I finally got myself a nice DSLR and I'm coming up with different questions. While I consider photography to be an art there is a SE site Photography and I'm assuming that most equipment questions would be best asked there. Is there any area of photography that we could excel in?

I'm not saying people can't ask here, and I suspect not being the photo specific expert site that we might be more forgiving on the 'dumb' questions.

But would it be reasonable to ask about different lenses and their purposes here? What about a 'simple' question like what the designations on a lens means? I'm forming different questions right now, and trying to decide which if any would be a good fit for Arts & Crafts

  • The way you phrase your question you make it sound like we should be a repository for bad, poorly researched questions that a successful site would close for lack of research... why would we want that? "Dumb" questions are "dumb" because there are thousands of sites that already tell someone that information. I also think you're making a (possibly unfounded) assumption that these questions would not be welcomed on Photography.SE... Do you know that they're not welcome there?
    – Catija
    May 5, 2016 at 15:35
  • As a moderator on Photography, I would really encourage most of your questions to be researched there, first, and most likely asked there. I think you'll find many of them have already been answered, we've been around for a while. :)
    – Joanne C
    May 7, 2016 at 14:03

4 Answers 4


I don't know why anyone would ask photography questions here. The Photography SE is flourishing and a full site, not a beta site the way woodworking is. If the woodworking site were to fail due to low question volume or activity, we could easily welcome them into our wings but Photography is not going to fail.

Additionally, the original definition of this site specifically discussed "hand made" objects. There's nothing hand made about photography (and, yes, I know how to develop and print film... and I'm still saying this). Woodworking is inherently hand made. I don't see that there's any way to compare the two arts.

As someone who has a degree in film making and had to do a ton of photography in that study, I, personally, do not feel that this is the appropriate place for these questions and I feel that attempting to answer them here would be a disservice to the people asking.

I also simply don't consider them within our scope any more than I think digital art is in our scope... Send photography questions to Photography.SE and Graphic Art questions to Graphic Design.SE.

  • This is why I asked the question.
    – bowlturner
    May 5, 2016 at 15:37
  • This makes sense. So, how would you handle the questions that may come in?
    – user24
    May 5, 2016 at 15:44
  • 2
    @CreationEdge Close them as off topic. You make some good examples of questions that may be acceptable here that deal with photography tangentially... those can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis... some may indeed be acceptable here. If we have a mod who's comfortable with photography and knows their site well enough to feel OK with migrations, that's fine but I don't know that we'll get many questions about it here.
    – Catija
    May 5, 2016 at 15:48
  • I am one of us could have an account with them (or vice versa) and we can can chat about migration candidacy.
    – Matt
    May 5, 2016 at 16:09
  • @Matt Sure. That's what the Teacher's Lounge is for :D
    – Catija
    May 5, 2016 at 16:10
  • 1
    @CreationEdge - If I happen to spot them, I can also potentially recommend whether or not the question will be accepted on the Photography site. Not all will, I'd hate to have this site migrate it only to have me close it, but when it makes sense, we should migrate.
    – Joanne C
    May 7, 2016 at 14:05

To start, there's no issue with overlap on SE sites, when the overlap is relatively small. SciFi & Fantasy and Movies & TV see some overlap, and even duplicate questions, but they're both healthy sites (IMO). There are other examples on SE, too.

I see most photography being done as an art unto itself. If the questions are about photography alone, I think we should encourage people to ask on Photography. If the question comes in, there's no need to take direct action, but we can leave comments such as

You might get better traction over on Photo.SE

Now, we may also have photography questions that are directly related to the other arts and crafts we've done, that maybe our experts here have more experience with:

  • "How do I evenly light my textured painting for a high-res photo?"
  • "I need a lens to take detail photos of my work"
  • "I want to print my photo onto X, what size image do I need to take?"

And I'm sure there's more.

Those kinds of questions are directly related to the many other arts that don't have their own stack.


As one of the more active members on Photo.SE, I'd say no, this SE is not the place for anything that is about photography proper. There could be overlap on things like photograms, or photolithography, but chances are good any photographic aspects on the art and especially the gear would be more thoroughly covered and better received on Photo.SE, which is also a full site, long out of beta, populated, and active.

We get gear questions all the time and we probably invoke 'product recommendation' closure on a weekly basis from the fly-by askers who want us to do their shopping homework--better not to encourage that type of asking on a fresh brand new clean SE. :D

And we're plenty forgiving of the beginner/dumb technique questions on photo.SE. (For example, "Why are my photos not crisp?").

There is no reason we couldn't duplicate, but the chances of finding the expertise to answer the questions and answer them well are higher on the established site. And coming up with new questions that aren't already answered on Photo.SE could be something of a challenge.

But would it be reasonable to ask about different lenses and their purposes here? What about a 'simple' question like what the designations on a lens means?

Great examples of why you'd probably want to use Photo.SE instead. They're already asked/answered over there:


I think we need to give them a chance.

We are OK with woodworking questions because it is a craft.

I suppose we could allow photography as art. The lenses are part and parcel with that being they are the tools of the trade. Photography questions about the equipment should be something we explore and see how it goes. I would also say that we could allow photo processing as both an art and a craft.

I am unsure what else we would need to consider as far as scope. Questions "What is depth of field" and others of a similar variety.

We need to remember that Photograpy.SE would be a better choice for most of these questions but allowing users the choice of what they want to do. The community will ultimately decide though.

  • I could easily see the argument that this is off topic though. From what I gather we need to be more lenient to the initial ideas.
    – Matt
    May 5, 2016 at 14:43
  • It would be nice to know what the actual issue garnering downvotes is though.
    – bowlturner
    May 5, 2016 at 14:48
  • @bowlturner Yes. This has been an off again on again issue here. I hope there is the other answer coming shortly.
    – Matt
    May 5, 2016 at 14:49
  • One came in, but I didn't DV. Wondering how mine will be received.
    – user24
    May 5, 2016 at 15:41
  • @CreationEdge Better than mine it seems
    – Matt
    May 5, 2016 at 15:43
  • 2
    I think you're trying to be too inclusive. There are lots of things that are called "art" that don't fit here including the related "art" of film making, and literary arts like poetry and performing arts like acting and dance... We can't accept something simply because the definition in a dictionary includes the word "art".
    – Catija
    May 5, 2016 at 15:52
  • @Catija Yeah. That is not good justification but I was trying not to rely on that for this.
    – Matt
    May 5, 2016 at 16:01

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