One of the things I’m finding interesting about preparing for publication is that I am revisiting minor aspects of the body of work based on my ongoing experience of displaying the work in different formats. One such aspect is image titling.
The reason is that I am realising the number and variety of places where an image title might be used, and the constraints that some of these placements often bring.
For most of the time developing the body of work, I used the text fragment as the title, like so:
“what shop I’m meant to be going to next”
I moved away from this during the early stages of SYP when I was submitting the project to various online platforms, as I started to worry that the text was starting to dominate, as though it somehow represented a definitive reading of the overall image, when I wanted the image and the text fragment to be seen as equivalents.
So for a while the images were simply titled with the generic project title and a sequential number:
“Remembering Forgetting 8”
However this approach brings its own problem: some of the key platforms where the image title will be shown have a visible character limit, and truncate longer titles. One example is the image title cards in the ArtSpaces virtual exhibition platform:
In this view, every picture in the exhibition just gets the shortened title “Remembering F…” – not ideal!
Now I have decided that I should come up with a naming scheme where each image has a distinct title and that it should not be the text fragment itself. I got back to basics and asked myself: how do I refer to the images?
In the end I came down to a simple descriptive naming scheme, with a self-imposed limit of two words:
I also decided that as the titles are so short, they should be presented in Title Case, i.e. with a leading uppercase letter per word.
For completeness, the full list of image titles now looks like this:
- Leather Glove
- Car Cover
- Crumpled Map
- Flying Birds
- Two Chairs
- Dead Bird
- Rubber Glove
- Corrugated Shed
- Steps Down
- Lamppost String
- Pavement Feather
- Old Chemists
- Red Glove
- Brick Wall
- Hedge Doors
- Odd Shoes
- Alley Shadow
- White Wall
- Overgrown Bench
- Grimy Glove
I’ve started using these titles on Instagram, albeit prefixed by the project title as I wish to get the phrase Remembering Forgetting lodged in users’ minds:
“Remembering Forgetting: Corrugated Shed”
I had started including a sequential number but decided that it is unnecessary so edited that out of the early posts.