...on Wikimedia Commons. The vote for the Picture of the Year 2008 has begun and like every year, I am flabbergasted with the amount of amazing pictures that Commons reveals.

Vendeuse d'arachides - © Roman Bonnefoy, licence CC-BY-SA 2.0

I thought I would list here my criteria for choosing the pictures I supported this year. This is how I proceed:

  • Look at the gallery
  • Click on the pictures that catch my eye
  • Enlarge them to see them at full resolution
  • Go back to the credits page to see where the picture comes from.
  • Vote

And these are the criteria I keep in mind when choosing to support a picture or not.

  1. The picture needs to catch my eye. This starts with a thumbnail, so any picture that does not have enough contrast or does not present something "different" does not go past the first page.
  2. The picture needs to be of "good quality". This means a high resolution to start with, but also a picture with as little grain as possible and with details as sharp as possible. In the case of diagrams and animations, the smoothness of the animation or the fact that the diagram is in svg will prevail.Ammonite lamp post at dusk, Lyme Regis - © MichaelMaggs - License CC-BY-SA 3.0
  3. The picture should be of "encyclopedic nature". There are lots of debates about what is an encyclopedic picture, but I guess that for me it means that the picture should find its place as an illustration in one of the Wikimedia projects.
  4. The picture should be clear in its subject. This means that I pay attention to how the picture is cropped, what frame was chosen and whether it illustrates well the subject it is about.
  5. The technical skills that the picture entails. This goes especially for panoramas or macros.
  6. Who took the picture. I must say that I give plus points for pictures taken by "normal contributors" as opposed to pictures imported from Public Domain repositories (such as US governmental organisations). This is my little way of promoting the individual contributor. Mind you, I have supported some "imported" pictures when they were particularly to the point, or when they represent historical views or art pieces.
  7. My subjective opinion or emotion also plays a role, there are pictures I simply love, others I just like. This is the personal factor to my vote. However, there are a few pictures I love but which are in my opinion too far from all of the other criteria to catch my vote as "picture of the year".

You'll find on Commons the list of pics I voted for in the first round.

Crédits Images :

  • Vendeuse d'arachides - © Roman Bonnefoy, licence CC-BY-SA 3.0 - Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Ammonite lamp post at dusk, Lyme Regis - © MichaelMaggs - License CC-BY-SA 3.0 - Source: Wikimedia Commons (I didn't vote for that picture because although it is probably one of my favorite, I find it does not answer the "encyclopedic" criteria that I set myself).