1000 Featured Pictures on Wikimedia for Wikipedia and the world!

Hello! I’ back! 😀 Finally, my last post is years ago. I really have the intention to write more often from now on, promised!, and after all this time I definitely have material for a bunch posts that I’d like to share with you. Today I’d like to start with something that is important to me. Many years ago, back in 2011, I started contributing on Wikimedia Commons, the repository for images, videos, documents, audios and other files of Wikipedia, in 2009. It wasn’t until 2011 that I discovered 2 pages where you could nominate photos as Quality Images and Featured Pictures.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah, United States (November 2006), my first Quality Image. © Diego DelsoCC BY-SA 4.0

It was great, I wanted to improve my photography skills and there you got prompt and honest feedback from experienced photographers whether your images were of high quality or not, and in that case why. After some failed candidates (which I took as motivation to improve) I managed to get a decent rate of images that became Quality Images. End of 2011 I tried my luck on the bigger brother, Featured Pictures. A Featured Picture must be of high quality and on top of that have what many call “wow”. Wow is -in my words- a mix of subject, lighting, composition and detail. In January 2012, after some failed attempts (again used as motivation boost), for the first time one of my photos got the star as Featured Picture.


Taj Mahal, Agra, India (December 2009) on of my first Featured Pictures. © Diego DelsoCC BY-SA 4.0

One month later I achieved it again, 20 in total in 2012. At the latest, when I managed 100 Featured Pictures in 2014 and knew how hard it was to achieve that, I decided to set myself a target of 1000 FPs as a kind of lifetime achievement. Back then I didn’t know whether I would ever make it or whether it would take me 10 or 30 years.

And here we are, last Sunday I was the first member worldwide to hit that number and I’m really proud to have contributed to the Wikimedia movement with so much quality content that the whole world can use and enjoy with free licenses. Featured Pictures are, according to the project, the “finest images” on Wikimedia Commons and only those are displayed on the front page of Wikimedia Commons as Image of the Day or take part annually in the contest Picture of the Year. And as there are restrictions about how many images (max of 2) you can nominate for Featured Pictures achieving 1,000 requires a lot of continuous dedication and also help from other users (thank you all! ❤️) that nominated my pictures believing that they deserved the status as Featured Picture.

Man of the Mundari tribe giving a massage to a Watusi cow in a cattle camp in Terekeka, South Sudan (January 2024) my 1,000th Featured Picture. © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

To honor this milestone Frank Schulenburg, one of our most respected members in the movement, ask me for an interview, which you can find here. A few days before that , this interview by another fellow wikimedian, Ivo Kruusamägi, one of the most active members not only in Estonia, but in the whole movement, went online. The focus was not the 1,000 FPs but my whole history in the movement as a photographer and some insights about myself. So, that’s something I wanted to announce, in the coming weeks I’ll give you updates on many other things, Wiki Loves Monuments, what keeps me going, my experiences after 5 years with underwater photography (still one of my priorities),.. and many more topics. Btw, in the meanwhile I’m pretty active on Instagram, this is my account in the case you want to have a look.

…your Diego.

Discovering a new world: underwater photography

Hello! I’ve been taking pictures for over 20 years but that has been mostly on the ground and in a few occasions over the ground, underwater photography has always fascinated me but for the real stuff there were 2 hurdles: I had never scuba dived and I had no proper photo equipment to do that with my full format camera.

In 2016 during a visit to the Galapagos Islands I had the opportunity to snorkel and try out my full format camera with a kind of multipurpose underwater case. That wasn’t the really good stuff, but still I leave you some shots of what I got. The location was of course great but the equipment wasn’t:

Sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki), San Cristobal island, Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Scarus ghobban, Las Bachas, Baltra island, Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis), San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

After confirming my presence in the adventure in Fidji, Vanuatu and Australia for summer 2020 with lots of diving opportunities there was no excuse anymore to go for real underwater photography.

Firstly I bought a case for my Canon 5DS that can be used to a depth of up to  60 m (200ft) and also ordered a second handle, a lens port extension for my 16-35 mm lens (for now), the dome port (8 inches) and a gear set to use the focus. All components from Ikelite, a well-known company with a good performance/price rate. Still an expensive hobby…

I booked a trip to Madeira, an island I always wanted to visit and photograph, where the submarine fauna was also interesting for what I could read online and the pictures I saw. I also booked some dives in advance in a diving school called Madeira Divepoint, which came out to be a great spot with a fantastic team. Wilfried, Miguel and the whole staff are great professionals that also made sure that I had a lot of fun.

It took me 45 years to get a scuba gear and dive into the water. It was exciting and fun, but also challenging and demanding.  Buoyancy control is something you definitely have to learn and requires some experience. The fauna around Madeira is very diverse, you can find pretty much everything there. After the first 4 dives, and although I still was in the middle of my learning curve, I asked (carefully) whether I could take my camera and Miguel, my instructor, gave me green light, so I had the opportunity to take shots underwater in the following 4 dives including the last one in a corvette Alfonso Cerqueira.

I did my best but to be honest, I was at least as busy with myself than I was with the camera and the motifs, that was very obvious when diving in the rooms of the corvette. I was really happy to finally have tried it out and the fact that I will do some more diving in Spain (north coast) this summer is the proof that I had a lot of fun. In fact, rediscovering photography 20 years later is really amazing and stimulating.

