Project grants/2015 Wimbledon tournament

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Basic information[edit | edit source]

Project details[edit | edit source]

Full project name
Photographing Wimbledon 2015
Project start date (include month, day, and year)
29th of June 2015
Project completion date (include month, day, and year)
End of July
Please describe the project in 1–2 sentences
My plan is to line up in The Queue to get ground pass tickets for the first week of Wimbledon and document as many of the tennis players in action as possible. I intend to attend at least one day during the first week of the championships, but with the possibility of a second or third day too if the weather is looking suitable (I will probably choose which days I attend the day before, based on weather predictions!).
Amount requested
Between £25 (one day) and £75 (three days)

Project lead details[edit | edit source]

Are you an individual or an organisation?
Are you currently a member of Wikimedia UK?
Project lead name
David Iliff
Project lead username or email
Project lead title (position), if any

Project description[edit | edit source]

Although it may sound like I'm just trying to get free tickets to Wimbledon here, that isn't really the plan. Of course, I do have an interest in tennis but my primary goal would be to document the event and photograph as many of the tennis players as possible, both notable and less than notable. As I would have a ground pass, it wouldn't gain me entry to the 'show courts' but I would have full access to all the other outer courts and there are good opportunities to get close to the action on the smaller courts. I attended Wimbledon two years ago and was able to take a number of high quality photos which illustrate a number of player's articles:

I think these images approach the quality of professional tennis photography. My main goal is to attend for the first few days of competition as there tends to be the largest number of high profile players playing on the outside courts. Towards the end of the first week and second week of competition, the better players will have moved to the show courts which my ground pass ticket wouldn't cover. However, there will tend to be more doubles matches and junior girls and boys. I'm open to the idea of visiting in the second week, but there is the risk that a lot of the players that I photograph may not actually have Wikipedia articles at all, and it's beyond the scope of this project for me to research create new articles for all these players! Still, in the case of up-and-coming junior players, I could upload the images to Commons and there may be a time in the future where the players do end up with articles and we'll be glad to have freely licensed photography of them playing as juniors.

In addition, as a precedent, I know that Commons:User:Kadellar was also given a grant by Wikimedia Spain to photograph the Madrid Open on the 2nd and 6th of May earlier this month and some of his images have already been featured on Commons and many more images have been made Quality Images.

Goals and measures of success[edit | edit source]

Project goal[edit | edit source]

It's hard to estimate exactly how many photos I would take and how many tennis players I could cover. The above photos taken in 2013 were all taken in one day, and I wasn't trying too hard to maximise efficiency and coverage. I think I could take quite a lot more per day, and with the potential to visit on two or three days, I could likely cover quite a lot of tennis. I can't make promises, but I estimate I would take about 40-50 professional level shots per day (sharp, good composition, showing the player clearly or showing a good action shot). Three of my images from 2013 are featured pictures on the English Wikipedia, and I suspect that I would be able to take a number of FP candidates this year too. The main goal, however, is simply to take photos that are better than the existing imagery for the player articles, and if possible, add new photos to articles that don't currently have any illustrating images.

Measures of success[edit | edit source]

A measure of success if the number of player articles I would be able to illustrate with high quality photos. As I said above, I aim to take about 40-50 pro-level photos per day of competition (I will obviously take many hundreds of photos, but as it is a fast-paced sporting event and many of them will not be of good sufficient quality, so I will cull these down so only the best images are uploaded), with on average 2-4 photos per player. That would mean 10-20 player articles will be illustrated with high quality imagery per day. If I were to attend for 3 days, that number might increase to 30-60 player articles. This is probably a best-case scenario but I imagine I could get close to these numbers.

Budget and resources[edit | edit source]

Project budget breakdown
The budget is pretty simple. The only costs will be the entry ticket per day of £25, or £20 for the second week of competition.
Non-financial assistance requested
I have a 70-300mm image stabilised lens, which I used to take the 2013 photos, so I know it is capable of decent results. However, I wondered what WMUK's thoughts were on renting a better lens with more reach such as a 400-500mm lens. Alternatively, I wondered if it would consider the (rather large) cost of the purchase of one, to loan out to Wikimedia members. I know Wikimedia Austria, for example, has a 500mm lens. I know that as things stand, it may not get a lot of use but I hope that in future, WMUK might have more involvement in sporting/cultural events in which the lens would be very useful. I for one would be interested in volunteering for event photography, if we, as an organisation, could negotiate access to them. Anyway, just some food for thought.

