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Wat Nong Bua in Nan Province, Thailand, is my most favourite temple of all that I keep going back to every time I am in the neighbourhood. This is an old photo, made with an older generation digital camera. It is also oversharpened but fond memories overshadow all that.

Travel, food, and photography are my main interests.

Here's my photo gallery, categorised by country, and sometimes subcategorised by subject: my gallery

All of my contributions to Wikimedia Commons can be viewed here, and you can find an analysis of my contributions here.

Contributions to Wikipedia[edit]

These are some of my contributions that I am happy with:

Contributions to Commons[edit]

Besides contributing images, I also cleared up and categorised media, for instance in:

And lots and lots more!

I stopped clearing out most of the categories that I have been watching. After many years of doing so, I can't be bothered any longer. After returning from a 3 week holiday, I discovered that too many of the categories on my watchlist have been again flooded with files that do not belong there. I do hope that others here on Wikimedia Commons will continue putting files into correct categories, and keep removing them from incorrect categories. Perhaps a new system for categorisation can be implemented eventually which does away with the endless hours and hours of work forced upon volunteers by clueless and/or lazy uploaders? And perhaps a new way of handling uploads from drives to bolster images of certain subjects to Wikimedia Commons can be devised?

Adopt a "cat" here in Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Categories often get contaminated and/or too full. Please "adopt" a few categories, clear out the loose files, and revisit them regularly for maintenance. By putting them on your watchlist, you also get to see which files are added to them. If everyone does this, categories in Wikimedia Commons would be much easier to navigate, and files would be much easier to find.

Favourite categories[edit]


Food images[edit]

All three irritations show up here in this file: a disgustingly photographed image of an absolutely fake Thai curry. It was made by someone in the USA but of course not originally categorised as such. This is so completely wrong...
  • What irritates me a lot here on Wikimedia, are all the images of pretend-Thai, pretend-Chinese, pretend-Indian et cetera dishes that are uploaded here and used in Wikipedia articles as if they were the real thing. I've also heard these dishes called "faux cuisine" but why not just call them "wrong"? Unlike a California roll, or Balti cuisine, the vast majority of these dishes are never going to become a standard. I wish people would stop uploading things of which they know very little to nothing of.
  • I wish it were possible to have a category for "disgusting images of food". I don't mean a category for food that might seem disgusting but could well be extremely tasty and nicely photographed, but a category for when the photography makes the food look disgusting.
  • Too many people upload images of food without indicating where the food was made. Why??? How, for instance, a matsaman curry looks like in Thailand is completely different from what it looks like in Podunk, Boondocks County. If the photo was made in Podunk, say so! Another example: Pizzas in Italy are very different from pizzas in the US. We want to know the difference, so we want to know where it's made. And not just for food, for anything you upload here on Wikimedia! And also don't just upload to the main category, but try finding (or create) the country category for what you are uploading.

General images[edit]

  • Another irritation is caused by users who upload dozens of near-identical images of exactly the same subject, each photo made within seconds of the previous photo. Do they really expect that these images will all be used??? Or are they just unsure which one is good and which one isn't? If that's the case, then probably none of the images are good. Choose one good image and upload just that one please!!! And if you want to document a subject, then please make photos from a very different angle, showing other sides and aspects of the subject.
  • Why do so many people insist on uploading extremely blurry images? Can't they see for themselves how blurry these images are? That these images are virtually unusable?
  • Not very specific locations! Sometimes you see images with a text such as "village in China" shoved into, of course, Category:China. As some might know, China is a big country. It probably has more than a million villages. So at least try to pinpoint it a bit more by stating in which province it is perhaps? The same goes for almost any country except really tiny ones like Liechtenstein. If not more specific, the image is virtually useless for Wikipedia...

Bloody bots[edit]

Idiot upload bots that robodump 500+ related images into the same set of broadly defined categories whereas they could all have been put into one specific category, which would then be a subcategory of the set of categories. A suggestion to the unimaginative: try making the book title a separate category as most of these images that flood main categories are sets of illustrations that come from a book. I guess the bots themselves are not really to blame for being so idiotic, just the people using them....

