Tuesday, May 17, 2016

FLYING PAST: Anyone seen my caption?

FEEL THE POWER: Captions can say so much
SUPER picture of the Flying Scotsman in full steam passing by Holy Island in Northumberland in the i newspaper.
But why no caption for the 99 per cent of readers who have no clue where this is and no picture credit to recognise the work of increasingly put upon photographers?
In fact, the missing caption is endemic in i. Perhaps it's time to recognise what an important function it performs and insist on one wherever possible?
As those poor souls who have attended one of my ‘caption workshops’ will testify, the caption is the hard-working undersung hero of the design toolbox able to draw readers in and say so much more than just identify what is in the picture.
It’s been a fun few days up here chasing the Flying Scotsman up and down the coast with some tremendous pictures posted by amateurs and professionals (is there still a distinction?) alike, including this one below from Raoul Dixon of North News in the Sunday Express.
I’ve asked the i for an explanation of their missing captions. Watch this space…

PROFESSIONAL: Raoul Dixon’s spread in the Sunday Express

AMATEUR: My picture taken from the other side of the tracks as the un-captioned one


  1. A photo without a caption is like a car without a transmission. Who cares that it might look nice — nobody is going anywhere!

    I hope you are well, Alan.

    Tony Blei
    (Alive and well in Seattle)

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