Tag Archives: captions

Exercise 4.4

The brief:
Over the space of a few weeks gather newspapers that you can cut up, preferably including a mixture of different political points of view. Have a look through and cut out some images without their captions. You could choose advertising images or news.

For each image, write three or four different captions that enable you to bend the image to different and conflicting points of view.

What does this tell you about the power of text and image combinations?

Now write some text that re-contextualises these images and opens them up to alternative interpretations.

Write some notes in your learning log about this exercise. How might you use what you’ve learnt to add a new dimension to your own work?

Fig 1: CBC News
  • North Vancouver RCMP arrest perpetrator in Monday’s shooting
  • Police arrest man at airport after immigration confusion
  • Man cleared of groping woman on SkyTrain is re-arrested
  • Drug dealer arrested in upper class neighbourhood
Fig 2 CBC News
  • Canada and Mexico arrive at G20 summit together
  • Canada and Mexico to sign a new trade agreement
  • Enrique Pena Nieto and Justin Trudeau to make a stand on NAFTA agreement
Fig 3: Vancouver Sun
  • Premier Christy Clark has a new man in her life
  • Premier Christy Clark enjoying a laugh with fellow colleague at Canucks Hockey Night
Fig 4: Metro Vancouver
  • Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank entrepreneur, Kevin O’Leary announces special scholarship to encourage entrepreneurial studies in Canadian universities
  • Shark Tank entrepreneur, Kevin O’Leary gives speech after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange
  • Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, Kevin O’Leary answers questions from the press about his forthcoming photography book
Fig 5: Metro Vancouver
  • Subway to take part in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in July. Each store will give away 150 free foot-long sandwiches on July 1, 2017 – a limitation of one per person.
  • Subway to open 150 new branches during 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
  • Subway and Tim Horton’s plan a merger
Fig 6: North Shore News
  • West Vancouver’s Fire and Rescue unit to relocate
  • West Vancouver’s Fire and Rescue to hold a Fill the Boot drive to raise funds towards new equipment for the burn unit at Lions’ Gate Hospital
  • Council slashes budget for West Vancouver’s Fire and Rescue unit. Public protests expected

All the images I have used are very open-ended and without any accompanying text really leave themselves wide open to any amount of interpretation. I think for some of the articles better images might have been chosen, e.g. Fig 1 is so generic. There is absolutely nothing that hints at an illegal border crossing. I don’t think this was done to protect the individuals as this story has consistently been on our news lately and the actual refugees that have been crossing over have been interviewed and shown on TV, so a still from the newscast might have been preferable.

All these images have needed a strong anchorage by way of the caption confirming the ‘who, what, why, where and when’ (Bull p 40) of the image.

If my object in my work is to create ambiguity then I would create a vague caption that allows the viewer to put down his/her own interpretation to the image. If I was doing work more of a documentary nature and wanted to convey a precise message I would very clearly think out an appropriate caption that directed the viewer to the correct level of interpretation.

Fig 1’s actual caption is: A growing number of people have been arriving at Canada-U.S. land borders to claim refugee status, but officials can’t say how many people are sneaking in – or how many are being allowed to stay.

Fig 2’s actual caption is: As of March 9, the Canada Border Services Agency has detained more Mexican refugee seekers than in all of 2016. In June 2016, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

Fig 3’s actual caption is: British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark, left and Telus Corp. President and CEO Darren Entwhistle share a laugh before he announced a $1-billion investment to connect the majority of homes and businesses in Vancouver directly to a gigabit fibre optic network, during a company event in 2015.

Fig 4’s actual caption is: Conservative leadership candidate, Kevin O’Leary speaks at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ont. on Thursday, March 16, 2017. (To provide a little more perspective he was speaking about the uncovering of fraudulent Conservative Party members after voter-rigging had taken place – we currently have a party leadership race happening here).

Fig 5’s actual caption is: Subway says its chicken is just that: chicken. But a CBC Marketplace story said it found 50 percent of the chicken is soy filler.

Fig 6’s actual caption is: Two Douglas fir trees that tower behind the District of West Vancouver’s Fire Station No 4 are the subject of a legal dispute.

Reference List

Bull, S (2010) Photography. London: Routledge

Images

Figure 1. Chiasson, P. (2017) A growing number of people have been arriving at Canada-U.S. land borders to claim refugee status, but officials can’t say how many people are sneaking in – or how many are being allowed to stay. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/asylum-seekers-statistics-difficult-to-track-1.4028468 [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

Figure 2. Wattie, C. (2017) As of March 9, the Canada Border Services Agency has detained more Mexican refugee seekers than in all of 2016. In June 2016, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mexican-refugees-canada-detained-1.4031389 [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

Figure 3. Dyck, D. (2015) British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark, left and Telus Corp. President and CEO Darren Entwhistle share a laugh before he announced a $1-billion investment to connect the majority of homes and businesses in Vancouver directly to a gigabit fibre optic network, during a company event in 2015. Available at: http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/big-liberal-donors-are-doing-big-business-with-the-b-c-government [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

Figure 4. Hagberg, L. (2017) Conservative leadership candidate, Kevin O’Leary speaks at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ont. on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Available at: http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2017/03/16/o-leary-alleges-vote-rigging-in-conservative-leadership-campaign.html [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

Figure 5. Getty Images (n.d.) Subway says its chicken is just that: chicken. But a CBC Marketplace story said it found 50 percent of the chicken is soy filler. Available at: http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2017/03/17/subway-plans-to-sue-cbc-over-chicken-findings.html [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

Figure 6. Wakefield, M. (2017) Two Douglas fir trees that tower behind the District of West Vancouver’s Fire Station No 4 are the subject of a legal dispute. Available at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/couple-sues-west-vancouver-officials-for-tree-removal-1.11805348 [Accessed 18 March, 2017]

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Exercise 4.3

The brief:

Create a storyboard where the image does not depend on the text and the text adds something new to the narrative.

This exercise is a light-hearted look at the role of image and text. Aim for it to be around 10 frames long. Draw the picture storyboard first and then add the text. Note how the story is affected when the text is added.

I cannot draw to save my life! So have resorted to stick men – please don’t laugh too loudly 🙂

Storyboard frames 1-4 without captions
Storyboard frames 5-8 without captions
Storyboard frames 9-10 without captions
Storyboard frames 1-4 with captions
Storyboard frames 5-8 with captions
Storyboard frames 9-10 with captions

Thinking up a storyboard is quite challenging so hats off to all those animators and film makers out there. I think my 7th, 8th and 9th frames work as relay in that there is quite a lot of ambiguity in those frames. One is not certain who is being casevaced off the mountain or transported in the ambulance, or who/what is opening the coffee shop door. The punchline is in the last frame where the action in frame 6 is revealed.