Commons talk:Photo challenge

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search


First steps[edit]

In order to get this off the ground, the very first thing we need is to have a challenge or a couple of challenges for December. Once that's sorted, we can work on the framework.

  • How are challenges chosen. Will we structure themes them into strands such as "Subject", "Concept" and "Technique"?
  • How many challenges at a time? How about 2 from different strands e.g. one concrete subject and one abstract concept?
  • Establish the entry criteria for the competitions.
  • How do we vote or otherwise pick a winner or winners.
  • What qualities are we looking for. Is it just a popularity contest, or will there be some marking scheme?
  • How are new challenge pages created.
  • How do participants add their images.
  • How and when do reviewers perform their task?
  • What deadlines do we have for entry and review?

More? I think it is important to keep this lightweight (especially to begin with) and fun. So a huge page of guidelines or a strict 6-point checklist of assessment criteria are not desirable. Colin (talk) 13:27, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Is the intent to draw in external talents (se WLM) or is this directed at Commoners? There might be merit in inviting/enticing professional photographers with the incentive of exposure on a main page. 19:40, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I had thought we wouldn't be able to have a prize, so it would just be for your own satisfaction and honour among friends. But I guess appearance on the main page could be a prize, if the community thinks the winning entries are good enough. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a physical prize if this is really successful. WMF has a few pennies to spare. Though the downside to that is that it might spoil the fun and some real pros could walk all over the amateurs. The main purpose is to create great content while having fun and trying new things. That's my aim anyway. The WLM has been great at attracting new contributors, less good at attracting regulars and not very good at all at retaining new contributors. So that balance there is wrong for this. If this is successful, then it may attract new photographers to join. Even with WLM, you need to get an account to enter. Colin (talk) 21:05, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't have too much time for this atm, but to keep things running here are some random thoughts: When setting up the rules, we might want to keep them flexible. For instance, the maximum amount of post-production (photoshopping etc.) to be accepted might depend on the theme of the challenge. Some themes might call for a longer period (let's say one month), others could be quicker (let's say one week). Also, the criteria for judging might vary depending on the intention of the individual challenge (a challenge might be about a photographic technique, best illustration of some kind of object, general mood/beauty/awesomeness, …). So, as stated earlier, I would prefer to create a set of different types of challenges with a special set of rules for each of them (Doesn't necessarily be complete befor we start, we should probably just develop them as we go). Also: if this is not intended to be for photos only, why not call it "Media challengee(s)" instead? Cheers, --El Grafo (talk) 11:13, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

This was always intended for photos in my mind. Photo challenges are an existing feature of online photo communities (search for the term and you'll find dozens). So we know this can work if we have enough participants. There are plenty photographers on Commons, so hopefully many of them may be interested. I have no idea about other media but suspect there isn't a history of group challenges for other creative forms and the Commons community of creators of such material is tiny. Colin (talk) 11:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the frequency of challenges and number of simultaneous ones might depend on how big a response this gets. I thought a month might be a good start, but if really popular then a fortnight might work. Yes, some themes might take longer than others. I'm not sure a week is sufficient as that only leaves one weekend where lots of people have sufficient free time. One possibility is that new challenges are started every week/fortnight but each one runs for a month. We need to make sure there are sufficient responses to each challenge to be worth judging. Colin (talk) 11:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I was of course just brainstorming. Maybe we should just pick a couple of themes, start a trial run and see what happens … --El Grafo (talk) 12:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Indeed -- Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

First themes[edit]

Here are some suggestions for first themes. There are lots of possibilities. Any strong objections to these three? Got another suggestion for January? Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I like those ideas. Made another quick indoor-proposal for January (or whenever) below. --El Grafo (talk) 14:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Great idea. -- Colin (talk) 14:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Good for a start. Yann (talk) 16:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, very good ideas.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this all sounds very good. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 04:19, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm ok with some of this type, but they seem a bit artsy rather than educational if you know what I mean. Perhaps we can try to fill educational gaps. I'll suggest a few in the upcoming possibilities list. --99of9 (talk) 04:55, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
If this succeeds, then there is certainly room for some of the themes to be explicitly designed to fill the gaps in our repository, and I would strongly support that. I'm a bit nervous about a month competition for "undocumented personalities" as it is quite hard to just go out and snap a celebrity. And some of our categories are poorly illustrated rather than completely empty -- so it would be good to phrase the challenge so that taking a good quality image, where no good image previously existed, was sufficient. Colin (talk) 08:36, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Real celebrities are almost certain to have pictures already. You'd probably be looking for your local political representative, academic, sports team, etc. I agree it would be a little bit of a scavenger hunt, so maybe best not in the first couple of months, but sometimes a challenge makes it more fun. I don't move in the circles of the famous, but I personally know about five people with WP articles that don't have a picture. --99of9 (talk) 09:51, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Very good --Martin Falbisoner (talk) 05:36, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • December
    • Coloured light. This should be a good one for December with plenty subjects towards Christmas and New Year celebrations. Subject should either be or have a source of coloured light or be lit by coloured light (rather than being a coloured object). Be careful with copyright on toys (COM:TOYS). See Category:Colorful lighting for ideas. Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Silhouette. A technique rather than a subject. See Category:Silhouettes for ideas. Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • January
    • Frost. For those where January is a cold month, this may tempt you outdoors with your gloves and woolly hat. Alternatively, the Fridge/Freezer may help. Or choose the other theme... Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    • A bunch of stuff. Have a look at the following examples and you'll get it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Let's fill Category:Assorted objects/Category:Textures. --El Grafo (talk) 14:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      Brillant. Love that idea :) Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • The four elements in Winter: air (sky, clouds); water (rain and sea); fire (storms, lightening); earth (frozen land, snow, ice) -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 12:37, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • February
    the first two themes were already suggested (see #Monthly theme), Anna reg (talk) 13:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
    • February 2014 as possible continuation of the January theme
    • Love, inspired by Valentine's day
  • More ideas
    • Undocumented species Biological species of which Commons has no other media. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      This could be great, with enough people involved. Junkyardsparkle (talk) 23:26, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
      I'd like something like that for spring, but I wouldn't be as strict about the undocumented clause, as long as the species/cultivar/breed is identified. Perhaps we could say that the challenge is meant to illustrate the species/subspecies/variety better in order to prevent lots of pictures of cats and unidentified tulip culivars... Anna reg (talk) 13:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Undocumented personalities Portraits of notable people of which Commons has no other media. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Newsworthy Events that made the news during this month. (Please provide a link to a related news article.) --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      Very interesting idea, imho. If this turns out to work well, I could imagine this to become some kind of "permanent" challenge, which is re-started every month or so. --El Grafo (talk) 08:43, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Leaf venation Veins of accurately identified plants. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Local food Notable dishes or ingredients from your area/culture. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      Local food is a brilliant theme. -- Colin (talk) 08:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      I agree. --Myrabella (talk) 09:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
    • People love their work!
      "People at work" can be an interesting topic indeed, with encyclopedic potential. Maybe a norrower theme would be challenging, for instance "People in manufacturing activities". --Myrabella (talk) 13:38, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
      Interesting idea, but we need to keep Commons:Personality rights in mind. I'd suggest to use {{Consent}}.--El Grafo (talk) 09:18, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Yeah, good idea. When I see nice shots like this or that I think we definitely could use more of such images of people working. Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Thanks; Social documentary photography is an important part of educational photography, and documenting how we earn our bread is interesting part of it. Commons:Personality rights is a challenge and is the main reason why we strive in the area of good people photographs. But I think we can encourage such works, as far as such works are taken with care so that any person depicted there may not feel inferior if public see it. I don't want to see more butterflies and landscapes here too. :) JKadavoor Jee 14:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • People love their life! My favorite themes in Flickr. :) JKadavoor Jee 08:56, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Light and Shadows (eg Category:Light and shadow) (I have more photos on this theme than on "silhouettes" ;) --Myrabella (talk) 09:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Action verbs This was one of the theme of a photo scavenger hunt I took part in last year − we had to illustrate stuff like “mopping”, “straightening” or “trashing” (and other quite not successful, like “sneezing”, “measuring”, “stealing”). This was lots of fun, not so easy, and quite a definite gap in our coverage I think. Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Yes, I like this a lot. --99of9 (talk) 06:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Emotions important pages, but few images. We could almost have a separate challenge on each emotion! --99of9 (talk) 06:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Concert photography -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Sports photography - possible to concentarte on sports topics like water sports, ball sports, team playing, racings ... -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Bridges -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Streaming water -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Sunset, Fog, ... -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Fire -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Bird watching -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Change scope to Media challenge?[edit]

Can I suggest widening the scope to include all media types that Commons supports? In particular I'd like to see some challenges related to valuable diagrams. Or at least diagrams being eligible to enter these broad-scoped challenges. --99of9 (talk) 04:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this will work, but if half a dozen illustrators turn up here with ideas for themes they could compete on and would regard as a useful challenge.... I don't see any significant mix on Commons between the photographers and illustrators and think the two groups would have difficulty picking subjects they could both do (and doing so would place huge restrictions), or for us to find any way of judging between the two. For example, none of the suggested categories so far would suit illustrators. And video and sound? Do we even get much self-produced material in those categories, let alone material produced for a competition. I suggest we get the photo challenge off the ground first for a few months. We don't really know if this will take off yet. Then if someone can start and succeed at running an illustration theme then the name could change. -- Colin (talk) 08:20, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Limit number of entries?[edit]

I suggest a limit on the number of submissions each photographer can make to each challenge (e.g. N=1). It will help the judges and result in highest quality candidates if everyone does some pre-selection amongst their own work. --99of9 (talk) 04:47, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support That sounds reasonable --Martin Falbisoner (talk) 05:34, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes; one from each photographer to each challenge is enough. JKadavoor Jee 06:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm not keen on this at all. The point is to encourage creativity and fun and produce new material. The judging and winner aspect is only there as a carrot, not to limit contributions. WLM has no limit on entries. If we get 30 "coloured lights" images and 10 are from one person, then that's 9 more coloured lights they might not have uploaded. Perhaps #8 wins but they personally would have chosen #2. The more arty, experimental and varied nature of this material will mean it will be hard for someone to be sure which of their images will attract votes. Why should I have the stress of picking one from 10 possibles, when I can let my peers vote? Perhaps if there is concern that people may dump lots of low quality images or many nearly identical images, then how about some wording like "Please choose from among the best and varied material you have taken for the challenge. Do not submit lots near-identical images or the duds in your collection.". If it turns out the challenges are being overloaded then we can rethink -- it is a wiki after all. -- Colin (talk) 08:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose This is supposed to encourage production of a lot of files, not just one per user. WLM is so useful exactly because we end up with a lot of files. If we artificially limit the number of files a user can upload, we'll simply get fewer files and no real advantages. darkweasel94 10:15, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Leave it now. We desperately need some nominations to start with. Let us discuss such things, later. Unfortunately, I've no Coloured light or Silhouette in hand. :) JKadavoor Jee 10:39, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Well you've got the whole of December to take some :-) -- Colin (talk) 12:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Symbol support vote.svg Support I find it ridiculous that some users flood a competition with their photos.One should submit only their best work as far as a competition goes. --Catlemur
  • I think a limit is a good idea, but I feel like N=2 or 3 would be completely fine and encourage people to try a few more things. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 20:47, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting info.svg Info see also: #Number of nominations per user --El Grafo (talk) 21:27, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Pictures eligible for submission[edit]

Just to be clear, currently the rules are Submissions must be […] not previously uploaded to Commons, but the next sentence includes images you took for the challenge. This might cause some confusion: Am I allowed to enter any picture from my personal archive, provided that it isn't at Commons already? Or are pictures accepted only if they were taken after the beginning of the challenge? Personally I'd tend to leave this up to the initiator of the specific challenge (or discuss it for every challenge, or do something else, but at least keep it flexible), but we should clarify this for the current challenges. Cheers, --El Grafo (talk) 08:57, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

As dates can be easily manipulated, I think we can accept images taken earlier, but not uploaded earlier. Anyway we have to upload it prior to make a nomination. So I don't know the logic behind Submissions must be […] not previously uploaded to Commons. May be Colin meant not uploaded to Commons prior to the start date of the challenge. :) JKadavoor Jee 09:10, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I've tried to simplify and clarify the text. The intention of a challenge is to encourage us to go out and take new pictures, not to just browse through our archive. But as far as Commons is concerned, the benefit is to host new material, no matter how old the images are. I think we should treat all submissions equally: old (but newly uploaded) and newly taken. It is not our concern if someone is inspired to take something new or is inspired to upload something old. That's up to them. So this is a balance that is similar to the WLM rules. And perhaps some challenges involve processing images in a special way, so old photos would be suitable for that. The upload date should be during the "Open for submissions" period only. I'm relaxed about people making minor tweaks after that date (say someone sees a dust spot, or CA, or a stitching error). Does this seem reasonable? -- Colin (talk) 09:44, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Enough, I think. JKadavoor Jee 09:50, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Yep, looks good. --El Grafo (talk) 12:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Upload campaign[edit]

Hi. I'm playing with the idea to add an upload campaign for the photo challenge. This would allow better tracking op pictures contributed for the PC, automatic adding of categories, and branding of the upload page for Photo challenge uploads. The campaign data is here Campaign:Photo_challenge. --Dschwen (talk) 17:52, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

We seem to have a problem with people's nominations lacking the signature (just the ~~~~). Is that the gallery tag breaking it? Can you advise?
The campaign upload form needs to collect people's title for their image to display on the nomination, as well as the image itself. Would it have the option to choose which theme the upload is for?
I think categories for PC would be good. One category for the PC itself and then subcategories for each challenge theme. But we also need to make sure people know what to set manually in case they don't use the campaign form or change which image they nominate.
Is Commons moving to default to CC 4 licence any time? Or even having it as an option on the wizard? -- Colin (talk) 15:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Commons:Bugs#Galleries mentions two (rather old) bugs concerning signatures in galleries. Commons:QI has the same problem, but there appears to be some kind of workaround using JavaScript (see Commons:QIC#Nominations). --El Grafo (talk) 12:14, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
An alternative solution might be to just disallow signing the entries. You get the image and a title but no (obvious) clue as to who created the picture. Even clicking on the full-size link, you can probably avert your eyes from the uploader details. That might result in fairer judging. And since you must nominate your own image, it is easy to work out who won when the winner is chosen. -- Colin (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
I have rewritten the gallery signature fix. We could activate it on the topic galleries if signatures are needed. --Dschwen 16:38, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


Signatures are proving a problem due to the images being in a gallery. Dschwen has a fix, but I'm wondering if the contest is fairer if we don't advertise who created the image so prominently. Of course it is possible to see who created an image, but if we just have the image and its title, it should be possible to review an image (even clicking on the full size page) without looking to see who made it. This won't work for those show-offs who include their name as part of the filename :-). Another benefit is it also makes the gallery less cluttered as signatures are sometimes rather fancy and long. What do we think? Let's have a poll

No signatures
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Colin (talk) 17:01, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support No big reason to have them.
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Lotje (talk) 21:39, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Agree, all the more since signatures in the gallery still don't work. --Myrabella (talk) 23:09, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --El Grafo (talk) 10:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Late, I know. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 09:45, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Looks like a consensus to me, should we apply it to all entries then? — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 09:45, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I've removed them. -- Colin (talk) 10:36, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Date of upload...[edit]

Hi all.

If I understand well : "Photographs entered into a competition must be new to Commons" means that we may upload picture during the month of the current challenge and pictures wich were uploaded one or more month before can't be in the current month challenge ?

Some of december challenge were uploaded a long time before december. Are they able to enter the competition ?

Can some one clarify that in the challenge rules ? Thanks. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 00:43, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Oops, thanks for that, I hadn't noticed that it had to be own work. I've removed Lt David Blackburn. I suggest just directly removing anything that is not eligible. --99of9 (talk) 06:12, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Pinging Colin to look on every nominations. Jee 10:44, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a shame. If we include 99of9's entry that's 10 that had to go. Mostly uploaded previously but one other image was a diagram from a scientific paper, rather than a photo or original work. It would help if others can vet new entries as they arrive and post something to the nominator. Ultimately Dschwen's idea of a Campaign wizard for uploading will help here. And some automation for vetting entries could be achieved. There is a fair bit that will need automating in future if this is to scale and run smoothly, but we can cope with doing it manually for now. -- Colin (talk) 13:18, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I understood well. Couldn't it be writen in bold ? In each page to be clearly legible ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:11, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Llann .\m/ , you are right, I made it bold to make it clearer. Lotje (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Smile. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 18:32, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I think "Photographs entered into a competition must be newly uploaded to Commons during the month of the current challenge and taken by a Commons user." (or something like that -English is not my native language) could be better than "Photographs entered into a competition must be new to Commons and taken by a Commons user.". --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 18:40, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree. It is a wiki, you know :-). Also the "Formal things" section is pretty stubby at present. I don't want it to become some epic set of rules, but if they can be clarified and improved then please try. Perhaps each photo challenge should repeat that "Photographs for this challenge must be uploaded to Commons in December" or something like that. -- Colin (talk) 18:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Colin : I don't think it is or can be "some epic set of rules" as you said. They are basic but they need IMAO to be clearful. If the rules are as clear as you say, the 2 or 3 users haven't posted pictures that were already on Commons before challenge and then deleted of the page.
"Photographs entered into a competition must be uploaded to Commons during the month of the current challenge and taken by a Commons user" just ads a few words and not a big block of explanations. Thank you to invite me as " then please try" but I decline because of my English level : this is only a simple user's review/suggestion.
"Perhaps each photo challenge should repeat [...]", I agree too and suggested that above (with my clumsy words eve n if Googlz is my friend). Have a nice week. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 22:33, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Submission too complicated?[edit]

At Commons talk:Photo challenge/de Andreas Schwarzkopf asked how to actually submit an image (technically), so it seems that this is not completely obvious. Currently, there are two options to reach the subpage containing the gallery with the submissions for one theme:

How can we sort this out? Should we maybe even consider creating a big green button for submissions? --El Grafo (talk) 10:23, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Pinging Colin. Jee 10:30, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
For the beginning, we could simply add a link=Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Coloured light to the "insert image here"-file, so you'll at least end up at the right page. Is there some way to automatically open the page in edit mode? link=Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Coloured light&action=edit doesn't seem to work … --El Grafo (talk) 10:48, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
This one seems to work: File:-Insert image here-.svg|link={{fullurl:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|action=edit}}|Sample Title 2. --El Grafo (talk) 11:12, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Nope, works fine if you are already at the subpage, but not from the main page … --El Grafo (talk) 11:58, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I only created some thing quick-and-dirty to get this off the ground. I hope others more wiki-savvy than me can create an infrastructure that makes nominating/reviewing easy. User:Dschwen? Anyone else? It would be great to have a WLM-style upload page like proposed above, which automatically inserted the image with title. -- Colin (talk) 14:11, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

UploadWizzard Campaigns cannot insert images into galleries, but they can add custom categories to the images. I'm not sure this is much help though. Or do we have a way of including a category as a gallery? (could be written in JavaScript...) --Dschwen (talk) 00:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I have an idea

Bear with me... --Dschwen (talk) 00:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The list below is dynamically created using the category tree extension. A little bit of JavaScript could easily turn this into a picture gallery. --Dschwen (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Click here to view the list as an embedded gallery instead. --Dschwen (talk) 18
14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
This script turns the image list into a makeshift gallery. I'll need to postprocess the scaling because I can only request thumbnails with a given width. But that should be easy. --Dschwen (talk) 03:25, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
And done, too. Maybe a square box around the image... But enough for tonight. --Dschwen (talk) 03:31, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Did I get this right: The only thing one would have to do to nominate a picture would be to drop it into a category and your magic script-fu would just grab the whole category and return a gallery? Sounds great for nominators, but what about users who still refuse to use JavaScript? They wouldn't be able to see the gallery, right? --El Grafo (talk) 13:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
People who refuse to use JavaScript are right down there with the people who refuse to use computers or refuse to vaccinate their kids. I don't see why we should cater to superstitions. --Dschwen (talk) 15:46, 18 December 2013 (UTC) P.S.: The whole thing would degrade the experience, albeit gracefully. Instead of thumbnails the noscript people would just see a list of text links. In that respect it is a very barrier free solution, ideal for screen readers etc. --Dschwen (talk) 18:18, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
My bad, I misunderstood the concept. I think a list of links would be sufficient as a fallback. --El Grafo (talk) 21:55, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

With this script we would not need subpages for each month anymore. The gadget could be added as default, to run either everywhere on commons, or just on the challenge page. --Dschwen (talk) 18:18, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I have changed the script to generate a new style of gallery, that presents centered square crops of the images (500px style). This has the advantage of giving each image equal area and an overall more harmonious presentation. Of course it has the disadvantage of being something new <;-). --Dschwen (talk) 18:21, 18 December 2013 (UTC) P.S.: I hope such a presentation, where the thumbnail is effectively a teaser for the image could discourage review at thumb size and increase click through. --Dschwen (talk) 18:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Working on an improved submission page[edit]

Check This draft. --Dschwen (talk) 22:08, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I have created two Photo challenge upload campaign (for the two concurrent topics, more can be added) here:

Furthermore I have created two subpages (banners) corresponding to the upload campaigns above:

The way this is set up, the cryptic campaign definitions won't have to be edited. The banners are displayed on the upload form and they show the current topic. The banners are also substituted automatically onto the uploaded files.

When a new challenge is started edits have to be performed in two places:

  1. The banner pages. Add the title of the challenge and the new category name (for each topic)
  2. The PC main page. Change the headings and the descriptions for the themes. Change the category listed between the <categorytree></categorytree> tags.

That's it. Now new uploads through the buttons on the contest page will automatically appear on the contest page in the correct subsection. Yay!

