Sometimes, I’m asked why I don’t get more creative with the titles to my images. For example, the title for the image in this post, “White Trees, Series 3, No. 1,” probably wouldn’t be considered as being particularly inspired or creative.
There’s a reason for that. I’m a firm believer in the idea that the value of a photograph should come strictly from within the four corners of the image itself. I generally feel that when you supply a photograph with supplementary information – such as a creative title, explanatory text, a bio of the photographer, etc. – that at best such information distracts from the impact of the image itself, and at worst it becomes a crutch to prop up an otherwise weak image.
Having a mundane title is like an informational dead end for the viewer. There’s nothing there for the viewer to latch on to. Attention is directed back to the photograph itself, and the image stands or fails on its own merits.
For those who are curious, I’ve divided the White Trees images into three (so far) series based on location. Series 1 was photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Series 2 at the Mount Goliath Natural Area, and Series 3 at the Windy Ridge Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, all in Colorado. Within each series, photographs are numbered in the order I work on and finish them, not in the order they were captured.
But of course, to keep things interesting, even I break my own rules. That’s why the Series 1 images indeed each do have a more descriptive title. There just was something about the trees at the Rocky Mountain National Park location that made me see them as having human characteristics, and I named them accordingly. You can see the names in the White Trees gallery on this website if you’re interested.