mack - 1:30 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)
The title certainly is very important, some times just looking at your page will give you ideas of what the page should be. From there remove anything from the title that is not of great importance...
"Photographs I took in May when I visited Paris"
could easily be shortened to...
"Photographs of Paris"
That is a very direct title and with the example I user it might be hard to go after that term. You can choose to narrow your title down a bit, this can sometimes be referred to as "long tail"
The thinking behond being more specific is you will have less sites going after the same term. The search volume may be less, but it can lead to more traffic...
"Photographs taken in south Paris"
The examples I used aren't very good, but I hope they give you some ideas. You may also want to think about alternative words..A few years who one of my sites sold "UK widgets" the term had pretty high search volume, but it was tricky to stay on the first page.
I decided to target an alternative "word" and optimized for "British widgets". Much lower search volume, but consistently in top 3. It paid off and traffic rose 25%.
Sometimes you need to work out the balance. popular search term, but lower rank or less popular term but higher rank.
Hope this gives you some ideas.