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Photo Caption Writing

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Discover the tips for writing photo captions that tell your readers an agricultural story

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Photo Caption Writing

  1. 1. Writing Photo Captions
  2. 2. Define what is a photo caption Recall what information is included in a photo caption Write a photo caption for a photo Learning Objectives
  3. 3. Work in groups of no more than 3. Write comments on a sheet of paper answering three questions listed: 1. Make a personal connection to the photo. 2. Write a question the photo brings to mind. 3. Make a guess as to what information the original caption of this photo imparted.
  4. 4. Photo Captions Students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J., are old hands at text messaging, but not all of the words are friendly. By Jan Hoffman, Published: June 27, 2010
  5. 5. What is a photo caption (a.k.a. cutline)?  A short sentence or two that describes a photograph or illustration within a page layout. Why do we have photo captions?  What information is included in a photo caption?  AP Style suggests including main elements by answering the following: ◦ Who, What, Where, When, Why, How Photo Captions
  6. 6.  First sentence: Who, What, When, & Where (written in present tense when possible)  Who is that?  (And, in most cases, identify people from left to right unless the action in the photograph demands otherwise.) ◦ What is going on? ◦ Where and when was this?  Why and or How ◦ Why is this important or significant? ◦ How did this occur? (Give background on the event) Writing Style for Photo Captions
  7. 7.  Don’t incorrectly place time element in first sentence-use time element in adjective form.  Avoid stating the obvious. "Dennis Rodman smiles as he kicks a broadcast photographer in the groin.“ Provide useful information. Writing Style for Photo Captions
  8. 8.  Write in complete sentences.  Check spelling of names, places, farms/ranches, etc.  Avoid restating headline or text.  Don't assume.  Ask questions in your effort to inform and be specific.  Be willing to contact and include the subject.  Ask for correct spelling of names.  Write in conversational tone that avoids agriculture industry jargon for consumers. Writing Style for Photo Captions
  9. 9.  Don’t editorialize  Don’t use cliches  Use adjectives sparingly – don’t make judgments  “An unhappy citizen watches the protest…”  State how you manipulated the photo (if needed)  Elements to exclude:  “Pictured above…,” “This picture shows…”, “Looking into the camera…”  “From left to right…” Writing Style for Photo Captions
  10. 10. The Mississippi River flows through a hole in the Sny Island, Ill., levee, flooding farmland and homes 10 miles south of Quincy, Ill., Sunday, July 25, 1993. About 2,000 people were evacuated from the 44,000 acres that flooded. (AP Photo/Bill Waugh) Example of Standard AP Caption
  11. 11. Read the following captions and determine if the caption is good, okay, or bad. Identify what is correct or incorrect by emphasizing the elements present or missing (who, what, when, where, why and how) and the writing style. Critique this Photo Caption Good, Okay or Bad 👍 👎👉
  12. 12. Fresh meats are stocked at the grocery store. Critique this Photo Caption Good, Okay or Bad 👍 👎👉
  13. 13. Fresh meats are stocked at the grocery store. Critique this Photo Caption Bad 👎 What
  14. 14. Fresh meats are stocked at the grocery store. Critique this Photo Caption Bad 👎 Where
  15. 15. Fresh meats are stocked at the grocery store. Critique this Photo Caption Bad 👎 What’s missing? Who, When, & Why
  16. 16. John Mueller prepares Nancy’s Pride for the Grimes County 4-H horse judging contest. The judging contest is held annually during the Grimes County fair. Critique this Photo Caption Good, Okay or Bad 👍 👎👉
  17. 17. John Mueller prepares Nancy’s Pride for the Grimes County 4-H horse judging contest. The judging contest is held annually during the Grimes County fair. Critique this Photo Caption Good 👍 Who
  18. 18. John Mueller prepares Nancy’s Pride for the Grimes County 4-H horse judging contest. The judging contest is held annually during the Grimes County fair. Critique this Photo Caption Good 👍 What
  19. 19. John Mueller prepares Nancy’s Pride for the Grimes County 4-H horse judging contest. The judging contest is held annually during the Grimes County fair. Critique this Photo Caption Good 👍 Where & When
  20. 20. John Mueller prepares Nancy’s Pride for the Grimes County 4-H horse judging contest. The judging contest is held annually during the Grimes County fair. Critique this Photo Caption Good 👍 How is visible in photo
  21. 21. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Good, Okay or Bad 👍 👎👉
  22. 22. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 Who
  23. 23. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 What
  24. 24. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 When
  25. 25. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 Why
  26. 26. Oatka Dairy has been owned by the Butler family for three generations. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 What criteria are missing?
  27. 27. The Butler family operates their three-generation family-owned Oatka Dairy. This fall the dairy will close because of low milk prices. Critique this Photo Caption Okay 👉 What criteria are missing? Where & How
  28. 28. Work individually to write a caption for this photo (approximately 20 -30 words). You can have one or two sentences, but you must answer the Who, What, Where, When, and Why. The how is visible in the photo but not stated in the caption. Enclosed are details that you can use. The photo caption must be written with your name on the paper. It is due on Monday, October 30 at 9:30 a.m. The assignment is worth 10 points. Let’s Practice! – Photo Caption Assignment Who: Josey Miller What: Roping a calf in the calf roping competition Where: 69th annual Lenox Rodeo in Creston, Iowa When: July 28, 2014 Why: Finished second with a time of 9.7 seconds Source: CrestonNews.com

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