One of my underlying interests in photography is finishing, the last step in post. By finishing, I mean the sort of packaging—borders, names, watermarks, etc. I’ve also noticed there are diverse opinions on the topic. Here is mine, but stemming from one provision: all the “packaging” I do is for web publishing only. What I do for a photograph on screen, is not be what I would automatically do for something in print. I make this provision because I see the web space as a virtual wall when presenting photographs, especially in the domain of a photoblog
Borders: I don’t think one will ever be criticized for not using one. Misuse, however, will cause a stir. I like using slight borderson the web to contain the photo and give it slight lift from the page. I have seen this overdone, epecially on Flickr, and never can see the photograph because my eyes keep going to the border. I believe there should also be some congruency. I like the sloppy, grungey borders but when they go with the photograph. The other day I saw a big, grainy and messy border around a crystal clear color landscape. It just seemed tacked on.
Naming: When I first starting blogging, I would pine over coming up with a good title, something that would accompany the photograph and give it little extra pop. But as Steven pointed out the other day, good titling quickly becomes a daunting task when you are working with hundreds of photos. I’m still in the middle regarding this addition. The title is as visual as the photograph, and both can be as jarring and as amplifying. For this medium, it’s a post title more than it is a photograph title.
Watermarking: I recently read a post from Stuck in Customs. Trey brought up a sufficient reason to never watermark. I agree on most of his list, especially for copyright reasons. However, I don’t watermark for fear of images being stolen. I do it more as a signature, as more of a discreet mark to say it is mine. To connect with something earlier, I don’t stamp for print. I do stamp for the web. Do I need to? No, there isn’t a clear reason. I do try to sneak it in there as least distracting as possible. Of the “finishing” types, I could go either way on this one.
My summary is that on one hand, any finishing is not necessary. But I think once you start adding those extra-photograph elements, they should be in the right of the photograph and the audience. Thoughts?
In regards to the photo, this was a snap taken of someone walking by while I was setting up for something on the tripod. I wanted to title is “It was always you” to add some mystery.
p.s. For the football fans: ♫ eat’em up Tigers! ♪ eat’em up ♫