Hey, remember the folks behind the Image Keyworder software we mentioned a while back? They’ve been working on some upgrades to their software, and the biggest change has to do with Alamy contributors. Check out what they had to say in their latest press release.
Singapore, May 29th 2008 – OnAsia has announced the release of a significant upgrade to its Windows-based Image Keyworder software. The new version, currently available at www.imagekeyworder.com, includes a customized ‘Alamy Mode’ for users submitting images to the UK-based photo agency www.alamy.com.
The new functionality for Alamy contributors means that Image Keyworder is currently the only commercially available software that has been tailor designed to accommodate the specific annotation requirements of Alamy. The tool enables Alamy contributors to work on batches of images; speeding up the workflow for getting their images online.
“When Alamy announced that it was changing its metadata requirements a few months ago, we saw an opportunity to customize our Image Keyworder tool for a very specific group of users,” explained Yvan Cohen, Director at OnAsia. “Alamy was extremely supportive throughout this process and we now hope that their contributors will see the benefits of the customized functionality we are providing for them,” he added.
“Throughout the development of Image Keyworder we have aimed to create a tool that is tailored closely to the needs of digital photographers faced with the challenge of indexing their images and submitting to online agencies,” said Mr. Cohen.
One of the most comprehensive and competitively priced keywording programs on the market, Image Keyworder comes bundled with a thesaurus comprising over 40,000 terms, including synonyms, alternate forms, spelling variations and singulars and plurals. The thesaurus is continually being enriched and updated to ensure that users have access to a growing pool of terms.
“The thesaurus function means that with a single click you can add several relevant terms to an image. It’s much easier and faster than keywording manually,” explained Mr Cohen.
Having grown out of OnAsia’s experience as a professional keywording service, Image Keyworder also offers users a number of features aimed at combining comprehensive keywording with productivity. Groups of images can be processed in batches, templates can be created and saved for repeat image types and keywords can be selectively added and removed from sets of images.
Image Keyworder can be downloaded for a free 30-day trial from www.imagekeyworder.com. The trial includes full functionality and access to Image Keyworder’s comprehensive built-in thesaurus.
An Image Keyworder license for two computers costs just US$ 79.99 including a 12-month thesaurus subscription valued at US$ 39.99.
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Last time we talked about importing photos through Adobe Bridge. Now that we have our photos transferred over with some basic metadata embedded, we can start preparing for processing, selection, and finalization.
In my workflow, file preparation consists of knocking out the duds, more metadata, basic keywording, and file renaming. Getting rid of non-usable photos helps to free up clutter and disk space. Extra metadata can include things like location and lighting. Basic keywording helps to initially separate and group photos. And file renaming adds information that’s more visible to anybody handling your files. In total, these steps should take no more than 10 minutes of your time, even if you have several hundred files to work with.
Before anything else, I always take a quick run through the photos and delete anything that needs to be deleted. Why? Well, there’s no sense in spending the extra time on those files working with metadata and processing — they’re only going to get in the way. Not only that, they take up extra disk space and clutter the folder.
I’m not talking about deleting the “sort of bad” photos — those are fine to hang on to sometimes. The photos I delete are those either completely out of focus, exposure is WAY off, or maybe something that a person or object unexpectedly blocked a majority of the scene. I also delete duplicates. Sometimes I’ll shoot in rapid-fire mode and I’ll end up with several of the same photos. I’ll shoot this way for several reasons: moving objects, low shutter speed, accidental, etc. If I have five photos of basically the same thing, I’ll look at them in detail and keep the best 1 or 2 out of the bunch.
Adobe Bridge offers two methods of “deleting” photos. If you select a photo and press the “Delete” key, you’ll probably see a dialog box similar to the one I’ve shown. By default, Bridge will “Reject” photos when you press the “Delete” key. This just removes the thumbnail from Bridge but leaves the file alone on the hard drive. To completely delete a photo, hold down the “Ctrl” key (Cmd for Mac) before pressing the “Delete” key.
APPLYING LOCATION METADATA
I typically group my photos by a particular photo shoot — so every photo in a given folder is from the same geographic location. Even though I include this information in my folder naming convention, that metadata is not yet contained in the photo.
In the IPTC Metadata, there exist several fields for geographic location data. You can place the country, state/province, city, and location within a city. I generally fill in everything I can, sometimes leaving out “Location” and “City” depending on where I shot the photos.
Applying these values is a snap — just select all of your photos for a particular location, set the values in the Metadata panel, and click the apply button at the bottom. Do this step with every set of photos and you’ll have a fairly quick method of locating images by location with a simple search or filter.
APPLYING BASIC KEYWORDS
Aside from location metadata, I like to start on a few choice keywords prior to processing the files. I have a couple of keyword categories in my Keyword panel for lighting conditions. I apply these “lighting” keywords prior to processing because they help me separate similar files based on the approximate white balance. This will be important when we pull files into Adobe Camera RAW.
I tag photos for things like “natural light”, “artificial light”, “flash”, “studio”, “sunlight”, “shade”, “fluorescent light”, etc. These keywords give me a good idea of which photos can be processed in batches for white balance. This can be a huge time-saver if you have hundreds of photos shot with very similar lighting conditions.
At this point, you could do the rest of your keywording — it won’t hurt anything. I like to get my files processed as quickly as possible so I can view them in a more natural state. But if you like to dig right in to the task of keywording, nobody’s stopping you.
BATCH RENAMING WITH BRIDGE
In the past I was never big on renaming my files — I just didn’t see any need for it. Neil changed my mind with his series on photo organization. I like the naming convention he presented (NAME-YYMMDD-XXXX) and it helps me identify my photos with more ease.
