A Picture Worth a Thousand Words While A Caption Controls The Story

Too often we are led by the pictures we see and even the videos that are aired on the news or internet sites.  If we were just given the picture or video, we wouldn’t know what to think of it or what it is supposed to mean, but that is of course open to interpretation.  As a journalist or reporter for the news, stories are supposed to remain unbiased and just tell the facts and allow us to decide for ourselves what it means.  This could potentially require us as readers/viewers to get involved and actually research in to what any particular photo or video is referencing.  This could also be beneficial for people nowadays considering how fast pace society has become, we need to slow down to try and understand what is going on in our world and in our backyard.  When we accompany these pictures and videos with captions explaining what is going on, we can potentially lead readers/viewers to think or believe in a certain way that we want them to.

Photographers have a skill in looking at something and being able to capture it in a way that will tell a story.  We want the pictures to have a meaning and for it to be conveyed through the lighting, distance, perspective and environment in which it is taken.  It seems though, as easy as it is for photographers to capture an event or a moment in time, they can also create a different story.  It could be possible for a photographer to manipulate any aspect of the picture to get it to tell a different story.  Photography can almost be related to statistics in that sense.  You can’t change the image but you can certainly control the environment and what you decide to capture much like in statistics you can manipulate the numbers to fit what you want it to.

The idea that this kind of manipulation is out there and can occur makes you think twice about what you are reading or seeing.  People today just seem to be concerned with ratings and how many people they can get to tune in to what they are posting.  The day where the real facts and real news existed for the good of society has faded in to the background where we prefer to manipulate information, pictures and other things just to get more people to tune in to one station or another or read one newspaper/magazine over another.  This shamefully happens a lot with paparazzi and stars of today.  Pictures are taken of them all the time, everywhere and very seldom do they report a true story when they post a scandalous or non-flattering picture of a celebrity.  We need to be smarter than the overload of “news” we receive these days.  We need to be able to take away these stories and captions and interpret images for ourselves.

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