Thursday, 25 July 2013

Exercise: practise writing captions

For this exercise I had to practise writing picture captions. I spent some time on the web looking at The Guardian and some other news sites to see how they compared with the course notes advice. I had to explain what needs explaining, be succinct, and follow the five Ws:


From the research that I did I found that the picture captions mostly followed these rules. There were a couple of interesting exceptions though. Some of the online newspapers had picture galleries where the viewer could scroll through a sequence of images. In this case the captions tended to be longer and more wordy. This must be because the need to be concise has been removed as any number of images and captions can inhabit the same physical space on the page. Of course, with print this would be impossible.

I also noticed that the formatting of the text ran from the bottom left edge of the image frame and continued for the width of the image. This is different from the title of a print for a wall where the text is often centred. 

I then had to compose captions for six of my images bearing in mind to leave out unnecessary words. This is harder than it seems as sometimes an extra word will change the meaning of an image and can impart information that the viewer cannot obtain from the image alone. For instance, the second image below. I could easily have left out the words, narrow, massive, and Postmodern from the caption. But, if I did that there would be no sense from the image of just how imposing the station is on the locality and very different in style.

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