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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Desolation Photo Titles
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08/13/2003 11:17:28 AM · #1
I haven't completed my voting yet but I have noticed that so many people are depending on the titles of the photographs to convey the message of desolation. Unless the photograph itself conveys desolation, it doesn't work for me. It is very important that your photograph speaks for itself.
08/13/2003 11:28:17 AM · #2
Originally posted by joanns:

Unless the photograph itself conveys desolation, it doesn't work for me. It is very important that your photograph speaks for itself.

I feel that yours is a very narrow view - titles are there to convey context. By saying the above you are declaring that you know everything about everything!!!

Believe me I have known people here who can't see the obvious even if explicitly told...

Of Course you, like me, are free to hold and air your opinions
08/13/2003 11:43:35 AM · #3
Originally posted by tarique:


Of Course you, like me, are free to hold and air your opinions


Totally agree with you there. But being a challenge topic stickler, if the picture itself doesn't show me desolation, the title isn't going to push me much more in the direction.

It's a challenge to take a picture that fits the topic description, not a challenge to shoehorn a picture in to the challenge topic by using titles.

Sometimes I go back after the contest is over to read the description to find out more details, but on this one my interpretation is that the picture should raise an emotion when I look at it.
08/13/2003 11:48:38 AM · #4
I agree with both of you. Sometimes I look at a picture and can't quite grasp what they want me to see in it, but the title helps. Other times I think "whoa far stretch!"
08/13/2003 11:54:14 AM · #5
Maybe we can have an untitled challenge sometime.....or have we already done this?
08/13/2003 11:59:31 AM · #6
To me the title adds flavor, it's suppose to enhance the viewing of the photograph and not necessarily explain it. Most good titles are often pretentious, or at the least simplistic. Then you have titles like 'A house next to a lake in the morning sun', which is more of a sentence describing what the photograph is. It is those titles that most often dont seem to work. Less is more, and far better to enhance than explain.

Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!
08/13/2003 12:00:28 PM · #7
Originally posted by mahogne:

It's a challenge to take a picture that fits the topic description, not a challenge to shoehorn a picture in to the challenge topic by using titles.


Take a look at this //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=31651 (warning - mild nudity)

Tell me what you think of the title and then scroll down and see the comment from someone who says he is still not sure how this fits...
08/13/2003 12:04:14 PM · #8
Originally posted by tarique:



Take a look at this //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=31651 (warning - mild nudity)

Tell me what you think of the title and then scroll down and see the comment from someone who says he is still not sure how this fits...



I think just 'Angry Princess' would have worked.
08/13/2003 12:22:18 PM · #9
Originally posted by orussell:

Maybe we can have an untitled challenge sometime.....or have we already done this?


Just make sure it's not something like 'Trends' where a title can make all the difference to prevent misinterpretation through cultural barriers.
08/13/2003 12:22:54 PM · #10
Originally posted by tarique:

Take a look at this //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=31651 (warning - mild nudity)

Tell me what you think of the title and then scroll down and see the comment from someone who says he is still not sure how this fits...


I think the title was warrented and probably spared your entry a couple more punitive votes. Some people, whether they admit or not, need to be violently slapped in the face with the obvious. That, or stick to the simple, less creative stuff.
Jerry


08/13/2003 12:24:22 PM · #11
Some people might need a title like that, but those sorts of titles normally put me off a photo.

Message edited by author 2003-08-13 12:24:51.
08/13/2003 12:28:15 PM · #12
Originally posted by Konador:

... but those sorts of titles normally put me off a photo.


Ditto

I don't mind a title putting things in context if it can do so without becoming an essay or attempt at persuasion.
08/13/2003 12:34:31 PM · #13
Originally posted by Konador:

Some people might need a title like that, but those sorts of titles normally put me off a photo.

Yes - A title like what I gave puts me off as well, and would put off any person who can think for themself BUT ...

nuff said :)
08/13/2003 12:42:57 PM · #14
I believe an image should speak for itself. If the DPC masses don't get it then you have not conveyed your message well enough. If you want to take the high ground that you are too smart for the DPC masses then go ahead, at the end of the day only if you have an exceptional image will subtly be rewarded.
08/13/2003 12:58:46 PM · #15
Originally posted by Toddh:

I believe an image should speak for itself. If the DPC masses don't get it then you have not conveyed your message well enough. If you want to take the high ground that you are too smart for the DPC masses then go ahead, at the end of the day only if you have an exceptional image will subtly be rewarded.

Don't forget that the DPC masses are predominantly US members. A sweeping ruling like yours can proclude understanding of certain subjects, eg. Trends and In the Garden - see my entry which was largely misinterpreted as off-brief: //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=31115
Should I instead have titled it 'Clothes Pegs on A Washing Line In My Garden' or should I have submitted a picture of an insect on a leaf so that all and sundry could understand its relevance?

