A picture submitted to Photojournalism of a Boy drinking from a river doesn't tell why the boy is drinking from a river or from what river he is drinking from. From a Journalistic perspective, these details are very important.
With well done captions someone will be able to pull your photo in 50 or even a hundred years and allow that person to know everything there is to know about what is going in the photograph. Captions should contain what is commonly labeled "The Five W's"
Photojournalism is a documentation. We need to know who is in the photo, be it a alias or their real name. When there are 5 or more people in a photo, listing everyones name is not a necessity. You can go with a broad label, such as Students of College/University or Anti-war protesters Even if there are no people in the photo what ever the important subject is should be listed.
The activity going on in the photo should also be written down, as it may not always be obvious what is going on, or what said activity is called.
Where The location: it's not always clear where the subject is, this blurb should verydetailed. Even to the point of redundancy. Examples: ...at the University of California Los Angeles(UCLA), located in Los Angeles, California. --or-- Starbucks Coffee Located on the corner of Washington and Overland Ave, in Culver City California, a sub-city of Los Angeles.
Simply the date, different publications require different formats it's good practice to try and include the day of the week but its not critical.
If it is a holiday the holiday can be added: New Year's Eve. Sunday, December 31, 2006.
Basically why someone is doing what they are doing. This can also include some background information on whats being covered a little extra details, this is usually included in whats published below a photo in a magazine or newspaper.
The caption as a whole need not be a linguistic treasure. Just the facts.
Fire Fighters of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Fighting a blaze in a warehouse located near the intersection of Lincoln and Washington in Venice a sub-city of Los Angeles, California, on October 6, 2005. Streets in the surrounding neighborhood became flooded from all the excess water.
Every publication in a new industry requires photographs with such detailed captions. Photojournalism is about making a record.
Here are some examples with Captions.
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