A wonderful message! Thanks a lot for sharing. Is it also publicly available? If we have more feedback like this, I hope we can share it somewhere together.
We have received an inspiring message from the winner of the Portuguese competition that we would like to share with you. Ha has authorized us to publish and share it. I took the liberty of translating it to English for your enjoyment. I think it would give a very nice blog post for the european site.
João Martinho uploaded 500 pictures of 181 different monuments in Portugal, and won the prize for Best Picture. He has a second picture that will also compete for the European prize.
His message is below.
Dear members of Wikimedia Portugal,
it was with great satisfaction that I received the news of my victory in the photo competition “Wiki Loves Portugal – Portugal” with the photo “Alameda de Pedra” captures at the Carmo Convent in Lisbon in September 2008.
I no longer recall when the interest in photography of monuments and landscapes awoken in me; when I think about it I believe it was always in me, starting with my curiosity in registering pictures of places and moments in my memory that had in some way moved me, I was a child still without a camera of my own, but I own the most important equipment a photographer could have: the visual sensitivity about what surrounds him.
With the years I started gaining enthusiasm and acquiring photographic equipment that allowed me to reproduce and crystalize in time that which I had observed in the journeys I have been doing through this world of ours. A trip for me is a photographic adventure. I do not travel without photographing!
As an amateur photographer, I am passionate about photography. In the last few years I have taken advantage of the merits of the internet to subscribe and participate in international forums and groups for amateur photographers. Within these I would highlight “BetterPhoto” and “Photoblur” of which I have been a member and where some of my pictures have been awarded (I take the liberty to add my “BetterPhoto” gallery for your appraisment: http://www.betterphoto.com/searchResults.asp?limit2=&szTerm=joao martinho&schMod=Photos&page=1&rows=16 ). However until today no other national or international award has given me as much satisfaction as the one I have just received. The reason is my passion for the natural and monumental heritage of Portugal: My first and best motive for photographic inspiration. I have now crowned that fondness with this honourable distinction.
Our country is one of the most fortunate in terms of places and monuments with photographic interest. Proving it is the quantity and participation level achieved during the competition. Regrettably throughout our country I have encountered too many examples of the poor condition much of our historic and architectural heritage. That situation is extremely heart-breaking for me however I have not up to this date found the right “weapons” to fight the degradation of the places and buildings once living and noble and those who time and human neglect are slowly turning into regrettable ruins. Two years ago, I made an appeal to IGESPAR to undertake a photographic survey throughout the country of monuments that require restoration and preservation but my appeal fell on deaf ears. Now this purpose is rekindled and I would like to take the opportunity of this award to consolidate my mission of contributing the best way I can (through photographic images) to alert the competent authorities to this true SOS from some of the national heritage. I am aware that much has been done and that we have some good examples of happy interventions, namely through the Pousadas de Portugal, but I have that much is still to be done and from today I will launch in my Facebook page a new appeal “SOS – Património Nacional” placing photos of buildings and monuments needing intervention and restauration.
It is this way that I intend to be constructive and enterprising with the award I receive from you. Not as arrival point but as a starting point to go even beyond.
I take the opportunity to send you my congratulations for the success of this initiative and applaud all the more than 250 contestants that with more than 16000 pictures took the opportunity to showcase the Portuguese monuments on the web through their respective photographs.
With my best regards