Starsphinx

Captioning - problems with evidence of description

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I have a dilemma on captioning - and it is one I believe I am likely to run into again.   I have a shot of what I am 99% sure are homeless people chatting with a town host - now I can prove the host is a town host but I cannot prove the men were homeless - and although 99% certain I could be wrong.  The logical caption for me is "Town host chatting to homeless men" - but I am not sure if that is either allowed or safe.  I do not have model or property releases.

I have seen other similar possible shots - and as it is clear that shots with people do well in Alamy even without releases I am going to be doing more street work - but how do I go about captioning when I have neither proof nor evidence that the interpretation I am putting on an image is the correct one.  


 

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You can add extra information in the description field to say this kind of thing. You could also add something like "presumed homeless" in the caption. 

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You warrant to Alamy that captions are accurate, so if you're not sure, don't put it in the caption . But as Colin says you can put it in "additional info".

Assuming the people are identifiable, I wouldn't be putting in something I wasn't sure of.

 

BTW what's a "town host"?

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

You warrant to Alamy that captions are accurate, so if you're not sure, don't put it in the caption . But as Colin says you can put it in "additional info".

Assuming the people are identifiable, I wouldn't be putting in something I wasn't sure of.

 

BTW what's a "town host"?

Lol - yeah I know - the town in question has a business improvement scheme which among other things pays for people to be "hosts" - a visible presence in the town centre that sort of link between tourist information, neighbourhood watch, and business support.  They smile, answer questions from visitors, note any fresh vandalism,  bins not emptied etc, and act as first contact/go-between for various problems.

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15 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

You warrant to Alamy that captions are accurate, so if you're not sure, don't put it in the caption . But as Colin says you can put it in "additional info".

Assuming the people are identifiable, I wouldn't be putting in something I wasn't sure of.

 

BTW what's a "town host"?

Yes, I have run into this problem sometimes when a photo has a picture of an adult with a child. Can you be sure that it is a 'parent/father/mother and child'? Just saying adult and child is not very precise.

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5 minutes ago, Sally said:

Yes, I have run into this problem sometimes when a photo has a picture of an adult with a child. Can you be sure that it is a 'parent/father/mother and child'? Just saying adult and child is not very precise.

Well "parent and child" isn't too problematic- adults have children and children have parents- but incorrectly calling someone homeless could be.

Edited by spacecadet

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I screwed up a shot yesterday of what appeared to be a drunk homeless man in a McDonalds doorway  - dirty man in scruffy clothes appearing to be falling asleep or semi conscious really does not cut it - especially when I suspect customers are going to search for "drunk homeless" .  Walking up and saying excuse me are you A homeless and B drunk really is not going to work either.
 

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This is not my picture - I just searched "drunk homeless" - but is an example in point.  How does the photographer know this individual was either drunk or homeless?- There are no releases and I cannot see and extra information.  I also believe extra information is not searchable.  Now it may be that the photographer does know this individual and his circumstances very well - but maybe not, I cannot tell.  In the meantime, a customer searching for drunk homeless will find this picture but will not find one I have taken because I have captioned it avoiding the words "drunk" and "homeless"

Homeless drunk man sleeping it off on the beachStock Photo

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10 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

This is not my picture - I just searched "drunk homeless" - but is an example in point.  How does the photographer know this individual was either drunk or homeless?- There are no releases and I cannot see and extra information.  I also believe extra information is not searchable.  Now it may be that the photographer does know this individual and his circumstances very well - but maybe not, I cannot tell.  In the meantime, a customer searching for drunk homeless will find this picture but will not find one I have taken because I have captioned it avoiding the words "drunk" and "homeless"

Homeless drunk man sleeping it off on the beachStock Photo

 

I think, using the words "drunk" and "homeless" in the caption ist wrong in the case of this photo. 

Maybe he ist drunk, maybe he is tired or exhausted, and maybe he has a big house and sleeps on the ground because he is drunk. 

We do not know.

Therfore, not in the caption. 

 

But, it looks like as if he could be drunk and perhaps is homeless. 

So I would take "drunk" and "homeless" to the keywords, so customer can find it. 

 

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For what it is worth this is the photo I am looking to caption - in this case drunk is not relevant but homeless possibly is.
R0X78T.jpg

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Based solely on what I see, I certainly wouldn't make that assumption. Unless I had some more information I'd most likely be leaving that one alone- without the hook of homelessness it's just some folks having a chat.

It's  perfect  source material for a discussion about things not being what they seem and not jumping to conclusions.

Edited by spacecadet
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There's room in the caption to truthfully explain the image but to include 'phishing', of town host in conversation with people with belongings, possibly homeless or sleeping rough. If you look at the 'found' images thread you'll often see images used with assumed meanings, and I often kick myself for being too 'straight' with my keywording.

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4 hours ago, spiegel said:

 

I think, using the words "drunk" and "homeless" in the caption ist wrong in the case of this photo. 

Maybe he ist drunk, maybe he is tired or exhausted, and maybe he has a big house and sleeps on the ground because he is drunk. 

We do not know.

Therfore, not in the caption. 

 

But, it looks like as if he could be drunk and perhaps is homeless. 

So I would take "drunk" and "homeless" to the keywords, so customer can find it. 

 

I thought I replied earlier but it seems to have disappeared.

I agree totally with your reasoning - it is my own reasoning.  However, the owner of the photograph has captioned it with both"drunk" and "homeless" - so in a customer search for those words it is going to appear higher up than a similar image more correctly captioned with the terms as keywords rather than in the caption.  That is the whole rub and why I opened this thread.

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22 minutes ago, Avpics said:

There's room in the caption to truthfully explain the image but to include 'phishing', of town host in conversation with people with belongings, possibly homeless or sleeping rough. If you look at the 'found' images thread you'll often see images used with assumed meanings, and I often kick myself for being too 'straight' with my keywording.

