Exhibition Print Captions and Outline
Thought this might be a good place to collaborate various formats for Exhibition Print Captions and Outlines.
From some of your exhibition visits, which captions or outlines caught your attention most? Was it the way it was presented? Short and straight to the point, informative, emotive, told a story, etc...
Why is it important to have a caption - if at all?
Which photographic print exhibition captions did you enjoy the most and why?
Short, and sweet, it gets boring if there's too much text. But intersperse the sets of images with short informative blocks of text, many galleries like the type face to be a reasonable size for people with poorer eyesight.
Captions are sometimes extremely important, but not always, simple presentation works best.
Personally, when exhibiting in places like public libraries, restaurants, etc. I have always had a title card about A3 size saying "EXHIBITION XY by DAVID BEBBINGTON". In the case of libraries, a statement was always required, so this was another A3 card. Apart from this, I always place numbers (big enough to read from 4 meters away) by each picture and list the works in a catalogue. I absolutely never place captions on gallery walls - inevitably people will see these, move forward to read each caption before really looking at the picture in question, then move back for a second, often brief, look and move on. My way, they look at each picture for longer, if they really want to read a caption, they can do so from the catalog without moving. I always keep titles short and factual ("Kingsdown Beach #3", etc.). My general principle is always to keep the amount of text to a minimum and have none on the walls at all.
Originally Posted by Nicole
Thank you Ian and David.
David I do agree with your comments. I find I spend more time reading than viewing. I'd rather have them all on a wall and a comfy seat to sit and observe them comfortably for a while. Often when you step back and take a look at the "bigger picture" you discover more than what's within just the one image. I also prefer catalogues.
The text if present should compliment and not take away from the picture.
Like you said, you find yourself more time reading than looking and that has
to be investigated.
- No text. The photograph speaks for itself for good or bad.
- With Text. Text may support the photograph, guide the viewer, enhance the experience,
provide more information, manipulate emotions, take time from viewing the photo, distract,
force the viewer to take a literal, cerebral approach instead of pure instinctual and visual.
Text can either lead the viewer to where the photographer wants to, change his/her perceptions
completely, provide a bit more enjoyment, or totally confuse and take away from the photograph.
A mere single word, a title, a paragraph, or whole page has to be thought of. Every word changes
the relationship of the viewer with the artwork. Care has to be taken as the text not to be become
the artwork and steal all interest and meaning from the photograph as it is often the case.
Your photographs Nicole are instinctual and emotional, speaking of warm human nature.
The text has to be appropriate. In your case, I think a few words, a small story, a poem,
something human, gentle, warm, emotional and touching will enhance the pleasure of the
photographs. It has to be intimate and feeling provoking not cold and austere, like a diary,
thoughts and memories written down, feelings expressed with words that hold hands with
your photograph. No words would be ok, just a title would be too strict, more than a paragraph,
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
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