Khamseen Image Caption Guidelines

Categorized as Production Guides

Mira Xenia Schwerda


All images used in PowerPoints prepared for Khamseen presentations have to be identified with full captions and credits. Moreover, if an individual or institution must give permission for an image to be used, then permission also must be indicated in the caption.

Images that need to be captioned include: 1) images of a specific art object (e.g., a tile at the MET); 2) illustrative images (e.g., a map or picture of the landscape of southern Iran); and 3) drawings extracted from publications. All of these visuals require full image captions and credits; if they are used more than once in the PowerPoint then they only need to be fully captioned at the first mention.

Full image captions:

Please include the following information:

Artist, or if unknown, ‘unidentified artist(s)’ (if applicable)

Title of the object in italics (if applicable)

If the object belongs to a manuscript, an installation, a set, etc., please state so

Place (city/country) and time (date or century) of creation

Medium/material/technology (if applicable)

Archival/object number (if applicable)

Institutional or individual copyright holder, including city

If the object isn’t clearly in the public domain, then insert a note regarding copyright here

The photographer of the object can also be indicated here

Feel free to modify the order of the information, but please stay consistent with your chosen order throughout your PowerPoint presentation.

Example 1: Painting from the Shahnameh in the public domain (see here):

Full image caption:

Painting attributed to Dust Muhammad

The Coup against the Usurper Shah

From the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp

Folio 745v

Tabriz, Iran, 1530-35

Watercolor, ink, gold and silver, on paper

MET, 1970.301.76

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Example 2: Photograph of the Red Fort in Agra, distributed under a Creative Commons license on Flickr:

Full image caption:

Audience Hall (Diwan-i Amm)

Red Fort, Agra

Uttar Pradesh, India, ca. 1637

© Pierre Doyen (2020) / Flickr

Indicating copyright and the granting of permissions:

If you are using a copyrighted image and have permission to do so, please indicate this, for example, by writing “Reproduced with permission of” or “Courtesy of” the artist, author, or photographer. If these are your own photos, please write “Photo by author” or “All photos, unless otherwise stated, by the author” (or a similar phrase).

I am not allowed to use my original image. What do I do now? And does Khamseen cover my image fees?

Some copyright holders or agencies demand fees for the use of their images. Khamseen cannot cover licensing fees for commercial images. As a contributor you can either replace the images with freely available ones, or, if this is not possible, please contact the institution, explain Khamseen’s nonprofit status and educational mission, and ask them if they are willing to waive or reduce the fee for you. In the past many public institutions have been willing to do so. However, this might not be the case with commercial enterprises. For example, if you would like to use an image from Alamy such as this one, you would have to pay the necessary licensing fee. However, another option would be to replace the image with a freely available image such as this one on Flickr. Besides Google, Wikipedia, and Flickr, another way to find such images easily is by using the Creative Commons website, where one can search for free and openly accessible images.

Using content from a publication (book, article, etc.):

The source of the image has to be clearly indicated. It is advised to use an abbreviated citation for the source on the slide and to then include the full citation in the bibliography at the end of the presentation. If the source is not out of copyright, then the author or publisher must grant permission to include the image in your Khamseen presentation.

Location and font size of the captions:

Captions are meant to be read. They are not just added to identify copyright; rather, they allow the audience to locate the object and potentially undertake further research. Please make sure that your captions are large enough to be legible.

The image captions are not the only captions to keep in mind. Your final presentation will also include closed captions of your script. Please keep the image captions–and all other text and images–away from the lower horizontal of PowerPoint slides since that is where the closed captions will be running. If not, the captions will overlap with your presentation content.

Please make sure that you use the same font for all of your captions.

Full Image Captions:

Please send us a Word document that lists all images, full captions and credits, and links to websites, if the image was sourced online. Please also indicate the copyright status of the images, in particular if they are not in the public domain (e.g., if the copyright holder has been contacted and has given permission for the use of the image). This will allow us to verify copyright clearance and polish the information in your PowerPoint presentation.

Final Checks for Contributors:

1. Have I identified all copyright holders and/or authors/photographers for all images included in my PowerPoint presentation?

2. Does every image include full image caption and credit information?

3. Have I contacted institutional and/or individual copyright holders, if necessary?

4. If so, have all granted me permission to include images in my PowerPoint?

5. If not, have I replaced copyrighted images with Creative Commons or other freely available content?

6. Are the captions legible and placed somewhere else than the bottom horizontal of the page so that they will not overlap with the closed captions that will be added later?

7. Have I provided Khamseen with a Word document that includes all images, full captions and credits, and current copyright status?


Mira Xenia Schwerda, “Khamseen Image Caption Guidelines,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 29 November 2022.