Now we haven't talked about voting so far. How to implement that is another story. --Dschwen (talk) 23:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

We also need an idea for easy browsing of the archives. A bot could create archive pages from the categories and the votes. --Dschwen (talk) 23:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow! That looks really clean and simple. I kind of like the squares, though you might be right with the "disadvantage of being something new" ;-) Voting might be more difficult indeed, but sticking to the idea of allowing Symbol support vote.svg Supports only (which I would prefer anyway) might at least simplify this a bit. Isn't there a possibility to use (a simplified version of) the mechanism used for the Picture of the year (Help:EnhancedPOTY.js/MediaWiki:EnhancedPOTY.js/MediaWiki:EnhancedPOTY.css)? --El Grafo (talk) 14:19, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Photo challenges...[edit]

Hello. I've created this category and subs.

--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 03:09, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi LLann, I would suggest removing the subject from the category name. Because this would allow us to auto generate category names. Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 1, Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 2 (for the two topics). --Dschwen (talk) 16:19, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Dschwen. ✓ Done. I hope I understood what you suggested and I did it right because I'm not very used with that thing. Can you see and tell me please ?
Hmm, I don't think "1" and "2" are very useful category names. Please include the challenge name. In future, people may discover an image, see it is part of a challenge and want to see the other images in the challenge. If the challenge is just called "December 2" then they have absolutely no idea what the challenge was. -- Colin (talk) 18:50, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Colin, we can add a template on the description page with the challenge name. That way we only have to modify the upload campaigns when we change the theme of the challenge. We could then include the current month category automatically on the challenge main page (using month and year parser functions). The challenge name would make the categories much less useful because it adds another unguessable piece of information and requires more manual maintenance. After all computers are here to help us, right? --Dschwen (talk) 19:29, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Then again I don't really care as long as I'm not the one doing the extra maintenance :-) --Dschwen (talk) 19:30, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't assume too much about the periodicity of the challenges. It might make sense to run some challenges over a longer period or keep some open-ended till a certain number of contributions are added. We may run more some month and less another, as the photographic activity on Commons varies with the seasons. We might not run them on exact month boundaries. Early days yet. -- Colin (talk) 19:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Ok, you are right. We'd lose this flexibility with a fixed naming scheme. Any comment on the gallery thingie? --Dschwen (talk) 21:10, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, OK... Dschwen, you forget the deletion of Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 2 Smile. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 23:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, done. --Dschwen (talk) 00:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)


I'd like to keep the challenge lightweight and positive. We are going to be experimenting with photography here more than at QI/FP/VI, so not every image will work well or be to pro standards. Here's my suggestions for voting. After the challenge closes for new entries, there is a period where it is open for voting (meanwhile other challenges are running). During this time, entries are placed into sections and people can add their names in Symbol support vote.svg Support of them. No limit on the number of images you can support. No Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose or Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral votes allowed. Each image's section could have a place where people may give constructive comments. And possibly have a discussion section for the theme as a whole, for people to comment. At the end of the voting period, the image with the most votes wins. There are other things we could additionally celebrate other than popularity (e.g., most educationally useful image, most unusual image, most megapixels image [joking]) but perhaps they can wait till we see how things go. Thoughts? -- Colin (talk) 08:48, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Celbrate wow, EV and technical excellence as seperate qualities in addition to overall best? 15:58, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Update: I liked how you could vote for POTY without seeing all the other votes (though you could see them if you wanted to). But that contest had thousands of votes. With this challenge, it isn't easy to pick an absolute winner. We could have separate qualities to vote for in addition to overall winner. For example, most original entry, or most educationally useful entry. Also we could have some way of having 2nd and 3rd votes counted, or of awarding points to images (e.g. you award 3 to your best, 2 to the 2nd best and 1 to the 3rd -- image with the most points wins). Can we brainstorm some ideas for voting? The system needs to work with a relatively small number of votes for a relatively small number of images but result in a clear winner. If, for example, we just got the nominators voting for their own images, then we'd have no clear winner. Should one be able to vote for one's own? Not sure on that one and I can see arguments both ways. -- Colin (talk) 11:25, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I think the nominator should not be able to vote for his/her own, so that people who don't vote for their own works are not put at a disadvantage against people who vote for everything they nominate. (A technicality: Only the original photographer should be prohibited from voting for their own work, not people who make minor edits to improve an image another user created. Otherwise, photos edited by someone other than the creator are put at a disadvantage, especially if the voter pool is small.) I support a system where a person ranks his/her top 3 choices, and awards 3 points to 1st, 2 points to 2nd, and 1 point to 3rd. The picture with the most points wins, with tiebreaks being the number of 1st-place votes, and then the number of 2nd-place votes. If everything is still tied, a tie will be declared. -- King of ♠ 06:33, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I like the point system for the overall winner (and perhaps the possibility to mark one candidate as original or useful for the other categories), even though I know that it's horrible to decide how many points you want to award to a picture (at least for me that's always a tough decision). I'm not sure about the '(not) voting for your own images' - I'd hope that people are trying to be objective enough to vote for their own picture only if they think that it is the best - not because it's theirs, thus making a ban on your own pictures unnecessary - but perhaps that's too optimistic...
About pictures with the same amount of points - I'd say they are tied... (without counting first votes etc to try to define a clear winner). It's not that important to have only one clear winner, is it? Anna reg (talk) 16:04, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
No system is perfect. Possibly 1/2/3 points is too crude and one could spend all day rating all the images from 1 to 100 or use a logarithmic scale, but some 1st/2nd/3rd system seems fairer than having just one vote (especially if there aren't a huge number of voters). Having one winner will be handy if perhaps we can get them onto the main page but I don't know how often any tie break is likely to happen. There are all sorts of reasons to like a picture (technical quality, originality, artistic qualities, colourful, happy, etc) and it would be hard to be truly objective with one's own pictures. If we get lots of voters, then it won't matter either way about one's own vote. Personally, since choosing between my own work and someone else's quite different picture will be hard, I'd rather not have that problem to deal with. -- Colin (talk) 16:37, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I forgot the smiley... ;-> (I believe you took my problem with choosing favourites way too seriously...) three points should be fine. But something more is needed for additional categories (and I really like that idea), as they have to be decided before the voting begins...
Which brings me to my question: Does the first voting period start in January? (You wrote somewhere here that you are still unsure if the submission period should be one month or longer...) Anna reg (talk) 21:50, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
When we finalize the voting scheme, I think the voting period should be a period of time (7 days? 14 days? a whole months?) immediately following the conclusion of submissions. Of course for this month, we can't do that, but this is what I think we should do in the future. -- King of ♠ 01:29, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
There's not been a whole lot of participation on the voting-discussion front, so I'm tempted to do like I did with setting this up and just pick something for the sake of getting things going. Perhaps we'll go with the suggested three point system and get voting started to see how it works. It's a wiki, so if it doesn't work out brilliantly then we can pick something else next month. Although categories for awards sound good, I don't think that idea is matured yet and it might be fairer to announce categories prior to the submission period -- that way people who feel they may not be able to take an overall-winning image might feel tempted to take something that wins a minor category. Also someone who submitted a picture might suggest a category they think they would win (best keyboard :-), which wouldn't be fair. My comments on length of submission period were that perhaps some of the challenge theme choices might require a long time for people to take and submit entries so some themes could be longer than others. I just want to leave things flexible at present rather than force us into a monthly cycle just because that's how it started. As for voting length, yes I don't think we need a whole month but perhaps a week is too short. If we did 14 days, then that gives us enough time afterwards to tally the votes and announce and discuss any changes/ideas for next month. So... shout now if you want a different voting system or I may just set something up today. -- Colin (talk) 09:00, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that mean that the challenges are closed? (I took some pictures during the Christmas holidays I haven't found the time to upload so far...)
Concerning the categories - I think everybody participating noticed that a lot of things aren't fixed yet (e.g. how we decide on our overall winner) and therefore can't imagine that anybody would find it unfair if something is added now. But as it seems to be difficult enough to find an overall winner, you are probably right that it's better not to immediately complicate the voting... ;-> (even though I missed something similar too 'most original entry', 'really useful', 'great idea' or 'funniest picture' at the POTY - I can't say as much about the technical aspects, as I feel too unsure to evaluate them...).
Another question is if the topics for January are fixed? At the moment there seem to be three suggestions... I'd prefer the topics bunch of stuff and four elements in Winter (frost can be included into the four elements and makes the challenge less climate/weather dependent - at the moment the weather in eastern Austria is more springlike than what you'd expect in winter...). Anna reg (talk) 15:53, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I've been setting up the voting pages. Have a look at Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Silhouette/Voting. Here is the suggested wording:

Voting is open to all Commons users however users cannot vote for their own photographs. You may select up to three photographs to award points. For example:
Give the 1st Gold Star.svgGold Star.svgGold Star.svg with *{{3/3*}} -- ~~~~
Give the 2nd Gold Star.svgGold Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg with *{{2/3*}} -- ~~~~
Give the 3rd Gold Star.svgLight Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg with *{{1/3*}} -- ~~~~

Thoughts -- Colin (talk) 18:29, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Could you randomize the order in which the entries are displayed? -- King of ♠ 05:39, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
yes, that's easy we have site JavaScript for that. I'll do it tomorrow. --Dschwen (talk) 06:31, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that work with the section-per-candidate layout? -- Colin (talk) 13:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, done on the Colored lights page here. --Dschwen (talk) 15:52, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Restricting voters[edit]

The featured picture forum restricts voting to "Only registered contributors whose Commons accounts have at least 10 days and 50 edits", with an exception for voting on your own picture. I guess this is to avoid trolls and recruited friends, etc. Should we do something similar but allow those who have entered the challenge but are newbies the chance to vote on others. I think that would be a balance between preventing biased/spoiler votes and discouraging new users from taking part. Something like:

"Voting is open to all registered contributors who have held accounts for at least 10 days and made 50 edits, and also to new Commons contributors who have entered the challenge with a picture. Users cannot vote for their own picture."

-- Colin (talk) 13:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good. -- King of ♠ 23:39, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


There have been some issues with voting where votes didn't show up if placed outside the "div" HTML sections that are used to randomise the entries. I've added some HTML comments to guide people. Perhaps Dschwen has a better solution? Can everyone help to keep an eye on the voting entries and help out if people's votes get lost or the formatting gets screwed up. The technology looks a little fragile at present. Some kind of automated POTY system would be best in future I think. -- Colin (talk) 09:44, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Sometimes some entries are not showing up. For example, your own plasma globe never shows up on the colored light voting page, and one time when I loaded the silhouette page only four entries showed up. Do we know what's wrong with this? If we can't figure this out soon maybe let's just get rid of randomization. It might not be the fairest but even more unfair would be for some entries to be randomly excluded completely. -- King of ♠ 09:58, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. I hurried to fix it and broke it with the first few goes. I think it is ok now. I agree if we continue to get problems with this "div" trick then going back to non-random would be fine -- it would be the order people submit entries, so if there is any advantage to being first in the list, then people just have to submit early! -- Colin (talk) 10:05, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Hope OK, now. I too see no benefit in randomization. In fact I took time to find the picture I voted after saving. Jee 10:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I still think randomization is better if we can have it without bugs. What I do is pick my three and open all of them in separate tabs, avoiding your issue. -- King of ♠ 01:15, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
It isn't just the bugs or extreme slowness, it is rather fragile. In fact the page is still a bit fragile if someone doesn't close a bracket or brace properly. I think it would be better to restore randomisation once we've got some automatic voting system. My ideal would be a system where
  • Go through the pictures marking those you think are contenders.
  • Filter to just this shortlist.
  • Assign 1st/2nd/3rd place.
  • Add comments to winners and runners-up.
  • Submit your vote.
And the vote would be semi-hidden similar to now. -- Colin (talk) 08:21, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I've decided that there's a bigger problem than the order of entries. Once some supports start piling on, human nature makes it very hard to ignore them. We all like to pick a winner and not be seen to back a loser. So I think it more important that we try to hide the votes a bit so people can judge fairly. I tried to use the collapse top/bottom templates but the performance with the randomisation stuff was awful (with Firefox - often it only showed part of the page and sometimes crashed). I've removed the randomisation and added the hidden votes. I think another problem with randomisation (as Jkadavoor notes) is you lose your place. There is a danger that someone starts reviewing images, remembers they got as far as the donkey silhouette and then returns to the page later only to be at a different place and thus skip a whole lot of images. It also makes it jolly hard to find stuff when it keeps moving about. It is perhaps an idea to use when we have a more automated voting method.

Are we happy with the collapsed votes? Is it working ok for everyone? -- Colin (talk) 19:12, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

It's working for me and I think it's fine - but I noticed that Araujojoan96 awarded three points to several pictures (no, I did not look through all votes, but two of them were mine) and therefore tried to clarify the rules a bit more by emphasising the three pictures. Anna reg (talk) 23:28, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
It was my mistake, I already fixed. Thanks.--Araujojoan96 (talk) 23:30, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
That was fast! ;->
Nevertheless, I still think that the rules would be easier to capture if the paragraph is separated into who can vote and how you vote... perhaps even with headings? Anna reg (talk) 23:42, 6 January 2014 (UTC)


I think it would be a good idea to define a deadline for the voting - in order to tell everybody that they should vote now instead of perhaps waiting another few days. I'd suggest this Sunday, as that would mark the end of a three week voting period and give potential voters another three days. Additionally, we would have at least a week left to check the votes (eligibility, double/multi votes, counting) before the next two challenges enter the voting period.
For the next voting period: could we invent something to award when commenting? Perhaps a silver star, a smiley or something similar?
Anna reg (talk) 13:28, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I was thinking of suggesting a deadline before the end of the month, so this Sunday would be fine. That gives is a short while to review the voting system before February voting starts. Last night I started writing a small program to check/count the voting. I'll get it to check voters meet the eligibility wrt nbr edits, and vote the correct numbers, but wasn't planning on checking people didn't vote for their own image, other than doing it by eye for the winning entries. I'll also output results if the system wasn't 3/2/1 but also 4/2/1, 1/1/1, 1/1/0 and 1/0/0. The latter three correspond to "pick your favourite x" where x is a number from one to three. The second option gives more weight to the first place. We can then see if it makes a difference and whether we should change/simplify the system. -- Colin (talk) 13:49, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good. And it would be interesting to see if there are differences, even though the idea of giving more weight to the first place doesn't really appeal to me... I find it too difficult to select my personal winners to want that decision to have more weight than it already has... ;->
About the deadline - if we decide on Sunday, we should make that known quite soon - after all, Sunday isn't that far away... Anna reg (talk) 14:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I've set the end date as midnight Saturday. The votes are just dribbling in now on average one a day and are unlikely to change any outcome. Anyone who was keen to vote has had plenty time. This will give me Sunday to count and publish the results along with some statistics. -- Colin (talk) 18:35, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Too difficult[edit]

While I am sure that most current contributors here have no difficulty opening the editing page, navigating to the right point, adding the appropriate wiki template, and finally saving, it would be more friendly for newcomers if we could implement a simpler voting system that does not require Wiki-editing knowledge. A very nice tool already exists to accept votes for the annual POTY competition, and I wonder if we could adapt the code from that? I am not sure who wrote that tool, but according to the table on this page it may have been User:Kalan. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 03:48, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I fully agree. We need automation to ensure each vote is done in a regular way that can then be counted automatically too. And automation would help set up the voting page too. And automation for uploading to the contest would be great (like WLM wizard -- perhaps inserts into category and a script creates the gallery from the category). The POTY pages are rather complex (with sub-pages for the votes and the comments for each picture) and seems overkill for us. Surely we can get by with something simpler. I think we should run manually for a month or two (unless some Javascript guru wants to leap in now) to settle on our nomination/voting rules before spending effort on tools. -- Colin (talk) 08:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds a good plan. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:52, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Extending the deadline[edit]

Should we close the December challenges now or leave them a little longer till the holidays are over? Anna reg has some pics taken for the challenge but yet to upload. I thought the duration (a month) was reasonably clear but see we didn't explicitly say the images must be uploaded in December only. So it might be reasonable to allow people some time to upload. I'm more keen to be generous for images taken for the challenge during December rather than images taken earlier but not yet uploaded -- since there's no excuse for them being late. Thoughts anyone? -- Colin (talk) 16:18, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I think we can give one more week. Jee 16:26, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I've added a note extending it over the coming weekend. I think that should be enough time. If anyone needs more then shout. -- Colin (talk) 22:59, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Could we still upload pictures taken before December? I spent the end of December out photographing rather than editing. :-P And plus the allowance of pre-December photos in the first place was more of a concession to the fact that it's impossible to tell when a photo was taken rather than an intent of the contest, so I don't see why this argument shouldn't still apply, i.e. someone could still manipulate the EXIF date. -- King of ♠ 06:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems you are confused by the allowance provided. Any "own work", "not previously uploaded to Commons prior to the challenge start date" is eligible. The purpose of that "allowance of extending to one more week" is "to allow people time to submit any photos taken during December". That's all. Jee 06:31, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
@Jee : "Submissions must be your own work and not previously uploaded to Commons prior to the challenge date" doesn't mean the pictures may be taken during the challenge month but just uploaded during the month... --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 07:26, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes; just uploaded during the month, and now upto January 5.Jee 07:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not confused by the wording of the allowance. I'm just arguing that "taken during December" is an unenforceable restriction, so any photos should be still allowed. -- King of ♠ 07:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. Jee 07:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Closed for voting. Colin and Dschwen, could you link the voting pages to the main page if they are ready? Jee 06:08, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

January theme[edit]

I am struggling a little with the Jan themes. The "bunch of stuff" works well. But when I went to look at the category for Frost (or ice) I see Commons has loads of pictures so am not sure now. The other suggestion "The four elements in Winter: air (sky, clouds); water (rain and sea); fire (storms, lightening); earth (frozen land, snow, ice)" seems very general and might allow just about any winter-themed picture. I'm not convinced about fire (other than a warm one inside) as storms aren't fire and lightning is a summer weather. We have plenty opportunity throughout the year for pictures of wet weather (in the UK certainly). Since Jan/Feb are often the coldest months (in the north) I wanted to take advantage of their seasonal attributes compared to other cold-wet months. We also have lots of pictures of snowy landscapes so wanted to avoid those. I think a specific small subject helps creativity and concentrates the images round a tight theme, which will help when judging. Ideas? -- Colin (talk) 16:18, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

For northern-hemisphere people, winter is the best time for cityscapes/skylines because office lights are still on at sunset. (There are also a slew of other advantages, e.g. the air is often clearer and sunrises/sunsets tend to be more colorful at winter, snow is always a plus for places that have it cf. File:Montreal Twilight Panorama 2006.jpg, etc.) It's not going to work for our Australian/South American/African photographers, but then again we don't have to accommodate everyone, and besides, at least southern-hemisphere people can actually photograph something (which may not be the best) as opposed to people in tropical areas given a snow theme. -- King of ♠ 05:10, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
If we are going to have seasonal themes, can we please have two alternatives? It is summer here. HelenOnline 13:38, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
There will always be challenges where some people are excluded from participating. Either due to climate or city/country or equipment, etc. I would like there to be always one challenge where most people feel they can participate (e.g. the "bunch of stuf"). I wouldn't want us to be forced to include everyone all the time or to try always to balance with opposing themes, say. There is no reason to just have two challenges, though. Are there enough southern-hemisphere participants to make a viable challenge if we target one for them? If we only get 6 photos then it doesn't work. And what about if the challenge gets swamped by us northern-hemisphere folk uploading old holiday photos and not really participating in the challenge to go out and take something? Should we restrict seasonal challenges to photographs this season? At the end of the day, the Photo Challenge isn't the only reason one might take pictures and upload them to Commons -- we have FP/VI/QI to celebrate good photos too. -- Colin (talk) 15:13, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm thinking of going with "Frost and ice" (along with "Bunch of stuff") unless anyone jumps in with a better suggestion. I'd like it to exclude snowy landscape pictures, though, just to keep the scope small. I don't want to delay launching the January theme much longer. -- Colin (talk) 15:20, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I suggest something more general than "frost and ice" because the subject leaves behind the photograpgers living in temperate countries. What about "storm" or "winter"? -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 15:40, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Well "winter" also excludes. I really don't like very general themes like "winter" or to exclude themes just because some people can't participate. And "storm" isn't a good challenge theme imo because it is so unpredictable and opportunistic -- we'll just get people looking over their Ligthroom catalogue for stormy pictures, rather than going out to take something new. The problem with a very general theme is the entries will be very random and hard to judge, and it doesn't focus the photographer in any creative way. One might as well say "take a picture outdoors" for all that. I'd much rather add a third theme for people in other climates than to restrict ourselves to bland themes. Aspects of our seasonal weather make great photographic themes, albeit one with issues in an international community. Let's not waste the chance to have some specific January theme. If the southern hemisphere folk want to suggest a third theme for them ... -- Colin (talk) 16:11, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
You can have frosting and ice cream in temperate climates ;-). Just saying there is always a way to get creative, and I'm sure if the idea is original enough it will be applauded rather than lawyered out of the competition. --Dschwen (talk) 16:28, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps but the point remains that some themes will have in-built restrictions on participation and I'd rather than have that flabby themes that absorb practically any outdoor photo taken in the last two months. -- Colin (talk) 17:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah. I agree. --Dschwen (talk) 18:14, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Going back to the specifics, "frost and ice except snowy landscapes" just seems overly convoluted and somewhat ill-defined (what constitutes a snowy landscape?). Does anyone have a better way of putting the same idea? -- King of ♠ 18:30, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry to insist, but "frost and ice" seems more restrictive to me than "winter", and much more than "storm". Yes, we can find subjects other than the atmospheric/oceanic ones (e.g. ice cubes and icecrem) but they will remain a small minority. In practical terms, the subejct will be almost restricted to people living in the northern part of the northern hemisphere. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 19:36, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Yes, we did understand that. The point brought forward by Colin is that we have more than one theme and it is not required that everyone can contribute to every theme. This forced equality type of fairness is in practice unattainable anyways. So let's nit try to dull down the topics. --Dschwen (talk) 19:42, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
But that's the point, Alvesgaspar. Please let's have several running themes if it makes people happy. Some universally applicable and some that perhaps a minority can participate with -- as long as that minority is big enough to make the contest worth running. We've had suggestions above (like birds, or concerts, or sports) that won't appeal to everyone either. Let's remember that a month ago we had no photo challenge and so no themes that appealed to anyone at all, but that didn't stop people taking pictures and uploading them. Perhaps in future we can have some voting system for themes that may help gauge likely levels of participation and keenness. At the moment we just have to pick a few themes and get something going. What about "close up frost" -- the Google Image Search results for that are very attractive. -- Colin (talk) 19:45, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, go ahead, I got the point. But "close-up frost" (that is, "ice crystals") is a very specialized theme only possible to few photograpers. Alvesgaspar (talk) 20:31, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe. I'd still like to try running a specialised theme to see what happens. If we get only 6 entries then it will have failed. Could someone suggest a third theme for January then. It doesn't need to be "the opposite hemisphere" climate theme. It could be something for everyone too. And if you want to suggest a big flabby unrestricted theme, then we could try that and see how well it works too :-) -- Colin (talk) 20:38, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
How about making the third theme just a color combination theme, like Turquoise and yellow or Orange and silver. You'd get a variety of entries for sure. --Mjrmtg (talk) 21:49, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

