Discussions

ARTISAN

General Role of Titles

The role of Titles will always be an important factor of any particular art to be recognised and to be remembered forever. It remains an identity for any form of art and to choose an original title should be a challenging task for any creator. One should start to think, “ I have created something, then how do I name it, how do I share that specific moment in time with others to quickly understand my perception and in the same time, reveal some aspects of the subject or the story in my frame. A title, which would be appealing, appreciated, recognised, descriptive, recorded, informative and easy to relate with the subject or the story betrayed the moment the image was captured.

 

Impact of your Title 

People don't always understand the implications of titles. To give you an example, when you take a photo of a Rhino, we all know that Rhinos are an endangered species, not so, so why would you feel the need to reveal the actual location of the Rhino? As wildlife photographers, we need to contribute to protecting our endangered species. What makes this even worse, some of our cameras have built-in GPS, and it shows your GPS coordinates. There are products on the market, called Eye-Fi Pro, it’s a memory card with Wi-Fi built-in and provides automatic geotagging. With that product, you don’t even need a camera with GPS capabilities. Do you think it is appropriate for wildlife photographers to activate GPS coordinates?  In other words, revealing the exact location where people can find that specific species? If your answer were Yes, I would ask you to reexamine your thoughts and your actions. 

I came across South African tourists in Etosha, Namibia taking photos from a hide of Rhinos drinking water at a waterhole. I could not believe my eyes when they tagged their location to their friends and families with the images attached.  I was under the impression we all know how important it is for us to protect our wildlife.

Healthy ecosystems depend on plant and animal species as their foundations. When a species becomes extinct, the ecosystem will fall apart. Pouching is a reality, and we should all contribute to protecting our precious wildlife. As wildlife photographers, we should not be oblivious to matters such as this; we need to think on our feet, by sharing locations could be harmful to our precious wildlife. 

 

Straight to the context

I am not sure if I am the only one, but I usually find it more difficult to name my photographs than capturing them. When a wildlife and nature photographer captures images (fauna and flora) their primary purpose would be to show some aspect of the subject, detail or form, identification, behavior, habitat as well as the typical location where the animal/bird was spotted, unless endangered.

When that photographer shows his/her work, for example on this site, 
the purpose is (or should be) to inform or demonstrate some exciting feature of either the subject or the technique. This is especially true of posting on the Internet where the viewer may not be familiar with the species because they may be on a different continent. When they are looking to see what species occur in a specific region, they will probably Google ‘Wildlife in…’ not ‘Mother and Child’ for example.

 

Posting your wildlife and birds photographs on Photo Critic

When you post your images on this platform, It is very important to understand that our Photo Critic administrator team, are more interested in guiding you through the process of bettering your own photography skills as well as assisting you with other important aspects, also playing a roll in photographing wildlife and Nature, such as animal behaviour, amongst many other important factors.

Fancy names for animals or birds are purely a sign that you have not done any re-surge on your subject.  To know your subjects, such as identification and their behavior or their location, plays a big roll in getting the shot. 

This is not always as easy as you think, especially when it comes to identifying birds and raptors as males and females differ most of the time, to confuse you even more, so does juveniles.  

It is not a shame if you provide inaccurate information as far as identification is a concern as it might lead to discussions, which will give all of us the opportunity to gain valuable information about the species. When it comes to naming eagles and raptors, for instance, there is so much to observe, even I get it wrong sometimes! I for one will be grateful if someone corrects me, we are never too old to learn more.  I learn something new everytime I am behind my camera. 

You can download various amazing apps from the Internet on your mobile to assist you in identifying the subject.  Books are also freely available.

  

Aesthetics

Should you prefer to reveal the aesthetics and mood conveyed in the picture, you could do so, but include the name of the species in brackets after the title, e.g.“Roaring Romans” (Lion) - This title, for instance, relates to the atmosphere as well as the story. Here you can put the name; "Roaring Romance" first – followed by  (Lion) for identification purposes. Should you have a series of Lion images, you can follow up with Lion 2 or 3 and so on.

 

e.g“Leopard in my lens” – In this title, I have already included the name of the spesies, so, no need telling us again.

 

Beauty Note

Use a single descriptive title so that the viewer understands exactly what you want to say. Your title can be a description of the scene, the verb inside, or just the name of the subject, but with your ability to adda “Beauty note” to it, should you choose to do so. Choosing these kinds of titles should be easier and straightforward.

It drives me to distraction when I click on outstanding wildlife images and finding a meaningless 'twee' title that prevents me from genuinely following up the unique characteristics of the subject itself?

 

Camera Settings | Gear | Short Story - A must on Photo Critic

We ask you to include your camera settings as well as the equipment used, the reason for this is: it is not possible for us to give you constructive critique without this information. The short story about your image will also reveal the thinking process and give us a better idea of how you perceived it. This information makes it possible for us to experience the moment with you and we always take that inconsideration.

 

Curious Humans

There is another aspect to this. When I am out photographing an animal or birds, especially in National Parks, so many people stop to look or ask what the animal is. Their guesses can be quite comic e.g. I was photographing a black heron and was asked twice if it was a penguin! (Foreigners) The fact is people are curious about nature and its human nature to want to put a label on things. It is rewarding to give them the correct information as they appreciate it very much.

 

I sincerely hope you will benefit from this discussion and please do not hesitate to share your own experience and comments with us on this page.

Bruna