Photographic art: add on words or not?

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Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby ramesh_adkoli » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:43 am

Came across this article this morning: http://petapixel.com/2016/05/31/opinion ... otography/

I agree with him that the photographs must talk themselves and must stand up on its own merit without any added text/verbage. Worth examining, I felt.

Your take?

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Re: Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby Ganesh H Shankar » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:11 pm

Ramesh, I think sometimes yes and desirable but not always.

In this image by Kevin Carter,

Kevin-Carter-Child-Vulture-Sudan.jpg
Kevin-Carter-Child-Vulture-Sudan.jpg (27.85 KiB) Viewed 7282 times


This line, mentioned in the Wiki link above,

Carter was preparing to photograph a starving toddler trying to reach a feeding center when a hooded vulture landed nearby

adds a lot to the image. Without that the complete story is inaccessible to a viewer.

And in this image of yours,

image_id: 9666

The title made the viewers immediately connect, beautifully!

The tiger I never saw :)

It wasn't very apparent, otherwise!

However, for images like these,

image_id: 12025

description probably will do more harm than good!

I think it is very hard to be definitive and judgemental in the world of art.

Further thoughts?
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Re: Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby nirlep » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:49 pm

The language of "bandish" in a raga pliantly rides the notes. In a willful gesture it surrenders its character in order to meet the larger end which is creation of music. Language could be anything. It just depends how it is used. Browsing through the wonderful collection of images at CNP we find that many of the images belong to the realm of language, exploring language through photographs. And there are images which try to break free of language. Such images could be the sites of mental, intellectual or spiritual unease; junctures where language appears to desert the photographer. But does that mean such images stop being of language? Or do they seek out different grammar & syntax to express the felt unease.

Thinking...
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Re: Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby abhijit madangeri » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:43 am

Well said Nirlep.. Me too thinking :)
I feel, images should speak for themselves, and an image which doesn't need words for describing itself makes the most impact. Some images go beyond the boundaries of physical expression and cannot be described due to limitations of words (or language). Such images are best left to the viewers' discretion and perception, which may differ from the creator's version.
I agree with Ganesh, when he says, some images may require words, but do not agree with Ganesh's take on your image 'The tiger I never saw'. I feel, that image speaks for itself, I had connected the image(thumbnail) with tiger, without even reading the title.
I couldn't connect with the image of the Syrian child with her hands raised, till I read the description. The image didn't really make an impact on me, until I read the words that went with it.
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Re: Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby Ganesh H Shankar » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:46 pm

but do not agree with Ganesh's take on your image 'The tiger I never saw'.


Sorry, Ramesh, my problem... :)
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Re: Photographic art: add on words or not?

Postby Nevil Zaveri » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:09 am

I fully agree with Ganesh, on all 3. For me, it is important to know the artist's thought about his compo, otherwise I may miss to see the possibilities n vision beyond my own experiences!
I personally believe that 'it's better to say same thing in less words, so that the image do most of the talking', esp. when I want to present myself as a photographer.

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