(Previously, this was a comment to the “3 million free images…” post, but is promoted to a topic by request.)
Currently, there are 186 Oregon-related image requests. If that seems too daunting, consider looking at the regionally requested photos, which appear (on the same page) under WikiProject Oregon image requests. There are 21 subcategories: one for every region of the state. If you know you’ll be traveling to an area, be sure to print out that region before going—and take along with your camera.
Uploading a photo to Wikipedia has become much easier over the years. If you took the photo and it belongs to you, there is an option on the upload page which greatly simplifies things: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Upload. (You might have to create an account or log in first.) Just click on It is entirely my own work.
If you experimented, you might have noticed that link isn’t on Wikipedia! Commons is a repository shared by the various language Wikipedias, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikitravel, etc. If you’re uploading an ordinary photo, “fair use” doesn’t apply, so it is of greatest use to upload to commons where, for example, the Russian version of Mount St. Helens can directly use your photo.
There are eleven entry boxes but most of these are trivial. The “local filename” is the name of the file on your computer which you can navigate to by using the “Browse…” button (so no typing is required). When done, the “destination filename” is automatically given the same name. If your photo is well named, there is no need to change the destination name. However, if your photo is named
PICT000020.JPG, please give it a more descriptive name, like
Mount Jefferson in Central Oregon as seen from Olallie Butte in winter.jpg—if that’s what the photo is.
The next two boxes—”Original source” and “Author”—are already filled in with “Own work by uploader” and your login name: change them if needed.
“Date of work” is when the photo was taken. If you don’t know, leave it blank, or put an approximate date like “January 2008”. Modern digital cameras embed the date into the image—assuming the camera was given the date at some point—so you can see it after uploading. That is, after uploading the photo, the website displays internal details the camera placed into the photo, like the camera manufacturer and model, exposure data, timestamp, flash and focal length, etc. For an example, see this photo of the Tillamook Creamery interior. Near the page’s bottom, click on show extended details and you’ll see all the information my mid-to-low cost camera added. After uploading, you can edit the page and correct the date.
By far, the second-most important data (after the image) is the “Description”. Give as much detail as you can stand: this text helps people looking for photos find yours. Reflecting Wikimedia’s worldwide support, the description can be in like 150 languages—though one is good enough. Other people may translate it, so don’t assume much of the reader: give thorough details and full context. Linking to Wikipedia articles is useful, but the format is a little strange. To link to the English Wikipedia, use the form
w: prefix is an “interwiki shortcut”. (I’d describe the hard way too, but I don’t know it and couldn’t find it.)
“Other versions”, “permission”, and “additional info” can be left blank.
You must choose a “licensing” option. I find the “Multi-license with CC-BY-SA-3.0 and GDFL (recommended)” to be a good choice. It means the photo is permitted to be used for any purpose, but attribution is required. There’s a question mark to click on if you want to know more: It’s possible to find your way to the legal documents associated with the various licenses.
“Categories” are extremely helpful for your photo to be found, but somewhat difficult to understand. In the old days, I found this to be the most difficult bit of information to enter. The new-fangled method is very helpful: Click on the + and type the first few characters of the general topic, whether it be aircraft, coast, skyscrapers, place name, or what have you. Then look through the automagically appearing list for a reasonably specific item. If you have a photo of a ship in downtown Portland, at least two categories apply: “Portland, Oregon”, and “Ships by Country”. Enter the first, click on the check mark, then click on the plus sign. Try not to leave “categories” blank: many editors consider it mandatory and might spend time figuring some out and adding them to your photo.
Finally, press “Upload file”. In a few seconds, the completed page will show how you did. . Correct any mistakes by clicking on “edit”, just like on Wikipedia.
To make your photo appear in an article, add
[[image:whatever it is named
| thumb | caption text
]] somewhere and press “show preview” to see how it looks. Adding the first photo to an article is easy (put it at the top), but if there are several photos, tables, infoboxen, etc., it can become challenging to make it look okay. Experiment with several placements. If you can’t figure it out, go ahead and leave it, and someone else will fix it.