So I have come up with "A  town host chatting to a group of men with personal belongings around their feet, (possibly homeless) next to the river Avon in Chippenham" - which uses 140 of the 150 characters.

 

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Perfect. If you think about possible usages of the image, the fact that their duties would include moving on or helping the homeless then it covers all the bases.

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4 hours ago, spiegel said:

 

I think, using the words "drunk" and "homeless" in the caption ist wrong in the case of this photo. 

Maybe he ist drunk, maybe he is tired or exhausted, and maybe he has a big house and sleeps on the ground because he is drunk. 

We do not know.

Therfore, not in the caption. 

 

But, it looks like as if he could be drunk and perhaps is homeless. 

So I would take "drunk" and "homeless" to the keywords, so customer can find it. 

 

I agree that there's a strong likelihood that the man is drunk, but I still wouldn't put that in the keywords, if I wasn't 100% certain.

If I / you put that there, then there's a chance the pic will be used in that way, then the person could sue.

I remember reading about an actual released picture elsewhere which was used as a background for a TV programme on anorexia. The model was very thin, but not anorexic, and she was furious, but the photo was tagged 'anorexia, anorexic', so the responsibility was the photographer's.

 

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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46 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

I agree that there's a strong likelihood that the man is drunk, but I still wouldn't put that in the keywords, if I wasn't 100% certain.

If I / you put that there, then there's a chance the pic will be used in that way, then the person could sue.

I remember reading about an actual released picture elsewhere which was used as a background for a TV programme on anorexia. The model was very thin, but not anorexic, and she was furious, but the photo was tagged 'anorexia, anorexic', so the responsibility was the photographer's.

 

 

Can you get around that by putting "drunk looking" or "possibly drunk" (anorexic looking, possibly anorexic) - will a search for drunk still bring up photographs tagged that way?

 

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Also as lets say the photographer does know for certain a person is drunk - they have watched them drink, stagger throw up pass out.  They tag or caption the photo.  The person sees the photo and objects claiming they were not drunk - how is the photographer going to prove that they were?

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14 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Can you get around that by putting "drunk looking" or "possibly drunk" (anorexic looking, possibly anorexic) - will a search for drunk still bring up photographs tagged that way?

 

Yes, it will still show up in a search. Whether that's a legal workaround, I couldn't say.

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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17 hours ago, spiegel said:

 

I think, using the words "drunk" and "homeless" in the caption ist wrong in the case of this photo. 

Maybe he ist drunk, maybe he is tired or exhausted, and maybe he has a big house and sleeps on the ground because he is drunk. 

We do not know.

Therfore, not in the caption. 

 

But, it looks like as if he could be drunk and perhaps is homeless. 

So I would take "drunk" and "homeless" to the keywords, so customer can find it. 

 

..........and just supposing he happens to find it. There will be others who won't agree, but in my view this is dangerous territory. I wouldn't even go there.

Get a good lawyer.

Edited by Dave Richards
sic

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I might put "homeless" in the tags but not in the caption.

Edited by spacecadet

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Describing people in less-than-flattering terms can be a dangerous game. When I worked on a photo mag we had this drummed into us (by the company lawyer!). A pic of a man walking into a pub can be described as 'man walking into a pub for a drink'. However, if he is teetotal, and was only going in to read the meter, there could be problems.

 

I would be reluctant to describe anyone in a pic as homeless (unless I was 100% positive)...

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19 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I have a dilemma on captioning - and it is one I believe I am likely to run into again.   I have a shot of what I am 99% sure are homeless people chatting with a town host - now I can prove the host is a town host but I cannot prove the men were homeless - and although 99% certain I could be wrong.  The logical caption for me is "Town host chatting to homeless men" - but I am not sure if that is either allowed or safe.  I do not have model or property releases.

I have seen other similar possible shots - and as it is clear that shots with people do well in Alamy even without releases I am going to be doing more street work - but how do I go about captioning when I have neither proof nor evidence that the interpretation I am putting on an image is the correct one.  


 

 

I would suggested you do not use potentially pejorative words like "homeless", "drunk", "drunk-looking" or anything else that you can't be sure is factually accurate when describing people.

 

When I studied Analytic Psychotherapy at university, in another life (stay with me, this is relevant), my supervisor bollocked me for using technical or medical terms about patients, like "he's depressed" or "she's demonstrating counter-transferential ideas". "That's not useful as they can mean one thing to one person and something else to another person, and if it's not true you've misdiagnosed them and they might sue", I was told.

"Just tell me what the patient is doing" was the best advice I ever got.

On becoming a professional press photographer, it has worked perfectly for captions. Say what you see. Don't decide what it means.

Edited by Steve Valentia
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18 hours ago, spiegel said:

 

But, it looks like as if he could be drunk and perhaps is homeless. 

So I would take "drunk" and "homeless" to the keywords, so customer can find it. 

 

 

As per my last post (above), I wouldn't use any of those keywords. I'd use...Man, lying down, ground, beach, fully clothed, eyes closed, beer cans...etc

Edited by Steve Valentia

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I totally get the importance of only putting what you see from an ethical and legal point of view.

The dilemma is that customers are not going to search  " Man, lying down, ground, beach, fully clothed, eyes closed, beer cans " - they are going to search "drunk man on a beach"

So I  may have the exact photograph they want - but if I cannot or do not caption it and/or keyword it with the terms they are going to use in a search they are not going to find it.  So they may take a less exact photo from Alamy and not be 100% happy, they may go and use a different stock company altogether, and I don't get the sale.  The last one is negative only to me the first 2 are negatives for the whole of Alamy and every contributor here.

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