Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/WikiVacation - the way your holiday photos can enrich the world and win you a prize!

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  • WikiVacation - the way your holiday photos can enrich the world and win you a prize!
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  • What happens if you take the best out of Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth, mix in some public art and spice it with an article writing competition? You will get WikiVacation - a photo sharing and article writing contest held by Wikimedia Polska.


Panorama of Tyniec Abbey. Image by Łukasz Śmigasiewicz, licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Wikimedian taking pictures during a Wikiexpedition. Image by Adam Kliczek, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

It is this time of the year - many of our editors and readers leave their computers and set off into the known or the unknown - vacation time! Many Wikimedia users will encounter beautiful Polish sites and monuments along their way. And, as people on vacation are apt to do, photograph them. The pictures they will take would be a precious addition to Wikimedia Commons. So, we decided to encourage photographers to share their works with the Wikimedia world by creating a summer photo contest - WikiVacation.

Here at Wikimedia Poland we are very well aware of the power of gathering content for Wikimedia Commons through photo contests. Our local editions of Wiki Loves Monuments have each time been a great success, putting us in the lead of the most active countries and made us gather more than 100 000 pictures of Polish monuments in total. Last year, we also organized Wiki Loves Earth which brought us 4000 pictures of beautiful Polish nature. But instead of continuing with those two separate contests we decided to create one that would include the best of both worlds. We also wanted to benefit from the fact that freedom of panorama allows us to photograph art works which are permanently located in public space, so we wanted to include them in the contest. Therefore, the participants can submit their beautiful shots of monuments, nature, art located in public space, and street furniture of historical value.

WikiVacation is the resultant of the photo contests we ran in previous years. By widening the scope of the contest we would like to welcome both “out-of-town holiday photographers” as well as city inhabitants. It is also a good chance to get to know one’s own neighbourhood by photographing natural monuments or historic apartment houses - says Paweł Marynowski, the contest coordinator.

The jury consisting of Wikimedians, journalists, and professional photographers will choose 3 best pictures of all submitted and 3 top pictures in each special thematic category: best picture of a monument or street furniture element, best picture of long shots of nature or parks and natural monuments / exhibits.

But this is not all - while in our previous contest we concentrated only on gathering pictures, this year we decided to encourage our participants to also create articles in which these pictures can be used. That is why we have designated a special prize for the most articles created and illustrated with the contest pictures. This way we encourage our participants not only to photograph interesting places and buildings but also to get curious about them, gather knowledge and share it with the world by writing a Wikipedia article - as Wikimediands always do.

What makes the contest even more special is our partner - Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society. It is one of the oldest tourist societies, not only in Poland but in the whole Europe. Thanks to this partnership we can reach out with our contest to one of the largest Polish communities of avid travelers, roamers of the paths and wilds, and invite them to participate and share photos of the wonderful monuments and sights they will encounter on their travels.

This is not the first time when Wikimedia was connected with vacation - in 2015, Wikimedia Colombia organized WikiVacaciones and invited readers and editors to share their holiday pictures and written reviews of places, dishes, costumes and landscapes. The result was more than 4300 pictures and about 42 texts shared by 181 people.

Polish contest will take place from 11th July till 31th April. The winners will be announced on a special ceremony hosted in cooperation with Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society.

If you want to know more, visit the contest website- who knows, you might just be tempted to join in and reach for one of the prizes yourself!

Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska, Wikimedia Polska Wojciech Pędzich, Wikimedia Polska