What was your first Commons contribution?

Something fun…

What was your first contribution to Commons? What’s the story behind it?

Tip: use the HTML code for the image (as described here) to get an automatic attribution while hovering.

Alley in Chania's old town

I took this picture in August 2018 in in the old town of Chania, Crete, which is an awesome historical mosaic of a city. Over the centuries, it was under the control of the Minoans, the Byzantines, the Venetians, the Ottomans, just to name a few. Not my best photographic work, but a great memory.


If you would have asked me what was my first upload, without access to my computer I would have not idea. So I’ve search on Commons to find this:

Tramway rennes place du parlement 2009

Those rails in the pavement are the remaining track of the tramway of Rennes, in Rennes, France. The tramway was gone a long time before my birth, but there are still (even if fewer and fewer) traces of this urban railway in the city. I like rail transport, and I’ve always been fascinated by it as a child, so it was a natural topic for an article (only in French… for now?).

So this picture has no real interest. It has only been uploaded for illustration purposes, and it is not as beautiful as other pictures may be (like @Elena.laps’ one for instance). But, surprisingly, it has two stories attached to it:


First, let me share the shortcut for people to figure this out - open https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:ListFiles&dir=prev&limit=500&user=Elitre&ilshowall=1 after swapping my username with yours, and scroll at the very bottom. Voilà.

Now for the bittersweet part…

These are comfits for my graduation, a life-time ago. They were actually not almonds, but chocolate, hence I think I ate 3/4th of the bowl.
Just found out that despite the quality they’re in the en.wp article about Comfits!


My first contribution to Wikimedia Commons was also my first contribution to the Wikimedia projects at all. That’s because after have reading most of the guidelines and policy I thought it was a little bit scary editing the text of an article. But what I could do was adding an image of something that I passed every day on my way to work. So I took the image in November 2005 with this in mind, then hesitated into 2006 before uploading it.

It also took me almost another two months before feeling comfortable enough on doing some other edits than adding images to articles.


My first uploads where I am the author relate to one of the topics in my heart: bridges. I just finished the university as a bridge engineer, and walked around the city taking some photos of its bridges:
Szabadság híd – Gellért-hegy – sirály
The first picture followed by some others (aren’t they nice? :slight_smile: ):
Lánchíd éjszaka

Megyeri híd

  • The first picture shows one of my favorite bridges, the Liberty Bridge during its renovation in 2008. It was built in 1894-1896, it (didn’t) survive WWII, and at the age of over 110 years, it was the time to repair it.
  • The second picture shows the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. It is one of the symbols of Budapest, the oldest permanent bridge on the Danube in Hungary (built between 1840 and 1849), and it was the longest chain bridge (with over 200 m of single span) at the time of its construction.
  • The third picture shows the Megyeri Bridge. It is the newest Danube bridge of Budapest, and the first bigger cable-stayed bridge in Hungary. I had the opportunity to work on it, and I took this picture during its load testing in 2008. (You can see in the background the trucks loading the bridge.)

All of these back stories are great! The photos too, of course, but the back stories completely take it to the next level.

@Trizek I love that this article led to an immediate collaboration. That’s Wikipedia working just like it should! @Elitre congrats on making it big on the en.wp article about comfits :P

@Ainali the fact that you sat on the image for a while before actually uploading it is a nice humble reminder that Wikimedia projects can feel quite daunting for newcomers. I also love the lighting behind the steeple in this picture.

@Samat yess just learned something new about you! That third bridge picture could totally be a postcard. Or an IKEA stock poster. Look out, they may try to take it…

Excited to read more of these :smiley:


Like @Trizek I was looking for my first picture un commun and I find this one:

This is a picture taken in 2005 of the Laviolette Bridge from the parc des Terrasses-du-Fleuve in Trois-Rivières. I probably taken this picture mostly because there was no picture of the bridge in 2005 (wich is a possibility back then). Probably not my best picture.

When I was look a little farter, I see my habit of taking picture during my holidays, like this one of the village of Saint-Narcisse, not far of my hometown. You can probably follow all my travel in eastern Canada by my pictures. Not my best picture, but I like the perspective of the church in the background of the rue Principale.


