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Photo Messages & Importance of Captions

We take pictures for 2 main reasons! 1. They are evidence of memories and represent our own unique emotions .... whether good, bad, or indifferent, but primarily to evoke feelings of joy, sorrow, indifference, curiosity or amazement. 2. They represent our own creativity, adventures and desires. One of the most important things to me is to know what a particular photo represents from the perspective of the person who took the picture. If it is being shared, how can you fully communicate its significance without a caption of some sort? Don't get me wrong. All photos don't need a caption especially when the subject matter seldom changes. But consider if it doesn't change why shoot the same subject matter over and over unless there's something different about this time versus the last time? Don't go running off thinking I'm complaining because very few photos submitted on the Forum have a real caption. But consider the contradictions that result from failure to include a caption to guide the thoughts of the viewer in interpreting what is being seen.

If you show me a photo of a guy shooting someone should I interpret it as an aggressive or defensive action? That's extreme I admit but it applies in so many ways. Can the viewer appreciate fully the work of art without some idea of the struggles involved or providing some location or history? What was the photographer trying to achieve and what limitations existed preventing accomplishing the job? All the above thoughts have come to the forefront of obtaining and showing photos of late because I started taking a basic photography course late at night on-line just to see what I may be overlooking. Then this morning I received one of those seemingly endless social media emails with photos that go around the circuit every few years but for reason of the course I'm taking I looked at it differently. It plainly shows one word is all you may need to caption your photos with meaning. No I don't want to see 50 captions of the word "BIRD". A caption has to have purpose and basically evoke some type of emotion. So I have uploaded here some resent examples sent to me that will better illustrate what I'm pushing and I believe most of you will agree the captions are beneficial. I noted some of them I wouldn't have used their caption. A few seemed common and not worthy of being shown had there been no caption. For the last one especially, I learned something about the photographer as well. Where he saw WHIMSY I saw an IDIOT!

ACCOMPLISHMENT

ADVENTURE

ASPIRATIONS

AWE

BEAUTY

CARING

COMPANIONSHIP

CONFUSION

CONTEMPLATION

CONTENTMENT

CURIOSITY

DETERMININATION

EXCITEMENT

FRIENDSHIP

FRUITFUL

HEROISM

HONOR

HOPE

LONELINESS

LOVE

PERSERVERENCE

RELATING

SCARY

SECURITY

STEADFAST

TENACITY

TRADITION

WHIMSY

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