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08/14/2012 10:22:03 AM · #1
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;


I see a lot of emphasis sometimes put on titles. Are they important to how you perceive a photo? Might they influence your vote? Do you agonize over choosing the "right" title, like you may agonize over the perfect color mix?

Maybe it depends on the type of photo. If it's pure eye candy, or a NG type photo, maybe titles don't matter. But on a more thought-provoking, brain itching photo, maybe the titles matter a little more?

Discuss.
08/14/2012 10:33:30 AM · #2
In challenges, the title often makes the connection to the challenge topic for the voters, so I think it is pretty important in those cases.

In cases like the current Simile challenge, the title seems to be a key ingredient to meeting the challenge.

I like to read the titles as I look at the pictures to see what the photographer was trying to achieve or communicate.

My titles don't always have a great impact, but I always try to give the photo a name that makes sense to me, and I usually enjoy the process of coming up with the right name.
08/14/2012 10:52:21 AM · #3
Personally, I think titles are completely unnecessary to good images, but they can help out an image in votes at DPC, to be sure.
08/14/2012 10:56:43 AM · #4
I think the title can make a difference. I personally feel better when I have thought of a good title for my photos which is not often the case as I tend to submit my photos very last minute so I am usually processing up to the last minute and the title must be thought of rather quickly. I am pretty sure I would not mark down a photo for a title. I think if the title fits I hardly even notice it.

I have had some entries where there have been quite a few comments on the title such as the following (though in this case I cannot take credit for the title)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1523/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1001686.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1523/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1001686.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/14/2012 11:00:53 AM · #5
Descriptive titles encourage me to think unflattering thoughts about the photographer. Sometimes the title motivates me to subtract points from my vote. "You Lookin' at ME?" is possibly the most over-used title, evar. But then sometimes the title provides a nice flash of insight, enriching my photo-viewing experience, causing me to add points to my vote. And I enjoy the mental exercise of finding a title for my own shots.

[eta] A quick look at my portfolio & I discovered I often name a flower shot with the name of the flower. Maybe when I'm inspired with a better title, my flower shots will be better? Interesting thought. Thanks.

Message edited by author 2012-08-14 11:12:20.
08/14/2012 11:06:55 AM · #6
I would say I spend more time thinking about the title than I do processing, sometimes I regret my choice but I do think the process helps me understand my photography somehow.
08/14/2012 11:14:41 AM · #7
I would like the option to hide the titles when I vote. Since this is a photography website I would prefer to base my vote on the image alone. If your photo doesn't meet the challenge without a title explaining why, then it isn't a very good photo for the challenge. (my personal opinion)

I doubt it'll ever happen, especially for how many challenges mention the title these days. In the future I am going to try zooming my browser so that the title is not visible.
08/14/2012 11:14:47 AM · #8
Titles can be important. That is not to say you cannot have a good photograph without a good title, but for some photographs pairing the image with the right title can definitely enhance the experience for me as the viewer. I suspect it affects my vote more than I realize.

A title can help add context to an image. It can help me make a better connection between the image and the message that the photographer intends. I try to come up with a good title for my images, but for me this can sometimes be as challenging as taking a good photograph. Like my photography, my titling skills are hit and miss.
08/14/2012 11:22:41 AM · #9
I always read the title. I think they should be there. When you walk into any museum, art exhibit, or even a good studio, there's always the title placard nearby.

Extreme example, but here's a case that without the title I would have given his image a 1. With the title I gave it an extremely rare 10 vote from me.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1592/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1022249.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1592/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1022249.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2012-08-14 11:23:09.
08/14/2012 11:33:19 AM · #10
I'm going to assume you mean whether titles are important at DPC. Mostly, I think it depends on the challenge. As has been pointed out, sometimes the challenge requires that you use the title (as in the current simile, the recent high key blur, etc.). I am also a writer so for ME, titles are very important, and I do think they can make an image (though not save a "bad" image), although rarely can one "break" it. Titles that put a twist on what we are viewing are especially enjoyable, like the punchline of a joke. The image Vesner posted is an example (although in this particular case, you'd have to know the joke :-)
08/14/2012 11:39:30 AM · #11
Originally posted by tanguera:

The image Vesner posted is an example (although in this particular case, you'd have to know the joke :-)

In the case I presented, I had no clue what a fakawe bird was, so I did a search online. When I found out it was one of the rarest birds to spot, the image made sense. I personally found it funny. The humour along with the learning experience meant I had to give it the highest vote because I won't be forgetting that photo for a very long time.

I will never lower score based on the title, but can and have given huge bonuses for clever titles.
08/14/2012 01:37:00 PM · #12
Originally posted by jadin:

I would like the option to hide the titles when I vote.

We moved the titles to the bottom so you don't have to read them -- originally they appeared above the photo ...
Originally posted by pixelpig:

... I discovered I often name a flower shot with the name of the flower. Maybe when I'm inspired with a better title, my flower shots will be better? Interesting thought. Thanks.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1063/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_805734.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1063/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_805734.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_732498.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_732498.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I often try to take an unusual approach to the challenge -- sometimes the title is necessary for people without the same (somewhat obscure) knowledge to know what's going on, like in this one (check some of the comments):
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/676/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_506222.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/676/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_506222.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Of course, it's always best to keep your titles short and to the point ... ;-) ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/29/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_4528.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/29/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_4528.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/14/2012 02:07:32 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by jadin:

I would like the option to hide the titles when I vote.

