Reply to this post with a caption for this photo….
Consider the following questions:
*Who is that? (And, in most cases, identify people from left to right unless the action in the photograph demands otherwise.)
*Why is this picture in “the paper”?
*What’s going on?
*When and where was this?
*Why does he/she/it/they look that way?
*How did this occur?
*What is happening beyond the obvious?
Here is some good advice:
Here are a few examples:
New York City Police Officers check subway cars at Columbus Circle on Friday, Oct. 7, 2005. Security in the city’s mass transit system has been increased following yesterday’s announcement of a specific terrorist threat to the subway system. (AP Photo/John Smock)
A school bus is towed following a collision with a car on the Major Deagan Expressway (I-87) in the Bronx on Friday, Sept. 30, 2005. There were no major injuries reported among the 42 students and eight adults on board from St. Joseph School in the Bronx. (AP Photo/John Smock)
General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, addresses the audience at the Columbia University World Leadership Forum in New York on Friday, Sept. 16, 2005. In town for the United Nations World Summit this week, several heads of state are speaking at the university . (AP Photo/John Smock)
(L-R) New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Deputy Mayor for Education Denis Wolcott at PS 40 in Brooklyn on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005, announce the highest scores for New York City public school 4th graders on state math exams since standards-based testing began four years ago.
9 Nov. – Cairo, Egypt – A woman displays her ink-stained finger after voting. Egyptians took to the polls today for the first round of parliamentary election. President Hosni Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) have allowed several opposition groups, most notably the formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood party, to be among the 5,000 candidates campaigning for more than 400 seats. Photo credit: John Smock/SIPA
9 June, 2005 – Kabul, Afghanistan — A child severely burned by a car bomb yesterday receives care at the Indira Gandi Institute of Child Medicine. Doctors are struggling with limited medicines to treat the growing number of child victims, whose injuries are often compounded by other medical problems such as poor nutrition that diminish a child’s ability to heal. John Smock/SIPA.
Musician Phil Stewart uses software by Ejamming Inc. to play online with musicians (pictured on the screen) in other parts of New York City at the DigitalLife Expo on Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. The three-day DigitalLIfe Expo features cutting-edge technology for work, home and play. (AP Photo/John Smock)
Esquire magazine Editor-in-Chief David Granger, left, and Publisher Kevin O’Malley, right, pose with actress Jessica Biel at her unveiling as the magazine’s 2005 ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005, in New York City. (AP Photo/John Smock)
Here are some things to watch out for: • Don’t be vague in your caption and make sure names of people and places are correctly identified and spelled. Be accurate. A photojournalist is a journalist.• If a photo is manipulated digitally beyond simple sizing and color control, it should be labeled as a “photo illustration” in the caption or in the photo credit. If unusual photo techniques are used, such as time-lapse photography, it should be noted in the caption. Explanations may also are needed for special effects, such as the use of an inset or a picture sequence.• Do not use verbs or verb phrases such as “looks on” or “poses” “or “is pictured above” in writing captions. They are obvious and boring.• Do not editorialize or make assumptions about what someone in a picture is thinking: “an unhappy voter…” or “A fortunate survivor…” The reader should be given the facts and allowed to decide for herself or himself what the feelings or emotions are. • Do not characterize the content of a picture as beautiful, dramatic, horrifying or in any other such descriptive terms that should be evident in the photograph. If it’s not evident in the photograph, your telling the reader won’t make it happen.• “Wild Art,” standalones, and day shots are all terms used to describe photographs that are published independently of a written story. They often require a more comprehensive caption. Some publications even provide small headlines.