Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/01/23

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Photo Captions and Titles...
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 09:40:03 -0500

Newspapers and magazines use captions to supply information the photo fails
to supply - they tell us WHY the Palestinian kids are throwing rocks at the
Israeli soldiers on this particular day, they tell us WHO George Bush is
addressing as he stands before a mike in the middle of the Prairie. The
photos may well stand on their own as amazing photos without the captions,
but they do not serve the purposes of the editors in terms of delivering all
the necessary information. The photo of folks in a pub watching TV. is a
photo of folks in a pub watching TV. Period. Without the caption, it has
nothing to do with British soldiers being lynched. It may be a fabulous
photo of folks watching TV. in a pub, but it is obviously not a fabulous
photo of folks watching a soldier being lynched, as that information is not
conveyed by the image.

I would suggest that PAW photos should be stand on their own. The photo of
the crowd looking at the Mona Lisa did, to my way of thinking, do just
that - it was a well composed, thought out, shot of a group of people,
obviously in a museum, transfixed by what they were watching- presumably a
work of art. Leave it at that. Don't ask me to judge it as a photo of people
looking at the Mona Lisa, because unless we are producing newspaper art
here, it is not a photo of people looking at the Mona Lisa - at least it
fails as such because it does not convey the crucial bit of information that
people are looking at the Mona Lisa.

At least that's my take on this caption thing.:-)

B. D.

- -----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Tim
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Photo Captions and Titles...

I don't think the caption of an image has to be a literal statement of what
the image is at all - just as the photograph isn't a literal interpretation
what the photographer saw.

I like the title Mona Lisa and don't think there needs to be any visual
reference to the painting in the image.

In fact one of the most powerful images I have seen is by Paul Graham and
shows to faces of people in a pub, lit by the glow of a TV. The title is
British Soldiers lynched or something like that. The people in the pub in
Belfast are watching it live on TV.

Tim A

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Straus" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Photo Captions and Titles...

> on 1/22/02 3:44 PM, B. D. Colen at wrote:
> > Steve - Nice group of images....Week4 is a hoot. BUT - The photo does
> > have anything to do with the Mona Lisa. I know, that's what they were
> > looking at. You know that. They know that. No one who looks at the photo
> > knows that.
> >
> > Now to me, the photo stands on its own,speaks for itself, needs no
> > introduction. ;-) But if you wanted us to know that that was a photo of
> > people looking at Moana, you needed to either get a piece of Moana (cQ)
> > the photo, get a "This Way To La Mona Lisa" sign in the photo, or
> > similar.
> >
> > All of which leads me to make a suggestion - NO MORE PAW CAPTIONS. Let's
> > the photos stand on their own. Let everyone judge them for what they
> > not what the shooter thinks they show.
> I do think a photo should be titled IF you can think of something that
> relates well to the shot it also help ID the phot if your discussing it...
> don't mind not titling shots as well... Coin toss...
> --
> John
> Chicago, IL
> ====================
> --
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