There's a violent hail storm with thunder outside my house right now. We've had lots of stormy weather and more is forecast. The 10-day forecast for me shows no frost. Hmm. What do I know. -- Colin (talk) 11:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Except in the freezer, that's the same here... Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 14:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
This news is why I'm not happy about running "Storm" as a "Challenge": "searches resumed in south Devon for missing 18-year-old university student Harry Martin who was last seen leaving his home to take photographs of the weather, with more than 100 people volunteering to look for him... In Aberystwyth, Dyfed a man was rescued by lifeboat after he defied police warnings and became trapped when photographing waves from a harbour jetty.". -- Colin (talk) 09:21, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Today, I came across February (from the Window in My Studio), 1948 by Josef Sudek in a book on photography. Since we haven't come to any strong consensus for the second theme for January, I'm just going to bounce the problem back at the contributors. The second theme will be "January". The photograph should reflect something of that month in the opinion of the photographer. And I'm going to try out restricting this challenge theme to photographs taken by the nominator in January 2014. The other theme "Bunch of stuff" will be open to any self-made picture not yet on Commons and uploaded during January 2014. If necessary we can extend the upload deadline if required. -- Colin (talk) 14:08, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Excellent idea. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:08, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't like the restriction to photos taken in January 2014. I took some pretty good photos in January 2013, which was very snowy here, while this January so far hasn't been. Just expressing my opinion, you don't need to change anything of course. darkweasel94 12:07, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've got some interesting pictures from the end of december, which would fit in here seamlessly. It's a shame I can't enter them, but on the other hand now I've got a good reason to go out shooting again this month ;-) --El Grafo (talk) 17:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Most photo challenges online are absolutely restricted to new photos taken specifically for the challenge. Otherwise there is no "challenge", just a photo contest. My main intention on starting this was to inspire people to take new photos for Commons. However, I appreciate that people have photos they haven't uploaded for whatever reason and that this might encourage them to do so. There are some negatives to allowing "old photos" to be entered:
  • People with a large photo archive are at a huge advantage in terms of the contest compared to people who have nothing and so have to attempt the challenge in the few weekends they have free during the month.
  • If the challenge-attempters keep losing out to the archive-uploaders then they will give up taking images for the challenge. It then becomes no more than a themed photo contest.
  • As a way of getting images out of these archives onto Commons, it is very inefficient as there are only a few challenge topics at any one time. The vast majority of images wouldn't meet the challenge criteria and would remain not uploaded.
  • People might actually hold-off uploading images in case they can use them in some future challenge.
However, some theme subjects might be difficult or might be so lacking in existing material on Commons, that we need the contributions of existing archives in order to make the challenge viable and produce enough new pictures. Also, some people just might not be able to get out that month to take new pictures but could still participate with pictures they had already. So I'm experimenting and seeing if we can find a compromise. Perhaps we will continue to have some challenges with the restriction and some without. And so for some themes you are disappointed (because you already had good pictures and are unlikely to take better this month) but for others you may have an advantage (because this year the weather/holidays are good to you). Ultimately, I think those taking new pictures should get some boost to encourage them and thank them for their extra effort. -- Colin (talk) 20:29, 8 January 2014 (UTC)


Just wondering about a really pedantic point - why is this page called "Photo challenge" while the subpages are capitalized "Photo Challenge"? Shouldn't that be unified? darkweasel94 15:56, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm now going to be bold and move the subpages to lowercase. If that breaks something unexpected, please scream. :) darkweasel94 11:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC)


After three days since the January voting started the number of votes is still very low. It would be nice to have some advertising in the usual places (FPC talk, QIC talk, VIC talk,...) as well as in other wikis. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 12:43, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't really know how quickly voting will occur. It might take till the weekend before some people get the free time to review and vote. There are 120 photos to judge so it requires a bit more time than just a couple of FPCs. I sent a message to everyone who contributed an entry or participated on this talk page. And there's a watchlist notice too. I advertised the original Photo Challenge at COM:FP and en:FP, but not the month's. Feel free to send out more invitations on other forums you think suitable. Is there likely to be any language-barrier reasons why some people don't vote? For example, the instructions aren't clear to non-English speakers relying to GoogleTranslate. I don't know enough about translation efforts to know what the situation is. -- Colin (talk) 14:38, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I moved the instructions to Commons:Photo challenge/Voting header and enabled the Translate extension on it. The version in the language of the user (if it exists) is automatically used. Hope that helps, Jean-Fred (talk) 17:04, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Maybe a one-click javascript could be cooked up to make voting a quicker process? --99of9 (talk) 11:32, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Realistically the number of photos makes voting a significant time sink so most people aren't going to. Suggest introducing a panel that trims it down to say ten images before opening up for wider voting.Geni (talk) 01:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Another possibility is to simplify the voting process, e.g. choose 3 pictures without rating them. HelenOnline 16:14, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Monthly theme[edit]

I would be in favor of continuing this monthly theme for all the months in 2014. So, for example, the theme for February 2014 could be "February," etc. The other theme should be something that does not depend on the month (or at least not as much), e.g. still-lifes, portraits, wildlife, a technique (like "silhouette"), etc. What does everyone think? -- King of ♠ 01:40, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Support I like the idea very much. For some months the theme will be more universal than others, e.g. Valentine's Day is in February everywhere. For other months, there is no seasonal bias. There are some ideas for monthly subjects in Digital Photography Month by Month by Tom Ang (see monthly topics on contents page via Look Inside facility on Amazon UK). HelenOnline 11:51, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm interested to see how this January theme turns out before committing to repeating it. A concern is a large number of entries will be indistinguishable from December or February. It might be something to try only 6 or 4 times a year. Are we going to keep with two simultaneous themes for now or have more? We're still at the experimental stage so trying a number of radically different themes may be more useful than settling into a pattern already. I wondered (considering Valentines day) whether "Love" would be a good theme to run in February. It might also encourage more people-pictures. -- Colin (talk) 12:25, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    Perhaps we could give ideas to people for each monthly theme. So we could push the idea of love for people doing the "February" theme. Besides, for me at least December and January say "snow" much more than February does. February is also the month of the Horsetail Falls in Yosemite. And Chinese New Year... I think doing a monthly theme each month is fine and wouldn't get repetitive as long as people don't just interpret the month as merely being part of a season. If you just make a Valentine's Day theme, you're shutting out a lot of other possibilities for February-specific things. -- King of ♠ 18:37, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    I like having two themes. We could try it out for one whole year. We could also suggest that relevance to the particular month be a judging criteria for the "month" theme (it is for me). HelenOnline 19:08, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
It remains to be seen whether we are creative enough here or we just end up with "pictures I took in January". Yes we could list some suggestions for the month (as you give, and as the book Helen mentioned gives). Well the "Love" theme isn't just soppy Valentines, it is an emotion and can include friends and family too as well as objects and pastimes and eating and well.. lots of ideas. A month-theme can also be limiting in that all the things I just mentioned wouldn't suit. Really, the whole point of a challenge is that there are limitations to focus the image taking/selection so that's not a bad thing. And the photo challenge isn't the only motivation for people to take/upload photographs so if people want to take Chinese New Year pics then there is nothing stopping them. And there's nothing stopping us running six simultaneous themes if there are enough volunteers to review the entries/voting and enough participants. What we need is more participants on this talk page, though, as we need numbers to establish a consensus. The previous month we just had a few people with a few ideas. There's no easy way to resolve that. If we do decided the park one theme as "month" then I think we need to increase the numbers to 3 to give some more variety. -- Colin (talk) 19:21, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I prefer a diversity of tighter scopes, and agree with Colin that about 4 of these per year would be good. But let's see how the first one goes. --99of9 (talk) 21:56, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I frankly don't think that January or February are goods themes. Like Colin said, it may end up with "pictures I took in that month". I'm more and more convinced that my original suggestions (winter, storm) are much better because they are objective. On the same line, we could thing about "heat", "cold", "windy", "calm", "green", "blue" and so on. The problem with the subjective themes is that people will tend (even more) to vote on the pictures they prefer aesthetically, with no concern for the alleged compliance to the subject. How do we compare a picture with waves breaking on the rocks in the coast of Portugal with the beginning of the academic year in Brazil? By the way, "Valentine's Day", "Thanks Giving" and "Halloween" are American celebrations, not followed in the rest of the world... -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 22:37, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It's a bit the same here - I like the idea to have some of these themes, but e.g. for the now running January I#m blocked in ideas: In Germany and more parts of Europe we have 15°C+, no snow and no special weather in January in the moment and that will be the same for February (but maybe we will have snow then, donnow) and except the christian tradition of the biblical magi or the outtake of christmas trees on the streets there is nothing typical for January to illustrate - so thinking about that it really comes more to "What is my personal January 2013 and what pictures I took at that month" so maybe I will contribute pics from an evening concert I will visit today in Cologne ... -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:32, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I think looking at what we got for January is a good idea to help deciding if the theme could be continued for other/all months. I love the picture you linked to illustrate how you decided on that topic, but I think it's a theme that is really difficult if taken seriously and very easy if not... which brings me to another question - of course, deciding if a picture fits is always a bit difficult (e.g. is a picture of more or less white christmas decoration coloured light), but what do we do if we can't follow why somebody thought his picture would fit? Comment?
As you were discussing February (and possibly 'Love') - for me, as an Austrian, February means carnival and the traditional end of the ball season with mardi gras (Faschingsdienstag) - even though this year it's very late and actually ends at the beginning of March ()... Valentine's day does exist, but only as a new commercial tradition. Anna reg (talk) 07:43, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I think letting everyone write a very brief explanation of what they're trying to go for would help. And your mention of Faschingsdienstag is exactly why I think month-based themes are beneficial: they let everyone create their own interpretation of the theme, so that we aren't fixated on a particular culture. And if people explain what they're doing, hopefully images that are merely "I took this in February" won't get too much support. (Using the two current themes as examples, this looks optimistic; I see quite a few "wow"-ful images that don't capture the theme too well and they don't have many votes.) -- King of ♠ 07:49, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Mostly per Alvesgaspar. I would prefer a plain theme rather than a vaguer related-to-the-current-month incentive. --Myrabella (talk) 10:09, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I think that for now, we should try to find themes that aren't just the months. If we ever run out of ideas we can once again fall back to this. Months mean different things in different cultures and hopefully we'll find enough ideas for a few years; Anna reg gave a good example of what months mean in different cultures (indeed I also thought of Mardi Gras long before thinking of Valentine's Day), but indeed I'm not very opposed even to themes based on seasons: if we alternate them such that each climate zone and hemisphere gets treated fairly, that isn't very different from the culturally dependent themes that we've already set a precedent for in December with "colored lights" (and I do hope that we won't have a majority of Western cultural themes in the long term). darkweasel94 23:12, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Excuse me, but we've run four themes with an emphasis on experimentation. So how on earth has a "precedent" been set in what universe is "coloured light" a "Western cultural theme". I'm getting tired of the bickering and moaning over cultural or geographic issues. No theme can prevent or discourage anyone from taking a picture or uploading it to Commons. If you feel left out, run another theme. Be my guest. -- Colin (talk) 19:35, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I think I kind of expressed that in a bad way. I didn't mean to criticize anything at all, really. This theme was entirely ok. darkweasel94 19:53, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

February themes[edit]

As we only have a week left until February, I wanted to restart the discussion about next month's challenges. Any suggestions/concrete wishes?
There were some people wishing for human topics - perhaps we should try one of those? Action verbs, sports, jobs, concerts/entertainment and emotions were already suggested - I could also imagine something like traditions, which wouldn't necessarily be as people oriented, but I'd prefer that a bit later (perhaps in April, as there are a lot of more or less undocumented traditions associated with Easter). Anna reg (talk) 00:46, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I like the "traditions" theme. But maybe you're right and we should do it later. Here are my two suggestions:
  • Textures
  • Contradictions
Looking forward to the next round ;-) --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 02:32, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
If we're looking for themes without founding ideas may be we can shortcut to the number of the month : 2 for feb ? 2 colors, 2 things, 2 persons, 2 something... Or twin things ?
Or, why not, the history of the name February or dictums, sayings, proverbs, adages ? In France we have some ans I guess in the rest of the world too. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 16:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I like the two things idea - all the more, as I saw a lovely motive today (unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me) - an empty doll stroller next to an empty stroller... I still don't know how they manage to use both... ;->
About the textures - I thought of structures, but I think both are too similar to this month's theme to use in February... on the other side you could say something similar for the two things... Anna reg (talk) 02:00, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

As we need 'awards' for our winners, Colin suggested running that as a challenge. I like the idea, but perhaps we could run it as an additional creative challenge with even more flexible rules. After all, it isn't a photo challenge and doesn't necessarily have to run for a whole month - and perhaps it could even be something between a brainstorming platform and a challenge, allowing/promoting collaborations during the challenge...
What do you think? And we still have to decide on the other two topics for February... ;->
Anna reg (talk) 16:27, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

December 2013 winners[edit]

Coloured light: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Plasma globe 60th.jpg Recklinghausen, Stadtmauer -- 2013 -- 2.jpg Spinning LEDs - Side.jpg
Author Colin XRay Colin
Score 35 25 20
Silhouette: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Blériot XI Thulin A Mikael Carlson OTT 2013 10 silhouette.jpg Mystischer Sonnenaufgang im nördlichen Waldviertel.jpg Gulf of Tallinn.jpg
Author Julian Herzog Duke of W4 Abrget47j
Score 44 35 17

I've modified the votes page so that everything is visible. The scores page linked above details the scores for every image that got a vote. The scores page indicates what the result would be under other voting-weight systems. None of them would change the overall winner this time. Under the 321 voting system, about 60% of the images got some support. Under a top 1 voting system, about 30% of the images would get some support.

Well. What do you think? My wife thinks it's a fix :-). -- Colin (talk) 23:13, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Interesting results - thanks for doing the evaluation! You are really the driving force behind the challenges... The 321 voting-weight system seems to work fine, but I'm not sure on what exactly you would like an opinion (how the votes should be evaluated or how we should vote in the next round).
By the way, congratulations on your first and third place! ;-> Anna reg (talk) 01:38, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Those pictures : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 were uploaded in january not in december... Thought only pics uploaded during the month's challenge were in competition... Some votes could have been for other pics uploaded in time. It's a trail challenge I know but.. rules are rules.
It's the same for the current challenge : some pics were uplaoded before january. This part of the rules may be in bolt and big and red if you want everyone to follow it... IMAO.
Not uploaded in january : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 05:33, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
There was a discussion (see above) to request an extension of the deadline for the December challenge. So that's why there are a few photos uploaded at the beginning of January. Since that was the first challenge, with rules only just being made up and written, and it was a holiday period, I was happy to be flexible. I don't see any reason to extend the January challenge, though. I agree having clear fixed rules is helpful and makes it fair for everyone.
As far as the current challenge is concerned, if there are pictures taken/uploaded too early then I'll remove them later today and inform the uploaders (unless someone else wants to volunteer!). The "Bunch of stuff" challenge is accepting photos taken any time but not uploaded to commons before January. The "January" challenge has an additional restriction that the photo must be taken in January. We're still experimenting with the rules to get a balance. We could try bold red 18pt text if you think it helps but some people just don't read instructions or may not have text in their native language. I'm sure once things settle and become routine then the rules will be clearer for everyone. But we'll still have people nominate images incorrectly so I would appreciate if the task of monitoring this was shared. Cheers, -- Colin (talk) 08:52, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, OK, I forget this point... My bad... The pics listed above are in "A bunch of stuff". If written in red it can attract the attention of those who may not read. Even if not in their language Google is our friend Clin.
Is it possible to create a template to be pasted in the talk page of who nominates a pic "out of time" ? Could be easier to warn/advise them. I can't create it (I don't know nothing about creating templates) but I can help watching entries and paste template if needed. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:45, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm no expert on templates. I can just about create a basic one but not with parameters (e.g. Challenge theme, offending image, etc). I've just hand-written a note each time. I had to remove a bunch from the other January theme too. :-( -- Colin (talk) 23:07, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok, that's the same work to c-p a template or an hand-written note Smile.
I was asking myself if it wouldn't be appropriate to create a special page with all the tables as you made (but 2 columns per month) of all winners of past present and future competition...
--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 00:14, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Congrats all winners and participants!!! Jee 09:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)


In a few days time, the January challenges will close and we can vote on them. Look at the scoring statistics for December (here and here). Are we happy to keep the 321 scoring system? Although a couple of voters made mistakes, that's to be expected anyway particularly with multi-language issues. Personally, I think it will be useful to keep 321 a while longer and keep looking at the scoring. If after several months it shows that 111 (i.e., just pick your top 3) has the same results then it might be worth going to that as it is simpler. I'm concerned that 100 (i.e, pick your top 1) will result in just a small number of images getting any love and so be demotivating to many. What do you think? -- Colin (talk) 09:41, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I prefer 321; but we can switch to 111, if the 321 system is difficult to manage. Jee 09:57, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I also think sticking to 321 is good. -- King of ♠ 10:35, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I had a different idea for voting, but I'm not sure if it would work... I would like to have the possibility to show my appreciation to more than three pictures (and I didn't really like giving comments only). But if you can give points to as many pictures as you want, I think that the difference in points given must be a bit higher, which is why I thought of something similar to

  • 1 star: nice picture
  • 2 stars: very nice picture
  • 3 stars: great picture
  • 4 stars: excellent picture
  • 5 stars: my favourite

I don't think that we would end up with many ties, if we encourage to use 5 (and 4 ?) points sparingly, but perhaps such a system would just make everything more difficult... ;-> Anna reg (talk) 15:58, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

+1 for voting for as many pictures as one likes. I've found it very difficult to find my three favourites – and finally ended up not voting at all. But I think I'd prefer 3 categories over the 5 you proposed. Personally, I'd even go one step further:
  • 1 star for every picture you like
  • a double star for your personal favourite
Or something inbetween, like a double star for 3 pics maximum and a triple star for your favourite, plus as many single stars as you like. However, I'd say let's give the current system at least another month for testing. --El Grafo (talk) 17:54, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

As we already started voting for the January themes, of course it should apply at the earliest for the February themes (but we should probably decide how the voting system we want to use looks like before February 22). And I can easily understand your frustration with selecting three pictures - while I have already managed to select my three favourites for 'January', I have only created a folder of about 10 favourites for 'A bunch of stuff' - and I know it will once again be a tough decision to decide which ones will deserve my points....
I'm not fixated on five categories - in fact, I think five is a bit much myself - I first thought of a system with four categories, but as a lot of grading systems use five, I proposed that. But I'd really like to be able to vote for several pictures. Your idea with limiting three and two stars, while allowing the use of as many single stars as you want sounds good, even though I think that that would mean that the scoring system should probably be changed from 321 (to something like 531??) as three times one star would mean a lot less then one time three stars... Anna reg (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2014 (UTC)


Can we appreciate the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners for each theme? It would be ideal if we place barnstar in their talk page. If we agree, we can create different 3 barnstars/templates for them.

Here is a draft barnstar/award:

Barnstar Photo Hires.png Monthly Photo Challenge Winner
I hereby award you for 1st place winner in monthly photo challenge, under Coloured light theme, in December 2013. --Anton·٠•●♥Talk♥●•٠· 06:27, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
It is not big enough :-)! Seriously, I do think we should have some award/notification like with FP/QI/VP. But since I'll be a recipient this month, I'll leave it to others to decide what. Thanks. -- Colin (talk) 08:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree on the award/notification and I like the draft. I wouldn't use the monthly in the title - the project is called photo challenge (and who knows, perhaps the challenges won't be really monthly, what with all those flexible rules... ;->) and perhaps we could use the camera used as challenge icon for the barnstar - I'll try if I can do that if I find the time... (I can't work with svg but I should be able to produce a png or jpg version...) Anna reg (talk) 18:26, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Barnstar Photo challenge.png Well, I did try - but I didn't manage to get a transparent background. What do you think of something like that? Anna reg (talk) 19:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

A thought: it doesn't need to be a barnstar. The FP/QI/VI don't use a barnstar, nor does POTY (see Commons:Picture of the Year/2012). We could have an extra challenge in Feb to design the Gold/Silver/Bronze medals, aimed at the graphic design folk. Then we could choose a winning design. I'm not particularly attached to the camera used as a challenge icon -- I just quick picked something from Commons and it looked more professional then the compact camera :-). So someone could design a new Challenge icon and then the prizes could be based on it. -- Colin (talk) 20:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I tried something else - following the QI-notification. What do you think to something a bit like that? Anna reg (talk) 17:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Plasma globe 60th.jpg Photo Challenge Winner
Camera2 mgx gold.png
Congratulations! Your picture Plasma globe 60th.jpg won the 1st place in the Photo Challenge Coloured light, in December 2013. You can find the results of the challenge here.

