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March 18, 2012: The Image AND the Word

Another categorization. The image and the word. In this case, photo captions. You seldom see photos without captions, meaning photos with identifiers or descriptors. The captions underneath describe what’s going on in the photo. They locate the photo in a particular time and place. The captions usually include a date, and the photo type. The subject of the photo, the person, place, or thing, gives the image a specific context.

Without words, the viewer/reader is left guessing as to the photo’s who, what, when, where, or why. I don’t necessarily


see this as a negative thing. A negative is called such because it’s a reverse image. Does this mean that the photo itself is a positive?

I usually pay close attention to the captions in photos. I’ve never seen a photo with multiple captions. This would be like a book with several differing endings. Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying immediately comes to mind. Multiple endings aren’t popular because people desire specific endings. They want one grande finale.

Attached: A photo that I took yesterday. It’s a simple, ordinary photo of an egg and two egg cartons. What follows are its twelve titles:

  1.  Egg and Carton
  2.  Carton and Egg
  3.  Henny Penny Palin’s egg
  4.  Factory Work
  5.  Thinking outside the Box
  6.  Snooky’s offspring.
  7.  A Morning’s Work
  8.  Lunar Landing
  9.  Beam me Up, There’s no Intelligent Life Here
  10. Day Break
  11. Over Easy

Collectively, these titles say as much as would a short narrative. But at the same time, they lend themselves to speculation. Thus, questions that they raise are – who laid this egg, Henny Penny or Snooky? Why the outer space references? And what’s being said here about mass production, particularly as this relates to egg laying?

My reliance upon the use of twelve descriptors just threw the henhouse door wide open. There could be an infinite number.

Next: 101. 3/19/12: The Image, Explained