Grants talk:PEG/Need DSLR camera and Tele Lens for Discover the Birds of Sulawesi Photographs

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Discussion / Comments[edit]

Convince me![edit]

Hey Arief Rahman, I carefully read your proposal.

4000$ is a lot of money, it's a bit sad that the proposal only brief information. What's your involvement in the community, in wild photography? Do you have existing equipment? Your Commons account? Do you have contacts with governmental organisations?

Please try to convince me (us) that you're worth the investment! MADe (talk) 14:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In general this is considered as microgrant, but we have also to say that Commons needs to have photos in high quality but only for displaying on devices. My feeling is that this equipment costs a lot and it's not a benefit for the community, I have in mind that the budget of WLM in Armenia is more or less the same and Armenia is producing more than 3000 photos. In Wikimedia CH, for instance, this material belongs to the chapter and anyone can use it [1], I would be in opposition to give it only to one person. --Ilario (talk) 08:57, 12 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did not recieve a reply from AR. Given my remarks, I object to the proposal in its current state. MADe (talk) 13:18, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm sorry for the lateness. I used to have a Nikon D5100, but it was stolen last year. I have been focusing on wildlife photography, specifically birds. You can see my Commons gallery here Ariefrahman (talk) 10:51, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey Ariefrahman, thx for the reply. I'm a bit in doubt here. I believe supporting project like yours is the essence of our work. However, I understand KTC's point below (what happens with the camera afterwards).
I still think you need a more elaborate project proposal. Find a co funder, or an organisation to work with. That surely will help convincing us. MADe (talk)

Thank you for your respon. I have birdwatchers club here, with college student as members, called AV BIRDER (Areca Vestiaria Bird Club). I has invited a friend too, to contribute for Commons with account Tokalabo. I wish our chapter, Wikimedia Commons Indonesia (WMID) have a pretty good DSLR camera for birdwatching as I propose and I or our club can use it. I'm sorry in advance if my english is not good, kind regards. Ariefrahman (talk) 13:40, 22 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think there is high value in getting a camera to Suluwesi. Most of the en:Endemic_birds_of_Sulawesi endemic birds found there do not have photographs. But I think Arief needs to broaden the scope of what he would contribute. There are also 79 species of endemic mammal, most of which need photographing. Photos of buildings and the town itself are hard to come by. In the interests of full disclosure, I suggested ages ago that Arief attempt to obtain some sort of grant. He was contributing rare images to commons until his camera was stolen. :( Probably the way forward might be talking to Wikimedia Indonesia, and perhaps having them own the camera. I don't expect that this sort of project would abruptly end. It will take years of work to get relatively complete photographic coverage, speaking from personal experience. 00:38, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arie, I would propose you to repost the proposal. Some tips:
  1. Let the "AV BIRDER" organisation file and support the application.
  2. Get support by WM ID (collaborating with them will surely help the application)
  3. Prove us you have multiple people with photographic skills and a history on commons that will help.
  4. Communicate with us what you will do afterwards,
  5. Lower the expectations ($4000 is a lot of money...) MADe (talk) 09:11, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Things you can do to improve this request[edit]

Hi Arief, I hope the guys above have not scared you off. I had a look at your grant request and I suggest the following enhancements:

  1. Please provide a link to your commons account.
  2. Please tell us more about yourself.
  3. Please tell us of your involvement with your local chapter. ( Have you discussed this request with any local guys?)
  4. Do you have a timeline for this project?
  5. Are you planning to do more than just taking quality pictures? Could you for example use this project to train some local Wikimedians who may be so inclined on photography?
  6. Would you be willing to revise your prospective camera to a lower spec and use a portion of the request to organize an outreach event?

