene setting. The current total is 655 photos uploaded from just over 1,750 photos taken, which equates to 30 cents per photo. I’d be happy with 10 cents per photo so if I can upload a total of more than 2,000 photos with my Fujifilm FinePix S4800 then I think Wikimedia Australia got their moneys worth.
Many major Australian cities have articles about places and buildings in them which have not been systematically photographed. This includes Toowoomba, Ipswich and Logan City. Having a decent camera to rectify this has been useful but my lack of a private vehicle to access places is a snag. To rectify this I have coordinated drives with [User:Kerry Raymond](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Kerry_Raymond). In 2014, we started targetting areas which has little or no photographs in their respective articles. In 2014, we embarked on eight photo drives. So far, in 2015 we have undertaken six drives. Some of these were done in conjunction with edit-training workshops on the Darling Downs. Most of these drives have focused on site listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. I also go for long walks and sometimes take the camera if I know there are opportunities to obtain photos for articles which don’t have them.
I think the best photo runs are ones which start in an urban area and transition to a rural landscape. This provides a nice mix of buildings, historical sites, schools, infobox photos and photos of various geographical features. It means a diverse mix of articles can be improved rather than a niche set. Its best to do the photo runs in spring and autumn. Winter has reduced sunlight hours and summer can be too uncomfortable. Jumping in and out of the car, snapping some pics and moving on may not sound physically demanding but even with a lunch break I usually start to feel tired after 3 pm. I do get a little frustrated when I spend time photographing schools. I know that many of the school’s students have decent cameras and they would be aware of their school’s article, yet they make no effort to share a photo on Wikipedia. Another minor issue is that in many rural places there are few distinguishing objects to photograph. Often there is nothing but grassy fields or thick bush to snap. However if that is what is representative for a particular place then its appropriate to place it in the infobox.
w:User:Shiftchange has been editing Wikipedia for over 10 years. In 2014, he was a successful applicant for Wikimedia Australia’s Camera Equipment Program. The image in this article depicts Old Cleveland Police Station. A collection of other photographs taken by Shiftchange can be found on Wikimedia Commons, at [[commons:Category:Photographs by Shiftchange sponsored by Wikimedia Australia].