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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Photograph versus title
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07/31/2002 12:37:01 AM · #26
Originally posted by hokie:
This is art guys..lighten up. Even in chemistry tests they gave you partial credit :-)

Thanks for the words of wisdom... Your right... I'm scraping the 'give them a 1 and move on' idea... I still think it's legit to give the score a knock though.

07/31/2002 01:13:35 AM · #27
Originally posted by karmat:
"My Cat Bingo Who Tries to Take Over the World Everynight In Hostile Takeovers." There is a difference. A title that quickly sums up the picture or directs attention to one aspect is okay to me. A title that explains what I should see, though it's not really there, is not okay.

Agree. I LIKE your title here :)

Perhaps you could submit a picture of your cat week after week and create a title to fit the challenge. Sort of a multi-purpose cat.



07/31/2002 04:05:49 AM · #28
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I have NEVER gotten a comment on a clever title, but I have seen tons of comments on titles saving a photo...

I think that the title should be 'clever' and not an explanation of the image. The title can contribute to the image easily without explaining it... :)


Gee, I got a comment on my title this week.

I'm interested in seeing a maybe three-category table:
Clever -- Neutral -- Explanatory

with all the titles neatly sorted out. And maybe some kind of distribution graph if everyone sorted them.

I'm all for titles, and think folks should use the best one they can so long as they are allowed. I'd participate in a special "untitled" challenge, but wouldn't like it all the time. If 1 picture = 1000 words, then no title constitutes as much as 1% of someone's entry...

And I've noticed that sometimes when I see a title it reminds me of what the picture looks like, which saves a lot of download time and column inches here in the forums...
07/31/2002 04:59:02 AM · #29
The reason most photographs have captions is so that the user of the photograph can narrow down what they intend you to see and not leave it 'stranded in the approximate'. It's your big chance to push the meaning in a certain direction, though ultimately you have no control. The content of photographs is never self-evident and a title-less challenge would be impossible to score.
Many entrants this week were hell-bent on illustrating well-known phrases rather than ideas and this may have given titles a bad name (so to speak).
07/31/2002 05:22:15 AM · #30
Originally posted by grahamgorman:
...The content of photographs is never self-evident and a title-less challenge would be impossible to score.

Someone pointed out weeks ago that unless we have another "Free Study" combined with a "no titles" restriction, the title of EVERY photo would be, for example, "Corporate World."

Many entrants this week were hell-bent on illustrating well-known phrases rather than ideas and this may have given titles a bad name (so to speak).


I think I usually try to do both; hope I didn't ruin it for everyone...
07/31/2002 06:56:49 AM · #31
All I know is that my 'stretch' is closer than a lot of others and I am am getting is comments saying it does not fit the challenge. Think I just got Patella's *wink* with a comment that he gave me a 1.

Ah, well.
07/31/2002 06:57:38 AM · #32
I have a method I think is apt to this discussion; I don't look at the title unless I need to because I don't understand what the picture is trying to convey. I have also criticised a title because I didn't like it, but I don't allow a title to influence the score. Incidentally, I scored the picture 10 because it was a really good picture. I look at all the pictures and always score on those that leap out immediately first. I work down, trying to deal with as many as I can. I only have a very limited time to spend on voting, so I like to try and make sure I get those I really like first. I have yet to vote on all pictures because I would rather make no assessment than a bad or offensive one. Scoring 1 without lengthy reasons to the photographer is not an option as far as I am concerned. If I can't – and that is oft the case – give a fair and accurate reasoning as to why I think a picture is that bad I don't vote. I think no vote is better than scoring 1 without having a really good reason to do so. I really wish I had more time, but I don't. I happen also to think that any picture – however bad our perception of that image – deserves credible effort on the part of the judge. I personally don't feel I am qualified to put 1 against any picture – I have in the past, but not by design, and certainly not any more…
07/31/2002 07:33:09 AM · #33
I used my title to try and save my photo. (even though the photo isn't all that bad in my opinion)

There...I said it.

confession really IS good for the soul.

:)

K
07/31/2002 08:07:27 AM · #34
In a lot of ways, I find this a really strange discussion.

Supposedly one of the major things that sets humans apart from other critters is our use of language. Through language we can quantify and qualify the abstract.

Here we have an abstract challenge: the Corporate World. It's not something specific like 'Cats' or 'Phones' or 'Flowers'. It's actually a concept, and one that, without language, the site admins could not even communicate to us.

There is something in art called 'Interpretation.' Who are we to judge how valid someone's interpretation is of an abstraction. If the challenge was 'Love' and someone posted a picture of someone tied up in a burlap sack, that might not seem like the way we express love, but who are we say that their photo is "not valid?"

Someone might illustrate the corporate world using a picture of a guy in a suit and tie, but another person might, to illustrate the greed, take a picture of a pig slopping. ANother might shoot a bull ready to charge to illustrate the 'bull market.' "Oh but these pictures belongs in the Farm challenge..." No. BS. It's a METAPHOR.