Impact and benefits[edit | edit source]

This project would, as per my previous project grants on the Bodleian Library and British Cathedrals, greatly increase our coverage of tennis on Wikipedia and Commons, both in tennis in general and specifically tennis in 2015 (a photo taken years ago does illustrate the player, but a more up to date image is always useful to document their career over time). There is also the potential for a number of Featured Pictures to result from the project which I believe is one of the strategic goals of WMUK.

Discussion[edit source]

Thank you for your grant application, I will notify the grants committee. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:36, 22 May 2015 (BST)

Support this application based on high impact to cost ratio and David's previous track record. David, if it would be useful I'd be happy to lend you a Canon 100-400mm, 4.5-5.6 L IS lens. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:24, 24 May 2015 (BST)
Thanks Michael. Yes, the 100-400mm lens might come in handy for the extra reach. I don't suppose the birding lens you were salivating over will arrive in time? ;-) Diliff (talk) 17:17, 24 May 2015 (BST)
Unfortunately not :( --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:19, 24 May 2015 (BST)
This seems to be quite a simple one to me, and based on your past record, I'm happy to give my support. Good luck. CT Cooper · talk 14:47, 26 May 2015 (BST)
Ditto, the office can confirm exact funds (whether the maximum you list or not) but I'd hope we can support. If there's scope for time sensitive work (getting images of people released at points it'd be most useful) that'd be great. Obviously the closer to your 'best case' the better! Cheers! Sjgknight (talk) 15:19, 26 May 2015 (BST)
Thanks guys. Sjgknight, Can you clarify what you mean by 'getting images of people released at points it'd be most useful'? I'm a bit confused by that sentence. Diliff (talk) 18:07, 26 May 2015 (BST)
Sorry, multitasking. I just mean that there might be benefit to considering getting some images up fairly fast in this case (while they're still 'hot' from the competition) to potentially maximise exposure. Minor suggestion :-) 19:48, 26 May 2015 (BST)
I think the soonest I'd be able to upload them would be later that evening or perhaps the following day. It wouldn't be practical to upload them while I'm still at Wimbledon as the 'proper' press photographers do as I'll be a regular visitor without any special privileges or access to the press area. Perhaps that's an idea for next year though - press accreditation! ;-) Diliff (talk) 21:27, 26 May 2015 (BST)
Press accreditation can actually be done. I managed to secure a volunteer a press pass for the Youth Olympic Games in (if memory serves) Nanjing a year or two ago. Took a little bit of wrangling with their main office in (again, if memory serves) Geneva but it can be done. Might be a bit late for this time around but probably worth a phone call. Let me know if you'd like me to pursue it. And also, I am a tennis fan and think this will be really useful, especially for young, up and coming players. If, say, a youngster makes waves at Wimbledon, or claims a big scalp as they say, would be excellent to hav a high quality image in their Wikipedia article for the inevitable upswing in traffic that would result. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 21:51, 26 May 2015 (BST)
Really? I was in touch last year with Ralf Roletschek from WM-DE who I met at the Strasbourg EU Parliament photo project. He asked me if I wanted to go to Nanjing with him to photograph the Youth Olympic Games as he had attended at the previous Youth Winter Games in 2012. Anyway, I said yes. He said he would try to get me a press pass through him, but it fell through and he wasn't able to get a pass, both for himself and for me apparently. It's a shame I didn't know you were also involved. Who ended up going? As for the pass, Wimbledon's accreditation page suggests it's too late for this year. If you think it's possible, I'd certainly appreciate the effort in trying to secure a pass though. It would give me a bit more flexibility in where I'd be able to go (from experience previous years, you you can usually find some good low angles on the outside courts as a regular spectator but it would be nice to have access to the photographer boxes too) and it'd probably save Wikimedia the cost of entry too as I assume you don't have to pay a fee for press passes...? Not to mention it'd save me having to queue up at 6am each day to get a ticket! ;-) Diliff (talk) 22:44, 26 May 2015 (BST)
I don't know anything about Ralf's situation but I was approached by Brian McNeil who is a WikiNewsie. He couldn't make it in the end so it was all a bit moot but a couple of calls to the IOC office gave me a chance to explain that Wikinews is an independent news reporting media. It helped that there were other examples I could point to, such as Laura Hale's work on Paralympic sport. I'll make a call r two today, if I can, and report back here. Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 09:46, 27 May 2015 (BST) Update: It's definitely too late for this year's tournament but we can certainly have a go for next year. Come back to me on that in a few months and we'll see what can be done. Best of luck with the project! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:37, 4 June 2015 (BST)
Support This one is a no brainer cheap with the possibility of some great photos. Theresa knott (talk) 21:29, 28 May 2015 (BST)

