As almost all of the participating countries have already announced their national winners (you can look at the gallery of nominated photos), so now it’s time to introduce people who will select the winning photos — the international jury!
The international jury is composed of nine people this year representing different parts of the world and having different backgrounds. What they have in common is their passion for photography and enthusiasm to select the best photos of natural monuments. Meet our jurors:
Dmytro Balkhovitin, Ukraine (user:Balkhovitin)
Dmytro is a Wiki Loves Earth 2014 international winner, Wiki Loves Monuments in Ukraine 2013 winner, he contributes photos during the contests every year. He is a professional photographer and a winner of numerous awards in Ukraine and abroad.
Last year was also a jury member of Wiki Loves Monuments in Ukraine national photocontest. Native of Donetsk.
Matthew Buck, Great Britain (user:Mattbuck)
An administrator of Wikimedia Commons and a photographer. “A Commons admin of ill repute, keen photographer and train nerd. I’ve been lucky enough to be selected for the Wikimedia Ukraine jury three times now, and each time it’s been fun, if hard work“, says Matt about himself. He also says: “I honestly don’t care what you took a photo of, so long as it’s good technically (exposure, sharpness, composition, etc)“. He would like the participants of Wikili Loves Earth to take part in Quality images project on Commons.
Dietmar Bartz, Germany (user:Aalfons)
Aalfons is an active Wikipedian since 2007, with 20.000 edits and 2000+ pages edited so far. He contributed about 75 articles to the German Wikipedia, with some featured ones. Aalfons hosted the jury meeting for Germany’s 2012 Wiki Loves Monuments contest, and he was member of the 2014 national jury for Wiki Loves Earth.
Outside Wikipedia, Dietmar Bartz is a professional archivist, journalist and editor. He has more than 25 years of experience working for newspapers and magazines, for instance for the German editions of “Le Monde Diplomatique”, “Vanity Fair” and “Interview”. He is used to collaborate intensely with photographers and photo editors. As a correspondent and consultant, Dietmar worked in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, and he is travelling extensively in Asia. His professional focus now is the development and design of global political atlases for use as teaching materials.
In WLE’s international jury, his main fields of interest will be the balance of photographic excellence and encyclopaedic information, and also the discussion of non-western visuality and pictoriality habits.
Walaa Abdel Manaem, Egypt (user: لا روسا)
She is a sysop on the Arabic Wikipedia and the first female active admin there. Also a program leader in Cairo University in Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt.
Having joined Wikipedia in March 2012, she created 467 articles about Spanish culture and literature on Arabic Wikipedia, developed 14 featured and 4 good articles. I have nominated 52 featured photos on the Arabic Wikipedia. She has uploaded 4,266 photos to Commons in total!
She has uploaded 1808 files in Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 to be the highest contributor from Egypt and about 300 files in Wiki Loves Africa 2014.
Walaa was a member in the arbitration panel of the producer-prize in ar.wiki 2013 and 2014, and won the first place in the second round in 2013 and in the first round in 2015, participated in the arbitrary panel of Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in Arab World, and was the head of arbitrary panel in WikiWomen 2014 and one the driving forces behind the contest that brought the highest results to WEP ever.
Alex Wang, USA (user:Zhengan)
Alex Wang is a professional photographer based in California, USA. Her passion is photographing adventure sports and natural landscapes. She has traveled the Silk Road documenting musical traditions from Mongolia to India and China to Turkey. She has recently won a number of contests featuring work from personal adventures, including rafting the Grand Canyon and climbing in the Sierra Nevadas. Alex is also a staff member of the Wikimedia Foundation. See her Conflict of Interest Statement.
Katerina Zareva-Simeonova, Bulgaria
Katerina lives in Sofia, Bulgaria and is an Ecologist by education. Her passions are ornithology, zoos and wildlife documentaries. At the moment Katerina is a Head of Educational Department in Sofia Zoo, where she has been working for the last 18 years. Katerina has been a scriptwriter and consultant of more than 100 short TV movies about nature. She says: “I am tempted by the photography as well, feeling that the perception of the momentary state of nature, animal or person and situation can lead you to their essence”.
Zeynel Cebeci, Turkey
Zeynel was born in Giresun, Turkey and studied agricultural engineering (BSc), biometry and genetics (MSc), and computational algorithms in animal genetis (PhD). Currently Zeynel is teaching the courses on quantitative genetics and bioinformatics at the Univ. of Çukurova in Turkey.
A Wikipedian and contributor to the related projects since 2008. “However, Zeynel says, I love all sort of nature macrophotography from the insect to bird families to wild flowers, I am specialized on the buttterfly species of Turkey. In addition to macrophotography, as an amateur photographer I have completed several personal projects on the local geo-structures, ancient and present settlements, local culture etc.
Susanne Plank, Austria (user:Haeferl)
Susanne lives in Vienna and loves nature, photography and good looking photos of nature. She is 49 and she is active in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects since 2011, both in writing articles and uploading photos. She is an active of Austrian photography community and was a member of pre-jury at various photo contests. Susanne was also a jury member of Wiki Loves Earth in 2014.
Yathin Krishnappa, India (user:Yathin_sk)
Yathin Krishnappa is a professional computer programmer. He’s also a traveler who enjoys photographing all things wild and natural. Yathin enjoys being close to wildlife, learning about them and their homes, and photographing them in their wild sanctuaries. His travels have taken him to the wildernesses in North America, Europe, India and Africa. He has contributed hundreds of photographs for use on sites like Wikimedia, Wildscreen Arkive and Wildscreen Exchange. He is one of the founders of a noncommercial venture that hosts the largest collection of wildlife photographs from India.