Should we name our photographs?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by juan, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    If we don't name them, how will they know to "come" when we call them?
     
  2. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    You just have to establish a fixed relationship with them not long after their early development stages.
     
  3. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    What about the tone of the relationship? And can a relationship developed and fixed long ago still be reframed?
     
  4. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber
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    Camera Club judges, if only they could see! At a recent judging an image I had painstakenly focused on a wrought-iron fence - used lens swing to keep the fenceline in focus - around a cemetery plot, the judge couldn't understand why I didn't raise my level of view to avoid having the fence block the view of the gravestones, which were 'obviously' the subject of the image. I usually use a brief location for title, but renamed this image "the Coopers' fence" to force viewers to not focus on the gravestones. Yet the image was much more than just a fence but rather the inter-relationship of fence, stones, hanging moss,etc.. Was it a failure of my vision or those looking at the final print? A name may help the viewer to better see the photographer's intent; or it may only serve as a reference point. I prefer the latter but am occasionally tempted by the former usage.
     
  5. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    Well, it really depends on your temperament. The tone of the relationship could be cold or, with a litle more work, it could warm up. Then again, if a relationship isn't developing correctly, you can always get really acidic about it and stop it from developing any further.
     
  6. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    I see. And then wouldn't the temperament also determine how quickly the relationship developes? For example, sometimes the heat of the moment makes things develope much quicker than when one is dealing with a cooler attitude. And what about the temperament's role in bringing out both positive and negative attributes?
     
  7. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    Ah, yes, there is the fact that there are positive and negative attributes. But if one wishes to carfully consider the consequences of their actions, then they will see that the choices are as clearly defined as black and white. In fact, instead of enlarging the problem till it is completely out of proportion, they can instead try to come into direct contact with the problem. Of course, if a person choses to taint the argument with shades of color, then the whole negative aspect can instead become quite transparent.
     
  8. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Which is why I always try to view these things in a safe light, and then note the contrast of the extremes of black and white with the shades of gray they contain in between. This helps bring the subject into sharp focus, as does searching for the grain of truth, although with direct contact that is less of a worry than when one is always projecting. All of these variables can create quite a bit of confusion in one's circle, but the only other option is to close the shutters completely, in which case one will never see the light.
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Does anyone else here feel like they are driving through a tunnel?
     
  10. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    It must be your vision, Ed.
     
  11. BobF

    BobF Member

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    We can tighten down the adjustment screws as the enlarger is now aligned perfectly.
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    It's all a matter of focus.
     
  13. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    "If we don't name them how will they....."
    Well, I gave my cats names and they still only come when it suits them :D
     
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  15. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Steve you need cosmic catnip cat treats. Once they are nippers, they will race to your side as the bag is crinkled. No name needed.
     
  16. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    Of course, cats will do whatever they want to do. Its a well established scientific fact that cats are the highest form of life in the universe. The rest of us were only put here to serve their every whim.
     
  17. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member
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    I never used to name photos until I started dealing with museums. When you are discussing museum acquisitions, it is much easier to relate to photographs that have a name that means something as opposed to photos that are named Untitled #1, Untitled #9, Untitled #11….Untitled #37. My advice…make it easy for the Curator, Head Curator, Deputy Director, Director, Acquisition Committee, Board of Directors and Registrar to deal with the acquisition and execute a purchase agreement or deed of gift.

    I do have a few untitled photos, but only about 3 of them.

    [​IMG]

    Los Angeles, CA 1971 Untitled No.1 by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

    It is important that you name the digital files in a way that identifies you if when someone wants to find out who shot the picture. As an added benefit, naming your files help with image searches related to your name. Names can also explain a photograph or give some added details to it.

    If you can’t come up with individual names, you can use the image serial number and project name such as

    DSCF4184 Selection from De Wallen 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. (Candid)

    [​IMG]


    When someone Google’s your name, only your best images and projects should show up. When a curator looks up your name, you don’t want them to see your non-professional work.

    Don’t make the mistake that many photographers do by diluting a portfolio with lots of garbage and personal photos. They will have 20 versions of a so-so photo on Flickr. Just pick one photo. It looks like the photographer doesn’t know what they are doing. It looks like they are using the ‘shotgun approach’ in away that is hurting them, saying “Here, I don’t know if any of these are any good…you pick.”

    Now, if your goal is to get ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up’ then none of this matters. But if you aspire to be above that, if you’re serious about getting your work in museums and public collections – then what you present professionally matters a great deal.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

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    I have no need to name photographs, so I never bothered. However is I have multiple vehicles I name them based on their "personality" in order to keep track of work that needs to be done on them.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber
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    I have a spider in my car. His name is Bruce. He's gone from the seldom seen tiny web to a full fledged group home.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

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    photographs should not be named by the photographer because, they either need to speak for themselves or evoke an emotion, which could be altered or even killed by a title. A title messes with the creative process and the communication between artist and observer.
     
  21. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber
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    Do whatever you want.
     
  22. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    Ralph, All your photos are named on your web site. I assume you do that so someone can name the one they want to buy. Although I don;t sell pictures, I name them so if someone want to discuss, a name makes it easy.

    At our groups contests, people give names like Special Sunset, or Cute Baby, hoping to influence the judges. Me? I keep it simple. Grand Canyon 1, Grand Canyon 2, Stumps 1, Stumps 2.

    I think I'll call my next submission for the contest: "Fire-Red Sunset Offset By Contrasty Prickly Pear Cactus One-Third from left SIde Balanced By Minimalist Sandy Desert Filling in Empty Presence on the Right". Just to make sure I've covered all the bases to help the judge.
     
  23. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
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    If a name adds to the photo, then yes, it can be important. If the artist wants to make a point that might not be obvious to most, such as the photo serving as an analogy for something unrelated to the photo, then a name can be crucial. But a name isn't required. And often times it can be a distraction.

    Names can also make ordering prints and discussions easier. Though "Untittled #137" works well for that purpose.

    Though judges who need a name to make sense of what they are seeing have no business being judges. If you need to be told what you are supposed to get out of something, then that doesn't speak very highly of your expertise.
     
  24. jnantz

    jnantz Advertiser Advertiser
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    i name all my photographs but the names have nothing to do with the photographs
     
  25. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber
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    If you really want to mess with the asshats, give your prints peoples names, especially when they have no people in them. If your prints include people, number them instead. Displaying a waterfall? Call it Getrude or some other dorky name. A portrait, give it an arbitrary number. I am constantly asked to display my photos at the local "artisan center" where the director must judge my work before being approved. We don't speak of my opinion of her in mixed company, lets just leave it at "she should stop grazing in the grass".
     
  26. OP
    OP
    juan

    juan Subscriber
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    It’s funny looking back on a thread I started more than 14-years ago. The Jacksonville Camera Club was a rigid, rules beset organization that existed mainly for competitions. I think that Chinese name business - I only did it a short while - was just my way of messing with the rigid people there. I’ve gone back to names of locations mainly. Though naming landscapes Debbie #106, etc. is tempting.
     
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