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I have an image which I would like to label certain areas with some sort of a text label. I'm trying to figure out what the best way is to make the text clear. The image is color, and objects may have multiple colors to them.

A typical example might be the picture below. I would like to label the sky, the peak, perhaps the tree types, etc. I'm looking for what such labels might look like, so that they are easily readable, and as much as possible, do not distract from the image.

enter image description here

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Umm... Picture? –  Alan Gilbertson Aug 25 '11 at 20:58
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A white or sky blue (eyedropper from the sky near the horizon) rounded rectangle set to about 40% opacity, under white or very dark green (eyedropper from the shadows) sans-serif text (Myriad Pro Light, for example) would work well.

You might add a one pixel opaque stroke to the rect, just to give it a tiny bit of prominence.

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Anything in the image is going to be distracting regardless of how the label is treated. If you wish to label objects without distracting from the image, then I think your best bet here would be drop the image into some kind of page layout app, or an application with simple page layout capabilities, and add labels around the edges of the image with leader lines pointing to the object in question. That's how we do it in our textbooks.

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Callouts make better visual sense in many situations. In a situation like this I would probably play with the Difference blend mode to flip the color of the callout line where it overlays the image. –  Alan Gilbertson Aug 26 '11 at 17:49
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