Sloppy categorisation[edit]

Some people categorise media that are missing categories in the most simplistic ways apparently because for some reason or other, they are in a hurry. If for instance they see the word "district" in the image title, yep! quickly shove it into "Category:Districts of ..." and it doesn't really matter what else is shown on the image. Even the most gorgeous landscapes that would have been a credit to "Category:Landscapes of ..." are just lost that way until someone else accidentally happens upon them while perusing the "districts of ...." category and actually thinks of checking the categories of the images therein. Unfortunately, that lucky happenstance is not too likely to occur. It is actually a shame that these simplistic categorisors operate here on Wikimedia Commons because their method can cause great images to disappear into somewhat obscure categories where no one would think of looking for them. Some of these categorisors even pride themselves on the huge amount of simplistic edits that they have made, using it as a means of downplaying all well-founded criticism on their lack of true editing skills or lack of patience. If they don't seem to really care about the images that they are so hurriedly shoving into oblivion, then why do they actually do this kind of volunteer work? Is it that they want to further up their edit count as quickly as possible and that that has become an end in itself? Does increasing their edit count so rapidly perhaps in some strange way give them a feeling of personal empowerment? A dopamine kick? We'll probably never find out. I doubt it that they themselves know.
I gave the "quick and dirty" way of categorising media a try for a few images. It just doesn't work and stuff sometimes ends up in incorrect categories. That was the end of this experiment, at least for me.

Suggestions for food photography[edit]

"Yummy" Thai salad
  • If you want to photograph food, please don't use the flash. Dishes tend to look absolutely disgusting that way. Wait until it's daytime or use a good camera with a sensor that is 1" or bigger, and a bright lens. This will give you good images in low light situations without having to use a flash or having to crank up the ISO so high that you only see a mess of colourful spots resembling a pointillist painting. If you still insist on using a flash, the only good way to do that is to get a photo studio after you've studied photography for a few years first, or learn how to be very creative with an advanced photo editing program such as Photoshop.
  • When you photograph food from above, please try to get it from exactly above, not from "more or less" above at an 80 or so degree angle which just looks weird. Otherwise, just photograph it from the side.
  • Please have the main subject in focus, and not the background. It's really not that difficult to manually set the focus point.
  • Try using a normal to moderate tele setting (50mm-90mm in full-frame equivalent) when photographing food unless you really know what you are doing. Wide-angle settings just tend to look weird. Smartphones have very wide angle lenses so most food photos don't look at all good when taken with one.
  • Move in towards the food a bit so people can actually see the ingredients. No one is waiting to see photos that mainly show the table unless it is the whole setting that's your subject. You also don't need to photograph the whole dish either. Photographs that only show part of the dish tend to be much more appealing. I also started out always photographing the whole dish but not any more unless the subjects needs it.
  • When photographing food with artificial lighting, learn how to set the white balance on the camera to adjust for the light source because most cameras get it wrong. Or learn how to compensate for a wrong setting when you edit the image in your computer. Even smartphones can do that nowadays. If you don't want to involve yourself too much with photo editing programs, at least try out the free w:Picasa program by Google. It has some very easy to use, and fairly reliable, semi-automatic settings. Two clicks with Picasa, and most often only the "I'm feeling lucky" button is needed, tend to make lots of photos look much better, not just food photos but any photo. Just don't forget to click on "save" after you've finished changing the image and like the result. The "save" doesn't erase the original image, you can always go back and undo the "save".
  • Most photos that have been made outside in direct sunlight don't look very good due to the extremely high contrast that direct sun will give you. Lighter parts will be extremely white, devoid of colour, and the darker parts of the subject will be nearly or completely black, with not much left in between. Photos made in the shade or on a cloudy day, where the light comes from a bright part of the sky but not directly from the sun, tend to have more nuances and therefore make the image look better. Just beware that some shade is actually blueish in colour so again, learn how to use the white balance settings of your camera or compensate for it when editing the image on your computer.

Commons policies and guidelines[edit]