do you include commentary when you share/give prints?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jtk, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
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    For decades, most of my prints have come with a commentary sheet. Sometimes that's somewhat literary/poetic (the poetic is always coherent, never faux haiku). Maybe just a couple of short paragraphs.

    I also did that with a monthly/quarterly B&W inkjet print exchange, as many as a dozen prints each time, ultimately getting fed up when many participants stopped sharing thoughts/observations and switched to bragging about equipment.

    So... I moved to a similar exchange that REQUIRES notes/commentary with submitted prints. Very gratifying.

    How about you? Do you want the print you share to stand totally non-verbally? Do you include commentary with prints?
     
  2. slackercrurster

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    Besides pertinent information, dates and a signature on the back, sometimes I print a little blurb. I started to mark my photos 'candid' or 'not staged' after many people commented they thought the photos were posed or staged.

    For instance, this one says...

    An American Nazi in her bedroom - photograph not staged, exactly as shown.

    hakenkreuz lr-in-a-dress-1973-daniel-d-teoli-jr lr.jpg

    On an online poll about 60% - 70% think I staged it. That is how the forum photogs think. And maybe with all the bullshit photos out there they may be justified.

    This one says 'candid' - some people thought it was my daughter. Reality, a stranger kid on the street.

    lost-princess-2013-daniel-d-teoli-jr.jpg

    If I am in a pissed mood I may also put down the problems in 2018 a male photo has to deal with when shooting stranger kids on the street...that of being labelled a sexual predator.

    Someone on another forum said the photog should not complain on the back of prints. He said artists don't write a rant on the backs of paintings about the high costs of paint and canvas. It made sense for a while and I did not do it. But one day it sunk in as an archivist that 'stuff disappears' over time. Now if I got something to say...I put it on the back of the print. If someone does not like it, too bad, go shoot your own goddamn photos.

    Whenever I put infrared flash photos out there, either online or in print, I always list them as infrared flash. And in this case it is...

    'Infrared flash (Candid)'

    sad-buskers-nyc-2016-daniel-d-teoli-jr.jpg

    Some people thought this was a 'occupy' style protest. Another thought it was an encampment of illegal aliens. Reality...a homeless tent encampment shot on the fly through my front windshield when driving to the airport.

    in-the-shadow-of-city-hall-v25-2015-daniel-d-teoli-jr-mr1.jpg

    ...if you got something to say, better say it on the back of the photo or it will be lost when you kick off. As an archivist I am always happy when I see notes and information on the back of the photo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  3. Ron789

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    I prefer the images to speak for themselves and allow the observer the freedom to develop his/her own interpretation. But of course, for documentary photography some background information may be very helpful. So it depends on the purpose and content of the photo's whether or not it would add value to include comments.
     
  4. tezzasmall

    tezzasmall Member
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    For print exchanges on forums like this one, I always write a fully detailed letter about the situation and place, as I feel that is more important than just the camera and film used and exposure which is mostly what most people only supply.

    I personally like to hear a bit about the background of the taking of the picture but I think I may be in the minority based on what I have received over the years.

    Terry S
     
  5. OP
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    jtk

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    I admire your approach to photography, not to mention the photos you've shared here.
     
  6. OP
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    jtk

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    Your Exchange experience sounds like mine. My writing is usually sparse, telegraphic, but sometimes vaguely literary. My photos always do have a story, they're never merely technical and rarely simply illustrative. If you make inkjet prints you might like to take part in our UK inkjet b&w exchange...we want a few more participants and half of our current participants are Americans. I'd readily trade an orange ape for an elderly queen. .
     
  7. slackercrurster

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    Sometimes mystery is a good thing. For this one it is just my name, date, project name and (Candid) If people see the 'Whoop-Whoop' project they will know what it is about.

    Whoop-whoop lr 2014 DanielD.TeoliJr. lr.jpg
     
  8. Vincent Peri

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    Hmm... whoever is getting
    the Great Ape is the clear
    winner...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sirius Glass

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    Very rarely, like if the photograph was taken with last of the HIE.
     
  10. jim10219

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    It totally depends on the print. Is there something not in the photo that you need to explain to convey the meaning behind the photo? Or does the picture say it all? Do you want to lead the viewer somewhere, or let them wander?

    I wouldn't make it a requirement not ban the practice. Sometimes it can add to the experience. Sometimes it will only distract. It should be up to the artist to decide.
     
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