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Photography DiscussionTo Title, Or Not To Tile? That Is The Question.

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Charles Haacker
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Re: To Title, Or Not To Title? That Is The Question.

Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:32 pm

I am in the "it depends" camp. If I am in a museum or gallery I always look for the card, and it can be annoying if it says "untitled." But I also think of Marcel Duchamp's 1912 painting Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. I love much abstract art so if it didn't have a title I would still love the painting, but it isn't an abstract, and we know this because it does have a title so (I believe) we see it in a different light (it was inspired by Eadweard Muybridge's motion studies made with multiple cameras).

I often skip titling pictures that I think are self explanatory, but when I shoot something that interests me I will usually not only give it a descriptive title but also a sometimes overwordy explication. On pM my usual approach is to title so as to tell the potential viewer the who what why of the picture since there is no thumbnail (which I would frankly prefer). Graham nails it: photojournalistic pictures really must have either a descriptive title or a caption explaining what's going on here, and Duck points out that legitimate newspictures can be turned into "fake news" by simply misidentifying them.

I completely agree with Duck that a set of proofs from a job must carry a title if nothing more than a number.
It depends... (?)
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St3v3M
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Post by St3v3M » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:44 am

Charles Haacker wrote:...
I completely agree with Duck that a set of proofs from a job must carry a title if nothing more than a number.
It depends... (?)

What amazes me most about these seemingly simple questions is how diverse the opinions are. What a wonderful way to learn! S-
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davechinn
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Post by davechinn » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:44 pm

St3v3M wrote:Prompted by a question from one of our members I thought we could talk about the 'need' to add a title to a work of art.

As I understand it there are two camps in this lengthy war, the first claims a work of art should be able to stand on its own, without title, backstory, or any word whatsoever from the artist, while the second says a title is necessary to claim a sense of identity for the work and to help define the story for the viewer. The specifics may be a little off as I'm making this up as I go, but the general principle is Title or No Title, and the question then is which do you believe and why?

Let the discussion begin! S-


I title most everything I post, if not all. My reasoning is it gives me a sense of direction when searching for a particular image. My titles are sometimes based on my mood at the time of processing and when captured. How I am personally feeling about the image and the story that I THINK it's telling, and in hopes that others may be encouraged by the image and title I have chosen, and to walk away with a similar feeling when viewing. Maybe I'm off the wall here, but, for me, a title helps to express an emotion within the image that I can't describe and in hopes that it would also show in the image itself for more impact other than untitled, letters and numbers. That just doesn't work for me.
Dave

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Post by St3v3M » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:08 am

davechinn wrote:I title most everything I post, if not all. ...

I'm in the same camp! S-
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