Castles in the digital age

Clem Rutter’s photo of Rochester Castle (worth clicking to view larger)

When you spend time on one of the busiest websites in the world it’s amazing what patterns emerge.

A few weeks ago I was leafing through a borrowed copy of The Historian. It had been passed on to me because there was a piece about castles. As I leafed through its immaculately presented pages I was stopped by an eerily familiar photo. There was Rochester Castle on a beautiful sunny day, a sky blue backdrop, and the medieval cathedral peeking out behind.

That stopping power was important. For me at least, a good photograph makes me want to learn more, especially on Wikipedia where a plethora of links can drag you into a maze full of interesting twists and turns.

I knew where that snapshot came from. It was unmistakably the main photo on the Wikipedia article about the castle. I was also lucky enough to have met the man responsible for it. The photographer is Clem Rutter who has more than a decade’s experience of writing for Wikipedia, and apparently a decent photographer to boot.

It was an exciting moment of recognition, mixed with a bit of pride that The Historian was happy to use the picture. I decided to send Clem the magazine so he could see how good it looked in print, where it illustrated a piece by a professor of history. But this blog isn’t about the magazine. I want to say thank you Clem for taking that photo.

I hope you admire the picture as much as I do.

Have you been inspired to emulate Clem? Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 starts on 1 September, but you can take pictures in advance so go out and get snapping!

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