Wikimedia Commons has over 12.5 million freely usable multimedia images, from photos and video, to illustration and sound files. Of these, roughly four thousand files have been selected by the community to be Featured Pictures, some of the highest quality images in the database, representing just 0.03 percent of the total. From the Featured Pictures, the Commons community elects a Picture of the Day, which appears on the home page.
Today’s image is of the interior of the Église Saint-Maimboeuf in Montbéliard, a town in eastern France. The photo was taken by Bresson Thomas (user:Computer_Hotline). Thomas considers himself an amateur photographer and has been a regular contributor to Wikimedia Commons since 2005. He shoots on a Nikon Coolpix P5000 and a Nikon D300.
Thomas took the image above during Wiki Loves Monuments 2011, a month-long photo contest in September 2011 where over 5,000 photographers from 18 European countries uploaded more than 167,000 images of important historical sites and monuments. Like all photos on Commons, they were donated under a freely usable license so they can be used and re-used by everyone. 80 percent of the photographers who participated in Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 had never before uploaded to Commons.
The photo of the Église Saint Maimboeuf is a high dynamic range (HDR) image that Thomas shot on his D300 with a wide angle lens. He said he was particularly interested in capturing the symmetry of the church’s interior. Thomas believes it is important to record and share local history, which he happily donates to the Wikimedia projects through his beautiful photography. In addition to the physical structures around him, he loves to shoot insects, several of which have also been Featured Photos and Photos of the Day.
“I consider that the images of natural elements — insects, plants, landscapes, astronomical events, ancient ruins — must be shown to all,” he said. “So I put them under a license close to the public domain.”
The recognition he has received from the Commons community for his photos has inspired him to contribute more to Commons and French Wikipedia. He is also looking forward to participating in Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, which will be held this September in countries all over the world.
Stay tuned for more of Thomas’s Featured Photos in the future and please consider contributing your own work to the growing collection of free Commons images.
Matthew Roth, Global Communications
Reporting by Elaine Mao, Communications Intern