I think this is the best solution -- we can always improve it later as we are a wiki! Does someone else want to hand out the prizes as I'd rather not award myself :-). -- Colin (talk) 11:36, 1 February 2014 (UTC) Two more things. Should we give out awards for 2nd and 3rd place too? I think that might be nice as it makes more people winners. Secondly, we should create a template for the Image Description page to note that this image won the prize (1st/2nd/3rd) just like we do for FP/QI/etc. -- Colin (talk) 12:19, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, we should award 2nd and 3rd. Anna, could you create silver and bronze cameras for 2nd and 3rd places. I have awarded to 1st place winners of Coloured light & silhouette. --Anton·٠•●♥Talk♥●•٠· 12:30, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I already tried - before uploading the gold one (I'm not as happy with them, but I think they are more or less okay). I'll upload them later today or tomorrow, as I'm not on my computer at the moment. Anna reg (talk) 21:09, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Okay, I'm back at my computer faster than I thought... so here are the pictures: Camera2 mgx bronze.png & Camera2 mgx silver.png
If somebody can improve them, please do (the silver and bronze look a bit strange to me). - Oh, and thanks for distributing the awards, Anton! --Anna reg (talk) 21:46, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I just 'distributed' the awards for second and third place - with the same box as for the winners, just changing the title to Photo Challenge - Second Place/Third Place - and of course the camera colour. It would also be easy to use the cameras as picture in a template - or we could still try the graphic design challenge and look if there aren't some better options than my quick solutions. Anna reg (talk) 10:14, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Deadline for January?[edit]

Can somebody (Colin?) perhaps clarify when exactly the deadline for the January themes is supposed to be? I took it to be 2014-01-31, 23:59 UTC, but Achim Raschka has now added a nomination clearly already in UTC February. So, when exactly is or was the deadline? "May be extended a little into February if requested" isn't very clear. darkweasel94 10:27, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Well nobody requested extension and Commons generally runs on UTC AFAIK. Achim seems to be German so there's no huge timezone explanation. What is perhaps confusing is that the entry page hasn't been "closed". I'll get onto that. We have no bot to do these things and I have a real life :-). What do people think? Is there enough confusion that the entry page is still open that we should accept it, or should we be rigid about the challenge period? I'm personally predisposed to being generous if there is ambiguity. -- Colin (talk) 11:10, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Don't thought about that - even in Germany today is 1 February so if I'm beyond the deadline please delete the nominations (had no time in January to work with pics) The confusion really is about an open nomination page and the expanded deadline in December as well as the not yet startet February themes. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 11:21, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for making the decision. Sorry about confusion. I'm sure we'll get better organised eventually! It was a rather nice submission, though. -- Colin (talk) 11:46, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
No problem - I really like this contest, even if I do not have a good chance to win; I am very curious about the topic of february and hope to have more time this month. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 12:08, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
See the section above. I've asked Anna to pick this month, but the more help you can give her the better. -- Colin (talk) 12:21, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm just going to say that File:U6 Währinger Gürtel.jpg didn't make it into WLM because the upload process was completed two seconds too late for it to get into UTC+2 September. And I think this is okay, even though the contest rules had not made it clear if "September" meant UTC September or local September. I don't think it's unfair to set a rigid deadline. darkweasel94 14:03, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Commons is global. I think we should close each challenge when the last country of the world reaches 23.59 (Chatham Islands or Anadyr)) but some one may be awake at this time to do it lol if we don't have a bot. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:24, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
The places you've given as examples reach the end of the month ahead of UTC. If enwiki can be trusted, your rule would mean we have to use 23:59 of UTC-11:00, which is the last inhabited time zone to reach the end of the month, or UTC-12:00 if we allow uninhabited places. However, I think UTC is a good time zone for a global project, as it is is used as global time around the world and also on Commons (look at any of the signatures in this thread for proof). I think many people know how to convert their time zone to UTC, while converting to Niue time will be something fewer people are able to do without much thinking. darkweasel94 17:42, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes sorry, I was too speed to write... I wanted to say the FIRST country reaching 00.00 with my examples... Sorry... --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 18:05, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't aware WLM used local time but those are local contests. I think UTC is the best choice for us as Darkweasel explains. -- Colin (talk) 18:14, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
OT: WLM uses the earliest local time of the country. This means that Spain's contest ended according to UTC+1, not UTC+2, because the Canary Islands use UTC+1 as DST. At least that's how it was explained on IRC. If Austria only had some western colonies... lol darkweasel94 18:50, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Concurrent FPC and Photo Challenge voting[edit]

Please see Commons talk:Featured picture candidates#Concurrent FPC and Photo Challenge voting and comment over there. Thanks. -- Colin (talk) 12:20, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Voting considerations[edit]

I'd like to add some text to the voting page:

In addition to technical and artistic merit, voters should consider how well the photograph meets the challenge theme.

Does this seem reasonable. I don't want people just to vote for pretty pictures that have nothing to do with the theme, as that makes the challenge pointless and little different to FP/QI. However, I'm nervous about making changes to the translation template page -- last time I did that I not only broke the page but uncovered a MediaWiki bug that crashed the browser. Can anyone help? -- Colin (talk) 08:14, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good to me - but I fear that I have no more experience with translation template pages than you have. Anna reg (talk) 10:17, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
✓ Done − is that what you were expecting? Revision #115459789
Jean-Fred (talk) 12:37, 3 February 2014 (UTC)


Hi. What exactly you consider "Newsworthy"? A crashed car could be "newsworthy"? Should forcely to be link to an article to be candidate? How many pictures is possible to upload? Thanks. --Ganímedes (talk) 12:33, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Hello Ganímedes, I'll answer the easy question first: You can upload and submit as many pictures as you want (but it's recommended that you select the best ones for the challenge - ten pictures of the same motif will only make the decision for which one to vote more difficult).
About what is considered newsworthy - if you think it is, upload it. The policy at the moment is that the voters decide how well the picture depicted the theme by giving your pictures more or less points. We only remove pictures which were uploaded before the challenge started or don't follow the time restriction set on some challenges (the pictures for newsworthy have to be taken in 2014!). And I don't really want to make the link a requirement, though it would great if you can provide one.
I hope I was able to answer your questions and look forward to seeing your submissions! Anna reg (talk) 16:57, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! --Ganímedes (talk) 20:09, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Newsworthy... Something enough important to be relayed by medias. Hmmmm... "The idiot cat stuck in a tree : it was a bonsai !!!"... "The world's oldest cheerleader stole Miss Universe's crown !!!"... For some local newspaper lacking important information it could be all and nothing... lol. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 04:17, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


I noticed a German version of the photo challenge project today - interestingly enough, they also started last December (with a Christmas decoration theme), but plan to make only about 4 challenges a year (the next one around and about Easter). I asked if they want to coordinate/link the projects and Martina Nolte and I thought that perhaps an interwiki-link would be a good idea - after all, it's more or less a sister-project with a slightly different scope on a wikipedia...
Anna reg (talk) 19:36, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

I think you meant to link to de:Wikipedia:Fotowettbewerbe. darkweasel94 04:57, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Of course. I should really always try out the links I write - I make too many silly mistakes otherwise... Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I have now corrected the title of this paragraph... Anna reg (talk) 10:43, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


Things with Photo Challenge don't seem to go the way its promoters wished. The original idea was to organize a series of thematic contests whose main evaluation criteria were the adherence to the subject and the quality of the images. What I see is a 'like-type' popularity contest in which the technical and artistic merit don't have a significant weight. I wonder if most people even care to see the pictures in full size! In my opinion two factors contribute to the situation: the use of a 3-2-1 type of vote, which favors the more emotional (and shallow) positive reactions, and the lack of critique. If the idea is to encourage quality participation, the voting system should be closer to the one in FPC. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 16:25, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but I'm not sure about the solution. Are you thinking of oppose/support votes for as many pictures as you want to comment on? And the winner is decided by looking which one has the best difference? I'm not sure how well that would work... I'd also like more comments/critique for the candidates - at the moment I'm a bit hesitant in commenting anything but why I like a picture, but as a participant myself, I'd be happy about some constructive critique... we can try to discuss that a bit more, but as you see, discussions are often really slow here... ;-> Anna reg (talk) 18:05, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Para conocer sobre los posibles temas del Reto para el proximo mes de Marzo[edit]

Hola a todos, he colaborado y participado en los 3 Retos anteriores de diciembre, enero y febrero, pero hasta hoy no veo que se hable sobre los posibles temas para el próximo mes de marzo, ¿Es que áun no se han determinado? Si alguien pudiese decirme algo al respecto lo agradecería, para poder ir preparando algunas ideas para el mismo. Un saludo cordial y sigamos defendiendo esta idea del concurso, es algo muy válido y estimulante para la comunidad de Commons. Ivan2010

Hi everyone, I've collaborated and participated in the previous 3 Challenges of December, January and February, but until today I see none talking about possible topics for March. Is not yet been determined? If someone could tell me something about I'll grateful to start preparing some ideas for it. Regards and let´s continue defending the idea of the contest; is very valid and stimulating for Commons' community. Ivan2010 fast translated by Ganímedes

Thanks for the translation, Ganímedes! About the topics - feel free to write your ideas/wishes! Suggestions really help the person responsible for that month to decide which themes to pick for the next month(s)... (I was responsible for the February themes and if nobody wants to take over for March, I can prepare the next two topics, but if somebody else wants to have a go, please tell me or Colin!)
My ideas so far would be something according to

  • traditions (perhaps as a longer challenge - ending only in the end of April, thus including Carnival, Lent & Easter?)
  • textures
  • undocumented species/cultivars for april

other ideas would be local food, action verbs (both overlap with traditions), reflections (too broad scope without additional restrictions), proverbs, contradictions, jobs, below... but nothing I'm too sure about... Anna reg (talk) 18:53, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

No problem :) Acerca de los temas - ¡Siéntete libre de escribir tus ideas/deseos! Las sugerencias realmente ayudan a la persona responsable de ese mes a decidir qué temas elegir para el próximo mes (s) ... (yo era responsable de los temas de febrero y si nadie quiere hacerse cargo en marzo, puedo preparar los próximos dos temas, pero si alguien más quiere, ¡por favor díganselo a Colin o a mi!) </ br>

Hasta ahora tengo las siguientes ideas:

  • Tradiciones (tal vez como un desafío más largo - que termina solo a finales de abril, incluyendo así Carnaval, Cuaresma y Pascua)
  • texturas
  • Especies/cultivos no documentados para abril

otras ideas serían comida local, verbos de acción (ambas se solapan con las tradiciones), reflexiones (alcance demasiado amplio y sin restricciones adicionales), proverbios, contradicciones, empleos, abajo ... pero no estoy muy segura de nada ... Anna reg (talk) 18:53, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Hola Colin y Anna reg, ya que me invitan a opinar pues lo hago, quizás si logro servir de ayuda para este proyecto, sería ya muy válido para mí. Antes de comenzar pedirles disculpas por solo poder escribirles en español, pero no manejo el ingles como para poder expresarme como quisiera, solo espero que alguien pueda hacer la traducción correcta para ser bien comprendido. Comienzo felicitando la idea de reto mensual, pienso, desde mi perspectiva de amante de la fotografía, que es algo muy bueno, ya que estimula mucho a la creatividad, por promover crear imágenes a partir de “una idea que deberá ser visualizada”, creo que ese pudiera ser casi la definición de este proyecto: “Ideas para ser Visualizadas”, además, de hecho contribuye a la comunidad aumentando las buenas imágenes de Commons. Y dicho esto me concentro entonces en el “tema” de los “temas”, en realidad las propuestas pensadas por Anna reg son buenas, pero algunas son tan amplias de interpretar, que implicarían un diapasón muy abierto donde el cúmulo de imágenes que cabrían sería incalculable, el tipo de temas que considero más sensatos deberían ser aquellos que obliguen a una realización más cerrada, por ejemplo; pienso que de las propuestas de Anna reg, el tema de las texturas puede ser válido, pero si tuviese “apellido”, digamos: -Texturas en Metal. -Texturas en arquitectura. -Texturas en paisajes. Lo mismo me ocurre con las Tradiciones, y con los Empleos, son buenos, si también llevasen apellidos: -Tradiciones culturales. -Tradiciones políticas. -Tradiciones geográficas. -Empleos artísticos. -Empleos rudos. -Empleos sociales En fin que se darán cuenta que soy de los que considera la idea de temas que “cierren el diapasón” y limiten así la cantidad de posibles imágenes que cabrían. Tal vez de los temas que habla Anna reg, el que pienso pueda quedar así mismo sería el de: “Contradicciones”, pues ya lleva implícito una limitante en sí misma. Finalmente les agradezco me hayan permitido dar mi humilde opinión, y creo que ganaríamos todos si defendemos el que este proyecto de los retos mensuales pudiéramos mantenerlo vivo por todo el año, siempre con las reglas ya establecidas en los 3 meses anteriores respecto al momento de subida, los posibles votantes, y sobre todo mantener que sea “Mensual”, para estrechar la cantidad de imágenes que se suban y promover participantes que se esfuercen por estar presentes en tiempo. Bueno, no quiero cansar con más palabras, quedo a la espera de escuchar sus comentarios sobe mis ideas, y ojalá puedan hacerlo en español. Les doy las gracias y les envío un saludo muy cordial para ambos, y para todo aquel que lea estas letras y esté interesado en preservar Photo challenge. Ivan2010,

Sorry I've been a bit absent this month. Busy in real life and didn't get the chance to take pictures I wanted. Previous attempts to determine themes by consensus failed I think party because we don't have enough voices for a clear choice to arise and partly because the choice of perfectly good themes is vast, so it is difficult to argue why one is better than another. So I had to pick something. But in the opposite way, I didn't want this to become "Colin's photo challenge". That's why I asked Anna to do February. Plus she offered some good discussion points. Anna came up with themes that I wouldn't have considered, which is good. At present we are experimenting with themes to see what works for Commons, so having a good variety of themes of different kinds will be helpful. I would encourage the next themes to be quite different to previous ones. I'm very happy for Anna to pick March, with suggestions offered by anyone who has an idea. Perhaps we could have someone be the "theme chooser" for a 2-3 months and then pass the baton onto someone else? What do you think? Nothing needs to be written in stone, so we can change if this doesn't work. -- Colin (talk) 09:00, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm struggling a bit with a Google-translate of the above. Here's some thoughts.. If we have some seasonally-advantageous theme (like the Traditions) then it would be good to restrict that photos must be taken during the challenge -- but when we do this we get less entries so having it for a longer period makes sense. If we have one longer theme, then perhaps have two normal-length ones too? I think having at least one theme with this restriction is good as it makes people get their camera out and fully participate. I agree that "textures" is very broad and it is similar to the recent "bunch of stuff" theme. But "Textures in landscapes" is a good idea. Limitations are good for creativity and clever thinking whereas too broad a theme encourages lazy thinking. Here's an idea for ongoing selection choices: we pick one of the Design elements and principles (e.g. Shape or Texture or Balance or Scale) and then apply some restriction to it (e.g. in Architecture, in Landscape, in Wood, in Stone). -- Colin (talk) 09:00, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I am also interested to know what the March theme will be. I am still very much a beginner photographer and have a lot to learn so it will be some time before I can submit high quality images, but I would still like to take part as it motivates me every month. If both topics are somewhat advanced (as in December) I probably won't be able to, so maybe bear that in mind. HelenOnline 10:27, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not only amateur but I've got a not very good camera. However, I put some pics in this challenge because I think it's a nice idea and I want to help, even when I'm sure I've got no chances seen the quality of the other pics. In other words: Do it!!!! It's fun, it's easy and you loose nothing but win practice :) Cheers. --Ganímedes (talk) 10:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

It's the same for me - I do like to make photos and I think/hope I know how to make a nice picture, but I'm not an expert in any way. But I also think that the challenges are a really nice idea - which is reason enough to participate... ;-> I also noticed how the challenge themes make me look for motives and thus encourage me to take pictures (by the way, Helen, silhouettes isn't really that difficult, it's just something you normally avoid - you should try it!).
About themes & theme restrictions: it seems I restricted the February theme Newsworthy too much (in this case because I wanted to avoid old news) - if I saw it correctly, two of the 13 pictures submitted at the moment should be removed as they are against the challenge rules - the storm in Sydney took place in October and this picture was taken in the end of December (even though the news are for February, so perhaps it could be okay?). In my opinion, 11 pictures are less then I'd like in a challenge, which opens the question if we should

  • say it was a trial & error mistake and vote as planned
  • open the restrictions somewhat and give people a few more days to react to the change
  • extend the challenge for another month (the pictures we got are interesting)

I like the proposed restriction for textures (even though I'm not sure how textures in landscapes look like), but I don't think traditions needs to be restricted - even if perhaps it needs a better explanation (I'd say what I'm thinking of could be cultural traditions, even though that sounds a bit strange to me). After looking through when the pictures for two of something were taken (15 out of 51 were taken this month), I understand the need for time restrictions for open themes better (I think it was fine in this case - 51 pictures aren't that many entries).
Perhaps we could also try to change the voting a bit - de:Wikipedia:Fotowettbewerbe wants to try our three-star system plus an extra star (Mozilla.svg) for the encyclopaedical most useful entry. I still would like the possibility to vote for more than three pictures and I think, honouring usefulness/techniqual merit etc. could change the submissions a bit... Anna reg (talk) 12:19, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Hola Colin ,Anna reg, y el resto de participantes, veo que mis palabras han dado lugar a un nuevo debate, algo que veo muy válido para mejorar y enriquecer el proyecto, y me alegra que estén de acuerdo en limitar algunos temas, también al igual que ustedes, considero una cifra valida las entradas recibidas anteriormente. Por eso, partiendo de las propuestas para marzo de Anna reg, y de la invitación a que yo participara dando mi opinión, y tomando en consideración que ya solo quedan horas para comenzar el próximo mes, quería proponer concretamente dos de sus temas para analizarlos y que sean aprobados o rechazados para poder comenzar el reto de marzo, estoy pensando en ese de: “Texturas”, limitadas ya sea con paisajes, metal, madera o agua, y en otro tema que Anna reg, solo ha mencionado, pero que pienso es una muy buena idea de ella para mover a la creatividad: “Contradicciones”. ¿Qué creen? Propongo valorarlos y lanzarnos a escoger para finalmente ver cuales quedarían aceptados para este próximo mes de marzo que ya tenemos casi encima nuestro. En realidad solo trato de ayudar y aportar en lo que humildemente considero. Gracias por escucharme. Un saludo a todos y veré sus comentarios, que por cierto, si alguien me ayudara con la traducción al español lo agradecería infinitamente.Ivan2010 12:50, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Anna reg re Newsworthy challenge, I don't think you should change the rules retrospectively (especially not so late in the submission period). I don't mind there being fewer submissions, it is going to be really hard to vote in the other February challenge. HelenOnline 16:47, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I am happy for Anna to choose the March themes. I would prefer separate monthly themes, perhaps we could use "Carnival" for March (not time-restricted to allow for global variations nor restricted to Easter-related festivities) and "Easter" for April, but allow photos taken during Lent in March to be uploaded in April? For the second theme, I like "Proverbs" (uploader must state the proverb it represents.) HelenOnline 13:04, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm a bit nervous about "Carnival" as theme on its own as that it would eliminate many people from being able to take pictures for the challenge and likely just one day in the month to do so. Do we have a feel for what proportion of Commons users might be able to attend a carnival with camera in the given month? If we do run a theme with likely low-participation, then that makes it all the more attractive to increase the number to three. The problem with "allow photos taken during Lent in March to be uploaded in April" is that unless we advertise that the April theme is "Lent and Easter" well in advance, few people will know to take Lent pictures in March for the challenge. I think the primary focus should be that people see the challenge theme and then go out and take a picture that month/period. So Anna's original idea of "Traditions (e.g. Carnival, Lent and Easter)" running for March+April may work better even though it breaks the monthly cycle. -- Colin (talk) 19:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
As I'm playing with the idea of proposing traditions as a topic for a longer period since mid January (and I think that we should try out if longer challenges are a good idea or not), I'm against changing it from traditions to specific festivals - but I hope that the restriction to local traditions helps a bit to focus on regional events/customs (not necessarily Easter related, as there are also other early spring celebrations). I think I'll go with proverbs and textures as the other two topics (somehow I connect contradictions a bit with two of something)... Anna reg (talk) 22:03, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Christmast is also a cultural tradition... --Ganímedes (talk) 11:54, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course - but as it's better if we have a limited number of entries and the challenge will be run for two months, I think we will end up with too many images if we don't restrict when the picture is taken - I restricted it to 2014, which excludes Christmas pictures, but allows pictures of carnival and spring traditions... the challenges are now up (the last one just a few minutes ago) and hopefully more or less clear. I tried to find examples to illustrate the themes a bit, as I think that we struggle a bit with the different languages when defining the themes - they were quite difficult to restrict for me, and I'm quite sure of my English... Anna reg (talk) 17:34, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Anna reg. Do you mind if I edit the Proverbs examples? For example, "love is blind" is the English version and the Netherlandish Proverbs illustrated and "tempest in a teapot" are idioms not proverbs. Here is an explanation of the difference. HelenOnline 18:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the pictures - though as I think the challenge is difficult enough, I think differentiating between idioms and proverbs isn't that important (in my opinion, a bunch of stuff was a mixture of stuff, structures & plant pictures - and for me that's stranger than differentiating between different sayings...). Anna reg (talk) 22:17, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I have a very literal brain. If we are going to include idioms, please can we change the heading to "Proverbs and idioms". HelenOnline 06:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
As the rules say that a submission should illustrate the topic in the eye of the photographer we have till now never removed a picture because somebody feels that it doesn't fit the theme. How well a submission illustrates the theme is therefore only defined by how many votes it gets (at least hopefully people take that into account when voting ;->). My last comment was not about changing the rules but what I think is realistic (I found it difficult finding pictures to illustrate the theme and looked in category proverbs and that was what I found... - and therefore really appreciate the pictures you found except the apple - in my opinion that's a too small/easy part illustrate the proverb well... ;->) I suspect that if I find the distinction a bit difficult, there will be others as well... perhaps changing the title is a good solution, even though I'm still not sure it's necessary (the next shady boundary could be against 'winged words'). Anna reg (talk) 07:42, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Maybe the topic "Traditions" is too restrictive... January - April 2014. We lose many traditions. I think it would be better to extend it to a year before the end of the challenge: May 2013 - April 2014.--Alurín (talk) 17:11, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Wo sind denn die Februar-Bilder hingekommen?[edit]