And that's what this discussion is really all about. It's a debate about our license to use metaphor.

That said, there are well done metaphors and there are sorry metaphors. Ask any writing teacher. If I took a picture of a banana and called it 'Peeling the COrporate WOrld', I think that would be a really lame metaphor. But if I took a picture of a homeless person and called it 'Corporate Casualty', that's a lot better (imo).

METAPHORS are good. :)
07/31/2002 08:18:46 AM · #35
I think it's important to remember that each photo has TWO titles. This week for example every picture has the title "The Corporate World" as well as the title the individual artist gave it.

None of us approaches these pictures with NO idea of what it's about. The very nature of the challenge system gives us a baseline to start from when judging the suitability of the pictures.

I believe that a picture should stand on its own without a title. Especially when we have a challenge title to guide us. This is a photography challenge - not a literary one. I would be quite happy to see titles gone entirely. I don't have anything against titles per-se but if you ever find yourself thinking that you'd better put something in your title to explain why it fits the challenge then the title has become too important. The title should not *need* to be part of the submission.

I'm not a big fan of 'clever' titles either. I'd rather be entertained by the picture than the title. And if you're going to give a picture a title make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. It's a personal thing but that stuff bugs the heck out of me and really distracts from the picture. I'd never mark a picture down due to its title but I might choose to ignore a bad title.

That said - even photos that don't fit the challenge will get a fair assessment from me. I *will* knock a mark or two off for photos that didn't fit the challenge but usually only 1 or 2. Other than that I judge and comment on the photograph as constructively as I can. You can bet I'll comment that I didn't think it fit the challenge though.

And this week there were quite a few pictures that relied on the title.

John
12/04/2002 12:00:00 AM · #36
the thing is, based on this discussion, it seems that a title-less challenge would force everyone to have to take pictures of the most prosaic, literal, blatant interpretation of a challenge, because it's clear from the voting, the comments we get, and in some measure even this discussion, that people really don't want to (can't??) stretch to accomodate alternate interpretations.

whether we want to acknowledge it or not, humans are language based critters. we use language internally to describe concepts.

unless the subject is something really prosaic like: "birds", it's going to have some interpretation. Hmm, birds. that seems like a challenge my cat would like .. :- 0
07/31/2002 09:38:33 AM · #37
Metaphore- that's the word. thank you Mag. You've made the best point yet. aelith
07/31/2002 10:00:22 AM · #38
Originally posted by magnetic9999:
the thing is, based on this discussion, it seems that a title-less challenge would force everyone to have to take pictures of the most prosaic, literal, blatant interpretation of a challenge, because it's clear from the voting, the comments we get, and in some measure even this discussion, that people really don't want to (can't??) stretch to accomodate alternate interpretations.

Mag..I wish this weren't true but it can be very true.

I am not a teacher but I help my daughters high school booster club by donating my time a couple times a week to get their sports programs/magazines designed and out the door.

While we are sitting around doing mundane desk-top publishing stuff at our respective computers I strike up conversations with the kids. (If the parents of these kids only knew me like YOU guys know me ;-)

I've got an advantage because in their eyes I am "Mister Hudson" and so if I ask them to do something they are my slaves..muHahaHahhh!!! ermm...back to my point. :-/

By using my 'psuedo' authority I can ask them to reconsider rigid or comfortable points of view and they will. The GROUP environment demands that they SEEM open minded to their immediate peers. Thats why I hope we will always have live classrooms (versus computer monitors) because even young, college bound kids have very specific beliefs or preferences about things and need face to face interaction to allow them to explore.

But around here we are all on equal ground and people are safely tucked away in their homes of office cubicles which often encourages people to dig in deeper to their view than open up to alternate ones.

I just don't think that will change :-/

07/31/2002 10:01:28 AM · #39
I got slammed about a title one time, and just like every other comment, if I can change or adapt, I do it. None of my shots are titled anymore, more for myself than any other reason. If my photo can't carry itself then I'll get the comments and try harder. I'm finding I get more constructive comments now that I don't use the titles.
07/31/2002 10:17:37 AM · #40
Copied and pasted in its entirety from a thread I started at the beginning of the month:

OK, I'm seeing comments about titles and pictures again in relation to the current challenge.

I've already said I don't agree that a title should "save" a photo. I know different people will see this in different ways and so be it. To some, a given title isn't saving a shot while to others it is. In my eye, if you have to use the topic of the challenge (or a variation thereof) in your image's title in order to make the photo fit the challenge, you're saving. However, if the title creates a context for the photo to work in, I don't see that as saving at all.

I know my photo this week, without the context of the title, doesn't necessarily depict fear. Some aren't going to see what I wanted because they're trying to ignore the title.

Maybe this is a good way to look at it. Imagine a nude woman, half-heartedly attempting to cover herself, standing in a giant clamshell with some other beings looking on. The challenge topic is mythology. I know my mythology, but I wouldn't get it from the picture. Then I learn that Boticelli named it "The Birth of Venus" and I think, "Ohhhhh.... right."

