What to do with the text

Here we go again…

An ongoing dilemma I have with this project is the application of text to the images. The use of text fragments is key to the desired reading of the work, but I have long struggled with how to present the text in relation to the image.

For a long time I was concerned that the text fragments (which are all ‘relay’ text rather than ‘anchor’ text, to use the Barthesian definitions (Barthes 1977: 41) could resemble captions or titles too much, disrupting the intended reading. I wanted the text to be seen as more of an equivalent to the image rather than an explanation of it.

I’ve tried various ideas here and here.

However, as I’ve evolved the visual treatment to its current incarnation where the images are actually rephotographed projections of original photos, I’ve become less concerned about the text being mistaken for a caption, and I’m getting more relaxed about positioning the text in perhaps a more traditional manner.

And now I have a deadline for making some work-in-progress to share…

Format study visit crit session

Next weekend I am on the OCA study visit to the Format photography festival in Derby. Part of the weekend is a work-in-progress crit session, so I am planning to take along a set of prints from the current batch of Assignment 4 work and get some feedback.

My main reason for wanting feedback is to see how people react to the images, what thoughts are provoked, what interpretations are placed on it. I want to see whether my intent is coming through at all.

So – having decided to take some prints (A3 I think at the moment) it has focused my mind somewhat on how I wish to present the text per image.

Ideally I’d like to pin this down before the crit session – the alternative is to print a mix of text treatments, I suppose, but I was hoping to have more of a definite direction in advance of the session such that the feedback can be focused on the overall effect of the images rather than deciding between text placement options.

Feedback please!

To this end I’d be very grateful to anyone reading this to give me comments on the following three text applications.

(click for bigger pics)

a) typed, below, centred

b) handwritten, below, right-aligned

c) handwritten, inset, left-aligned

Please let me know what you think!


Barthes, R. (1977) ‘Rhetoric of the Image’ in Image Music Text. London: Fontana.