Hallo! Ich sehe nur mehr die Bilder vom Jänner und die neuen für März, die vom Februar finde ich nicht mehr. Hätte gern noch zwei Bilder eingereicht ... Liebe Grüße, --Häferl (talk) 18:18, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Da nun schon März ist, kannst du jetzt sowieso keine Bilder für Februar mehr einreichen. Sie befinden sich jedenfalls auf Commons:Photo challenge/2014 - February - Newsworthy und Commons:Photo challenge/2014 - February - Two of something. darkweasel94 18:27, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Schade. Ginge um dieses denkmalgeschützte Objekt. Nirgends ein zugedrücktes Auge ...? ;-) Liebe Grüße, --Häferl (talk) 18:35, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Eigentlich haben wir im letzten Monat (siehe #Deadline for January?) entschieden, dass wir keine Augen zudrücken, sondern dass 23:59 UTC (also 00:59 mitteleuropäische Zeit bzw. 01:59 mitteleuropäische Sommerzeit) die fixe Frist ist. Es ist allerdings nicht meine Entscheidung, ich organisiere hier nichts mit. darkweasel94 19:42, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Nachdem ich dieses Bild gestern tapfer entfernt hab (obwohl ich lieber ein Auge zudrücken würde, nachdem das Bild nur drei Tage zu früh aufgenommen wurde und die Nachrichten für Februar sind - also keine alten Nachrichten), glaube ich, dass dein Bild im Sinne der Gerechtigkeit auch nicht mehr teilnehmen darf... (keine nachträglichen Regeländerungen etc.) Zu nicht deine Entscheidung, Darkweasel94: soweit ich das sehe, möchte hier keiner gerne entscheiden, manche werden nur dazu 'gezwungen' ;-> Anna reg (talk) 22:28, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Paßt schon, Anna und Darkweasel, ich wäre da selber ja auch streng, aber man probiert es halt. ;-) Liebe Grüße, --Häferl (talk) 00:27, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

January 2014 Winners[edit]

January: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Kakerdaja raba talvine maastik.jpg Boats Tuira Oulu 20140119.JPG Porto Covo January 2014-10a.jpg
Author Abrget47j Estormiz Alvesgaspar
Score 35 26 20
A bunch of stuff: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Sellin, Strandkörbe am Hauptstrand -- 2009 -- 1.jpg Puesto de frutos en el Zoco -- 2014 -- Marrakech, Marruecos.jpg Lámparas, Djemaa el Fna -- 2014 -- Marrakech, Marruecos.jpg
Author XRay Alurín Alurín
Score 35 19 15

Congratulations to Urmas83, Estormiz, Alvesgaspar, XRay and Alurín! -- Colin (talk) 15:13, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Interesting results... and thanks for the assessement and award distribution, Colin! By the way, I just asked for help with the camera icons in the Illustration workshop of the graphic lab - perhaps you want to have a look at their improvement. --Anna reg (talk) 16:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
They look good. I wonder if someone can help us turn the talk-page box into a template with some parameters -- it was quite tricky to get it right by hand. -- Colin (talk) 17:09, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to all, especially to the organizers and voters. Congratulations to the other winners and other participants. I am very happy with the results.--Alurín (talk) 17:21, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Voting March 2014[edit]

As the voting for march will start soon, I want to discuss once more if we can't change the voting a bit. In my opinion, our current voting system of three votes in total per person works fine for challenges with not too many submissions (22 out of 29 submissions got a vote = comment, as there are hardly any comments without points), but doesn't work as well for challenges with many pictures. Less than half of the submissions of A bunch of stuff (40 out of 91) got at least one vote. And I know that I personally had 8 or 9 pictures I would have liked to award points. I think allowing users to give two and three points to several pictures and one to as many as they want (or up to one tenth of the number of submissions ;->) would improve that. Anna reg (talk) 16:30, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Anna, do you mean the voting for the February challenge? I was planning to get that up shortly so there may not be much time to radically change things. I agree it is good if many pictures get some recognition. I'm worried about making the rules much more complicated without some automation to help, and also because it will be harder to understand in the various languages. Also at present every voter has the same number of points to award in total so their vote is as equal as anyone else's. A few people might choose to not use all their votes but that is their choice to be under-represented. But under your proposal, if someone voted for lots of photos then their opinion in the result would carry more weight than someone who just voted for a few. Would it actually change the result for the top three anyway? Earlier you suggested a silver star for commenting. Would this meet your desire to show some love to more pictures but at the same time keep the voting representation between voters fair and simple? The "silver star" wouldn't have any point value but would be a note of appreciation. -- Colin (talk) 17:04, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I prefer the 54321 system proposed by Anna. We would have a better ranking.--Alurín (talk) 17:29, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I didn't see this as "54321" but more of a freedom to cast (with some limits) lots of votes, especially one-point votes. -- Colin (talk) 18:31, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
As we are once more discussing voting at the last possible moment, I'd say we try a small change this month and find out if a coloured star (I didn't find a silver one, but perhaps green? Esperanto star.svg) promotes comments while using the established system otherwise. All the more as we still don't have a clear idea how several votes could be handled... so perhaps we could discuss it now and develop clear ideas for possible changes for April?
About the total amount of votes - wouldn't voting for many pictures mean that your single votes carry less weight? If you e.g. give one point to every submission, they cancel each other out... but I suspect that the assessment would get more difficult, as the weight of the votes probably would have to be changed from 3-2-1. --Anna reg (talk) 17:40, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
If you award just one point to every photo then you might as well not have voted. But that's an extreme. Let's say I vote 3:2:1 but you vote 3:3:2:2:2:1:1:1:1:1:1:1:1. I've awarded 12 points in total and you've awarded 20. You've had a much greater say in which photos get top prize than me. My question is that there seem to be two objectives. Firstly is to find a winner (or top 3). Secondly to review and show appreciation to lots of photos. For the former, I favour keeping things simple. I worry that if we have a complex system or give people lots of points to award as they see fit then some might spend hours agonising over their allocation (or fear they might) or end up not bothering as they can't find the time to do the job fully. -- Colin (talk) 18:31, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

How about this for your extra * idea:

Voters may select up to three photographs to award points to their 1st / 2nd / 3rd place images, but can give Highly Commended praise to any other photos they wish.
1st Place Gold Star.svgGold Star.svgGold Star.svg *{{3/3*}} -- ~~~~
2nd Place Gold Star.svgGold Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg *{{2/3*}} -- ~~~~
3rd Place Gold Star.svgLight Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg *{{1/3*}} -- ~~~~
Highly Commended Light Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg *{{0/3*}} -- ~~~~

I can't figure out the translated pages at all and fear to break something so if we agree to this, I'll need some help from someone to replace the English text and do some translations. Also the above might look nicer in a table with alignment. (Note to translators -- the header template is quite short. Do we really need all those numbered divisions and tediously separating out the words from the symbols. Can't we just make the whole thing a block that gets translated in one go by someone. That would make it infinitely easier to edit. Colin (talk) 18:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

@Colin: Don’t worry, you virtually cannot break anything − any change you make on the English page must be approved by a translation sysop before propagating to the translated subpages. So just edit the source − I’ll clean up after if something goes wrong. :-)
Re:making it a huge block: theoretically it’s possible (though in this case you’d need toreally want it to make it behave that way) but no, it is much easier this way for translators (at least in my opinion, as someone who has done his fair share of translations both the old and new way). And as there are potentially tens or hundreds of translations, I’d rather make their life easier :)
Jean-Fred (talk) 18:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Jean-Fred, can you point me at the manual/instructions for these translation tags I know what is safe to change. For example, if I wanted to move stuff around, what happens if the numbers get out of order. As for "you virtually cannot break anything", well I did manage to break with MediaWiki software last time I tried this! -- Colin (talk) 19:21, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: Sure, here is the full manual. The <tvar stuff can look weird but there no need :)
Yes, moving stuff around can be a bit tricky − in this case might be best to remove the numbered thingies − new ones will be added when the page will be re-marked for translation. The drawback is that translators will have to re-translate the moved chunk from scratch, while the numbered sections keep the unchanged parts in sync. Jean-Fred (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Highly Commended Light Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg *{{0/3*}} -- ~~~~ sounds fine - but could we change the picture from three empty stars to the green star or something else showing appreciation? A smiley or something similar? Three grey stars looks sad... --Anna reg (talk) 19:30, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

What about Corazón.svg? -- Colin (talk) 20:00, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Since someone's already started voting (despite the notice the page wasn't ready) I've gone ahead and made the change. Could someone (Jean-Fred?) translate? -- Colin (talk) 21:11, 2 March 2014 (UTC) I edited the English text but it isn't showing up on the page? -- Colin (talk) 21:16, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

✓ Done Re-Marked the page for translation, and updated French accordingly. Jean-Fred (talk) 22:16, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

The heart is lovely ;->. I just tried to translate the highly commended to German, but there is a formatting error - I think I found and corrected it, but I won't know for sure before the page is re-marked for translation once again... --Anna reg (talk) 22:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Good catch Anna reg. Should be good now. Jean-Fred (talk) 23:50, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree too. 5 Corazón.svg look better than 5 Light Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svgLight Blue Star.svg {{0/3*}}, just because 5x0=0 !!! --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 00:59, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't sure what to use for the template. It isn't worth any points so 0/3 makes sense but awarding 0 seems a little sad even though it shows up as a heart. But if I choose a worded-template then I don't know if it would translate. In the UK we have the idiom that there are prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd places but other entries can be "highly commended" which is a recognition that those entries were very good too but just missed the award. Does this translate to other cultures/languages? -- Colin (talk) 08:27, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Btw, Jean-Fred, the English text has some wiki markup showing round the heart on the voting page. -- Colin (talk) 08:27, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Hmmmm, weird. I don’t see what could be the cause of that − I asked for help on the Translators noticeboard. Jean-Fred (talk) 09:49, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Pictogram voting keep.svg Fixed by Patrick87. Jean-Fred (talk) 10:31, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Re:translatability: I used “Mention honorable” which I think conveys the same meaning. I was inclined at the beginning to use “coup de cœur” which is kinda “out of competition fave” but that does not seem right − I was influenced by the heart symbol so that may be confusing. Jean-Fred (talk) 09:49, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
In French "Mention honorable" is the good term but only for the 4th place IMAO. "Coup de coeur" could be good for 5th ? How many challengers could be awarded ? 4 ? 5 ? 10 ? Can we think about a "Médaille en chocolat" ("Chocolate medal") lol ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 13:00, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
As the idea of the heart is to promote comments and reactions to pictures, you can award as many as you want. But at least at the moment there are no plans to include it into the point system to establish the three winners or a separate system (not sure if one of those even could work) - the heart still stands for zero points, even if it looks a lot nicer... Anna reg (talk) 14:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Inconsistent submission criteria[edit]

@User:Anna reg I think it would be better to aim for more consistent submission criteria. For March we have one that must be taken in March, one that must be taken in 2014, and one without a time limitation. Additionally one is open for two months instead of one. I assume you have some subject-related rationale for these choices, but for simple minds like mine it just adds unneccessary complication. I'd stick strongly to the one month submission period. I'm not sure of the optimal rule for taking the photo, so except in special circumstances (e.g. newsworthy), I'd just leave it open to photos taken at any time. --99of9 (talk) 03:11, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

I think the criterion for "traditions" makes sense, because that challenge is (I think) supposed to mostly generate Easter-related files, although it doesn't say that for the sake of cultural neutrality. ;) For the other two, I agree with you, there's little sense in requiring "Surface textures" to be taken in March. darkweasel94 06:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the topic "Traditions" is too restrictive... January - April 2014. We lose many traditions. I think it would be better to extend it to a year before the end of the challenge: May 2013 - April 2014.--Alurín (talk) 09:27, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The main reason I used time restrictions in March is to limit the number of submissions somewhat - while I suspect that proverbs won't have that many submissions, surface textures and traditions (which is run for two months also because I think that it's a good idea to try out if it makes sense to run some challenges for longer than a month) could both end up with a lot of pictures. Perhaps that should be changed for surface textures and we should just see how big challenges are dealt with (or even if there will be that many pictures)...
for traditions I had two reasons for the time restriction - the number of pictures in a challenge run over a longer period of time and the restriction to traditions around the challenge period. And yes, of course the first traditions I'm thinking of in spring all have something to do with Easter (even carnival is related to it) - I'm from Austria and that's a country where Catholicism is involved in most traditions ;->. But as seasonal traditions exist around the world - especially in spring and autumn (Australia - we could get some harvest traditions or something similar - in addition to Easter celebrated in autumn... ;->), I am really looking forward to see other traditions as well. I already saw some other traditions in March and April with often only only very few pictures while trying to prepare the theme.
I'm not that interested in pictures of Christmas - it's just really the wrong time for those... if you have another idea how to restrict the challenge to different traditions around the world taking place in a time period (spring in the northern hemisphere), I'd be open for changes... and Alurín, I suspect that there will be other challenges allowing for traditions at some point in the future - and not all pictures have to be uploaded because of a challenge! ;->
By the way - I really don't want to chose the themes for April - somehow, it's a bit stressful for me (especially this month) and I think two months is enough for me... if anybody would like to do it for the next (two or three) month(s), please say so. --Anna reg (talk) 09:44, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
We already had a Christmassy theme last December (Coloured lights) and we could have another related theme this December so I am happy with the 2014 dates. It is autumn here, but January is New Year carnival season and it is harvest season here now. There is very little Catholic influence here, our Christmas and Easter traditions are mostly commercial. HelenOnline 10:20, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate 99of9's concern about complexity of submission rules. We are also trying to create challenges that work internationally as much as reasonable, which is rather hard. I think it worth experimenting with longer challenges to see if that works. I really don't want all the challenges to be simply "photos any time" as all we will end up with is a themed FP contest and few people actually getting their camera out to actually take a photo for the challenge. No other photo challenge online (AFAIK) allows photos that aren't explicitly taken for the challenge. It's the main point. I think in fact that if we get participation levels high enough, we could enforce the "taken this month" rule for all challenges. Ultimately it is up to those setting the challenge (Anna this time) to set the rules for a good challenge. And I agree with Anna that it is stressful to please everyone here. -- Colin (talk) 10:47, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy if it was always "taken this month" - it would make everything simpler and clearer, just stick to one rule. I think opening submissions for two months is not going to add much, and will slow things down, but if it's an experiment, go for it, we'll find out. --99of9 (talk) 02:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

For the Proverbs and idioms challenge, "For this theme, photographs must be taken by the nominator and uploaded to Commons during the challenge submission period." could be understood to mean taken and uploaded during the submission period. I understand there is no restriction on when it is taken but it may be misunderstood by others. HelenOnline 13:56, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Ajam, good idea, Anna... we could do three or four-month challenges about tradition. This first challenge could start at February, like this Christmas isn't good for it. What do you think??--Alurín (talk) 23:55, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
It's an idea, but I won't be responsible for a second traditions-challenge... ;-> but I think it's a good idea to look first how well this one turns out.
@HelenOnline: You are right, that could be misunderstood (there are no time restrictions for proverbs) - any suggestions how to avoid that ambiguity? --Anna reg (talk) 00:21, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I took the liberty of changing it to the wording used for one of the January challenges, hope that is in order. HelenOnline 06:52, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
It's a wiki, "taking the liberty" to edit something is what we're supposed to be doing!! :-) Of course discussion before making controversial changes to rules is important, and not everyone has the necessary language confidence. -- Colin (talk) 08:04, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Formaler Einspruch gegen den ordnungsgemäßen Ablauf der Commons:Photo_challenge im Monat Februar[edit]

Ich protestiere hiermit gegen Änderungen wie diese und erhebe hiermit formal Einspruch gegen den ordnungsgemäßen Ablauf der Photo Challenge im Monat Februar. Unabhängig davon ob mein Bild was gewonnen hätte, finde ich die Entfernung aus der Kategorie sehr kurios. Oder ist jetzt zukünftig ein Nutzer in der Pflicht permanent zu prüfen ob nicht seine Bilder mehr oder minder heimlich aus den Wettbewerbskategorien entfernt wurden? --Slick (talk) 14:02, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Deutsch: Die Datei ist nicht im Wettbewerb eingetragen. Die Kategorie ist ja nur nebensächlich, ob man am Wettbewerb teilnimmt oder nicht hängt davon ab, ob das Bild in der entsprechenden Galerie ist, und da ist es nicht. Wurde es dort ebenfalls entfernt? Wenn nicht wäre das absolut korrekt es aus der Kategorie zu entfernen, da es nicht am Wettbewerb teilgenommen hat. Wenn das aus der Wettbewerbsbeschreibung nicht deutlich wurde, müsste man vielleicht den Text dort etwas klarer formulieren.
English: The file is not listed in the contest. The category is only secondary, defining for entering the contest is whether or not the file is listed in the gallery of the contest, where it was not listed. Unless ist was removed from there too, removing it from the category is actually correct since it did not participate in the contest. If that wasn't obvious from the contest description, that text should probably be rephrased to make that clear.
— Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 14:41, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Entschuldigung aber mein English ist zu schlecht das auszuformulieren, aber die Teilnahmenbedingungen sagen aus das ein Bild nur der Kategorie hinzugefügt werden mußte: Please add to your challenging picture(s) this Category:Photo challenge/2014 - February - Two of something. Thank you.[2]. --Slick (talk) 14:52, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Wenn ich die Situation richtig verstehe, ist dir beim Einreichen deines Bildes ein Fehler unterlaufen - das machst du, indem du's als letztes/aktuellstes Bild in die Gallerie des jeweiligen Bewerbs einfügst (einfach auf der Photo challenge-Hauptseite bei deinem Bewerb auf Bearbeiten drücken und den Bildnamen deines Kandidaten vor 'insert your image here' hineinkopieren). Die Kategorie ist nur eine zusätzliche Hilfe, um die sich Llann Wé² freundlicherweise kümmert (aber darum bittet, dass die Teilnehmer ihre Kandidaten wenn möglich doch gleich selber einordnen). Nachdem mittlerweile nicht nur die Einreichphase abgeschlossen, sondern auch die Abstimmungsphase recht weit fortgeschritten ist, sehe ich keine Möglichkeit, wie man den Fehler diesmal korrigieren könnte. Tut mir leid... (es wäre ein netter Beitrag gewesen).
Aber vielleicht kannst du helfen, Unklartheiten in den Regeln zu beseitigen, so dass solche Fehler in Zukunft nicht mehr passieren? Sollte irgendwo noch ausdrücklich(er) erwähnt werden, dass die Teilnahme über die Galerien und nicht über die Kategorien erfolgt? Ich werd mir den Text gleich selber noch einmal anschauen, bin aber für Hilfe dankbar (überhaupt, nachdem ich die Regeln ja kenne und also solche Fallen wohl nicht so leicht sehe...)
Liebe Grüße, Anna reg (talk) 15:12, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
I have clarified the submission process for March entries. HelenOnline 15:18, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok, jetzt verstehe ich das Problem. Ich bin nur etwas überrascht das ein "neues" Verfahren benutzt wird. Bei WLM reichte auch ein Eintrag in eine Kategorie. (Muss das hier wirklich wieder anders sein?) Die Beschreibung der Teilnahme-Regeln war wirklich unzureichend. Danke fürs Nachbessern. --Slick (talk) 16:29, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Deutsch: Du hast recht, dass Llann Wé²s Bitte, Kandidaten in die entsprechende Kategorie einzuordnen leicht falsch aufgefasst werden kann. Helens Zusatz sollte das Problem eigentlich klären... aber vielleicht sollte man die 'Einreich-Anleitung' auch in die allgemeinen Photo challenge Regeln schreiben (unter 'Participation'/'Beteiligung')?
English: Turns out that Llann Wé²'s request to categorise the submissions could be misunderstood and taken as an explanation how pictures should be submitted... thanks for the clarification, Helen. Perhaps we should also add a short explanation how to submit your pictures into the general rules (point 'Participation')?