Adobe Bridge offers the ability to batch rename your photos with a powerful interface. After selecting the files you wish to rename and entering the “Batch Rename” dialog via the right-click menu or in your “Tools” menu. The dialog gives you the option of where the new files will placed, how to rename them, previous filename preservation, OS compatibility, and it shows a nice preview of what the new names will look like.
There are nine different rule-types that can be applied in sequence with each other and combined to create a single filename. As you can see by my example, I use “Text” (AUER-) + “Date Time” (YYMMDD) + “Text” (-) + “Sequence” (XXXX) to create the naming structure that I want. You should be able to get whatever filename you need based on combinations of these nine rules, and you can even include several pieces of metadata if you so choose.
To add more naming rules, click the plus sign on an existing rule and add a line below it. To remove rules, click on the minus sign.
In the next part of this series I’ll FINALLY get around to processing my images. For that step I’ll be showing a RAW workflow and comparing it with a JPEG workflow. Fortunately for CS3 users, the two are very much the same. And for those who aren’t convinced that RAW is king, I’ll show some examples of the differences between working with RAW files and JPEG files.
The bulk of this article was provided by Yvan Cohen from OnAsia, the parent company behind the piece of software he’ll be discussing. Not only is this a great possible resource for many photographers, but it’s also a nice follow-up to Neil’s last post on Organizing Photos. Additionally… Yvan has agreed to participate in our Birthday Party by offering a free gift to one lucky raffle winner. See my notes below Yvan’s discussion.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KEYWORDING
The digital revolution means millions of images are just a mouse click away. But while picture buyers may marvel at the convenience of such access, many know the challenge it represents: searching vast online databases can be time-consuming and frustrating.
The ability to retrieve the ‘right’ picture from a digital archive now depends almost entirely on keywords. Online databases deliver results by matching search terms against the keywords associated with an image. Only through extensive and relevant keywording can images be quickly and accurately retrieved.
THE SOFTWARE SOLUTION
OnAsia’s recently launched Image Keyworder program was created to make keywording easier and faster. The Windows-based desktop solution has been designed specifically to provide an intuitive, low-cost solution for photographers and archive owners seeking an effective way to keyword and add metadata to their image collections.
At the heart of Image Keyworder lies its comprehensive searchable thesaurus of around 40,000 terms. The thesaurus represents a huge amount of value for a keyworder because it gives the user access a structured vocabulary of terms that has been organized specifically with the task of keywording images in mind. The thesaurus is also continually expanding as OnAsia’s team adds terms which are then updated to the user’s own copy of Image Keyworder through the internet.
The software aims to make keywording faster, more systematic and more comprehensive. By clicking on a single thesaurus term (or simply dragging it into the keyword field) a user can instantly add a keyword plus relevant synonyms, alternate forms, singulars and plurals, misspellings and UK/US variations to the keyword field. Thus the software helps automate what would otherwise be a manual and rather hit-and-miss process of choosing and entering terms.
We’ve also tried to make the software as flexible as possible allowing users to add or remove specific terms to batches of images or to exclude either singulars or plurals depending on the requirements of the organization to which they are submitting.
It’s hard to over emphasize the value of thorough keywording. We liken the use of comprehensive keyword sets to creating a fine net that can catch potential clients as they swim through a sea of images in search of the right match for their needs. Naturally, the more relevant keywords that are associated with an image, the higher the likelihood it will be returned accurately in a search; thereby increasing the chances of a sale.
MORE THAN JUST KEYWORDING
Despite our emphasis on keywording functions, Image Keyworder is a broad metadata management tool. The software is designed to allow information to be added to all of the principle metadata fields such as caption, copyright information, date and location. We have included the standard IPTC fields as well as the broader range of XMP fields so there is plenty of choice.
Again, with efficiency and speed in mind, Image keyworder has the ability to create templates for repeat image types and to export metadata into an external document like an excel file if needed.
Although Image Keyworder is still a very new piece of commercial software it is already attracting interest within the photographer and agency community. We’re keen to invite new users to try out the software and are regularly updating, refining and adding features to the program.
A personal license for two computers costs just USD $79.99 and includes a 12 month subscription to a comprehensive and regularly updated thesaurus that is renewable for USD $39.99. A full version of the software can be downloaded for a 30-day trial from www.imagekeyworder.com. At this price, Image Keyworder with its broad functionality is perhaps the most attractively priced of a small number of programs aimed at the growing Keywording market.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THOUGHTS FROM BRIAN
In general, I think the software does a good job at expanding your keywording capabilities. You’ll occasionally find that it won’t recognize keywords or phrases, but a majority of what you’ll search for will exist. The most beneficial part of this software is that it drastically reduces the amount of typing you’re required to do while simultaneously increasing your keyword density. I ran through several images that I had applied 20-30 keywords without assistance. I ran those keywords through the software, and that alone resulted in over 100 relevant keywords in just a few minutes!
I haven’t toyed with the batch capabilities much, but it could be quite useful for filling out the non-keyword fields in the metadata. Related images could be keyworded as a batch on the first pass, thus reducing the amount of time spent even further. You can even make templates to fill in certain data fields the same way on every image. This could be really handy for placing your name, copyright info, contact info, etc, right into the files before stepping into keywording.
I’d encourage you guys to give it a try and see how you like it for yourself. I invite you to come back to this post and leave your thoughts and feedback. Like I mentioned above, these guys are giving away a free one-year subscription to the software for our Birthday Party. If you like the software, you may have a chance at winning it.
If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “KEYWORD SOFTWARE” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.
Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered. And if you have a prize you’d like to give away for the birthday party, let me know!