We moved the titles to the bottom so you don't have to read them -- originally they appeared above the photo ...


On my monitor they are still in the middle of the screen. I usually can't help but read them after I've viewed the photo, especially if I think "how on earth does that meet the challenge?".

I'm going to try the zoom thing, hopefully it won't pixelate or ruin the sharpness. If it does I'll just have to grin and bear the titles.
08/14/2012 02:56:00 PM · #14
they're of huge importance! besides being a mammal's first source of nutrition/sustenance, they're fun to look at!

oh wait....
08/14/2012 03:27:33 PM · #15
The title can make or break the photo. The title can be used to set the mood for the viewer and that is a critical feature for any form of art. For most of my past entries on DP the title is an essential part of the image.
08/14/2012 03:51:37 PM · #16
Hmmm... made me think.

Firstly, when voting:
1- I always look at the title as well, but
2- the more "finished" the image, the less important the title for me. So I expect very little from the title of an image of the San Francisco bridge in full daylight with no fog. When it is a clever title, I definitely add points. When it is a storytelling {or like Don says, an unfinished} image, I need the title to be a building block in the communication process, so I expect more from it.

Secondly, when naming my own I'm trying everything, like:
1- Too long:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1594/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1022979.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1594/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1022979.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ..suddenly the 8 hours of silence made him guess that morning's lion's kill was very close-by
2- Quite clever:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1368/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_944406.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1368/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_944406.jpg', '/') + 1) . 'ISBN
3- Necessary for the challenge:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1312/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924967.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1312/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924967.jpg', '/') + 1) . 'Out the blue life's energy; Out the blue you came to me
4- Critical for understanding: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1347/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_937180.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1347/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_937180.jpg', '/') + 1) . 'Rat race
5- And my favourite, funny:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1371/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948985.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1371/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948985.jpg', '/') + 1) . '... and then Melvin, you start to flap your ears like this....

I regard it as a very important part of the image, it influences the composition, presentation and is central to the storyline.
08/14/2012 04:36:50 PM · #17
I'm never very good at titles, which I guess is why they bother me.

Venser, you're right, museums and galleries do tend to have titles displayed. However aren't they maybe 5%-10% of the size of the art? Titles should be incidental to the image, no?

There is definitely a science behind titles. This is an interesting read, focused on titling paintings, but could be easily applied to photos: //www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/painting-title.asp

I do like the reference to 5 kinds of titles in this article: Sentimental, Numerical, Factual, Abstract and Mysterious. That may help me in my future titling endeavors.
08/14/2012 05:13:30 PM · #18
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

I'm never very good at titles, which I guess is why they bother me.

Venser, you're right, museums and galleries do tend to have titles displayed. However aren't they maybe 5%-10% of the size of the art? Titles should be incidental to the image, no?

There is definitely a science behind titles. This is an interesting read, focused on titling paintings, but could be easily applied to photos: //www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/painting-title.asp

I do like the reference to 5 kinds of titles in this article: Sentimental, Numerical, Factual, Abstract and Mysterious. That may help me in my future titling endeavors.


Very interesting read!

I particularly liked this response to the article...

Originally posted by Jace Mattson:


At a gallery opening of my work a while back I was asked why I titled certain works the way I had. When I had finished explaining to the potential buyer about the title of my piece Wavy Gravy, I was then asked why some artists don't title their works at all. The buyer indicated that she was tired of seeing "untitled" on the wall as it wasn't very informative and didn't give her much of a feeling about the thought process of the artist, especially if the work is abstract. She said that a starting point would be nice and that a title can often give that to the viewer. After chatting for a while (and making a sale), we agreed that in our opinion artists who don't title their work appear to be going through the motions of making art and that perhaps their work has stopped speaking to them. Maybe they need a break to allow the work to have something more to say than "untitled."

08/14/2012 05:49:31 PM · #19
I enjoy titles, most of the time. Like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jagar, I often spend more time on the title compared to post-processing.
08/14/2012 06:41:29 PM · #20
I think I am actually better at titling my shots than the photography part.
08/14/2012 06:56:20 PM · #21
Originally posted by chazoe:

I think I am actually better at titling my shots than the photography part.

Me too maybe we should form a club ... or a consultancy ... ;-)
08/14/2012 08:39:37 PM · #22
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

Venser, you're right, museums and galleries do tend to have titles displayed. However aren't they maybe 5%-10% of the size of the art? Titles should be incidental to the image, no?

Nah, they're the most important part.
At the Reina Sofia museum in Spain, my wife and I came across this exhibit.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/140000-144999/144365/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1029808.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/140000-144999/144365/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1029808.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Couldn't figure out what I'm looking at. The we peered down at the little plaquette and it all made sense. This exhibit went from something I would shit on to something ..... actually it stayed there after reading the title.
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