--Anna reg (talk) 15:45, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

I just added this (before I realized you had already added something about it). HelenOnline 16:08, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it would hurt to add Slick's picture now, there are still two weeks of voting left. Incidentally, people who voted for the first image now deleted may want to vote for something else instead (Crisco 1492, Ivan2010, Revi). HelenOnline 16:19, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Would be okay for me. And I'll write to those who voted for the deleted image (even if I'm not sure I understand the reason it was deleted... license laws are sometimes a bit strange to me...) --Anna reg (talk) 16:43, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Added. Es tut mir leid dass es spät ist Slick. HelenOnline 16:57, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Danke dafür. Entschuldigung das ich die Bedingungen falsch verstanden hatte, aber so hilft es allen weiter und verbessert die Qualität :) --Slick (talk) 12:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
C'est à quel propos ? What the what ? What did I did wrong ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 00:08, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Nothing. User:Slick misunderstood the submission rules and added the image only to the category and not to the gallery. darkweasel94 07:13, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I consider this a teething problem that we all learnt from. If anyone adds a challenge category again without adding the image to the challenge gallery, we should ask why before removing the category. HelenOnline 07:21, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Darkweasel. That's what I guessed but I was not really sure I understood all Smile.
Helen, it did happen last week with M0tty but we cleared this point.
Can we make things clearer with this kind of 8 steps explanation ?
  1. Choose one or all current challenge's theme
  2. Take your picture(s) during the challenge period
  3. Upload your picture(s) during the challenge period
  4. Submit your challenging picture(s) at the bottom of the current challenge page with clicking [Edit] button of the Entries section
  5. Do not sign your entry(ies)
  6. Add the challenge's category to your challenging picture(s)
  7. Have a look at the previous challenges and vote (if you want)
  8. We thank you for participating Smile.
--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 12:15, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why not. Nobody seems to be in charge here, so take the initiative as I have done (mentioning it here as you have done is always a good idea). HelenOnline 12:20, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps it may be usefull to create a template, so you just fill the nessary information to the each challange. (i.E. start-/endtime, requirements, ...) So it should be easy to translate. --Slick (talk) 12:58, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
There is one step in your list which isn't a general requirement - taking your picture during the challenge period. So far it's an additional rule to some challenges, because there were participants who wished for the option to upload old pictures. As others are wishing for consistent rules, we can of course decide that all future challenges should only accept pictures taken during the challenge (I think that may be a good idea), but I wouldn't write that point into a list of rules as long as it isn't decided... In either case, I would add
  • read the challenge description/rules
as a second point (and change your second point to Choose your picture(s). --Anna reg (talk) 15:49, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words Helen. I agree Anna. This was only a suggestion in relation to the problem of Slick and M0tty. If one missunderstands the rules it's because it's not clear enough. Yes, Slick, I know some challenge's photos could be taken before the challenge but it should be better for Commons to have some new pics and generalize this part of rule : take the pic during the challenge. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 21:16, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Award templates[edit]

As the award distribution was quite tricky, I tried to make some templates. Well, here's what I managed - if somebody has ideas how they can be improved, go for it! (I didn't even try to change the design of the award I managed to create in January - even though the layout isn't too convincing...)

As an example how to use them:

This {{Photo Challenge Winner|File:-Insert_image_here-.svg|2014|January|A bunch of stuff}} will result in this:
-Insert image here-.svg Photo Challenge Winner
Camera2 mgx gold.svg

Your picture File:-Insert_image_here-.svg won the 1st place in the Photo Challenge A bunch of stuff, in January 2014. You can find the results of the challenge here.

--Anna reg (talk) 11:16, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Different users have now also created different ways of adding an Assessment-Style box to the corresponding images (Examples 1, 2). Is there a consensus that this can/should be done? I think then we should also create "official" templates for this purpose. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 12:47, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. About the boxes - I was not aware of them (and therefore don't think that they were discussed), but they are fine with me. If we are thinking of creating official template(s), we should discuss
  • which pictures should use them - probably first, second and third place?
  • a name for the template ({{Photo challenge}}? or {{Photo Challenge Winner}} and move that one to {{Photo Challenge Gold}})
  • the colours we want to use (XRay and Alurín used the featured picture colour scheme, which I think is a bad idea).
As I don't think much of the colours in the congratulations template I created, I just tried the colours used in the Commons:Photo challenge box. As far as I know, they aren't used in one of the other projects (VI, QI, FP) - what do you think?
Camera2 mgx.svg This picture won the {{{1}}} place in the Photo challenge [[Commons:Photo_Challenge/{{{2}}} - {{{3}}} - {{{4}}}|{{{4}}}]] in {{{3}}} {{{2}}}.
with 1: the place (first, second, third), 2: the year, 3: the month, 4: the challenge theme.
A disadvantage of the templates I created: I have no idea if there is a possibility to translate the flexible parameters into different languages. --Anna reg (talk) 13:59, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm all for this. Translation and other stuff can still be done later, that's why it's a template. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 09:06, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I finally created the assessment template and named it {{Photo challenge winner}}. It can be used on file description pages to show that a picture won a place in a photo challenge.
To avoid confusion, I moved the template to announce the first place to {{Photo Challenge Gold}}. The old name still works as I didn't use capital letters for c and w for the assessment template - which means that we don't have to change the boxes already awarded, but on the other hand is a bit inconsistent... well, if somebody wishes to change that - feel free. Anna reg (talk) 12:43, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Themes for April and May[edit]

Since I was asked to select themes for the April challenge by Colin I would like to get some feedback for the ideas I had so far. We also discussed to increase the number of parallel challenges from 2 + one overlapping to 3 + one overlapping. I would like to have it 2 + 2 overlapping - having this in mind I would propose to choose to combine the following three themes for April and May:

  • Four Elements (fire, water, air and soil)
  • Black and green (as a colour combination theme)
  • Spring time (overlapping until end of May)
  • Traditions (overlapping already set until end of April)
  • Heavy Metal (including real metal as well as concert photography)
  • Drinks and food worldwide
  • Spring time (overlapping until end of May)
  • Time for sports (Overlapping until end of June)

Please tell me your thoughts on these themes and the combinations - I hope it will fit to the challenges. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 15:24, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Heavy metal could be fine in June for French users because we have a national 'Music feast' and June starts the music festivals. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Fine for me, Llann .\m/ , since also in Germany there are some festivals in June - you have an alternative idea for May? -- Achim Raschka (talk) 17:37, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
In Austria we have also more Festivals in June. An alternative idea for May: Demonstrations and Parades (because then is the en:International Workers' Day/fr:Journée internationale des travailleurs/de:Tag der Arbeit). Nice greetings, --Häferl (talk) 21:13, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
For May I'd suggest the theme Politics. The elections for the European Parliament will occur in May and many Commons users are from EU member states; this is probably one of the democratic elections with the highest number of eligible voters who are also Commons regulars. This theme might encourage some Commons users to go to campaigning events and take photos of politicians. This theme would include photos of International Workers' Day parades (as suggested by Haeferl), being political events, and probably many/most other demonstrations and parades, although the EU election was my original motivation to suggest this. darkweasel94 21:36, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
While taking pictures of politicians may well be a worthy thing to do, particularly if we lack good photos of them, I'm not sure many people will be wowed by pictures of European MPs. There was a recent Wikipedia event that took lots of pictures of Euro MPs with professional kit/setting by some of our best photographers. So this is something that perhaps WMF has organised/done better than via a photo challenge. Personally, I've added lots of Nordic politicians to WP articles that were taken by photographers working for the Nordic Council and thus released under CC, so I know that professional quality photos are much needed. But I suspect the challenge will work best if both the photographers and the reviewers are excited about the opportunities and results. And these are not, generally, beautiful people :-) -- Colin (talk) 22:03, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
And fr:Fête du Travail the first of May. But, Häferl, what's about the rest of the world ?
Achim , spring time is for the north part, not for south !
Darkweasel, I think this idea of EU Parliament's elections could be great only for who lives in big cities where they could meet V.I.Politicians. In my little country-town (2.500 ppl, 400km from Paris) I'll never see this kind of V.I.P.'s and can't go to Paris or Brussels (800km) just for that. But if many users agree with this issue, go on : democratic choice lol. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 22:40, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Hm. These are valid points, but things like "spring time", "heavy metal" can be done every year at this time, while big elections in several countries at once happen much less frequently. I don't think it will produce only photos of current MEPs: it will probably also produce photos of candidates who aren't MEPs yet, including those of minor parties (as a side note, at least one Austrian campaigning event for the 2009 EU election, which I went to, also had speeches by other representatives of the respective party who weren't candidates for the European Parliament). "Politics" is a broad theme, you could for example take photos of your place's local politicians, or photos related to currently politically (perhaps only locally) significant topics, or even your place's town hall. I mean, perhaps someone will come up with some other great suggestion that will work best in May 2014 (and won't work as well in May 2015 anymore), but so far I still think "politics" would work pretty well. darkweasel94 23:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Discussions are running - great! So what do you think about combining politicians with other other topics in politics overlapping to june instead of spring time, where I thought about shooting plants, insects, flowers? So, have a second try:

  • Four Elements (fire, water, air and soil)
  • Drinks and food worldwide
  • Politics and politicians (overlapping until end of May)
  • Traditions (overlapping already set until end of April)
  • Flowers and insects
  • Black and green (as a colour combination theme)
  • Politics and politicians (overlapping until end of May)
  • Time for sports (Overlapping until end of June)


  • Heavy Metal (including real metal as well as concert photography)
  • ...
  • ...
  • Time for sports (Overlapping until end of June)

What we have to fix soon are the April themes - so can we go for them? -- Achim Raschka (talk) 06:10, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I would like to see someone other than Darkweasel94 who thinks "Politics and politicians" is likely to generate more than a handful of low-quality contributions. Realistically, getting an actual politician to pose for a proper quality photograph by a complete amateur is not going to happen in any numbers. Have a look at Commons:Wikipedians in European Parliament to see how much effort went into that fantastic project. And even then, the photographers got only a very short time with each subject. Photographing a politician speaking at an event would require a large long lens as used by press, and the permission of the event organisers if on private property. I don't know about where Darkweasel94 lives but in the UK MEPs are nobody -- only a few top-level controversial ones will be known to anyone. And candidate MEPs are below nobody. I might as well take a picture of my dentist or bus driver for all that anyone would care who they were. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the candidate MEPs were dentists and bus drivers.
And I must object to the loss of "Spring time" for the usual complaint about southern contributors. Sorry, but this is a wonderful time of year for seasonal photography and I think would inspire some great photos for the challenge where people actually go out and take new pictures. Far more inspirational than a contest geared round EU elections that many contributors either can't participate in or have little interest in. Most of our contributors live in countries where it is now spring -- the only requirement for a challenge is that there are sufficient numbers of potential participants, not that there must be no contributors left out. Given that the are likely to be several alternative challenges running at the same time, I don't think our southern friends need feel ignored nor should they obstruct a good theme choice. So I strongly support "Spring time" in favour of "Politics".
Query on "Flowers and insects" -- this could be dropped in if Spring is restored, and Achim's Heavy Metal in its place. But should this theme run at some point, I assume you mean to have both in the picture -- as separate pictures of flowers or of insects would be quite different challenges. -- Colin (talk) 08:39, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I have only had time for a quick look, but would like to ask that the word "soil" be replaced by "earth" which is how that element is known to me (although it can represent any solid matter). HelenOnline 09:00, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
What do you think of the undocumented species/cultivars (or little documented) theme for spring? It's a possibility to make pictures of flowers and animals and not that seasonally bound as spring (even though it is easier to make pictures in spring than in autumn, it should still be possible to make pictures of animals or plants with colourful leaves, last blooms, drying up...) - it still would exclude other interpretations of spring (as long as they don't include a tradition... ;->)... perhaps Helen can help us decide what would be fine for the southern hemisphere (even though not every challenge has to be possible for everybody - after all, there will be four possibilities to choose from)
I love the black and green and heavy metal ideas (both are creative and already make me think of possibilities), but I'm less sure of four elements (seems very broad to me - if it is enough to have one of the elements depicted you can include everything from wave pictures to candle flames) and I fear that politics and politicians is a difficult challenge theme (a bit like newsworthy) - if you decide to use it, it's probably a good idea to have it longer than a month. About local food and drinks - I'd suggest waiting until traditions is finished, as there is an overlap (traditional Easter food), which would make it possible to submit a picture in both challenges... (is that allowed? I don't think we discussed that possibility... ;->)
Looking forward to the new challenges (that I don't have to decide! ;->) --Anna reg (talk) 09:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
My main concern is that we have themes with good participation levels and clearly defined focus. Are many of us knowledgeable enough to do "undocumented species/cultivars"? I'm not keen to waste the opportunity to celebrate "spring" by having some general wildlife theme that could happen any time of year -- which is what trying to please everyone in every theme will do. Please let's not make our concerns about international or city-vs-country issues prevent us running great themes that could be very popular. On Anna's concern, "food and drink" could be swapped with "black and green" to avoid overlap with "traditions". Participation on the challenge has fallen a bit in both nominations and voting (to be expected for various reasons, certainly not Anna's fault). To restore that we need not only inspiring themes that encourage lots of submissions, but also themes that produce high quality images that reviewers will enjoy voting on. -- Colin (talk) 09:48, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I think it would also be a good idea to ask if the photo challenge can be represented via a link on the main page - does anybody know where such a question should be discussed? I could ask Mono, who seems to take care of the main page...
About the undocumented species/cultivars - I'm probably quite biased on that topic, as I do a lot of clean-up etc. with cultivars - especially for the Rosa categories and galleries - and I know that there are already hundreds of photos of crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and flowering cherry trees, but that there are not a lot of identified cultivars - even if in some cases it would have been easy to get that information (flower shows, botanical gardens, even florists often have a sign telling you which cultivar it is). Of course identification is much more difficult (and with cultivars often even impossible) if you have to do it on your own... but as the usefulness-aspect shouldn't dominate the whole challenge, perhaps it would be a good idea to choose a broader subject and think of adding the extra vote encyclopedically useful to honor that facet of commons... (by the way, I think the heart seems to work fine)
Anna reg (talk) 10:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I started the new challenges of April in the morning (German Time) and also started the voting pages - feel free to add, correct my english, comment, whatever ... Best regards, -- Achim Raschka (talk) 09:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for keeping the ball rolling Achim Raschka. HelenOnline 09:17, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

February 2014 Winners[edit]

Newsworthy: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image 140202 Afe-Tower Blasting.jpg Ash in Yogyakarta during the 2014 eruption of Kelud 07.jpg Venezuela protests against the Nicolas Maduro government, Maracaibo 03.jpg
Author Sven0705 Crisco 1492 Wilfredor
Score 49 46 38
Two of something: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Mandarin Pair.jpg
(File:Murano Campiello della Pescheria 2014 02.jpg)
Kevadised lehed.jpg
Author Baresi franco Joadl Abrget47j
Score 50 26 12

Congratulations to User:Sven0705, User:Crisco 1492, User:Wilfredor, User:Baresi franco, User:Joadl and User:Abrget47j. -- Colin (talk) 20:31, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the entrants, voters and especially Anna and Colin for their organisational efforts (and anyone else I left out by mistake). HelenOnline 09:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Deleted image[edit]

What should we do about the deleted image in 2nd place? It isn't straightforward to decide whether or not to replace it with 3rd place and move the 4th (joint in this case) up to 3rd.

  • The image is not a valid file on Commons so can't fit the rules. It never was free, even though it took a while to be deleted.
  • If the file had been deleted during the entry month, we'd never have voted on it. If it had been deleted during voting, it wouldn't have got any more votes and people might have shifted their vote. Either way, it wouldn't have got 2nd place.
  • It is important that images fit both the Commons rules and the Theme rules, even if the issues are spotted late. For example, if the image turned out to be taken outside of the competition month or already uploaded (under a different name, for example) or some other clear breach that would make their win unfair.
  • The image was taken, uploaded and submitted in good-faith. It isn't as though the photographer deliberately photographed a copyright work or stole someone else's image from Flickr, for example.
  • The image was still on Commons during voting and when the awards were handed out.
  • If the image had been deleted earlier, people's votes would be different and it is quite possible that the other two winners might be different -- merely moving up the list doesn't make the results look as though the deleted image was never there.

There may be other arguments. Clearly the best thing is for us all to look out for image issues before voting starts, because anything we do after that isn't great. I think I'd be keen to fix the results if it turned out the image was a bad faith nom (like a stolen photo) or clearly didn't fit the rules as not to do so would be unfair on those who missed out. But where to draw the line? -- Colin (talk) 14:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

In the interests of motivating people who submitted valid entries, I vote to move the next one up etc. We need to be extra careful of submitting photos of artistic works in future. I know what is allowed where I live and if it was something borderline I would probably not enter it in the challenge in case it got deleted. HelenOnline 15:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

While I'm very undecided about my opinion on moving the pictures up or not, I do have two more point against:

  • time - how long do we want to change the results after a competition is closed? Depending on when the mistakes are spotted, the deletion requests can happen at different points (we already had several during the submission period, which is of course ideal; as far as I know one during the voting period and now a prominent one just after the results were presented).
  • learning effect - if we want to encourage new users to participate, mistakes are normal and this one can help to make people aware of the rules in their country.

Anna reg (talk) 15:54, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

May be we can just add the 4th in the winner's board and leave empty the 2nd ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 16:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I vote we either move the up the places so 3rd place now becomes 2nd, or at least display the 4th place winners for this particular event as a special case. --ZeWrestler (talk) 08:17, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
+1, I think the empty slot looks bad. I don't see why we can't move them up. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 08:43, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Re "how long", I would not worry about anything nominated for deletion after the results have been announced. In this case, the image was nominated for deletion without objection during March. HelenOnline 17:20, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Image descriptions[edit]

rant ahead: I am getting a bit fed up with images being uploaded without categories or adequate descriptions, e.g. I would expect entries for Commons:Photo challenge/2014 - April - Food and drinks worldwide to specify a geographical location. I have been adding some categories to images but am not prepared to do this on an ongoing basis. If the idea of the challenge is to encourage people to upload images, we need better information to be able to make the best use of the images. HelenOnline 08:59, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

May challenges[edit]

So just started three new challenges as aked for, a bit different from the proposed ones above:

  • Flowers and insects - for flowers and insects combined
  • Bridges - as classical architectural topic
  • Time for sports - for sports photographers, two months

I hope you enjoy! -- Achim Raschka (talk) 06:31, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

  • "Bridges"? That is (probably unintentionally) prohibitive to photographers in areas which do not recognize freedom of panorama. I know of few, if any, bridges here in Indonesia that would be both aesthetically pleasing and without a doubt in the public domain here. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:05, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
If you think it necessary, we could add a warning in the challenge description, linking to the freedom of panorama description. I'm once again curious to see how the challenges turn out - in my opinion you chose some fairly difficult topics... Anna reg (talk) 11:50, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
But surely many bridges are out of copyright? It doesn't need to be a major bridge -- could be some old foot bridge over a stream. Still I maintain that we should not obstruct or complain about challenges where some group is unable to take part -- this is true for most challenges whether the obstacle is season of the year, urban/rural, copyright issues, or simply lack of the appropriate equipment (such as a macro lens to capture high quality insect photos). Add to this the fact that some challenges simply don't interest some people. As they say, you can't please everyone all the time. There are two other challenges. -- Colin (talk) 12:29, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Fair points, Colin, regarding how some topics are intrinsically unavailable for some locations/people. Re: the bridges... 50 years post-construction for anonymous works, and the vast majority of bridges (even the less attractive ones) I've seen were constructed much more recently than that... There may be TOO considerations, but I haven't seen much discussion about TOO and architectural photography on Commons. Do you know of any discussions? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 17:07, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
What do you mean by TOO? I'm really amazed about your statement that most bridges are < 50 years old in Indonesia. Do you why that might be? In the UK some are over a thousand years old and we have, for example, the first ever iron bridge. -- Colin (talk) 17:50, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
  • COM:Threshold of originality; some "statues", like one shaped like a standard bicycle (don't quite recall the name of the AFD though), have been found not to pass it. Would a bunch of logs with planks over them (like what I passed to go to Turgo, Sleman, a few years back) pass the threshold? Maybe not.
Indonesia had a lot of infrastructure built by the Dutch, but much of it was destroyed during the Japanese occupation (1942–45) and Revolution (1945–49). Suharto's pro-development period probably replaced a lot of the surviving bridges (not just bridges... WWII, the Revolution, and decades of Sukarno and Suharto took their tolls on a variety of infrastructures and documentation). Mind, a bit of in-depth investigation might find something. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:04, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Dear all, sorry for the late reply, just arrived from a trip from Berlin where I was the last days very busy as a judge for the German writing contest. @Crisco 1492: You are right, I did not consider FOP as a problem - sorry for this - but as Colin told I think that there are not only new bridges and in every challenge will be some who cannot contribute for some reasons (as I will not dot for e.g. sports since I've never made any pic in that area) - so especially for Indonesia it would be great to have some entries on the flowers & insects topics with some tropical beetles, butterflies ... . I hope all challenges will work well and I am very curious about the entries. Best regards, -- Achim Raschka (talk) 20:25, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

March 2014 Winners[edit]

Proverbs and idioms: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Ossuary in Sedlec.JPG Nothing ventured, nothing gained.JPG Fire in Olomouc, Gorazdovo náměstí.jpg
Title Dead men tell no tales Nothing ventured, nothing gained Fire is a good servant but a bad master
Author Jan.Kamenicek Lesekreis Jan.Kamenicek
Score 45 18 16
Surface textures: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Texture old wall.jpg Backlit ficus elastica leaf texture 2014 02.jpg Salton City shore (March 2014) 04.jpg
Author Nikodem Nijaki Julian Herzog Nandaro
Score 20 18 13

Congratulations to User:Jan.Kamenicek × 2, User:Lesekreis, User:Nikodem Nijaki, User:Julian Herzog and User:Nandaro. -- Colin (talk) 19:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I am so happy with the 2nd place in the challenge "Proverbs and idioms"! Thanks to all who voted for my photo and thanks to Anna and Colin and anyone else for the great organization. Congratulations to all the winners - nice weekend and many greetings Lesekreis (talk) 09:39, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

2014 - May - Flowers AND insects...[edit]

Hi all.

Something missing in the description : flower(s) AND insect(s) because some entries do not have insect so I removed them. If I did wrong I beg.

And, is there a choice : flower(s) OR plant(s) ??? A blade of grass is enough, a thin branch too ???

Need to be clearer, please.

