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  1. #1

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    Naming photographs

    Hi all,

    One simple question -- Is it necessary to name a title to all photographs one makes?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    g'day egg

    what do you think? it's your work

    does the image need a title/caption to explain it?

    does it need a title/place name to contextualise it?

    does it need an individual tag for referencing?

    would it be well served by "Untitled No. --?

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    No.

    Personally, I think it's useful to supply a name or initials of the subject for portraits or to provide the location for a landscape, just so the question of "where is that" or "who is that" or "what is that" doesn't become a distraction for the viewer.

    Emotive or sentimental titles are almost always a bad idea, in my opinion (unless maybe they are used in an ironic way). The image should convey the emotion, not the title.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    Lopaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Emotive or sentimental titles are almost always a bad idea, in my opinion (unless maybe they are used in an ironic way). The image should convey the emotion, not the title.
    I agree completely, although I have seen some well-regarded photographers use what I would consider gimicky titles.

    Bob
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  5. #5
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    David said it well (never an impediment, however, to my jumping in ).

    As a prominent example, I note that a lot of captioning nonsense surrounds nude studies. The photographers can't seem to just STFU and let the image do the talking.

    One result, the Just Got My 48 Megapixel Digicam approach, is the use of gimmicky or cutesy "mood" captions meant to tout the photographer's skill at evoking that state of mind in the shivering waif before the lens. Hence, "alluring" (="I can see her uterus"); "shy" (="you want me in WHAT position?"); "pensive" (="bored out of my skull").

    Another result, the I'm Way Smarter Than All of You method, is to go with one-word captions whose brevity is meant to hint at the photographer's immmeasurable wells of intellectual depth and philosophical consideration. In practice, however, the wells are often dry, and the captions become anatomical labels--"breast" being the favorite, as if it might be tough to divine the photographer's tool-calendar obsession otherwise.

    As for me, I hate captions because they force upon me an unaccustomed decisiveness. Recognizing their usefulness, however, I've made ineffectual stabs at the job. For portraits I often try a short description of the activity underway; for landscapes/scenics, the location and date; for industrial/abstracts/all others, some adjective that gives just enough context info to help the viewer make sense of the image without imposing an interpretation upon him/her.
    Michael Sebastian
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  6. #6

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    I simply call all the photographs I make 'Fred.'

    Who makes up these rules?

  7. #7
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    As shown in the gallery, mine range from the brutally descriptive of "A Tulip" to the whimsical "An Early Morning's Congregation" via the referential "A View From Richmond Hill"...

    In short, I do not take these things seriously...

    Cheers, Bob.

  8. #8
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F. View Post

    In short, I do not take these things seriously...

    Cheers, Bob.
    Now THERE's a sensible, and brief, answer!
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  9. #9
    jstraw's Avatar
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    I don't like titles. I generally use that field in the galleries for a terse descriotion or the time and place.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  10. #10

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    I sometimes wonder: If some of the great photographers in the past were still alive today, would they be as embarassed as I am by the truly wretched titles they gave to their otherwise wonderful photographs?

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