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Author Topic: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words  (Read 82717 times)

ripgriffith

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One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« on: June 08, 2015, 01:48:36 pm »

O so it was said by one Fred Barnard, an advertising man in the 1920s  If this is in fact true, why the demand for highly-detailed captions?
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Isaac

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 02:12:19 pm »

Is there a demand for highly-detailed captions?

"One picture may be worth a thousand words" when the picture has a caption, but not without a caption.

Someone also said -- "No photograph should need a caption, but every photograph must have one".
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Otto Phocus

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 02:16:26 pm »

I believe it was Napoleon who said that a sketch was worth a thousand words.

The reason for well written captions is that while a good photograph should be able to stand on its own to everyone, everyone has a different perception when looking at a photograph. So if it is important for the viewer to understand a specific viewpoint, or where one detail is the focus of the story, a well written caption can help ensure that the viewer is at least aware of the viewpoint.
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amolitor

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 02:26:59 pm »

Perhaps the 1000 words is a multiplier.

Zero words of caption: 0 x 1000 = 0
1 word of caption: 1 x 1000 = 1000
10 words of caption: 10 x 1000 = 10,000
etc.
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Johnny_Johnson

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 05:41:12 pm »

I've found, at least on LL, that my interest in an image usually varies inversely with the number of words written to introduce it.

Later,
Johnny
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stamper

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 03:44:16 am »

Nothing worse than seeing an image that has for a caption the edit - edit xxxx tag - or something similar - from LR or PS that the poster hasn't changed to something that is pleasing. It takes about 30 seconds to think of a proper caption and should be mandatory or not posted at all.

ripgriffith

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 05:03:24 am »

I've found, at least on LL, that my interest in an image usually varies inversely with the number of words written to introduce it.

Later,
Johnny
This is equally applicable to many posts here.
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stamper

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 05:33:13 am »

There are a lot of members here who could explain matters better with half the amount of words that they generally use.

Diego Pigozzo

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 06:05:37 am »

O so it was said by one Fred Barnard, an advertising man in the 1920s  If this is in fact true, why the demand for highly-detailed captions?

You should ask yourself if it is true for all kinds of images, not just for those explicitly designed to be understood from a potential buyer.
My answer to such question would be a simple "no, that' not true for all images".
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ripgriffith

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 09:20:00 am »

You should ask yourself if it is true for all kinds of images, not just for those explicitly designed to be understood from a potential buyer.
My answer to such question would be a simple "no, that' not true for all images".
Of course, nothing is true for all images.  But for a significant number of images I exhibit, most of which are not context related, the questions come hard and fast, "who is this, where is this, what is this?".  These questions may help understand the context of the image, but to my mind, contribute nothing to the understanding of the image itself.  Case in point, none of these questions contribute materially to understanding the attached image, only the context of the image.  To know that this woman was sitting at a bus stop in  Malta tells you nothing about the image, only about the person in the image.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 09:46:07 am »

Of course, nothing is true for all images.  But for a significant number of images I exhibit, most of which are not context related, the questions come hard and fast, "who is this, where is this, what is this?".  These questions may help understand the context of the image, but to my mind, contribute nothing to the understanding of the image itself.  Case in point, none of these questions contribute materially to understanding the attached image, only the context of the image.  To know that this woman was sitting at a bus stop in  Malta tells you nothing about the image, only about the person in the image.

Let's see if that's true: tell me something about that woman and show me how you extract the information from the photo.
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amolitor

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 09:58:14 am »

If everything there is in a picture could be coveted to words, why would you bother with the picture?
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ripgriffith

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 10:09:59 am »

Let's see if that's true: tell me something about that woman and show me how you extract the information from the photo.

You don't need to know anything about this woman, only about the image of this woman.  You're confusing content with context.  You may make some assumptions about the woman, i.e., she's probably from north or central Africa; because of her dress, she's probably Muslim, and if one is knowledgeable about such things (I'm certainly not), perhaps even know exactly where in Africa she is from, but none of this has to do with the photograph itself.  The photograph is about form, shading, color, perceived texture, balance and harmony of the related parts.  To famously quote Gary Winogrand, "Photos have no narrative content. They only describe light on surface"
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 10:13:57 am »

The photograph is about form, shading, color, perceived texture, balance and harmony of the related parts.  
To famously quote Gary Winogrand, "Photos have no narrative content. They only describe light on surface"

So you're saying that there is no such thing as a "portrait photo", a "landscape photo" and "an abstract photo"?



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ripgriffith

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 10:52:50 am »

So you're saying that there is no such thing as a "portrait photo", a "landscape photo" and "an abstract photo"?




These are words about a photograph, not the photograph itself. The image may contain within itself the information that it is a "portrait photo", or maybe not.  Is the image I posted a "portrait photo"?  Doesn't that phrase imply certain things about the relationship between photographer and subject?  Let me post another example: In both instances, neither subject was aware of my presence; in the first, I shot through a bus window; in the second, the young woman was over 100 meters away, shot with a 350mm lens.  Perhaps by "portrait photo", you only mean a picture of one person?  If so, then how would you differentiate between a formal studio portrait and the images I have posted?  Perhaps the term is a bit diffuse to be of any use.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2015, 11:01:40 am »

These are words about a photograph, not the photograph itself.
So you're making a distinction between the physical photograph and the photographic content.
But on this distinction, a photograph is not "about form, shading, color, perceived texture, balance and harmony of the related parts": it's just metallic silver atoms (or digital bits, or pigment on a paper).
In the same way, spoken language is not "about thoughs, feelings, comunication": it's just soundwaves in a certain frequency range.


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ripgriffith

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2015, 11:33:23 am »

So you're making a distinction between the physical photograph and the photographic content.
But on this distinction, a photograph is not "about form, shading, color, perceived texture, balance and harmony of the related parts": it's just metallic silver atoms (or digital bits, or pigment on a paper).
In the same way, spoken language is not "about thoughs, feelings, comunication": it's just soundwaves in a certain frequency range.



Reductio ad absurdum!  Of course, you left out the action of light on those metallic silver atoms or digital bit, etc, just as you left out the collection of bits of soundwaves into phonemes into words, which make up language.  I'm sure this made a lot of sense to you when you wrote it, but seriously, you cannot believe that those two"arguments" you posited have anything to do with the subject at hand.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2015, 11:50:46 am »

Reductio ad absurdum!  Of course, you left out the action of light on those metallic silver atoms or digital bit, etc, just as you left out the collection of bits of soundwaves into phonemes into words, which make up language.  I'm sure this made a lot of sense to you when you wrote it, but seriously, you cannot believe that those two"arguments" you posited have anything to do with the subject at hand.
Of course they have nothing to do with the subject at hand, but neither Winogrand quote does.

The subject at hands is: "do some photos need words to properly convey the message they're trying to send?"

So what the "Photos have no narrative content. They only describe light on surface" have to do with this subject?

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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2015, 12:03:05 pm »

... The subject at hands is: "do some photos need words to properly convey the message they're trying to send?"..

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes words help, sometimes distract. Simple.

Otto Phocus

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Re: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2015, 12:15:09 pm »

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes words help, sometimes distract. Simple.

That is the mature attitude to have.

Unfortunately, there are some who only want to deal in absolutes.
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