If there could be a list of advice I would give someone building their image collection up, close to the top if not on the top of the list would be keyword your images from the beginning. Don’t get in such a big hurry to get them processed to a final state that you skip the keyword process thinking you will just come back later and do it. I have spent the better part of my life in the technology field installing and maintaining various types of industrial control systems and there is one thing that stands out, if you don’t do it right the first time there’s a good chance you won’t go back to do things again. The same holds true with most things in life I believe and photography is no different. Images are the begging of the end result, a vital component for sure but just having a huge image base can be next to useless if additional data isn’t supplied along with them. I’m working at present to finish up the keywording of images on my website because of this lack of understanding the importance of such things. I realized a few years into the business end of this that keywords are a must if you want anyone to be able to search for specific needs. Have I mentioned the “search” function is “critical”!
Ever been at a website needing to find specific information or a specific image. Not a problem if you can search for it and, (the and is big) the site has been keyworded extensively. Type in your keyword or two and bingo just what you were looking for. If keywords have not been added to images you will find yourself wading through everything on the site looking for what you need. Or if your like me you probably will just leave and go elsewhere instead of wasting your time. Need an image of wildflowers in the springtime that has purple in it, no problem. Or maybe a mountain scene in the fall with yellows and oranges. A sunset with lots of red, not a problem if the website allows you search by these type of multiple keywords.
Here will be the end result at bradmangasphoto.com when someone needs to find an image. Search by subject; trees, wildflowers, blooms, grasses, wildlife, buildings, urban, rural, water, sky, moon, sunrise, sunset etc. By environment; prairies, mountains, oceans, forest, woodlands etc. By seasons; spring, summer, fall or autumn, winter. By color; whatever colors your looking for. By orientation; horizontal, vertical, panoramic or pano. These are the basic keyword building blocks I am supplying all images on the site. I’m just touching on a few of the basics here many more are included on every image.
Obviously keywording is on my mind at the moment and is something that must get done asap. The processing of new images the last year or more has included adding the keywords into the meta data during the digital darkroom room process. It takes a bit more time true but compared to setting down at the computer and looking at hundreds of images that need done it’s time very wisely spent.
The creative process is something that is stimulating and all encompassing when it is our passion, drive and desire. Along with the passion comes work, work to make it as pleasant and easy an experience for all whom you chose to share it with.
I think I better get back to keywording those images.
Great post, Brad. I agree 110%. Multiple keywords (trees and winter) help narrow down your search, too. These are very lovely images. The phlax on the tree bark is especially puzzling to me.
Thank you Ken, I have learned most things the hard way and keywording was no exception. The Phlox bloom on the stump had a little help getting there, but the curves in the wood really grabbed my attention.
Sound advice Brad. Fortunately Lightroom makes it relatively easy to scroll through a list of your already thought of keywords and just check the boxes. I still find it rather tedious at times, but just have to remind myself how often having keywords helped me quickly go back and produce submissions for an editor quickly. It certainly has improved since the days of slides!
Thanks Mark, I have yet to include Lightroom to my software toolbox but I do see the benefit, thanks for mentioning it. I think the film days would have blown my mind!