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Journal Entry: Sat Oct 27, 2012, 12:26 PM

Rant alert!  I'm going to go into more detail about one of the many items covered in the wondeful journal article "It's All About Presentation" .  (Also see my faves.)  Some of it will probably be paraphrased from that article.

We've probably all seen a beautiful landscape, or a beautiful picture of a beautiful model, and passionately wanted to know "where?" or "who?" or both, or something at least.  And scanned down to the Artist's Comments, only to find something as articulate and informative as "."   UGH.

PLEASE, people!  You have SOMETHING to say about your work, even if you don't realize it.  

The following is a guide to things you can say, and when possible, should say.  There's an element of common sense involved:  for instance, it does not make sense to "name the model" when there's nobody in the picture.  With that in mind:

There's a principle of journalism (at least there used to be, and I hope still is): Who, What, Where, When, How.

:bulletyellow: Who?  (if anyone).  Some models prefer to remain anonymous; then tell us that!  Otherwise, what is the model's given name or pseudonym, at least?  (That seems like a rather basic courtesy to the model, too.)  Of course in some cases, you don't know; then say so! - unless we're looking at tourists cluttering up a famous site, in which case you can count on us not to care.

:bulletyellow: What?  This one you probably don't have to be concerned about - it's usually pretty obvious in a work of visual art.  A good exception, though, was mentioned in  "It's All About Presentation": pictures of food, where it might not be at all clear what that delicious-looking stuff is.  Tell us!

:bulletyellow: Where?  This does not have to be the exact street address, just the country and the state/province or major city.  People are usually good at telling us about fictional locations, which is good; now what about the real ones?

:bulletyellow: When?  Not always important, but it is in a historical work, and can be worthwhile in a photo:  for instance, if a model's clothes look old-fashioned, well, it's nice to know that the picture was taken in 1992.

:bulletyellow: How?  The choice of category tells us something about this, but people who are particularly interested in your field would probably like to know more, like what camera, exposure and F-stop, what drawing tool, what rendering engine...etc.

(I have to admit that I'm remiss on this last one, in a sense.  I always include credits for specific items I've used, but not for my basic tools, which are always the same.  These, fwiw, are Poser and Photoshop; the versions change, but not the product.)

If you are submitting a completely abstract work, then of course there is no "where" or "who".  You can still say how, though.  I'm always pleased when creators of fractal images tell us the tool and the parameters (formula) that they used, even though I don't personally own any fractal software and can't use those parameters.

Similarly, a title like "Jessica Rabbit" seems to tell us all we might want to know, assuming that it is a picture of Jessica Rabbit.  We don't all know who she is, what movie she is from, or even why her last name is Rabbit, but that information is pretty redundant to the majority who do know.  What we don't know, and might want to know, is, again, "how?" - what tools and techniques.

</rant> Hope this helps!  It probably won't circulate widely enough to make a dent in all those "." comments, but maybe...

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  • Listening to: Akino Arai
  • Reading: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of...
  • Watching: those dear ladies - should I stop??
  • Playing: God - as always in Chronophontia
  • Eating: pistachios
  • Drinking: Dragon Well tea
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Submitted on
October 27, 2012