Second Place Award in National Competition

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Photography | 0 comments

I entered this image into the October 2023 Wiki Loves Monuments, an international photographic competition. This image received the second place award. The photo is of the one-room schoolhouse in Fruta, Utah. The Wiki Loves Monuments competition invites the global community to document and preserve historic sites around the world on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. There were over 2500 entries to the competition.

Image Selection

The jury process selected images that showcased great photographic/artistic qualities, as well as provided encyclopedic value on a unique historical site. My image was ranked second out of the 2500 entries. The top ten images will receive a monetary award and a certificate commemorating my winning photo. They will also be submitted to the international competition. You can view all top-10 U.S. winners Wiki Loves Monuments.

Contest Guidelines

The contest photos must feature a site that is identifiable and registered as a historical or cultural site by some authoritative organization, such as the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places has listed over 80,000 historical sites.
During November, the U.S. jury culled through and judged all photos to determine the top 10. The following criteria are used (in no particular order):
• Composition
• Technical quality (sharpness, use of light, perspective, etc.)
• Originality
• Usefulness of the image for Wikipedia


The jury processed the images through three rounds during November. At the end of this process, the jury determines the top 10. The jury was composed of individuals across the U.S. with backgrounds in art, photography, history and historical preservation, and the Wikimedia Commons.

How I captured the photo

I captured the image several hours after sunset on a moonless night. I used a 25-second exposure to capture the schoolhouse and the Milky Way’s galactic core. I placed small lights in the windows so the schoolhouse on the opposite side of the camera. I used a flashlight to add light to the foreground and schoolhouse’s exterior. The light from the flashlight had to be balanced with the light of the Milky Way.

Being alone in an isolated spot on a moonless night was a bit spooky. However, the final results were worth the effort.


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