Rhea Myers

Wikipedia Loves Art V&A Launch

The launch of Wikipedia Loves Art At The V&A on Sunday was well attended and great fun. I met lots of cool Wikipedians and I saw several families among the groups using a good excuse to get their kids to the museum.Wikimedia produced flyers explaining what and how to photograph and upload, and they organized the event online.The V&A provided staff, a room, refreshments, laptops and net connections. The only, minor, criticisms I’d have of the event would be that the base room wasn’t signposted well enough and that the final details weren’t publicised far enough ahead online.I had trouble working out how to use my camera to photograph brightly lit objects behind glass in dark rooms, but I did get some usable photographs. I should have some images of sculptures, fabric patterns, and bone carvings of Japanese gods to add. It’s a different kind of photography from everyday digital snapshots. A workshop, clinic, hands-on tutorial or dry run would help get the best results for events like this.It is worth having more than one person in a group photographing each object. At first I thought this would be reduplication of effort, but different cameras and different photographers produce better or worse pictures of the same object. So it can take more than one or two photographs of the same object to make sure that there is a single good one.Photographs from the event are showing up in the project’s Flickr group, and if you haven’t had a chance to get to the V&A (or your local participating museum) yet the project is running for all of this month. It’s a great demonstration of the value of access to museum collections and of social organisation, and fun to be involved in as well.