I’ve reposted the images for this exercise along with the responses I received for each one.
Pick it up
Is that George Clooney (insert any celeb name) I see?
Tropical storm on the horizon
Where’s my ice cream?
Over the horizon
Mind the gap
Now you must understand it’s dangerous underground
Do we get hard hats too?
Is this a good idea?
Wonder if these walls will hold?
Who needs California when you have weather like this?
Is he waving?
See, no evil
Little overdressed for a lifeguard, not so?
I see no flags…
“Get me out of here”
Can you get some nail varnish to match please?
Someone’s been watching Outlander
“Will you walk into my parlour…”
Hare today, gone tomorrow
C’mon I’m ready to take you all on in the annual boxing match
They say its good luck if a rabbit crosses your path
Wonder where Durer has gone off to?
Eight people responded to my request for captions – thank you all – with interesting results. In most cases the returned captions seemed based on the responder’s interpretation of what was suggested by the image, rather than a literal interpretation of what could be seen. Not surprising really; the responders are all OCA students so looking into the image will be a natural response.
Of the images I chose for this exercise three (images 1, 2 and 4) do have particular meaning to me that would not be obvious at all from the image itself. The responders could not possibly know the context in which I took them but the returned captions provided interesting (and often humorous) depicted. The other two aren’t so personal but really just say “I have decided that seeing this is worth recording” (Berger,2013:18). In particular the last photograph of the hare is nothing more than just a hare. I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a captions for this that was anything other than “it is a hare” – and I chose it for this reason – so I felt that the response “Wonder where Durer has gone off to” was particularly inventive.
The nature of a photograph means it is just an event, a point in time, so the context cannot be shown in the same way that a painting can provide its own context by the formal arrangement of the scene. To quote John Berger again “The degree to which I believe this is worth looking at can be judged by all that I am willingly not showing because it is contained within it” (Berger, 2013:21).
Berger, J. (2013) Understanding a Photograph (Penguin Modern Classics). (01 edition) (s.l.): Penguin Classics.