Just another minor thing that's since occurred to me to propose on top of the original grant application... There's also the Queens Club (Aegon Championships) tournament in the week prior to Wimbledon. The ground pass isn't actually any cheaper than Wimbledon by the look of it (the website says £20, but with a £5 charge for entry at the gate on top of it, and the ground pass tickets available for sale online are already sold out), but it may offer a more relaxed setting and a better chance to get close to the players. With your approval, I may also consider attending for a couple of days there also. If the grant application is approved, could I ask for a maximum that you would be willing to put towards the project? I can't guarantee that I will end up attending a lot of days and therefore spending all of a large grant, because as I said, I'd like to see how the weather is looking the night before each day's competition, but the potential is there for a lot of tennis photography if the grant budget allows for it. I think the amount of photography I can capture will scale linearly with the number of days I attend so really my only question is how many days you are willing to sponsor. I'm expecting that I would be able to attend a minimum of two days for a total of £50, and perhaps a maximum of 4 or 5 (spread over Wimbledon and Queens Club) for a total of £100-125. Diliff (talk) 22:07, 29 May 2015 (BST)

Approval[edit source]

Based on the recommendation from the Grants Committee, the budget holder has approved this grant.

Project update[edit source]

Well, it's been a fairly busy few weeks. I'll start with a quick summary:

Six days of tennis photography:

  • One day at Queens Club
  • Four days at the Wimbledon qualifying tournament (where the real bulk of the photography came from)
  • One day at Wimbledon - on Day 1 of the tournament.

I had planned to spend more days at Wimbledon but the stiflingly hot weather in the first week (36 degrees on Wednesday the 1st of July) meant that I decided to wait until later in the week which later turned out to be a mistake. I actually lined up in 'The Queue' at 6:40am on Friday the 3rd of July and found out at 11:30am, five hours later, that the grounds were at capacity and they expected we might get in by 5pm!!! So I abandoned the idea. And then I came down with a cold by the weekend and the tennis on the outer courts was starting to thin out, so as it turned out I only got one day. However, As the Queens Club ticket was only £10 and the Wimbledon ticket was £25, the total cost for the grant is only £35, and for that, you get a whopping 1200 photos or so! I'm finalising the uploads now, but it was quite a mammoth operation. Those 1200 photos are already whittled down from approximately 4500 photos and they have all been individually processed and cropped. Certainly the processing and uploading takes more time than actually shooting, so I don't have too many regrets that I wasn't able to spend more time on it. I've been uploading all the images with the Commons category Category:Photos by User:Diliff for Wikimedia UK tennis photography grant to keep track of them all and have of course also added the 'Supported by Wikimedia UK' template. I've also been adding the appropriate image(s) to the player articles as I've been uploading them and it's been a success so far. I'll be able to report in more detail when I'm finished uploading but at least 120 player articles on the English Wikipedia are illustrated with my images, plus a number of others on the other language Wikipedias. I'll report back shortly as I plan to finish uploading in the next day or so. Diliff (talk) 14:22, 9 July 2015 (BST)

Thank you for the update, and for sticking with the queue for five hours! 1,200 photos is a phenomenal effort and it's great to hear that they're filtering through to the relevant Wikipedia articles. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:46, 9 July 2015 (BST)
No problem Richard. Yeah, the queue is definitely the big downside to Wimbledon. It will most certainly be beneficial to get press accreditation for next year. :-) The images are indeed filtering through nicely though, and I've finished uploading. I made a conscious effort to get a good portrait style photo for each player in addition to the 'action' photos, as many of the player articles are not large enough to have space for multiple images, and obviously a portrait is more useful for the infobox than an action shot that is not so good for identification. According to the GLAMorous tool (which is really useful!):
  • 1239 total images.
  • 337 uses across the project
  • 259 distinct images used
  • 202 uses on the English Wikipedia (these are mostly direct additions by me)
  • 45 uses on the German Wikipedia
  • 34 uses on the Czech Wikipedia (I assume the CZ and DE Wikipedias run bots that monitor English Wikipedia articles?)
I didn't keep track of how many English Wikipedia articles were previously not illustrated by any photos, but my guess is somewhere around 15-20, so that was a good result. Many of the players did not have maintained categories on Commons so I spent some time categorising the players as I went along too. Diliff (talk) 19:07, 9 July 2015 (BST)
These are great, thanks @Diliff:! Sjgknight (talk) 19:51, 9 July 2015 (BST)