important details that are not readily apparent in the
photograph, To make a caption work, you must use three
overemphasizing the obvious. Always use the active
voice of the verb and write in the present tense. Another
important consideration in caption writing is
background information. This consists of additional
facts or explanations needed to clarify the photo. The
where the picture will be located and how it will be used.
picture is of primary importance. The caption explaining
a picture of a sailor wearing an oxygen breathing
apparatus to a civilian is more difficult than explaining
it to another sailor.
single picture, or used in conjunction with something
else, such as a news story or report. When the picture is
to accompany a news story or a report, the caption
should not repeat details used in the text. On the other
hand, when the photograph is to be used as a single
picture, it must tell the whole story, and the amount of
background information must be enough to provide the
reader with all the necessary details. In other words, the
caption and picture combination must tell the complete
simplicity and brevity.
paygrade, rate, or rank and full name.
there is no prescribed length for captions, the general
rule is one paragraph, preferably in 50 words or less.
Caption content is your last opportunity to tell what
makes a photograph significant. The shorter you make
the caption and still tell a complete story, the better.
proven method is to make use of the three basic
elements: explain the action, identify persons or
sentence must link the caption to the photograph by
describing the action. One of the peculiarities of the first
sentence in caption writing is its verb form. Since a
photograph has "frozen" a moment in time, the verb
should be written in present tense. This provides a sense
of immediacy, as though the reader is actually
witnessing the event. For example:
swims through swirling flood waters of the St.
Johns River to rescue 6-year-old Sammy
Cameron . . . ."
through . . . ."
of present tense in the first sentence. What to do with
the "when" or time element? If the when or time
element is included in the first sentence, the result reads
something like this:
yesterday . . . ."
the reader and should be avoided. To alleviate the
problem, you should leave out the when or time element
of the first sentence when writing captions, thus
avoiding an awkward shift in tense.
Basic Photography Course