Friday, June 26, 2009


I run a regular pattern of taking photographs (primarily on the streets of Manhattan), editing them, then posting them either in the blog or to my Flickr gallery.

Part of the editing process is adding keywords, maybe geotagging them, occasionally a caption (although a blog provides plenty of room as an alternative) and also adding a title. To me, the title is almost as important as the photograph itself.

I took this picture one day overlooking a subway entrance. I noticed these two guys talking expressively.
I really love the elements of the picture. Besides the conversation as the focal point, the speed and activity of the street is lively. The framing is nicely balanced, there is expression, the focus is nice with a short depth of field ("bokeh").

The final element I needed was the title. Something clever... a pun or thought bubble... usually works well. Alliteration or rhymes count. Or just a reference to what is happening. Some photographers don't bother to title their pictures, but I think that is a cop out and is lazy. Unless captioned, you leave the viewer in the dark as to what you saw in the shot.

I drew a blank on a title for this shot... sometimes you can look around the picture for a sign in the background (many times these can be ironic or perfectly caption the scene). In this case, the obvious sign is: "Skoal, only $5". That would be acceptable as a title in a pinch, but it means nothing in relation to the shot. Another idea was "You're Out", which is a reference to the gesture from the guy on the right, like an umpire in baseball. That also doesn't relate though. Others considered were "Quitting Time", "Subway Conversation", "Intense Conversation", "You're Fired". None of them made sense to me. So, I just kept it on my list.

Now, I'd like to get it out there. So, the title I will stick with is "Untitled", since it incorporates my back story.

1 comment:

Leila said...

Hi, the interesting thing about this picture is that the wall (you say a better name, please) around the subway entrance is guiding the observer to your main focus: the two guys. It goes from the first plan until them. And more,the wall and pole are making them apart and suggesting that they have different point of views in this conversation. About the title (it was a great idea to let it open for now), let me I'd name it "the two sides", as they are separate physically for the elements of the picture and their speech.