I guess what I am trying to say is, you have a potentially good project. You just need to demonstrate impact and levels of responsibility and accountability. Feel free to mail any of us if you need a sound board.--Thuvack (talk) 19:44, 12 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Thuvack, thanks for your interests. I'm local birdwatcher in Manado, North Sulawesi. I have a great passion to document the birds of Sulawesi and sharing it with other people. Sulawesi has large number of endemic birds, unfortunately Wikimedia Commons lacks photos that represent the diversity. I intend to supply the necessary photos. If you like, you can add me on facebook hereto get to know me further and to see my works.
Here you can see my photo contribution at Commons. Ariefrahman (talk) 11:33, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Arief. Thank you for providing some details, however as evident from comments below, you still have to demonstrate how you are linked to your local chapter and whether you have considered the ownership issues that comes with the equipment. Can you clarify? --Thuvack (talk) 06:56, 30 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While the ownership issues should certainly be addressed, the Grants Program need to make sure it doesn't assume individual always have or want to have a good relationship with their local chapter (if it exists). Alternative arrangement besides working with the local chapter should be available to individual if they can justify it. -- KTC (talk) 13:36, 30 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I absolutely agree, as that would just add an unnecessary beraucracy with Chapters and individual Wikimedians. However due to the perculiar nature of this request being mainly to fund an equipment, issues of ownership and the need to involve a local chapter (Which is already in good standing with WMF I presume) have become central.--Thuvack (talk) 13:58, 30 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In general, I strongly oppose individual equipment grants, for reasons I outline here. There is no way I can support a $4000 grant with a stated goal of taking sixty photos. I would suggest approaching WMID, having them act as custodian for the equpment, and cutting costs substantially. Even then, unless you have a really well laid out plan about how this would generate uniquely valuable content for Wikimedia projects in a cost-effective way, I'm not sure I would support such a grant. Kevin (talk) 00:03, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note: WMIN is Wikimedia India. You meant WMID -- Wikimedia Indonesia. It would indeed be well to learn what, if anything, has been attempted by way of approaching the chapter with this idea. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 02:16, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whoops! Silly error, thanks for catching it. Kevin (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support this comment. There are good examples of Wikimedia chapters funding and lending equipment (or arranging rented equipment). I would support this grant if it were to go to WMID to buy that equipment to provide it as a service to the community, also to Arief Rahman, of course. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 20:37, 20 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After talking with WMID:
Lending / borrowing equipment in Jakarta or the satellite cities is relatively easy but in Manado (Eastern Indonesia), shipping or hand carry cost with different risk involves. It is so much easier to let volunteers have it and use it rather than it sitting in WMID office.
The suggestion was:
  1. Assuming he have an easy access to internet and lots of bird pictures that he hasn't upload to commons
    1. To upload his bird pictures to commons
    2. To geo tag and categorize his pictures in commons
    3. To provide description of the pictures in Indonesian, English, and optionally in his mother tongue language, either the pictures are his own or one that he found in commons.
  2. Assuming he doesn't have a lot of bird pictures stashed yet have an easy access to internet
    1. To search for flickr pictures of Indonesian bird in CC-BY-SA
    2. Listed the bird photographers for Indonesian bird in CC-BY-SA and contact them to expand his network
    3. To upload them in commons - and repeat point b and c for number one.
  3. Make articles about the picture, or put the bird pictures in geography article. But there should be a link between pictures in commons and wikipedia articles.
  4. All of the above would be 600 pictures or articles or combination of both, before he got his camera.
  5. We will teach/ train how to do all of the above (geotagging, categories) and this mean travel to Jakarta. Another travel to Jakarta is when he finishes, tell his story, and pick up the camera.

--Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 11:19, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I'm still not keen on fuzzy ownership by individuals. Could it be made clear, in writing and signed, that ownership rests with the chapter, and that where others want to use the equipment, collaboration in sharing it be expected? Could the chapter keep a register and make available a contact number for that purpose? Tony (talk) 13:37, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could be a compromise. What I wrote above is just a summary of my discussions with WMID. I personally would prefer ownership by a chapter but I see the limits of such a solution when volunteers are away in remote places. Actually I am also not sure if WMID didn't want to say between the lines that they don't expect the equipment being given back, if they give it to certain volunteers, that it will be "lost" or "stolen". --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 15:09, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure I understand your last comment, about the chapter. It's not a wise precedent, in my view, to gift expensive equipment to individuals, or to forego an obvious supervisory role by a chapter to enable the mechanics of sharing equipment bought with donors' money. Tony (talk) 15:59, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for all the comments. So what would be the best step to achieve my goal? Not to get a camera, but to photograph the diversity of birds in north sulawesi. I can broaden my scope to include mammals and butterflies, and also the local culture here. That would take longer than I proposed.Ariefrahman (talk) 13:38, 24 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My thoughts[edit]

Thanks for the submission. My experience with these grants is that the Wikimedia Foundation is not prone on supporting such requests because of the ownership-related issue that occurs after the end of the project. The amount requested also appears to be high for such purchase, and I'm sure it can be substantially reduced in order to take photographs with high quality. In addition, the application seems to lack more information about the project goals and the measures of success. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:42, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Tony1[edit]

Arief, could be very good, but the issues raised above need to be addressed.

Ownership by the Indonesian chapter might be a solution, so that not only you but others might subsequently be able to make WMF-related use of it.

The proposal would be greatly strengthened with a strategy to create and/or improve articles on endemic birds in the Bahasa Indonesia WP. What state are they in, anyway? Any links to examples (and any on other language WPs)?