I leave you some shots, hope you like it and please, be mercy, it’s just the beginning of a long learning curve 🙂

…your Diego.


Joining a one time in life adventure with Pacific Expeditions

Hello! I am thrilled to announce that in the summer of 2020 I will participate in a very unique, not just photographic, but also life, experience. I’ll join Pacific Expeditions and spend 4 weeks in their yacht, Apache, in one of their legs around the world. In such and adventure they are not really alone as they are part of the World Arc 2020 fleet, 34 yachts that sail the same route within a few days difference and so can help each other in the unlikely case that it’s required. The Apache is the biggest yacht in the fleet and can accomodate up to 8 guests, along with 5 crew members.

Apache (c) Pacific Expeditions

As a guest instructor I’ll definitely do my best to inspire everybody on board about photography, teach them to take great photographs and go together for a couple of photo tours. I will join Jennifer and her team in the leg starting in Fidji and ending at Airlie Beach, Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef. On the way we’ll visit Vanuatu, an archipielago full of blue holes and home to Mt Yasur, the most accesible active volcano. If you want to know more about the itinieary or even would like to join this leg, you can have a look here, right know there as still some spots available!

Author: Rolfcosar, License CC BY-SA 2.5 Source: Wikimedia Commons

That part of the world is amazing for underwater photography, so after I got the required equipment (Ikelite underwater housing for my Canon 5DSR along with a bunch of extras) I will gather as much experience as possible until the World Arc 2020 adventure and so come back with great pictures to share on the net. In fact will do one week diving in the island of Madeira in a couple of weeks.

So, from now on don’t be surprised if I share with you my own underwater photographs 🙂


Welcome to delso.photo! A few words about this site, me and my photography

Dear photography enthusiast, in this first post I would to welcome you to this humble site!

Here I will keep you up-to-date about new media available to download, photo tour reports, experiences with new equipment or whatever may be of interest for those who love photography.

I’ve been traveling the world for about 20 years and always had my camera with me to immortalize those moments, places and people, that impressed me. Since 2011 it is also my main purpose to steadily increase the quality of the captures improving my equipment, my technique and the post-processing.

Diego in Deadvlei, Namibia
Diego in Deadvlei, Namibia

If you are looking for spectacular but unreal images, this is not your site. What you will get is what I see through the visor of my camera. Apart from long exposure photography of some subjects like e.g. water and skies just after sunset (blue hour) where the result necessarily will differ from the human eye perecption (but still a long exposure is required to capture enough light to show the subject), panoramas where I will stitch several frames together or high dynamic range (HDR) images where I’ll merge several frames of the same scene so that there is detail in dark and bright areas, colors, items and compositions will always be real. Above you have 4 examples of a long exposure involving water, a blue hour image, a stitched panorama and a HDR.

Waterfall Dynjandi, Vestfirðir, Iceland
Waterfall Dynjandi, Vestfirðir, Iceland
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Panoramic view of the city of Montreal in a stormy day from Mount Royal, Quebec, Canada.
Panoramic view of the city of Montreal in a stormy day from Mount Royal, Quebec, Canada.
Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, located in the historic district of Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Diego Delso CC BY-SA.
Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica, located in the historic district of Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I upload all my works on Wikimedia Commons, the repository of the Wikimedia movement with over 50,000,000 well documented media files, well known as the umbrella non-profit organisation of projects like Wikipedia (7th site on the web by hits), Wikidata, Wiktionary or Wikivoyage, among many others. By February 2019 I had almost 20,000 uploaded there, which are used in about 35,000 articles. Apart from that I participate in the biggest photo free-license contests worldwide (Wiki Loves Monuments is at the same time the biggest photo contest worldwide) and have been awarded in several occasions (see here). The usage of my images in Wikimedia is wide but still very small in comparison to the figures on the web. If you use my work outside Wikimedia, I’m always thankful for getting a short email about that (up to you, though).

As a free license photographer, you can use all my media for whatever purposes you like, including commercial purposes. All I ask for in return is a simple credit like “Diego Delso CC BY-SA delso.photo“. CC BY-SA is a popular and generous Creative Commons license, but still  my images are not in public domain, so not crediting the work to me is a copyright violation! Specially enterprises using my images for commercial purposes without fulfilling the license will be prosecuted if they don’t correct the problem after I politely ask them to fix the problem. Please, be fair. If you would like to use any of my works deviating from the license terms, please, contact me to discuss it.

You can find always a full resolution version of the images (hosted on Wikimedia Commons) in the description page of the file here. Just follow the link to “Image in full resolution Wikimedia Commons“.

In 2019 I mainly use a Canon 5DS R, a great body with affordable 50 MPx of great detail and quality as you can see below (click on the sea lion image to see it in impressive detail, even with a tele lens).

Close-up of a Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) in Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.
Sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) in Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

I’d really like to interact with you, and you can also write to me in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese or Polish, along with English, but I’ll answer in English so that most people can understand it. Feedback is always welcome but on the other side, I can also give you hints about interesting photographic motifs in the places where I’ve been, give you some information about how and when to capture them or about the “making of” behind the photograph, my equipment or whatever you like.

So, don’t hesitate to get in touch, I’m excited to start this adventure with you! 🙂

…your Diego.