How to recreate Liam Wong's images of city streets at night with neon lights?

Everything about this question says too broad to me. Its got 4 questions in it. Shows no effort to recreate it or narrow down to a specific part of the photo. And is further asking people to guess what camera and lens would be used. I can't see Close Votes yet to know if anyone else has but I know I flagged it as too broad and left a comment asking the person to narrow the scope down, that flag got declined.

How is this not too broad? What answers do you expect?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you flagged the question for closure as too broad? This an option if you don't the ability to vote to close. When you flag it, it gets added to the close review queue for members who can vote on it. As a moderator, I prefer to let the community weigh in on questions like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jan 11, 2017 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ JoanneC: yes I said I flagged it as too broad and that flag was declined. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2017 at 14:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It was declined by the system, probably because there are answers with positive votes. The implication being that it's not too broad as a consequence. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jan 11, 2017 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ JoanneC: ah I see. I'd still like to know why its not being closed by the community as too broad. I get it -- pretty picture. "Oooh this is pretty how do we make this?" but that doesn't make it a good fit for stackexchange. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2017 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ We'll see, but it's unlikely to be closed now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jan 11, 2017 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: I don't think it's a great question, but it's decent enough to deserve its chance, enough that I upvoted it.

I voted to leave the question open, because I felt it was more similar than different from existing "how do I create/recreate this photo..." -style questions.

Generally, for these types of questions, I see "Unclear what you're asking" close reasons. In my opinion, the question pretty clearly lays out what it's trying to duplicate/recreate, so that close reason doesn't apply.

I think the question could probably be better, but I don't think it's bad. Furthermore, I think good answers will elevate a mediocre question. I believe this question has that potential.

Everything about this question says too broad to me. Its got 4 questions in it.

I don't think that the number of question marks per se indicates a question is too broad. As a counterpoint, I think it would be rather ridiculous to ask the poster to ask 4 separate questions of the same photo, where the last 2 of them ("what lens/settings do you think he used?", and "is this post-production / what mixture of PS/LR?") are rather lame individual questions themselves. And the first 2 bullet-point questions are probably very interrelated.

The heuristic to apply when there are several question marks in a question is, do the individual question sentences converge or help concentrate focus, or to they generate divergent explanations, kitchen-sink -style? I think the the multiple Q's in this question are definitely convergent.

Shows no effort to recreate it or narrow down to a specific part of the photo.

Disagreed. The questioner is asking about the contrast, and not blowing out or crushing lights and darks. If the poster were to ask "what filter was used to create this effect?", I'd agree with you. But I feel the poster tried to narrow down what they see as distinctive about this photo as best they could, with their understanding of photographic terminology.

What answers do you expect?

Based on previous questions about recreating the tone or style of existing photos, I expect one or two really good answers that teach me something. The following questions (except the last) are pretty good examples:

  • How are "Little Planet" photos created?

    This question is very good, but let's be fair: the effect in question is very simple to describe and is extremely distinctive, so the question doesn't require lots of explanation or specificity to justify its own merits.

  • How do I create a "day-night" scene in a photo?

    This is probably a better question than the one you refer to (at least in regards to the specificity of the type of effect they're trying to recreate).

  • Editing photos for this "milky" and "twinkly," vivid but nostalgic effect?

    This is a good question. Could be better, but definitely good enough to generate really good answers. Again, this example is probably better than the question you refer to in terms of its specificity, but IMO we're talking a matter of degree, not large differences.

  • How do I create this soft bright look?

    By comparison, I think the question you are referring to is better than this example, and I don't think this example should be closed.

  • How does one create this vintage look?

    This is a poor example, IMO. But, the question you're asking about is better than it. So by comparison...? (I know, this example does not make for a strong argument. I'm trying to show the spectrum of questions that are good enough to leave open here, and the spectrum of answers that are generated).


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