A pic of a worm on the Mayflower is cool ? lol --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 04:35, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

If we allow non-insect arthropods, we should also have some leniency with "flowers" to include perhaps fruits and seedpods... or any other parts that were or will be flowers (but not cultivated yet). I'm less sure about leaves, stems and branches, but I won't object to them as long as the guidelines are clear. Thanks for bringing up the issue while the challenge is still at an early stage. Lastly, the word combined should stand out a bit more. How about COMBINED? --Nandaro (talk) 18:06, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
  • My opiniom is that the theme should be clear (it is) and enforced strictly. A flower is a flower, is a flower. And an insect is an insect, is an insect. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 18:22, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
    • The detailed description is clear. It is unfortunate that the title isn't -- as the title should properly exclude spiders and the "and" in the title is ambiguous wrt whether both need to be present. Something to bear in mind in future that many people "don't read the instructions" so the title needs to be very clear. And I agree that bolding the vital bits can be helpful. In the early challenges, I asked a couple of nominators if they would reconsider their nomination as it didn't really fit the theme (and because it was one of the first few nominations, would be confusing to future nominators). In the recent "Surface textures" theme, I didn't monitor the nominations closely and when working on the voting pages noticed that quite a lot weren't actually "Surface textures" but just patterns. So I think it is best if we monitor the nomination and remove obviously faulty ones. Where there is some uncertainty or disagreement, then we can use this talk page to come to consensus. -- Colin (talk) 19:23, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
    • Alvesgaspar, the text includes "other arthropods" and one of the example images has a spider, so "an insect is an insect, is an insect" is too strict unless we change the text. -- Colin (talk) 19:34, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
      • You are right Colin, sorry. Let me strike the an insect is an insect, is an insect... Alvesgaspar (talk) 20:49, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

New themes[edit]

Here are three ideas for new themes -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 18:21, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. Ruins and hauted houses: a challenge for our creators, both in the field ... and in the lab. Example: Chelas May 2009-1b.jpg;
  2. Eyes: of people, pets, insects, spiders... Example: Cat eyes 2007-2.jpg
  3. Hair: of people, pets, insects... Example: Bumblebee October 2007-3.jpg
I like the ruins one. Not sure about the others (for me personally anyway, but I don't expect all the challenges to suit me). HelenOnline 18:24, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I like Ruins as well. I've already got 3 or 4 places I can go to. Eyes is fun too; I like Eye of Gekko gecko in Yogyakarta, 2014-04-25.jpg for instance. Not sure about hair; too repetitive if we have eyes.. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:00, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I think we should have only one of "eyes" and "hair" at the same time, because otherwise it's too focused on anatomy. I don't personally find any of these themes particularly interesting, but that is just me, and it is not an objection or criticism. BTW, perhaps it would be a good idea to set up a separate "brainstorming" subpage for a list of theme proposals… darkweasel94 13:15, 12 May 2014 (UTC) darkweasel94 13:15, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
For June I think D-Day, Atlatic Wall, Landing or this kind of stuff could be a good theme for the 70° anniversary. Keeping the memory... --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 14:57, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if 'outsourcing' the theme discussions will encourage participation or not, but as I find it more and more difficult to find the ideas already suggested, I just created the subpage /themes - we will see if it's a good idea or not... Anna reg (talk) 10:37, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I think that's a very good idea, but it should be linked more prominently so people can find it. I'd say: Place a big banner at the top of this page and enter something like "Everyone is invited to suggest new themes or comment on other proposals here." to the "Formal things" box on the main page. --El Grafo (talk) 09:52, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I didn't want to do that before I knew that more than two people liked the idea... but you are right that the link I made here is quite well hidden - thus making it difficult to get opinions on its usefulness... ;-> Anna reg (talk) 10:30, 16 May 2014 (UTC)


I'm looking for someone to choose & help run the themes for June/July. I could appoint someone but (hopefully I won't regret asking) does anyone want to volunteer?

The first responsibility is simply to choose/create well-defined themes. I don't care much whether you try gather suggestions first, or preview your ideas, but ultimately you simply have to decide. I haven't found "waiting for consensus to develop" to be a useful method -- there are simply too many good options and too many people with their own opinions. If we see the upcoming themes in advance, then hopefully we can refine the wording to avoid any problems with ambiguity -- but everyone should respect that the person in charge that month has the final say and is bound to not please somebody.

In addition to choosing themes, you need to decide what restrictions to impose. I think we definitely need to keep the "new to Commons" restriction, to differentiate from other quality forums on Commons. But I would like to retain at least some themes with a "taken during the challenge period" to give extra encouragement to folks to get out with their camera. Possibly the best balance is to use this additional restriction for themes likely to be popular or which are already well-supplied with images on Commons.

I have some programs that count the votes and that prepare the new voting pages. They also do some checking that voters and their votes are valid, and display some date taken/uploaded information on the voting page so we can exclude invalid nominations before voting takes place. So I'll carry on with setting up voting pages and creating the results page until we can replace that with some online system.

At the end of the month the existing pages for nominations and voting need to be closed. If there is a short delay before the new pages are up, then that isn't the end of the world. Once both voting and nominations pages are set up, we can make a watchlist notice.

So that's the process. If you have suggestions for changed to this process then start a new section below. In the mean time, anyone like to volunteer?

-- Colin (talk) 14:45, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I will do it if nobody else will. I might need some help with the technical stuff (updating banners etc). HelenOnline 08:07, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I feared we'd be inundated with offers and have the same problem picking someone as we have picking themes! Good. Thanks, Helen. Here's the diff for the last Watchlist notice I made. The tricky bit is just that it is quite a long notice with lots of wikilinks. We need to try to keep it fairly short yet still mention the relevant pages. And to wait for both voting and nominations pages to be ready-to-go before posting. The voting page is the hardest bit to do but I've got a program for that now. You can post me a message on my talk page if you have any questions. -- Colin (talk) 12:10, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not good enough in english to do more than I do here... If it was all in French I'd be very pleased to participate more lol. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:31, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Tentative June–July themes[edit]

I still have some work to do but will park this here for now in case anyone has constructive input. I don't expect to please everybody – the best way to get themes you are happy with would be to volunteer for the next round. Face-smile.svg


  • Time for sports (already in progress)



  • Ruins and haunted places

I haven't thought about July themes yet. HelenOnline 10:49, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I think that all three themes are more on the difficult side (not that easy to find possibilities to make pictures or already have some you'd like to upload) and it would mean three 'people oriented challenges'. Personally I'm not a fan of military appreciation - but then I'm not even sure if I understand the theme... e.g. would it include the D-Day celebrations Llann Wé² mentioned? or statues of generals from a few hundred years ago? ;-> --Anna reg (talk) 11:48, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Military appreciation would include anything related to the military, including the D-Day celebrations (which is too narrow a topic on its own in my opinion). I don't think military appreciation or ruins are necessarily people oriented. HelenOnline 11:53, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
The third theme I thought of was time for sports, not ruins ;-> - and I'm already thinking of aspects of military appreciation I like - making it the most interesting challenge theme at the moment (having to think of interesting interpretations is fun ;->) Anna reg (talk) 12:00, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: Were we meant to have April–May and May–June (and June–July) overlapping themes? Help. HelenOnline 12:21, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there's a meant to have - it's your decision as the one responsible for the new themes (you could also decide on only two themes or three themes for June or one for three months) - but it is what we had in April and May. Anna reg (talk) 12:49, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I was just wondering if the original concept for longer themes was rather March–April, May–June, July–August etc? I never realised we had overlapping longer themes until I set them out above. HelenOnline 13:15, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Per Anna. I think the longer themes occurred because it was felt those themes needed more time or to ensure they covered certain calendar events. If there isn't a strong need for it, I'd prefer to keep things simple and just have monthly. What do you think? -- Colin (talk) 13:58, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
OK thanks, I would like to simplify the whole process as much as possible to make it more foolproof so I will leave out the June–July theme. HelenOnline 15:11, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Considering the proposed themes for June - Wiki loves Pride and Military appreciation - I would replace at least one of them with something more global and less prone to negative reactions. Notice that both subjects appeare in Wikimedia as strongly connected to US culture and values. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 15:06, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
OK thanks, I have made some changes above. HelenOnline 15:11, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I've just suggested that because it is the 70th anniversary of the landing in France, meaning the end of WW2 (important thing, no ?). Monuments, museums, bunkers, 'relics'... Except 15-16 countries all the world was involved so everybody can participate. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 16:15, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Could any of that fall under "ruins"? (just checking) Otherwise maybe we can reword that one. HelenOnline 16:46, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I love Ruins and haunted places!Face-smile.svg On the other hand, Military appreciation is a delicate subject... and possibly USA-centric? A war hero to one nation is often viewed as evil elsewhere, even centuries later. How about something less controversial, such as Parent appreciation (to include both Mother's Day & Father's Day and other similar activities), Weddings, Graduation, Vacation, or Romantic spots? Some of these may be too generic so we can narrow them down as necessary. --Nandaro (talk) 16:26, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't going to remove it, just thought maybe e.g. ruins of the Atlantic Wall might also be fit in there somehow. Otherwise, we have enough for June. HelenOnline 18:06, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
The Atlantic Wall and other "walls" built for fortification, e.g., the Great Wall of China, could have a theme of their own, but themes can overlap and I think it's OK to include the Atlantic Wall under Ruins and haunted places. BTW, my previous comment was not in response to your previous comment (if you compare the time stamps). I had posted it to the wrong discussion page and someone kindly copied it here for me. Sorry for the confusion. I've adjusted the indentation to hopefully make it less confusing. Nandaro (talk) 18:39, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
OK no problem. We could also explicitly include graveyards in "Ruins and haunted places" as those themes are linked? HelenOnline 07:09, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
I also like Ruins and haunted places. For the other theme, perhaps something more micro? "Ruins" is fairly macro, and most of the suggestions here are too. "Household object", maybe? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:41, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

The new challenges are up and running on the main page. It will take a couple of days to update the voting and results pages. HelenOnline 11:07, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

I like the proposal from Crisco 1492 to have "Household objects" as a theme. I think Crisco also suggested "transportation", which I like as well. However, both of these themes sound perhaps a little boring. For transportation how about "On the move". It leaves some room for the imagination of what could be "on the move"? --Slaunger (talk) 15:47, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • "On the move" could be fun too. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:16, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I like "On the move" and agree that allowing some imagination is good for a theme. But am worried that "transportation" is hugely well represented on Commons already -- we don't really need to motivate anyone to take a new picture of a train in a station imo. Since this is a Photographic Challenge, how about we challenge people to take images of something literally "on the move". Capturing that movement in a still image. The obvious techniques that come to mind are panning while taking the shot, to blur the background; freezing the motion with a very fast shutter or flash so everything is in mid air; long(ish) exposure so that the moving objects are blurred. That would I think be a superior challenge.
  • Taking the "household objects" idea, static pictures of objects could be boring unless one is very clever with lighting, etc. But if we stated the objects were "in use", then that could be more interesting as well as good illustrative value for educational purposes. This is an area that Commons is actually very weak on, compared to professional stock photo sites. I'm not sure how to word this as a theme name, though. -- Colin (talk) 07:06, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Both themes do sound very interesting - even if your interpretation of "on the move" sounds difficult for us less experienced photographers (but I have nothing against trying new things... and I'm still looking more at the insects on all those roses I'm photographing and trying to find out, how I can manage to get them in focus and sharp ;->). However, in my opinion it overlaps quite a lot with "time for sports", so I'm not sure if it's a good idea to use already next month... I've added both to Commons:Photo challenge/themes --Anna reg (talk) 07:56, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks Anna. I think I've been here too long. I recognized Colin's iron immediately, as well as his image of King's Cross. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:09, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
The iron is still going strong, which is remarkable since we have such hard water. What I find interesting is that stock photo agencies have loads of pictures of beautiful people doing things -- that's what people want to illustrate their articles, including educationally. Whereas Commons has very few. So our WP articles are illustrated with static product shots of an item on someone's desk or carpet. I know that personality rights issues make people reluctant to model stuff for free, but the person doesn't have to be identifiable, with their head in the frame. Anna, could the Commons:Photo challenge/themes page be expanded to give room for each suggested theme to have some explanation and possible example images (like above). Perhaps a sub-sub-section for each theme suggestions. People can comment/refine on each suggestion and we can mark the used ones with a tick. -- Colin (talk) 10:34, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
If you have an idea how to do that without having the discussions there, of course. Or we could try to make each point in the list a link to a section on the themes discussion page, were we could discuss it... sort of having pro and cons for each topic there (perhaps using the Symbol support vote.svg Support, Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose and Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment templates), but still proposing 'July themes' here... could work, but could also get confusing...
As for the tick - I removed the last themes (e.g. ruins and haunted places), as they can be found in the section above, but of course we could also leave them in the list and mark them...
By the way, do you have any additional statistics that in your opinion could be interesting to add to the table?
--Anna reg (talk) 15:44, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes I know the dilemma about where to discuss. I think the proposed coming themes might still be best discussed here to gain eyes, but themes that don't make it to immediate selection could be archived there and possibly refined to be brought back later. Don't know what's best.
For columns, I'd be interested in how many images were taken during the challenage (where no restriction was imposed). I might add that later. -- Colin (talk) 17:00, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I am having a busy week so just skimmed the above. One of the themes I was mulling over for next month is "Tools of the trade" which could be adapted to or include household tools. HelenOnline 07:56, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Tentative themes for July (two of the following)

HelenOnline 12:21, 20 June 2014 (UTC) Primary colors examples:

Tools of the trade examples:

Sounds fun to me. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:12, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Are you planning a two month theme, too? (Just curious...) --Anna reg (talk) 08:31, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
No, I prefer to keep things simple. HelenOnline 08:58, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the proposed themes and for the preparation. About the "Primary coulours" theme, both w:RYB color model (red–yellow–blue) and w:RGB color model (red–green–blue) will be on topic? --Myrabella (talk) 10:11, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Is the "Primary color" theme meant to have a single dominant primary colour, or to use all three in one image, or perhaps just two? If multiple, then imo adding yellow just makes it too colourful and open and less logical. I think that for us to successfully prepare the theme topics, we need more than just the titles. So could you give also the explanatory text that defines the topic precisely. And some example photo thumbnails if you intend to use them. -- Colin (talk) 10:29, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry I won't have time to flesh these out much in advance of the month end deadline due to other Wiki priorities with June deadlines. The input I get here guides the final details anyway. I am leaning towards #1 and #3. I have been keeping my eyes open for examples of Seven and it is not that easy. For Primary colors, I was thinking that one or more of RGBY colours should feature predominantly in the photo. One way we could make this less open is to restrict it to photos of manmade things (no blue skies, green leaves etc). HelenOnline 11:21, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the inclusion of "household objects in use" in the tools theme, I think this should be saved for the (northern) winter months when outdoor themes are more challenging. HelenOnline 15:39, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Manmade objects? Oh... well, I guess I'll upload my rice field pictures anyways. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:16, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. Not sure if you are joking here but that would be very confusing if you did. I don't think farming makes the rice (or field) a "manmade" object. It would quickly be confusing if that counted, as then the flower in my garden would be "manmade" since someone planted it. -- Colin (talk) 15:22, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
They might mean upload it anyway but not submit it? We can have Primary colors in nature as a later theme, as well as monochromatic challenges etc. HelenOnline 17:10, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • About the "Primary colors" theme, do artworks count (example)? Just to know—most contemporary artworks I have in mind would probably be copyrighted I guess. --Myrabella (talk) 17:43, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • If the goal of this contest is making our photographers go out and find good themes, I wouldn't allow reproductions of artwork. Perhaps with the exception of own works? Alvesgaspar (talk) 17:53, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I haven't excluded artworks and I think it may be tricky to know where to draw the line on what is art and what is not. I have included a general note about avoiding copyvio among other things, as I did in June. Personally, I wouldn't rate photographs of artworks on display highly as there is little skill involved in it. HelenOnline 18:21, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I was thinking about photographs of sculptures, like this one—that can be a bit more creative than a faithful reproduction of a painting. Anyway, I won't have time this month to travel in Germany in order to collect photographs that I could upload freely thanks to FOP ;) Thank you a lot for setting up the July challenge. --Myrabella (talk) 09:53, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Something with sculptures would be lovely. Many of our images of sculptures are objectively terrible. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:59, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: Helen got it. I'll be uploading those images but not submitting them for this challenge (might be able to work one or two into "tools of the trade", however). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:30, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

The July challenges are up and running on the main page. It will take a couple of days to update the voting and results pages. FYI I have created a month-end template of sorts in my sandbox which future volunteers may find useful. HelenOnline 08:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Categories and challenge requirements[edit]

Would it be possible to build in some kind of alert for editors to check the challenge requirements and add the challenge categories when adding entries? I (and User:Llann Wé²) have been checking entries but will probably run out of steam soon. :P HelenOnline 15:06, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

LGBT-related challenge as part of Wiki Loves Pride 2014?[edit]

Greetings! I was wondering about the possibility of having a photo challenge related to LGBT culture and history, as part of Wikipedia:Wiki Loves Pride 2014. This would be for the month (or part of the month) of June, when pride celebrations often take place. Thoughts? Or, is there another avenue in which this discussion should take place? I'd be more than happy to update the Wiki Loves Pride page with details about the Commons project, if the challenge comes to fruition. Please let me know if you have any questions. --Another Believer (talk) 18:43, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

  • I am participating in this effort and saw Another Believer's notice about it. In the United States, June is LGBT pride month. See also en:Gay_pride_month#LGBT_Pride_Month. LGBT pride is not an inappropriate choice for June and beyond Wikipedia, there will be photos from around the world of all sorts of pride events shared online in this month. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:58, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I understand I will be choosing and running the themes for June/July, and would be happy to accommodate you in June. HelenOnline 21:50, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely wonderful news, Helen. Thank you so much! Ping me if you need any information about Wiki Loves Pride, etc. I look forward to contribution to this project, and I will be sure to include some details about the photo challenge on the main WLP page. --Another Believer (talk) 14:49, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Another Believer, you're welcome. Pinging too as the most active user here with similar interests. Jee 15:21, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Depiction of images in contest[edit]

I don't like the way pictures in contest are depicted when we click on them. The image file, with all the attached information, should be available. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 23:01, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Those which are up for voting, or those which have just been submitted? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:02, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
It is the new media viewing experience for all images on Commons. I don't like it either and have disabled it (Preferences, Appearance). HelenOnline 06:33, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh, that. I missed that. It's like Flickr now. *shudder*. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:59, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Outsourcing the theme discussions (to /themes)[edit]

darkweasel proposed creating a new page for the theme discussions - something I already wished for while trying to decide on the challenge themes for February and March. I therefore created the subpage /themes and now would like to have your opinion if the theme discussions should really be moved to a separate page.