As a stand-alone work of art I agree with you, but this is a challenge site with many nationalities involved. A title is sometimes necessary to assist the projection of the theme.
08/13/2003 12:59:10 PM · #16
Titles can either add or subtract to your photo. When I view a photo and don't quite understand it, I look to the title for more info.
I'm not saying this is good or bad but sometimes it can open my eyes a little bit and give me some fresh ideas on what the photographer is trying to accomplish. People are encouraged to think outside the box, open their minds. If at that point, I still don't get it, I vote according. When in doubt, I will give them the benefit ot it.
Of course, this is me and only my opinion. As far as other folks vote, do what ya gotta do.

08/13/2003 01:15:24 PM · #17
Jon, point taken but I still don't think that blaming your title for a poor showing here is right. Most of your comments were positive. And I don't think that blaming the North Americans is right either. The bottom line is to the greater majority didn't think your image conveyed a feeling of a garden, your image was not strong enough for THAT challenge. Either way, if you take a different approach you have to live and die by what you produce.
Calling your shot 'Clothes Pegs on A Washing Line In My Garden' will maybe give you one or two extra votes perhaps, but it all comes down to the strength of the image in the end.
Look at past winners, obviously not too many of those relied on their title.
08/13/2003 01:17:59 PM · #18
I avoid reading titles ,they can be deceptive,but I did give many tens and nines here,good job everybody!
08/13/2003 01:20:12 PM · #19
Originally posted by tarique:


By saying the above you are declaring that you know everything about everything!!!


????

Anyway, I also think a title can point me to some subtlty that I would have not seen before. But, it has to be there. Hypothetically, if the challenge is "Cats" and I see a photo of a duck and the the title is "Wish I was a Cat" it doesn't meet the challenge for me and that's all I am saying.
08/13/2003 01:25:42 PM · #20
I think titles are important but should contribute to the art of your shot not be an explanation. There's one shot in the current challenge that used three of the definitions of "Desolation" in its title. It made me laugh because it was obvious what the person was trying to do, but it was too long to help the photo.

Title's like "My Aunt Freida's dog Spot next to a watering can" detract from the overall experience and will result in a slightly lower score than a simple effective title.
08/13/2003 01:39:46 PM · #21
The title of a photo in most cases has no effect. In some rare cases, it may help a little. In the cases where there is an attempt to "shoehorn" the picture into the challenge though, it usually backfires and probably costs the photographer more points than if they had entered the same picture untitled. I enjoy humorous, clever titles. They might give me a chuckle, but I don't give up more points because of it normally. I'm more apt to give a point here or there for a very well fit title to picture. One of my favorite titles - //dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=23027

I've been down the dumb title road too. Looking back, there are a couple I'd very much like to drop from my profile page. But live and learn. I want my titles to efficiently convey something about the image, not to make the image fit, or try to explain something. Shorter is usually better too. (I couldn't do much about the movie challenge though, I didn't name the movie).

For me, I've been docking photos an extra point for those photos that are trying to make it in to a challenge that they just aren't suited for, by using something in the title. I also dislike titles that include part of the challenge topic as part of the title. Its unnecessary IMO. We KNOW its a garden... If it is THAT important that you tell us its a garden, I'm apt to believe that its not fitting the challenge before I even see the photo.

Sharing a piece of my twisted little mind - Bob
08/13/2003 01:43:07 PM · #22
im hoping evryone voting here knows what desolation means?? im a little worried that some people around here have the wrong idea...
08/13/2003 01:46:26 PM · #23
I think most people think abandoned or wasteland. But it also includes lonliness, sadness, etc.
08/13/2003 01:49:37 PM · #24
I agree to varying degrees with pretty much all the points listed so far: Titles are usefull in clarifying what you're conveying, can help add context, humor or depth to your message, but you shouldn't really lean on the title simply for the purpose of trying to force the topic onto your photo.

So, back to the original point.... I agree that there are many titles in this challenge that lean too heavily on bluntly including either the word "desolation" or some part of the definition into the title. That's just way too blunt to be effective.

Jon, I do agree with you (and think I mentioned it elsewhere) that your garden shot probably suffered a little from the American vs. British interpretation of a garden. We may place more of a distinction between garden and yard - a yard is where you'd usually find a cloths line. But I don't know that the blunt alternate title you suggested here would have necessarily helped that - but who knows...
08/13/2003 01:50:04 PM · #25
I agree although I don't want to comment on specifics while voting is going on.

Originally posted by maxpower:

im hoping evryone voting here knows what desolation means?? im a little worried that some people around here have the wrong idea...

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