We've had a few of these recently:

These are great questions and an area I'd like to see a lot more of on the site, both in questions and in more and better answers for such questions.

But that lofty vision aside, I'd like to help 'em out with some helpful tags. I put on those, but I'm not entirely happy with that. The only alternatives I can think of are a bit unnatural — , for example, and I'm not too keen on or .

Any ideas?

  • I guess the best tag would be one that people might think of naturally when asking such a question. The things that came to mind for me were sensation and emotion. Not sure if those really fit or not, but they seem to describe the questions.
    – jrista
    Mar 27, 2012 at 3:52
  • 1
    I like emotion particularly for the first one.
    – mattdm
    Mar 27, 2012 at 15:42
  • I gotta agree that emotion is the way to go.
    – rfusca
    Mar 28, 2012 at 1:21
  • I'm not sure it applies to the second, though, yet there is something in common: conveying an abstract idea through photography. (But not necessarily an abstract photograph.)
    – mattdm
    Mar 28, 2012 at 1:25

4 Answers 4


(More rambling: my train of thought from my drive home today. Downvote if you want me to stop.)

I don't really understand and can't predict what kinds of questions this initiative would lead to, so I had a hard time wrapping the topic in a description. Since I can't describe it, this led me to think of the tag . Along the same lines, perhaps, and if we can permanently wrap a tag in italics, maybe something along the lines of would capture that indescribable something we're trying to reduce to a tag.

Okay, neither of those are great, but let's keep going. I still don't know how to define this thing, but maybe that's okay: we're talking about the artistic side of photography, not the technical side, so there may not be an easy way to succinctly describe what we are considering. If we can't tackle this objectively -- well, that's just it, this isn't something to observe objectively, so maybe we should use the tag .

  • Or if everyone's already tired of talking about this, just pick something like 'review' (since it's for questioners who are asking people to judge/review their photos) and be done with it.
    – user2910
    Mar 29, 2012 at 4:48
  • I don't think this is right for these questions but I appreciate the rambling. :)
    – mattdm
    Mar 29, 2012 at 10:38

Some thoughts, if you don't mind me rambling (which IMO is important in naming discussions; showing and spelling out your thought process helps you understand how you're getting to where you're trying to get):

  • these questions are about the artistic rather than technical side of photography, so the existing or tags might work well. Or, if there's a better or more common way to describe the two (or more) sides than "technical vs. artistic," that word would work.
  • if I was searching for how to do something artsy, I might try looking for the doesn't-exist-yet tag.
  • this weekend I created the tag, which might apply when someone is trying something new (at least to them).

Okay, normally if I'm trying to name something, I want to talk about it for a few sentences or paragraphs. In the process of defining it by wrapping a lot of words around it to uniquely identify this thing, I can often identify the right word in which its meaning can be encapsulated. So if 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' instead of drawing a picture (or in this case, just linking to 2 examples), maybe you should write a paragraph or a few paragraphs defining what it is you want to see. I bet the right word will become obvious as a result of that exercise.

(Also, once you create the tag, some questions will be tailored to fit the tag. Since naming it well now will influence questions to fit that name, it's useful to spend the time coming up with the right name that describes the right thing.)


Both the linked questions appear to be about trying to convey a certain meaning/sense/theme. Outside of providing a caption or commentary to go along with the image, the only way to convey such is to provide clues to be interpreted by the viewer. These clues are subject to the viewer's culture, experiences, etc., and so may be interpreted differently than was intended by the artist - or even completely overlooked.

What about an [interpretation] tag?

  • Isn't that exactly the opposite?
    – mattdm
    Mar 27, 2012 at 22:27
  • I've edited my answer to try to expand on my thought process.
    – kobatan
    Mar 27, 2012 at 22:50
  • Yeah I still think it's the opposite. Your point about cultural subjectivity is good, but the questions aren't about interpretation; they're about the other side o the same creative process.
    – mattdm
    Mar 28, 2012 at 10:33

These questions are looking for ways to express certain ideas or feelings, so perhaps the tag could be ?

  • Maybe expression. Expressing happens to have another meaning in English which will probably occur first to at least new parents. :)
    – mattdm
    Mar 28, 2012 at 10:31

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