27

Arrrgh. How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white? is short and has some degree of subjectivity, but it's worded well¹, is on-topic, and is perfectly answerable. Yet, it was immediately rewarded with a downvote (two now!). Please, please, let's encourage more questions about actual photography and not kick them away.

As a community, do we really prefer silly questions like Can I show two sides of a card in one photo? (which has 33 upvotes and 23 answers²!) to fundamental ones about the actual art of photography?


  1. It asks for factors in the artistic decision, not just for a flat rule.
  2. Including one which says to "create a pocket universe!"³.
  3. It's not that I hate fun. It's fine to have some ridiculous questions and answers of marginal topicality, as long as we also put that amount of energy into the questions the site is for.
9

Agreed. This is not an opinion-based question, this is a question about the creative process. Which is subjective, but just as photography itself.

Gear-related questions are boring, common all over the internet, and not that related to actual photography.

-1

I again didn't up or down vote it. If anything I would say it's too broad and opinion based, yes you could get some very nice answers but I think it may be hard to get a definitive one.

The problem is it's down to the OP to make that decision.

How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white?

There is no definitive 'shots like these must be colour. These must be monochrome' and in my opinion that's how this question reads. What if a photographer only shoots colour or monochrome? What are that photographers particular styles? If you suddenly have one image the opposite it's going to look out of place. If someone told me 'oh that image HAS to be colour/b+w because X, Y and Z' i'll probably give them some stern words maybe involving the placing of a monopod.

I'm not saying the OP is as they're actually asking for rationale behind it but I often see inexperienced photographers convert every image to black and white, ask which one's better and pass it off as editing without much of a thought about the why it's better.

If I was forced to vote, i'd probably downvote. But this is my opinion and that's purely on how I think the question reads.

  • 3
    So, you say: I often see inexperienced photographers convert every image to black and white, ask which one's better and pass it off as editing without much of a thought about the why it's better. This tells me you could answer the question — what does an experienced photographer learn that makes them able to think about what's better here? – mattdm Apr 13 '17 at 11:54
  • @mattdm I almost did answer the question BUT it would have been the same as the other answer (incidentallyI voted up). Also from experience the ones converting everything to black and white never learn anything or question the why. (I think it's because many feel 'black and white is more artistic) – Crazy Dino Apr 13 '17 at 12:02
  • @mattdm although I may have a punt now saying that... – Crazy Dino Apr 13 '17 at 12:03
-5

I didn't see that question originally, and I didn't vote it up or down. It currently has +2 and -2 votes for a total of 0.

However, this is not a great question:

  1. The first sentence ("By portrait I mean the face and neck area of a person.") makes no sense by itself. Apparently it is referring to the title. That's obnoxious since it's annoying to read, and lazy of the OP. Really!? The OP couldn't be bothered to spend the extra ½ second and write a proper sentence? This kind of sloppiness and disrespect of the volunteers here is worthy of downvotes.

  2. The question itself if very subjective. It really should be closed as being too opinion based. It's basically all about opinion with no measurable right or wrong answer.

  • 2
    Please explain what is the better way to describe the portrait. I wrote face and neck because a full body photo is also considered a portrait. I was not being lazy. Please inform me about the better way to write it. I haven't down voted this. – Aquarius_Girl Apr 12 '17 at 16:52
  • 5
    I believe Olin just didn't like that you didn't restate your title in the body. This is kind of silly as the title always shows up and it isn't at all lazy to expect someone actually read the title of a question. It is pretty lazy to think it is too hard to put two and two together that the description of the question would be an elaboration of the title. – AJ Henderson Apr 12 '17 at 19:57
  • 10
    Not all answers need to be "measurable". That's not how this works. This is not camera-engineering.stackexchange.com – mattdm Apr 12 '17 at 20:18

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