The exercise is to find a newspaper photograph and write our own captions. This is the sort of thing that is done every week on ‘Have I Got News For You’, the ‘Graham Norton Show’ and others, mainly for comic effect. In most cases, these alternative captions form an alternative anchorage for the image. Relay captions appear rare, which fits with Barthes’ own comments in Rhetoric of the Image.
My own attempts will form a separate posting. In this posting I give examples of a surprisingly common phenomenon in the Times. Like most newspapers, the Times likes to put an eye-catching colour photograph on the front page. Often, it is unrelated to the main headline story of the day and, sometimes, the juxtaposition of headline and story give an alternative reading to both – having an element of relay because it is unintentional.
I have gleaned the following examples since mid-February.