American Gothic? The Scream? Starry Night? Ophelia? Disintegration of Memory? Don Quixote? Nighthawks? For me, each of these pieces of art lack something important without the inclusion of the title.
07/31/2002 10:25:40 AM · #41
Maybe we could somehow work into this system 'teacher' or 'guidance' roles.

I think a longer explication for the challenge topic would also go a long way ...

Originally posted by hokie:
[b][i]By using my 'psuedo' authority I can ask them to reconsider rigid or comfortable points of view and they will. The GROUP environment demands that they SEEM open minded to their immediate peers.

07/31/2002 10:31:42 AM · #42
Originally posted by magnetic9999:


I think a longer explication for the challenge topic would also go a long way ...


[/i]


I agree. But Hokie says D&L like to see us squirm. A.

07/31/2002 10:37:30 AM · #43
Originally posted by aelith:


I agree. But Hokie says D&L like to see us squirm. A.



I have never said more than 5 words to D&L. But because I have been here for about 4 or 5 months and have rarely ever seen Drew and Langdon get involved in any open forum discussion about subject matter..much to their credit....I assume they like leaving things as open to interpretation as they can.

As much as they can without the site falling into a total state of chaos :-)



* This message has been edited by the author on 7/31/2002 10:37:29 AM.
07/31/2002 10:43:43 AM · #44
Ok, I'll give you a specific to kick around.

Last week I submitted a photo of my redheaded child eating watermelon for texture. I felt the texture of the watermelon, the juice against his lips, his freckles dancing on smooth skin and his backlit eyelashes gave it plenty of texture. Some of you agreed, awarding me 45th place.

I titled it Summer Smile. Why? Because the picture of a Summer icon - eating watermelon - and my boy made ME smile.

Several of those commenting couldn't see the smile. Should I have been downgraded because they didn't understand the TITLE?

They weren't looking at the mama, smiling with pride at her photo which captured a relaxing, laughter-filled moment with her most beloved boy on his quick route to manhood. This photo will always make me smile and feel the warmth of the summer sun quenched by sticky juices as the two of us laugh and slurp.

I'll just assume that 10th place was within my grasp, but since ya'll couldn't see me, you voted me down for a bad title. :P

07/31/2002 10:45:55 AM · #45
I actually thought the watermelon was the smile. :-) And I thought it a great title....
07/31/2002 10:47:31 AM · #46
Hey crisa58;

I liked that photo. I think the reason I didn't give it a 9 or a 10 was that I wanted to see more of the watermelon texture. The quality of the photo was very high in my opinion, even looking like a stock photo ( a compliment in regards to technical merit) :-D <---Watermelon smile
07/31/2002 10:50:58 AM · #47
Thank you. I'll take the compliment with an extra big smile!

I liked it, too. And 45th place was fine with me! It's a move up and I feel it accurately reflected the competition I was up against.

I was just baffled that some people couldn't see the smile. From Patella's viewpoint or from mine!
07/31/2002 11:14:26 AM · #48
Crisa, I thought it was a great picture, and I interpreted the watermelon as the smile, too. :-)

The comments you got about not seeing the smile were made by the people who *like* the novella length titles that completely explain the photo to them. One thing I keep reminding myself of is that the voters include children and young people and non-photographers who may tend to see things very literally. Although sometimes the fellow "artists" don't cut you any slack either...lol.
07/31/2002 11:46:49 AM · #49
Originally posted by crisa58:
Last week I submitted a photo of my redheaded child eating watermelon for texture. I felt the texture of the watermelon, the juice against his lips, his freckles dancing on smooth skin and his backlit eyelashes gave it plenty of texture. Some of you agreed, awarding me 45th place.

I titled it Summer Smile. Why? Because the picture of a Summer icon - eating watermelon - and my boy made ME smile.


I loved the photo Summer Smile, but interpreted the title in a different way. Remember eating watermelon or oranges when you were a kid, and wedging the fruit in your mouth in a funny way to make it look like you were smiling? That was the memory that jumped into my mind when I saw Summer Smile. To me, one of the really great things about a creative title is that it CAN mean different things to different people. Just like good fiction.....each reader/viewer takes away something different -- but valuable.
07/31/2002 12:41:53 PM · #50
Originally posted by Patella:
...Imagine a nude woman, half-heartedly attempting to cover herself, standing in a giant clamshell with some other beings looking on. The challenge topic is mythology. I know my mythology, but I wouldn't get it from the picture. Then I learn that Boticelli named it "The Birth of Venus" and I think, "Ohhhhh.... right."

American Gothic? The Scream? Starry Night? Ophelia? Disintegration of Memory? Don Quixote? Nighthawks? For me, each of these pieces of art lack something important without the inclusion of the title.


Does this mean that my picture "White Sheep in a Snow Storm" might have a chance. :-)

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