Any liaison with Indonesian university avian biologists or biology students? Could they at least be alerted if you mounted a project like this?

Physical/locational circumstances and challenges presented by photographing these birds? Are they deep in jungles, inaccessible?

Can you link to any galleries of pics taken by you on this or related themes? Tony (talk) 20:31, 17 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by KTC[edit]

The expected life of a DSLR body and lens are considerably longer than the proposed time frame of this grant request. Thus far, the application does not address what will happen to the equipment once this grant ends. Without that, even if it's not the applicant actual intention, this application could appears as if it's an attempt to acquire some nice pieces of kit for minimal return, namely the taking of photos of 60 birds species over a year.

Another area that the application should address is the choice of camera and lens. While better equipment can certainly produce better end product, for the purpose of what the applicant is proposing to do, there's no clear reason why a lower end body at less than half the cost for example could not achieve sufficiently good result.

Others above have already mentioned. $4,200 is a lot of money for photos of 60 species of bird. That works out at $70 per bird. Purchases such as these are usually made by an affiliate organisation such as a chapter so that the equipment can be shared and used among many people, producing more content for the projects than if it were made available only to one person. -- KTC (talk) 23:16, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your comment above. I'm not very good at getting my point across. I meant that I consider my project a failure if I don't manage to get 60 photo documentations of the endemic birds of North Sulawesi.
That's not easy; one must have experience and knowledge of the terrain. If I can get the equipment I proposed, I can manage to cover the costs of the trips by myself or look for a local sponsor. Ariefrahman (talk) 14:25, 22 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Post-Evaluation Summary of remaining Comments[edit]

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC Members who read the grant request without comments[edit]

  1. .

GAC Members who approve this grant request[edit]

  1. .

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

  1. MADe (talk) 13:18, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Please see my concerns explained above. Even if the grant application is improved to give a firm basis for carrying out this project, there are other issues that have been previously discussed and support the sentiment to oppose this.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:43, 14 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Inactive editor (Commons, in 10 days didn't answer any question.. --Frieda (talk) 20:30, 16 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. A similar grant *might* be possible with significantly lower prices and the equipment remaining in the hands of the chapter, but I would suggest a rewrite from scratch at a later date after consulting with the chapter etc. Kevin (talk) 22:24, 19 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. As it stands now, too many unfortunate precedents would be established. Tony (talk) 16:01, 23 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. This grant should not be approved outright as the provided detail on its request stands. Acquiring a valuable set of images pertaining to some endemic species and saving it for the open and free access for the entire human race could indeed turn out to be a significant accomplishment. However, the quantity, quality and the relative costs are to be calculated carefully on some weightage criteria. I would suggest that a typical individual grant of this order (US $ 4000) yields at least 1000 distinctly 'unique' high quality images focusing on the objects of interest as a primary output. Besides, it should also enrich all related content pages by supporting information and reference.
    My suggestions to the grant applicant would be thus:
    1. Rewrite / reformat the grant request with more elaborate detail. This will potentially include (1) A list of the birds (and other flora and fauna and even associated natural features) (2) a committed/projected time frame for the primary phase (typical number of images that will be acquired and uploaded per month, articles that will be enriched by additional content, plans for geocoding, categorization, interlinking etc.) (3) Details of other Wikiusers who are informed and prepared to work together for the project etc.
    2. The rewritten request will also contain some details on how the ownership will be dealt with.
    • In the event of the program being abandoned for some reason (after obtaining the equipment), how shall that be accounted?
    • If after a while (say one or two years), the scope of the work gets exhausted, what will happen to the ownership of the camera?
    • Will it be possible to share the equipment among a group of active wikipedians belonging to the same geographical area?
    • Can WMID get involved and act as the true owner of equipment (even while the applicant remains as the custodian under an agreement)?
    It should be much more feasible to consider and allow a microgrant application with such details in place. Until then, my recommendation will be not to approve this request. ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) (talk) 01:00, 27 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Such devices can be hired locally and budget for hiring expenses can be approved.--Mayur (talkEmail) 17:23, 27 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. -- Roel (talk) 05:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9.  Klaas|Z4␟V:  20:18, 5 October 2013 (UTC) Imagine all users asking for so much money to buy an expensive camera where a cheap smartphone is good enough to achieve almost the same results and even faster...Reply[reply]

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. Thuvack (talk) 14:04, 30 September 2013 (UTC) -- I have commented above, however abstain from Voting. I don't believe it would be setting a bad president for other grants if this grant was approved hence am not compelled to oppose this request. I'm also not comfortable with individual ownership of equipment hence not entirely convinced to approve this application in its current form.Reply[reply]
  1. .