What could I do to take a better picture of this outdoor fountain at night?

I cannot see any specific question here. This post says for "write a critique for me".

What could I do to take a better picture of this outdoor fountain at night?

I was practicing with long exposure on this water fountain and here is what I got. I would like to know what mistakes do you see I have made and how to improve such a shot? In this location if it were you what would you have done? So I can learn something new to improve.

I had a 24-70mm lens to use on a Nikon D610.

If I am missing some point, please let me know.

  • It had close votes, but it never reached the threshold of 5 and was clearly answerable with good information. I see no problem with it.
    – Joanne C
    Apr 27, 2015 at 13:17
  • 2
    That is truly an odd question to get 20 upvotes and so many answers. I certainly didn't vote it up. Its not interesting in general to me and I don't find it particularly well asked in a way that fits our "on topic critique" suggestions either. I would guess it gained popularity simply because it is very easy to answer.
    – dpollitt
    Apr 28, 2015 at 0:44

3 Answers 3


Sometimes voting is a mystery. My guess is that this got onto the Hot Network Questions list, which shows up on other sites, and tends to get random people coming in who aren't site regulars but have a network account and therefore enough rep to upvote, and they think, hey, that's mildly interesting, and then, so many votes.

  • Okay, but it should be closed. It is disheartening to see the discrimination. Should I post a that kind of question next time? ;) Apr 27, 2015 at 15:59
  • @TheIndependentAquarius I'll add a separate answer to this addressing that issue. This answer is just about "what caused all those upvotes?"
    – mattdm
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:04
  • @TheIndependentAquarius - Discrimination is a bit far I think. At least where I live, we don't use that word to describe what happened here! Also, disheartening? We don't have anything against you if we closed one of your questions :-P
    – dpollitt
    Apr 28, 2015 at 0:42
  • @dpollitt I am not a native English speaker. What words should be used instead of "Discrimination" and "disheartening" here? Jul 21, 2020 at 12:17

This question got a lot of views (3800) compared to other questions around that time, most of which have several hundred views (mattdm's guess about Hot Network Questions might explain that).

I think it helps that there was a photo in the question, and some good example images in one of the answers. A lot of helpful answers with up-votes, so my guess is that people found the question and answers useful and up-voted the question as well as their favorite answer(s).

The question was open-ended for sure. Would have been better if the OP could have suggested what he didn't like ("is it too cluttered?" or "how could I make the fountain stand out more?". But a fairly specific situation, night-time long-exposure of a fountain, which I guess is why it didn't get closed (but got some votes to be closed).


On the question of "broad critique", I think the following makes a reasonable test:

  1. Is this question likely to help other visitors with a similar situation? (Including, of course: might other people ever be in the same photographic situation.)

  2. Will they be able to find it based on the title and description?

  3. And, almost as important: will people with a totally different problem not be mislead into clicking on a question which doesn't even relate?

The last two are why I campaign so strongly against vague titles like this question's original title, which was "What could I do to take a better picture of this scene". But beyond that, if it's hard to find a title that's more specific, it's probably a sign that the question is too open.

In this case, it's on the edge in my mind, but it's my preference to be open to photography questions that are on the edge (and, a little less open to camera shopping questions). Of course, not everyone will agree with me.

In specific, the basic idea of a fountain with a backdrop seems likely to be something others will want to photograph. There are typical techniques for dealing with water, and the added twist of also wanting the context is both interesting and not too far-fetched. (The question could certainly benefit from having some of the asker's comments edited into the question text itself, by the way.)

And if you want to post more questions which are a little more open in this way (while fitting the above), I'm okay with it. But, y'know... that's just one vote.

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