Where was the photo taken?

Where is the photo taken?

Something happened in the past but is still true. Which one is correct? What is the difference?

  • 1
    The action of taking photo is already over. The action happened in the past. The result of the action, though, still survives. So logically it should be your first sentence. Jun 2, 2015 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


You can't ask, "Where is the photo taken?", because the action of taking the photo happened in the past. You could ask, "Where is the photo stored?", because if the photo still exists, it must be stored somewhere.

If you are asking about a past event, you should use the past tense. "Where was the photo taken?" The photo was taken in the past, the taking of the photo is now complete, so we use the past tense. Likewise, "Who took the photo?" "Why did the photographer use a low shutter speed?" Etc.

If you want to ask about something happening now, you generally use the present continuous. "Where is the photo being taken?" "Where is Bob going?" "Who is driving the car?"

Somewhat paradoxically, I guess, if you use the ordinary present in a question, it is generally understood to mean an ongoing action. "Who is driving the car?" means, who is driving it now? But "Who drives the car?" means, who drives it in general?

  • Where is the place that the event was held? Is it wrong?
    – Kam
    Jun 2, 2015 at 15:04
  • No, that's correct. Sorry, I see I brushed over the past tense in my answer. I've expanded it a little.
    – Jay
    Jun 2, 2015 at 15:19
  • So, I can use "where is the place the photo was taken?" "Where was photo taken?" They basically are the same question, But the first one involves a present tense (is) and the second one can't . why? What's the difference? I am kinda stucking at this question.
    – Kam
    Jun 2, 2015 at 15:56
  • In "Where is the place the photo was taken?", you are asking where the place is (present tense) where the photo was (past tense) taken. The photo was taken in the past, but presumably the place is still there, so the place can be in the present. Whether you ask where the place "is" or "was" doesn't matter much as normally we don't think of places as moving. It would be different if you asked something like, "Where is the car that was in the photo?" versus "Where was the car when the photo was taken?" In the first case we're asking where it is now. In the second case we're asking where it ...
    – Jay
    Jun 2, 2015 at 21:28
  • ... was at the time. In any case, it would be simpler to say, "Where was the photo taken?" than "Where is/was the place ...". Unless there is some reason why you need to get the word "place" in there.
    – Jay
    Jun 2, 2015 at 21:29

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