Could you please vote Symbol support vote.svg Support or Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose? Anna reg (talk) 12:06, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Good idea. HelenOnline 12:16, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Hmm. Not sure it is a good idea. I do think this page has grown to now need an auto archiver (anyone care to set one up? -- it has been a while since I last did it so I forget how). But at least a reasonable number of people have this on their watchlist. Sub-pages aren't necessarily going to be monitored as well or even known about by new people. Is there really a big problem with discussions happening here? It isn't as though there are so many pending discussions that one can't keep track of them all. -- Colin (talk) 12:21, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

That it could reduce involvement is my biggest fear and the reason I didn't propose it till know - but while normally this page doesn't change a lot it sometimes has several discussions at the same time - and I'm quite sure that some of them are overlooked - but normally not the theme discussions. I think that's the case as the theme discussions are a topic many people are interested in, so I would suspect that a subpage would be added to their watchpages - and this page would be for other questions which sometimes don't get as much attention as they should. I was also thinking of starting an archive, but to archivate former theme discussions without having a subpage would mean more or less losing former ideas, which is why I am pushing that idea more than the other. Anna reg (talk) 12:36, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment It seems most of the non-theme-related discussions here are on the initial and/or general setup of the structure and rules of the challenges... and probably will not come up again unless someone wants to make a major revision. In other words, most topics that will be discussed hereon will likely be on themes so I'm not sure if a separate archive would be necessary (although I do understand how difficult it can be to find things in archives). On the other hand, I like being able to tell what topics have already been used and what topics have been suggested, all on one concise page, just like the test page. It will be more and more useful as the list grows; think of two years from now, for example. Also, we should consider having "Previous challenges" on a separate page. The "Previous challenges" section will have more and more photos, adding weight to the page, i.e., the entire page will take longer and longer to load and will be inconvenient to people who just want to check the rules. Nandaro (talk) 18:01, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we've yet really matured our system for proposing/choosing themes. We see above a few proposed themes. Then someone doesn't like one of them and suggests some alternatives. And then more alternatives are proposed and it just grows like some tangled weed. There's no group process that prunes it back down to a consensus -- only one that continues to grow the weed. Hence the best solution I have at present is that we distribute across the group and over time, the responsibility for making a decision. I'm sure any one of us, if asked, could spend an hour or two and fill a page with hundreds of themes in all sorts of categories. There's no shortage of reasonable theme choices. It is a bit harder to decide which two or three to run next month. I don't know of any technique for picking "best" and consider that such a goal may be misguided. Perhaps "good" is enough, and most of us are intelligent enough to come up with "good" themes. Does anyone have any better ideas? -- Colin (talk) 19:26, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Video entries?[edit]

As month end is approaching, I was checking that the number of May entries on the photo challenge page tally with that in the corresponding category and noticed two videos added to Category:Photo challenge/2014 - May - Flowers and insects by Pristurus that have not been added to the list at Commons:Photo challenge/2014 - May - Flowers and insects. @Pristurus: please note submissions will not be eligible for the challenge unless also added to the photo challenge page. However, I am not sure if videos are eligible? Help. HelenOnline 08:04, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Hello, In my opinion, the "Photo challenge" concerns only photographs, no videos. It presentation defines clearly the eligible media: "The Photo Challenge inspires photographers to take great pictures [...] Photographs entered into a competition must be new to Commons and taken by a Commons user. [...]". --Myrabella (talk) 08:18, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
There was a question raised about other media right at the top of the page. I was keen to keep things simple to begin with and not sure how other media might fit with challenges aimed at photographers. Perhaps I could have submitted the video version of my File:Plasma globe 60th.jpg in that first challenge. The insects-on-flowers videos (and the plasma globe) are just "moving pictures" versions of the still frame a photographer might take. My feeling is to be relaxed and inclusive about this and permit them. I know someone might think it unfair they didn't know videos could be submitted (and so might have) but it isn't as though we are offering a $1000 prize to the winner. If the videos were taken and uploaded as part of the challenge then the challenge has been successful. This is Achim Raschka's theme, so I'd be interested in his view. -- Colin (talk) 09:10, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Mmh ... I am not sure. I am a fanboy if it's on the videos of @Pristurus: who added lots of very good videos to articles I wrote in the German Wikipedia so maybe I am not neutral here. At the end: What counts are good files for commons comong from the challenge and if there are no real objections I would say they count. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 09:26, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I am not against including other media in the challenge—I would have preferred to keep it simple but I totally agree that what really matters is to collect fresh and goods files upoaded thanks to the challenge, and to have fun :) I just wonder if that widening will make the choice more difficult for voters (by the way, it seems to me that the number of voters tends to fall a bit, but I may be wrong). --Myrabella (talk) 10:34, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I share your concern about different media being difficult to compare for judging winners. In this case, they are similar enough that I think we can compare. Perhaps we can get feedback later on how people found comparing the two. Or wait to see if a future challenge has a problem and deal with it then. Wrt numbers, for the first couple of challenges, I spammed people's talk pages to drum up support from people who had shown an interested. I guess we could do this same next month with a list of everyone who has entered/voted. I wouldn't want to do that all the time, though. I must get round to voting myself... -- Colin (talk) 10:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
The number of voters decreased from December to March, after your first campaign: Commons:Photo_challenge/themes. Let's wait April results and let's keep in mind your suggestion of a new advertising campaign soon—but that's another topic than videos :) --Myrabella (talk) 11:19, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Photo challenge is not Video challenge, I agree with Myrabella. So : not eligible IMAO. Let's create a video chalenge ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 01:44, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
The reason for nominating these files was to show that video is also able to describe a given theme. However I don´t think it would be a fair idea to compare a photo to an other kind of medium. So in my opinion it would be a better way to leave videos (without a change of choice) out of competition, but within the category of the challenge. If in future more people will submit videos (>10 people?) we can start for this kind of files a separate voting process. Greetings, --Pristurus (talk) 23:17, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes; it is better to run videos as a separate challenge theme. No need to wait for ten participants; if we start one, it will encourage people to try one. That is the primary intention of this project. So why not try "insects mating", "insects hunting" or "insects on flower" (videos only) as a challenge for next month? (The name "Photo challenge" is just incidental; we can read it as "Media challenge" if necessary.) Jee 05:52, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
  • We're just wrapping up an insect theme. Something else, perhaps? "Transportation"? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:22, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes; any topic can be. :) Jee 10:38, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I'd be in a right mess if I only started thinking about June challenges now. I still have to figure out how to get it all up and running by midnight tonight. :) HelenOnline 10:48, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Ok. We seem to have concluded that the videos are not part of the challenage wrt voting. I wish there sufficient people making nature videos for Commons to make a challenge viable but very much doubt a "video challenage" would succeed on its own -- but I'm happy to be proved wrong. If anyone setting the theme for future challenges wants to explicitly open the scope to include videos (or other media) then I have no problem with that provided they realise the result has to be a collection of media files that can be judged together. -- Colin (talk) 21:22, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Video vs GIF...[edit]


Because we decided we won't start a video challenge can't we make a concession to animation in a GIF challenge ? Some GIF made with a fex pictures (up to 10 ?) could be fine for illutrating some wikipages, no ?

--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:19, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

April winners[edit]

Traditions: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Easter bunny.JPG Lego Easter Bunny drowning in eggs.jpg Girl with Vishukkani.JPG
Title Easter bunny after work. Lego Easter Bunny minifig drowning in chocolate minieggs Little girl praying in front of Vishukkani on Vishu
Author Lesekreis Mightyhansa Clockery
Score 37 19 19
Food and drinks worldwide: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Octopus arms suntanned.jpg Filet de bœuf.jpg Oysters lemons basket.jpg
Title Octopus arms suntanned - Thasos, Greece. Filet mignon with potato and string beans Oysters and lemons in a basket
Author Nikodem Nijaki Nikodem Nijaki
Score 36 15 14
Four Elements: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Burned candle and spilled wax.jpg Water droplet on a leaf.JPG Mount Merapi in 2014.jpg
Title Burned candle and spilled wax Water droplet on a leaf Fire sleeps within the bowels of the Earth (Merapi, 2014)
Author Nikodem Nijaki Mightyhansa Crisco 1492
Score 19 17 15

Congratulations to Lesekreis, User:Mightyhansa, Clockery, Nikodem Nijaki, , Crisco 1492. The exact voting result for "Food and drinks worldwide" is uncertain as there were a couple of mistakes in voting. I've asked two users to correct their votes, but regardless, it doesn't affect the overall winning places. I'll publish the full results once the votes are corrected. -- Colin (talk) 18:34, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Thank you, Colin, and everybody for organizing another delightful photo challenge. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you Colin for counting the votes and updating the results etc, and to everybody who participated and helped in the background. Congratulations to all the winners! HelenOnline 09:27, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks to all for the great work and the votes for my photo. My twelve years old little rabbit and I are very happy! Smile Lesekreis (talk) 10:50, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Flowers AND insects - invalid nom[edit]

File:Laab im Walde - Bärenberg - Gelbwürfeliger Dickkopffalter (Carterocephalus palaemon).jpg contains now flower. So I think this one should be removed ASAP. Also User:AmaryllisGardener would need to change their vote. -- Colin (talk) 16:58, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

@Colin: Changed. It's a shame, that was a good picture. --AmaryllisGardener talk 22:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I've removed it. Someone else voted too, so I've asked them to re-vote. Yes, it is a shame. -- Colin (talk) 06:58, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I was wondering whether, in general, one should just keep the nominated photos in the contest irrespective if 'some' find it is not in scope. Surely, that will also be seen in the votes, if voters find it does not fit with the theme. Not so controversial in this case, but for a competition with the four elements, there is a much broader range of interpretation of what could be perceived as an illustration of the elements. I'm just wondering if it is worth the effort to police the nominations for being in scope. --Slaunger (talk) 15:41, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
As far as I know, that's what happens in most cases - sometimes with a comment on the voting page to point out that a picture doesn't really fit as Colin did during the Surface textures-voting. The strange thing is that it's not necessarily reflected in the votes, which is why Colin asked if we shouldn't just remove pictures which really don't fit the theme - as was done with several pictures without insects for this contest. I think the one Colin removed remained as it's a bit more controversial - at least there were plants and an insect in the picture - but as the theme asked for flowers and not plants, I think it was correct to remove it... Anna reg (talk) 18:31, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It would be useful, Slaunger, if you read some of the existing talk page :-). We have a problem that an early misguided nomination could upset the whole challenge and lead to lots of inappropriate nominations. Plus, keeping to the challenge (flowers + insects) is much hard to take/select than just ignoring one of the theme aspects -- and if that were to win because it was a great photo, then people who stuck to the theme might well feel upset. I'd certainly feel upset if a butterfly with no flower won the competition. I think if removing a pic is controversial then take it here to discuss. -- Colin (talk) 18:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I promise that from now on, I will read the talk page before making any more "clever" suggestions. Given that you have had several problems with nominations not fitting with the theme, and that this does not stop people from voting, it of course makes sense to remove such nominations. --Slaunger (talk) 19:10, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Tatsache ist, daß ich auch andere Bilder nominiert hatte, die entweder nur Insekten oder nur Blumen zeigten. Diese wurden gleich zu Beginn von einem User entfernt (finde leider die dazupassende Versionsgeschichte nicht, es ist hier alles sehr verwirrend). Dieses eine Bild hat die ganze Nominierungsphase hindurch niemanden gestört - erst, nachdem es eine Stimme bekommen hatte. Hätte man das Bild gleich in der Nominierungsphase entfernt, hätte ich das eingesehen und wie bei den anderen entfernten Bildern nichts gesagt. Aber wenn jemandem erst einfällt, es zu entfernen, nachdem es eine Stimme bekommen hat, ist das für mich ganz schlechter Charakter und unfair zugleich. Man hätte ja auch den Wettbewerbstitel eindeutiger machen können (z.B. Flowers with Insects), um es auch für Leute wie mich, die nicht so gut Englisch können (die Beschreibungen verstehe ich regelmäßig nicht), klarer zu machen. --Häferl (talk) 19:49, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Haeferl finds it unfair that the picture was removed after the voting had started. He had some difficulties with the English challenge description (and the ambiguous title) and had other pictures of either insects or flowers removed, but this one seemed to be okay. I think that he has a point and that we should at least take care to avoid that in the future. To help with the language difficulties I translated the challenge descriptions to German using LangSwitch. I'm not sure that's the best solution, but it should work... --Anna reg (talk) 21:40, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there was anything "unfair" about its removal -- it is invalid and would be unfair on everyone else if it won. It is regrettable that it was spotted late and I agree that arranging challenges in advance so we have other languages (esp German, which seems the next most common here?) and a chance to comment on any ambiguity. -- Colin (talk) 06:46, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it is unfair to remove it. I am sorry I missed it, but the reality is the checking is pretty ad hoc and voluntary so if we don't pick it up before voting it may only be picked up during voting. HelenOnline 08:35, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Number of nominations per user[edit]

I just went through the nominations for bridges. There were quite a lot to consider, and it was my impression that some users had nominated several photos depicting almost the same bridge or the same kind of bridges from the same area/city. I did not see the several nominations from the same user adding much value to the contest. They mostly fill up a lot of space and make it a quite large task to go through all the nominations prior to deciding. I felt a little fatigued by the end of it, and quite frankly a little bored because there was so much of 'the same'.

I have not followed how this project was formed, but I was wondering if it has been discussed to limit the number of nominations per user? I would actually propose to make a rule saying that only one photo can be nominated by a user within a given theme - to give more diversity, make the voting page more manageable, and to urge nominators to carefully consider what is the best photo they have.

Besides that, I like the project. I like how it is setup, where you are urged to look at the photo, and not the creator prior to voting. --Slaunger (talk) 20:43, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

See Commons talk:Photo challenge#Limit number of entries?. I haven't really changed my opinion. The bridges was the most popular theme so far in terms of entries. It had over 100 images ("a bunch of stuff" was close). Most aren't nearly so big. The lowest was 15. If you think reviewing 100 images is fatiguing, you should try being a pre-selection judge for WLM with thousands of images and often far lower quality than any presented here :-). But seriously, nominators should appreciate that reviewing this large group is quite an onerous task and remember that when nominating. I agree we should encourage people to select their finest and most diverse offerings. I haven't rigorously collated any stats, but I reckon most participants submit several images to each theme. If we limited it to one, I think Commons would have less images and people taking part would have less incentive to take lots of photos. They'd also have to gamble that the one they picked was the winner, and I'm not confident in my own ability to do that. One further problem with imposing a limit, is that it would need to be policed, and policing the existing rules is hard enough. Some ideas:
  • Add something to the wording for each theme asking people to select only their finest and most diverse images that fit the theme. Disadvantage is that people don't read instructions.
  • Spam every participant so far with a friendly message encouraging participation but with the same request above.
  • Identify individuals who are nominating lots of images and send them a personalised message.
  • Consider for themes that are easy, likely to be popular and already well-represented on Commons, that we restrict the challenge to only images taken during the challenge period. We don't seem to have done that recently. It does significantly lower the number of nominations, but it also makes it a real challenge, rather than just an image contest.
  • Do nothing yet but see if this becomes a frequent problem.
If we had better tools for reviewing images then it would be less fatiguing. For example, one could review the images at a modest size for a first-pass selection and then make a second-pass at full-size to chose your winning images. The UI would then make voting/commenting easier and less error-prone. I think we may be at the stage where we could ask WMF/volunteers for some help automating all aspects of the competition.
-- Colin (talk) 07:21, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I understand Slaunger's concern and agreed with it earlier. But now I understand what Colin is saying. Earlier I too made self reviews and uploaded only my best works in Commons. But now I changed my mind and started uploading all the craps (:D) from a photo session so that people can use whichever they wish. And sometimes people like one that I think not very good. Finally Commons have more pictures! Jee 07:45, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
From my own experience, I can say I really am not a good judge of what people will like. I have been really surprised by which images of mine people voted for. I think it's quite a subjective thing. Regarding rules etc, please keep everything as simple as possible (even voting if possible), it is not easy manually enforcing rules consistently when people speak different languages and/or don't read rules, which also relies on and wastes volunteer resources. HelenOnline 08:21, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I have nothing against any of your suggestions, Colin, but I think doing nothing or adding another sentence (perhaps with an informal upper limit) are the easiest ones... ;->
  • writing to every participant so far could be used as an advertising campaign with a small reminder (do you know if we really 'lose' participants? Or do they just participate irregularly?)
  • writing to those nominating lots of images seems easier, but has to be done very carefully (as I'm quite sure that all nominators believe that they are selecting among their best - or the contest would look quite different.) - but perhaps we can introduce an informal upper limit (doesn't have to be controlled, but to give a guideline how many pictures are a lot) - e.g. not more than 5 or 10 images - (I just manually checked 'food and drinks' & 'bridges' - the first had 22 nominators, 13 who uploaded more than 1 picture, and 2 who contributed more than 5 pictures; while bridges had 40 nominators, 17 who contributed more than one image - and four who submitted 5 or more pictures - and both contests had one enthusiast uploading more than 10 pictures).
  • adding another sentence to the introductions is easily done - and I would hope that it wouldn't mean even fewer readers... ;->
I don't think that it's absolutely necessary to do something - as long as we don't have more than about 100 pictures I think we are still okay - even though I agree with Slaunger that 100 pictures is more or less the upper limit of our voting system (I hope you have a better system for the WLM selections ;->).
Anna reg (talk) 13:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I had overlooked that it had been discussed previously, sorry.
  • Given that several of you state that an objective is to encourage uploads of more than one file, and that some, e.g., HelenOnline find it hard to find out themselves, what the best candidates are, I agree the number of allowed nominations per user shall be more than one. But I also think that 10 nominations, which has been added by an enthusiast in two contests is excessive and beyond the limit of where you should be able to filter the best out yourself.
  • Thus, I would propose to add to the guidelines that nominators are recommended not to nominate more than five photos in a single competition and no more than three photos of the same subject (e.g. no more than three images of the same bridge). Then, if some users abusive the system by spamming a contest with a lot of almost similar nominations and low quality nominations, they could get a friendly heads-up with a pointer to the guideline.
  • I see that in one contest the same creator has gotten in on the 1st and 3rd place (of different subjects), so this definitely proves that more than one nomination per user is relevant. I also understand the concerns about having a strict rule, policing, and discouraging contributors. Getting a future script-assisted voting system, where voting is simpler will also be very helpful in avoiding voting fatigue.
  • Regarding the proposal to make more frequent use of a requirement that photos shall be taken during the contest period, I would say no to that. The main point is if the contest can trigger people to upload images they would otherwise not have uploaded or forgot they had. For instance, in the bridges contest, I came to think about some decent pics I took in 2009 of a bridge, but had never uploaded. And the bridge contest triggered me into uploading the best I had from that session and add it to the competition. Not something I would have done, if the photo was required to have been taken in May 2014.
-- Slaunger (talk) 15:18, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • One more thing, regarding cases where the same user nominates many almost similar photos, I also think this will self-regulate over time, as it will tend to diffuse votes among the different variants of the same photo, leading to not so many points on any individual photo, and I think that will automatically encourage people to limit the number of nominations and also learn, which elements in a photo voters like to vote for, thereby training the nominators to better self-evaluation - and filtering prior to nomination. --Slaunger (talk) 15:35, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I take your point about the long-forgotten photo being uploaded to Commons but remember that having a large archive of images (that aren't already on Commons) to draw from puts you at a considerable advantage to others who haven't and who may have been inspired by the challenge to go out and create new images. This isn't a Thematic Featured Picture Competition, but a Photo Challenge. And all other photo challenges on the web require new material -- their purpose is to encourage people to take pictures, not to browse their Lightroom catalogue. As such, I do feel it useful if one theme each month has such a restriction. I suspect that for the popular themes, the winning pictures will tend to be archive photos. If that were to happen frequently, then this is no longer a photo challenge.
Consider these two options:
  • This month we challenge you to go out and take a great picture of a bridge, and upload it to Commons.
  • This month we want you to review your photo archive to see if there are any great pictures of bridges you haven't yet uploaded to Commons. And if you want to take a new bridge picture, that would be great too.
Both may produce new pictures for Commons, but they are totally different beasts in terms of motivation. One of them will make you a better photographer.
One compromise to consider for a theme is allowing only one archive photo to be nominated per person, but no (reasonable) limit on new photos. -- Colin (talk) 18:09, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
You are making some good points there, Colin. If the main objective is to attract new users, and make them better photographers, your argument certainly has weight, and I will not stand in the way for "purely taken this month" theme (or to impose such a restriction on all themes for that matter). I do not want my archive to give me an unfair advantage over less experienced users. I do not think we should introduce one historic several new rules. It makes things too complicated. Simplicity of rules is more important. In the case of the bridges I only familiarized myself with the project, when the gate for nominations was closing, and I had no time for shooting a fresh bridge pic, but recalled the "archive" (and I do not use Lightroom :-) ). --Slaunger (talk) 19:19, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I just want to make a point about timing. It is midwinter where I live now (and pretty grim outside) so not everybody has the same opportunities every month of the year. Similarly, our festivals and other outdoor events tend to be in our warmer months so that could rule me and my southern hemisphere counterparts out for some themes. HelenOnline 08:03, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

May winners[edit]

Politics and politicians: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Inauguration EYE2014 Parlement européen Strasbourg 9 mai 2014.jpg Roland Ries Conseil municipal Strasbourg 5 avril 2014.jpg UN-Sicherheitsrat - UN Security Council - New York City - 2014 01 06.jpg
Title Inauguration of EYE2014 at European Parliament,
Strasbourg, 9 Mai 2014.
Roland Ries, mayor of Strasbourg,
(5 April 2014)
United Nations Security Council
on the United Nations Headquarters in
New York City
Author Ctruongngoc Ctruongngoc Neptuul
Score 25 17 15
Flowers AND insects: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 2
Image Macroglossum stellatarum in flight near lavender.jpg Bee on whitehorn.JPG Ceriagrion coromandelianum male 26052014.jpg
Title Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
in flight near lavender
Bee on whitehorn - Biene auf Weißdorn-Blüte Ceriagrion coromandelianum on Catharanthus roseus
flower bud
Author Thorsten Denhard Lesekreis Joydeep
Score 21 18 18
Bridges: EntriesVotesScores
Rank 1 2 3
Image Borgo a Mozzano Ponte della Maddalena.jpg Leshan Sichuan China-Old bridge-02.jpg Columbus and Greenville Railway bridge over Yazoo River.jpg
Title Ponte della Maddalena (Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany, Italy) The old stone arch bridge at Leshan, China Columbus and Greenville
Railway bridge over Yazoo
River, Leflore County,
Author Myrabella Cccefalon Magnolia677
Score 19 18 17

Congratulations to Ctruongngoc, Neptuul, Thorsten Denhard, Lesekreis, Joydeep, Myrabella, Cccefalon and Magnolia677. -- Colin (talk) 21:37, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Congratulations to the winners and to you - that was a new record time! ;-> Thanks for the results, Colin. --Anna reg (talk) 22:11, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
A big thank you to the voters and the organizers! I am really pleased to have won this competitive thematic challenge. --Myrabella (talk) 06:56, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you Colin for finalising the results and to everybody else who participated and helped make another successful photo challenge. HelenOnline 10:13, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone who voted for my photo. I'm really happy with my second place. There were so many wonderful nominations. Thanks also to the organizing team for the great work. I look forward to the next challenges. ;-) Lesekreis (talk) 11:00, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Commons talk:Photo challenge/themes[edit]

I just entered a new theme suggestion proposed at the German talk page into the list at Commons:Photo challenge/themes. As Colin asked, if there is a possibility to add short explanations to the suggestions, I tried to organise Commons talk:Photo challenge/themes in a way that helps the development of new ideas without removing the announcement of next months themes and the often long discussions around that decision from this page. I'd be interested to know if you think the way it is set up now could work - and be useful. --Anna reg (talk) 20:45, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Own work?[edit]

Hello, Maybe a concern about somes images uploaded by User:Magnolia677 for the Photo Challenge: are they really freely works by the user? They have no EXIF data and can be seen on Panoramio with an other author name and a "All rights reserved" mention—although in a lower definition. Examples: 1) File:Columbus and Greenville Railway bridge over Yazoo River.jpg -> and panoramio; 2) File:Cherry pickers in Humbermede.jpg -> panoramio. Nice photos though. I asked Magnolia677 the question. --Myrabella (talk) 07:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

I think where this occurs, an OTRS confirmation is usually required. See Commons:OTRS. -- Colin (talk) 08:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
The "all rights reserved" setting on these Panoramio photos is now removed. Magnolia677 (talk) 11:33, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Magnolia677, you are allowed to publish photos elsewhere and apply different terms or licence arrangements if you want. I suggest you read the above linked guidance page and see whether contacting OTRS might help avoid any misunderstandings or faulty deletion requests. Remember you might not always be around to answer questions about authorship. -- Colin (talk) 11:57, 8 July 2014 (UTC)