For the second year running, Wales had the second highest number of photos submitted to the Wiki Loves Earth competition. We’re so grateful to and hugely impressed by the entrants, who added over 5000 images of the Welsh National Parks and other protected areas, such as Sites of Scientific Interest. 50 countries took part, and once again Germany took the lead. This year the organising nation, Ukraine, came a close third with 4541 photographs. The list of all countries can be found here.
Before the international judges view the photos, a local panel in each participating country chooses a shortlist. Wales had a truly impressive top 10, which can be viewed here. Congratulations to all of the winners, and here’s a look at the top three:
Out of 5026 images, the top spot was awarded to Rufus Davies, who captured the image featured at the top of this blog. The action shot of two billy goats clashing heads was taken on a cliff face in the Ogwen Valley, located in the Eryri National Park (previously called Snowdonia). Not only is it impressive that Davies managed to get such a great shot, but the colours and composition of the photo are stunning.
The second place goes to Dwalad for their captivating photo of a glassy lake in Cwm Idwal – in the Glyderau range of mountains – of Darwin fame.
The third best photograph from Wales is this image of a grey heron, paused while fishing for small fry in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley by WelshCarebear.
We were delighted that Northern Ireland also took part in the competition for the fourth year running, which for the first time Wikimedia UK helped organise. Like the Welsh Portal on Commons, the Northern Ireland portal was also bilingual, as we continue to strive for representation of native languages on wiki sites. This year, Northern Ireland’s number of photographs jumped fivefold, from 72 to 363!
Ultimately, the aim of adding photographs to Wikimedia Commons is so they are used and seen. Be it on Wikipedia articles or in another medium entirely, openly licensing images helps the Internet be more informative and useful for all of us. Images from WLE in Wales are among the most frequently added to Wikipedia articles. The numbers are still rising, but 27% of last year’s Welsh photos have been used, and in the few months that this year’s have been up we’re seeing a similar pattern of usage.
Wikipedia has over 335 languages, and the respect to the diversity of languages shown by the Wiki communities globally is excellent and inspirational. This is true of Wikimedia UK (if I may say so), where the conservation of that rich diversity is one of our main columns. The number of Welsh photographers was up from last year from 30 to 52 entrants, submitting over 5000 images for Wales. We have an International Football Team here in Wales, and it’s clear that Welsh photographers feel that WLE is the World Cup of photography competitions!