I imagine a lot of the questions on photo.se are likely to be "how do I achieve this effect (with my camera settings/post-processing)?" questions. That's certainly something I'd like to do.

Such questions would typically include, or link to a visual example - typically someone else's work. Such a question is thus very difficult to summarize into a title without an accompanying image. Thus, I anticipate a bazillion questions entitled: "How do I achieve this effect?"

So, what is the best way to ask such a question? Assume that the person asking the question does not know the name of the effect, if it has one.

Is there scope for including a small thumbnail visible from the list of question titles for StackExchange sites primarily about visual arts and effects?

Are there licensing concerns given that the person posting the picture is very unlikely to have created it? Would including a thumbnail (in the summary) but including a link to the full picture in the question body constitute fair use? (Does this even apply in my country, the UK?)

(N.B. this doesn't even approach the topic of how you'd search for whether someone else has already asked the question...)

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1 Answer

I liked Sam's take on this -- namely post your attempt to recreate the effect with some text description of what it is, and what you're shooting for.

How do you shoot still motion portraits

Then others can provide details and explain what you're doing wrong (if anything) and how to do it better.

I think the ethos of "try it first" and "share your results so that we might improve them" is very important to enforce.

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+1 for posting your attempt when possible –  rfusca Jan 25 '11 at 19:53
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+1 for 'try it first and THEN come ask how it could be improved or made more like the picture that is being emulated.' This'll have two benefits... keep the 'do my homework for me' questions to a minimum, and encourage experimentation (which should always be encouraged in photography)! –  Jay Lance Photography Jan 25 '11 at 23:29
    
thanks for your answer. I totally agree with the suggested ethos. However all that does is change the title to "How can I make this picture I took look more like that picture?" - still meaningless if you are scanning the question titles - essentially it doesn't address the fundamental problem that many end results are difficult to describe textually. –  bacar Jan 27 '11 at 16:52
    
@bacar obviously a post with just an image and no text is unwanted. I am not sure I agree that describing an effect is so impossible, at any rate, I totally agree people should explain what they are trying to do in words along with the "here's my picture" –  Jeff Atwood Jan 27 '11 at 23:17
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