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pracas 04-24-2005 07:33 PM

Posts without notes????
I'm wondering if photographs without notes make good looks like that the photographer looked at the subject just as an element of composition and nothing much...Should we encourage such photographs?... I see a lot of beautiful photographs of a variety of intersting people without any notes...makes me feel that the photographer just used the subject rather than try and portray the subject....your opinions please
:-) pracas

khmelins 04-24-2005 09:01 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
"Sometimes an image is worth 1000 words"

it is the case sometimes, no note needed imo..
all depends on what the photographer wants to show or make you feel. in many cases the date and location are more than enough.


joseelias 04-26-2005 07:09 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
Well, in my opinion, no photo worth a thousand words… With a clever POV you may turn a photo of a dead bank robber (who has just killed 10 people), in a martyr like image…

Without entering in controversies, just imagine a photo from Palestine, and how the lack of a note explaining the situation may create confusion and difficulty in interpreting a certain situation. This may be an extreme example due to the radical POV’s over the happenings there, but shows well how needed a note may be.

So, without a proper note, “confusion” may be installed regarding what is the photographer objective in showing that photo as well the context it’s happening.

Also, a simple photo of dolphins jumping out of water may be worthless without a note. It’s an image most of us have already seen a thousand times, but what do most of us know about dolphins really?

More, considering TE objective I think that a note is something of the maximum importance. Much more important than in the usual photo-sites.

sohrab 04-26-2005 08:34 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
hi jose
read the 4 word caption <a href="">here</a> and let me know how many words you think this photograph is worth
take care :)

khmelins 04-26-2005 08:51 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
a good example, sohrab, i think it is not necessary to go so far.

some examples here on TE, in a different direction:
- <a href=>this one</a> by inessa
- <a href=>another one</a> by the same person
- the "Black cat", by Simon (flydragon), not available anymore but maybe you remember it (it is on his website, check it out in the thailand gallery
- much of the work by Olli, like <a href=>this one here</a>

would a note help in these examples? do these pictures have a place on TE?

sohrab 04-26-2005 09:19 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
see at the moment.. i'm not going into the discussion on whether such photographs have a place on TE or not, since this leans a little too much on the subjective side.. ( am not really thinking about this right now, so i may change my mind later)

but i think it also depends on the perception of the viewer.

now there are some very powerful journalistic shots like the one that i gave in the link.. also see the others in the gallery in my link.
since it's journalistic, they HAVE to be accompanied by a caption atleast which is like a title in a way.. 4 words is not really note.
to me 1000 words is nothing.. the photograph is worth much more.

there are quite a few (in absolute terms and not in relative terms) that are worth much more than 1000 words,
but because they're journalistic, at least a caption/title is needed to give the viewer some direction..
now because there are 4 words attached to it, doesn't mean that the image CANNOT be worth 1000 words or whatever.. you have to see how much the photograph speaks to you after you're put in the right direction..

now there are art photographs... which CAN speak a lot , much more than 1000 words even without a caption or a note. even this depends on the perception of viewer and whether he/she is willing to have a conversation with the photograph
now normally a conversation with a photograph/another person :) is 2 way, even with a person, if you don't make atleast some effort to listen, that person can be rendered not worth any words.

so if you can just let your imagination soar, 1000 words might seema little too less

just to give you an example..
he could see a bicycle in the water while the man ran over it. ( keeping it short , don't remember the exact stuff)
but it was a fantastic bit of perception. he saw something that i didn't. the photograph spoke to him, maybe he was listening..
earlier, i had always gone through this particular photograph in a hurry.

so i WILL NOT say that "photograph is worth a 1000 words"

but rather "a photograph can be worth 1000/more words"

sohrab 04-26-2005 09:22 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
ooops by mistake i deleted some stuff

what i was talking about above was what luko once wrote about <a href=" TYRYD1D518O&Pass=&Total=125&Pic=26&SubE=2S5RYDI9CN RQ">this</a> particular photograph by bresson

khmelins 04-26-2005 09:39 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
got a bit lost with that deleted part but here is what I tried to say in my first answer directly to pracas:
- started the answer with a cliché (the 1000 words stuff..), it simply means that a picture is just another way of expression, you can complement it with text or not, but it can and will stand by itself
- and than I think I basically said what you just wrote:
some pictures (you called it art photography) may need no note at all;
some pictures need a date and place (the ones you called journalistic)

certainly extremes may need a note, as said by jose.
at the end, it all depends on what you what people to see/feel/learn/..


joseelias 04-26-2005 11:21 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
“Look to that photo of a dying nigger. They don’t have food but are always ready to make another dozen of children!”

Sohrab, how many words do you think that people who think like this image worth? Precisely 4, not more than that! You can’t imagine how many times I’ve heard statements like this, regarding images like that! Sorry to blunt but this is the reality!

To me, you and many others, images like this says almost all, because we have sensitivity and knowledge to understand what’s happening. To understand the human and cultural tragedy behind situations like those. But to many, they need a 1.000.000 words and in some cases they are not enough.

Do you really think that if that image was so clear to everyone, that people would permit that those situations would continue to happen? That image is from 1993. How many children have died since then in the same situation? How many images like that have been showed in the tv, newspapers and magazines? People even show disagreement in showing those images in the news at dinnertime, because they are not suited for that occasion!!!

So, to some people, in some situations, an image may worth a 1000 words. But considering the general, I personally continue to think that no image worth a 1.000 words, being those written or spoken. There’s always much to say about a photo. And this one is no exception.

sohrab 04-26-2005 11:53 PM

Re: Posts without notes????
hi jose

i wrote in the end
that "an image CAN be worth 1000 words"
not IS

also... normally i've assumed that when we talk about an image being worth 1000 words they talk about the impact of the image being worth 1000 words and not literally..

for example.. james nachtwey's photographs of the rwanda genocide CAN have the same or even greater impact (emotional) as a book written on it (obviously depending on its quality)

"Do you really think that if that image was so clear to everyone, that people would permit that those situations would continue to happen? That image is from 1993. How many children have died since then in the same situation? How many images like that have been showed in the tv, newspapers and magazines? People even show disagreement in showing those images in the news at dinnertime, because they are not suited for that occasion!!!"

it's a pity that you feel this way. most people feel the same way.
why not also have a look at how many children have been saved since then.

it's always easy to look at what something hasn't been able to do , but seeing what something has been able to do is what most people are missing out on..

now just giving some small examples... of what all has been done.. by some photographs

all this is very trivial compared to what all has been done.. but makes a world of a difference to people who are affected

i will leave out the famous "sharbat gula"(afghan girl) photograph since most people already know about it. she herself had no idea how much of an impact her photograph had on other afghans

<a href="">this</a> particular photograph appeared in one of the national geographics in the 80s i think ( don't remember the exact issue). mccurry was covering the monssons in india.. there was a flood in this place and this man was trying to save his livelihood. ok as an indian.. i don't really need the words for this one.. i know what's happening. it's quite obvious to me.

but the manager of this particulr sewing machine company got to have a look at this photograph in NG just by chance and he was so struck that he found this old man and gave him a new sewing machine. very trivial in comparison to all the other things that are happening.. but a big thing for the old man

have a look at <a href="">this</a> photograph and also read what's written below..

these are just 2 of the many photographs that made me realise the power of photographs..
they're quite priceless to me..

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