This topic brings memories back…

I started contributing to Commons as a side effect of my contributions to Catalan Wikisource (aka Viquitexts). The works of the poet Joan Salvat-Papasseit entered the public domain, and…

Most of my contributions to Commons have been about publishing relevant free works available somewhere else. This was my first own picture:


May 2013, I was doing a linguistic fieldwork in amazonian Bolivia, to describe Siriono, an endangered language. I took this picture to ask an identification in French Wikipedia page Quelle est cette plante ? (What is this plant?). Wikipedians helped me to identify a Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis and I could add it in my archive.

I used my account created for Wiktionary in May 2006, after years away from the wikiverse and it brought me back on board.


I just realized that… while this is a very good solution for 1-2 pictures, it might clog people’s connection if we get a thread with, say, dozens of images (because full images are being loaded). Pasting the Commons page with the image produces a “onebox” with a thumbnail that is more sustainable.

(For the tech curious, Discourse only loads the images in your screen and lazily loads the rest in very low resolution, to save unnecessary data download. Still…)


Krisjanis Karins

Current Prime minister of Latvia Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš in 2007. At that time he was “just” a member of Parliament. I attended one event to take the picture with idea of uploading it to Commons. At that time there were very few images of local public persons. It was about a year after I got my first DLSR (Canon EOS 400D).


@Fralambert I just followed your travels :) This one is also quite nice:

@Noé are those little fruits on that Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis? Are they edible? They look kind of formidable/spiky! @qgil-WMF super cool looking scrawl and I can hardly make out any letters… which makes it cooler probably. @Papuass you were clearly committed to getting a good shot of the prime minister!! How were you able to get that close? Was it at a meet and greet?

1 Like

A post was split to a new topic: Image oneboxes and images with special characters

Konstantin Bogaevsky, The memories of Mantegna, 1942

Just noticed in 2007 that this one was missing, and this is a painting I know. I guess I was writing a Wikipedia article about Bogaevsky, but I am not anymore sure.


But most of my Commons uploads are from my travels, 65+ countries, currently uploading Latvia.


it was actually a good idea. I just uploaded the picture of the same bridge.



Interesting thread. My first upload was an import from Flickr. At that time I was a PhD student specialised on Bangladesh.


This give me the idea of creating the item of this waterfall in Wikidata


I absolutely love this thread. :slight_smile:

My first real edit to the Commons Article space was to move an article from the name Nôtre Dame de Paris to Notre-Dame de Paris (spelling mistake!). I had of course completely forgotten about that, but it’s a funny full circle when you consider I wrote this blog post a few months back and the last picture I uploaded was that of Notre-Dame on fire :frowning_face:

I was one of the first 200 users to get an account on commons, something that to this day, I am still proud of. If you look at my early edit history, you’ll see that one of my first focus on Commons was to try and make the site “multilingual”, adding French captions to pictures and making sure many of the pages were available in as many languages as possible. At the time this was already an impossible task, the software was just not made for it. I am kind of like a kid at Christmas when I see the work being done around structured data and one of my oldest Wikimedia dreams on the verge of becoming reality…

My first picture upload was this one: it was a scan of a picture I took in Cajas National Park in Ecuador[*], since I was still working with film. To this day, it is still one of the most beautiful pictures I ever took. It was one of those pictures you have no idea you took and discover when your photos come back from the lab. One source of amazement we lost with digital photography :slight_smile:.

[*] I’m impressed that this picture is still in use as the main pic on the Spanish article about the National Park!


My first contribution to Commons was uploading this picture of Francis Barreto Spinola, from the Find a Grave website (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_B._Spinola) when I was working in his biography. This gentleman is the son of a man born in Funchal (the city where I am from and live) and an American Daughter of the Revolution, making him the first Portuguese American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. The fact that he uses a Genoese surname, from an ancestor who came here in the late 15th-century, and that he worked a lot with the Italian community in New York, makes him being constantly described as the first “Italian American”, even by much respected sources :roll_eyes: Which makes this a perpetual problem in Wikipedia.

First upload of a picture by myself was this building in Lisbon:

Back then (April 2009) I was working in the biography of a mysterious character named Maria Pia de Bragança (https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Pia_de_Saxe-Coburgo_e_Bragança), and when reading one source, I found she was born in a certain building at the Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon. So I grabbed my bicycle and pedaled to that address, and snapped that picture and uploaded it to Commons at home, to illustrate the article - where it still is. :grin:


i took a photo of the Danish embassy, in Washington, D.C. to add to the embassy drive started by user:Aude