Image titles for competition entry

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#1
Hello all .... I occasionally enter images in competitions run by my local camera club. I’ve been a member for a while now. At a recent event, another member entered a picture of some swans on a lake and gave it a quirky title (Drifting Along) as opposed to calling it Mute Swans at Windermere, or similar. The judge commented that “wildlife” images should simply be titled with the correct species name and current advice is that such images will be marked down in future if given off-beat type titles.

Has anyone any experience of this? Where is the line between a record shot of a bird, and some form of artistic interpretation of a scene which happens to include birds (or hedgehogs/foxes/lions .... or whatever .... )? I ask because - unusually for me - I’m thinking of entering a shot of some starlings on a fence in our next competition and want to give it a quirky title, rather than just calling it Three Starlings. I’m normally useless at bird images, but this one is one of my better efforts ....

Sorry for the rather boring question, but interested in anyone’s thoughts on titles generally .... Many thanks.
 
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Dominic
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#2
If it's an open competition, I don't see the need for just naming the species, but maybe if it was a natural history, wildlife competition then just a simple title of what the species is, is all that's needed.
 
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Dave
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#3
:agree:

If the photo is for identification then I agree the species name is all that is needed. Otherwise I think it is up to the photographer.

I wonder where the comment by the judge that, "current advice is that such images will be marked down in future if given off-beat type titles", came from. If it is part of the rules of the competition for wildlife images then OK, but that has to be explicit.

Dave
 
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Dale.
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#4
I enter competitions quite regularly at my club. I've never had a title commented on in the sense that it will be marked down and any judge worth their salt shouldn't mark it down. In my opinion, it should all be about the image, nothing else. Presentation is important for sure (mounting etc) but even that shouldn't cause an image to be marked down.

If it specifically states in the club rules that a NH or wildlife entry should be titled with the species name, then that's fair enough but I've never witnessed it in any club or organisation's rule book. Varied titles also help with seperation.

I recently titled a kingfisher image of mine as 'Bird on a Stick', which essentially it was. The judge light heartedly commented that it was probably meant as a joke ( it did have a hint of sarcasm on my part ) but he promptly gave it 19 points and 2nd place.
 
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W
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#6
Thank you for your thoughts so far. I think the comment came from the fact that the judge in question had recently judged a comp that was purely for wildlife images and was seeing all sorts of quirky titles. I think he was quoting current thinking from the RPS (not a member, so can't comment) about this. If it's a picture of a robin, then it should be called "Robin" and not "Jolly little fellow", for example. In my own case this image in question shows three starlings (I'll try to attach it ...) ... I was going to call it - "Too Much Prosecco" or similar ... :):)

Starlings copy.jpg
 
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Graham
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#7
Thank you for your thoughts so far. I think the comment came from the fact that the judge in question had recently judged a comp that was purely for wildlife images and was seeing all sorts of quirky titles. I think he was quoting current thinking from the RPS (not a member, so can't comment) about this. If it's a picture of a robin, then it should be called "Robin" and not "Jolly little fellow", for example. In my own case this image in question shows three starlings (I'll try to attach it ...) ... I was going to call it - "Too Much Prosecco" or similar ... :):)

View attachment 239441
Some pictures just cry out for a caption...this is one. Great shot.
Ignore the judge.
 
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Gary
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#8
I'm a camera club member and enter all our club's externally judged comps. All judges are different and at times come out with some odd comments.
That said standing up talking in front of a crowd is something I could never do and not a job I would envy.

We give our images titles that we think go with the images.
Course if your stuck for title just go with the species name. Not in this case though. I'm with @Graham W :)

Great image by the way.
Good luck.

Gaz
 
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#10
Thank you for your input everyone. (Glad you like the picture - I'll get it printed and see how it looks ...) If this were a caption competition, it would be something like ... "Looks like Gladys has been at the gin again ..." :):) Onwards and upwards ...
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#13
"That Clarice - can't take her anywhere."

I can see the point of having proper taxonomic names for record type shots but shots like the one above don't need that sort of title. Having said that, sticking the name in parentheses beside the title might keep judges and aesthetes alike happy!
 
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