I've always been intrigued into how art and photos in particular end up being titled by the artist/photographer.
For me, the title may actually have a bit of impact into how I look at a photograph. I generally take a good look at the photograph first, scan the title and then take another look at the photograph and in most cases the title doesn't really change anything for me, a good photograph is a good photograph or a not-so-good one remains so. However, on occasion for some reason or other if I don't like the title of the photo it may negatively impact my second look at the photo. I know it seems silly to let a few words scribbled under the photograph change my view of the artwork itself but sometimes it does.
I generally like to know something about the artist themselves and if there is something that I don't like about the artist I admit it makes it harder for me to like their artwork. I guess the title is a little peak into the mind of the artist and if for some reason it disappoints me then it may bring my opinion of the artwork itself down a notch or two.
As far as titling photographs goes there seems to be a couple of schools of thought.
- There's the camp that gives the photo a metaphorical or poetic title.
- There's the camp that gives the photo a more literal title based on the subject matter of the photograph.
- There's the camp that leaves the photograph untitled.
If i ever do have issue with a title, its usually the camp 1 titles that do it for me. Sometimes, the poetic title just doesn't do the photograph justice or on the other hand might appear too ostentatious for the humble photo. I prefer to not be 'limited' to how I view the photo by the artists own point of view and choice of words.
Personally I'm a camp 2 or 3 kind of guy. Generally I like to just use the location and date as the title, such as:
If there are multiple shots for 'Sydney harbour. 2015' then it becomes 'Sydney harbour II. 2015', 'Sydney harbour III. 2015', 'Sydney harbour IV. 2015' and so on.
If there doesn't seem a good reason to include the location then it just becomes
I prefer to leave the story-telling of a photo up to the imagination of the viewer without trying to influence it intentionally or unintentionally through a fancy title. Maybe the title of this blog should have been 'Sydney blog I, 2015' :)