Tag Archives: keywording

New Partner: Image Keyworder

Image Keyworder

Please join me in welcoming Image Keyworder to our list of publication sponsors! You’ll be able to see their banner at the end of each article (aka the “premium” spot).

For those who have been with the blog for a while, you’ll recall that we’ve explored and discussed the Image Keyworder software (be sure to read this to learn more about their software). I’ve tested the software, and I have absolutely no problem promoting their product. It’s a great tool for anybody requiring in-depth photo keywording — especially those involved with stock photography.

Image Keyworder has also been getting some upgrades since I reviewed the software. In May, they added support for Alamy contributors. And now, they’ve added a “keyword suggest” feature:

Singapore, August 2008 – OnAsia has announced the release of a new upgrade to its Windows-based Image Keyworder software. The new version, currently available at www.imagekeyworder.com and as a free upgrade for existing users, includes a ‘suggest’ function which will allow users to propose terms for inclusion in the program’s comprehensive controlled vocabulary.

The new functionality is designed to enhance the depth and breadth of Image Keyworder’s controlled vocabulary, which comes bundled with the software and is one of its most valuable features. Image Keyworder’s controlled vocabulary is already over 40,000 terms strong, including synonyms, alternate forms, spelling variations and singulars and plurals.

“We are aware that one of Image Keyworder’s greatest strengths is its controlled vocabulary,” said Yvan Cohen, a Director at OnAsia, the company which developed the software.

“We have a team of people who are working to expand and enrich the thesaurus, but users occasionally still find a gap in our coverage especially if the terms they wish to add are specialised. With our new ‘suggest’ function they can send their suggestions directly to our team for review,” he added.

Accessible as a button on the toolbar at the top of Image Keyworder’s workscreen, users can add lists of terms that they would like to suggest for inclusion in the controlled vocabulary accompanied by notes as to their meaning and relevance. They are also able to see if the term has been accepted or declined and any relevant comments from Image Keyworder’s in-house team.

Image Keyworder has been developed in close collaboration between OnAsia’s IT and keywording teams who have considerable experience and understanding of the challenges involved in indexing and keywording large volumes of imagery. “The software is an ongoing collaborative development effort aimed at taking the pain out of keywording and making it more efficient,” said Mr Cohen. “We believe that our first hand knowledge of keywording and image management has helped make Image Keyworder a more effective tool.”

One of the most comprehensive and competitively priced keywording programs on the market, Image Keyworder’s controlled vocabulary means that, with a single click, users can add several relevant terms to an image. The structure and depth of a controlled vocabulary help make an otherwise random and error-prone process more efficient.

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.

For more information contact support@imagekeyworder.com

Image Keyworder Releases ‘Alamy’ Upgrade

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.

For more information contact support@imagekeyworder.com

Your Guide to Adobe Bridge: Useful Tips and Tricks

Adobe Bridge Guide Tips and Tricks

In the last part of this series, we went over Organizing your photos with Adobe Bridge. That marked kind of an endpoint for my basic workflow, but I still had a few Bridge features that I wanted to talk about and expand upon.

This article will cover the Bridge keywording features, more productive ways to process RAW files, taking care of dust bunnies, hooking into Photoshop’s batch processing feature, and clearing up some visual archive clutter with stacks. This article also marks the near end for the whole series, and the final article will recap everything we’ve talked about.

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IN-DEPTH KEYWORDING

Back in the File Preparation article, I briefly mentioned keywording, but I didn’t talk a whole lot about how to do it. Keywording can be done in one of two ways with Adobe Bridge: typing semicolon-separated keywords into the Metadata Panel or clicking the check-boxes in the Keyword Panel. I use both methods depending on the situation.

Adobe Bridge Keywording Via the Metadata Panel

Keywording via the Metadata Panel is generally faster than searching through lists of keywords that you have archived. The problem with using this method is that it can’t be used when you have multiple images selected that already contain different keyword values. In the “Keywords” box you’ll see “(Multiple Values)” rather than the keywords. If you type anything in that box, you replace whatever information was there with the new information. So this method of keywording is good for groups of images with no previous keywords or single images regardless of their keyword situation.

Keywording via the Keyword Panel is a little slower than typing things by hand. The nice thing about it, though, is that it can handle adding keywords to multiple files with pre-existing keywords (even if they’re different from each other). The other great thing about the Keyword Panel is that it serves as a keyword archive and it sort of reminds you to use keywords that you may have otherwise missed. I’ll typically use this method of keywording for the more detailed work after the images have already had a first coat of keywords.

Adobe Bridge Keyword Archive

USING THE KEYWORD PANEL

Organizing the keyword archive is fairly simple, but it’s not a completely automated process. When you keyword things by hand in the Metadata Panel, Bridge makes a note of this and places these keywords and phrases in your Keyword Panel under “Other Keywords”. These keywords can be moved around and stuffed into other categories for permanent archiving.

To create a new category, simply click on the plus sign at the bottom of the panel for a “New Keyword”. This inserts a top level keyword that can be used as a category or grouping for other keywords. Once you have some top level keywords, you can add “New Sub Keywords” by selecting they keyword you want it under and clicking the plus sign with an arrow next to it. Sub Keywords can even have their own Sub Keywords, as shown in the screen shot for my “film” category.

Moving and organizing existing keywords is simply a drag-n-drop operation. Keywords can also be renamed and deleted. The easiest way to build up your keyword archive is to do it as you go. Don’t bother spending hours plugging in keywords that you think you’ll use later — make good use of your time and do it while you’re actually keywording photos. And one last tip for the Keyword Paneltry to keep your keyword groups filled with less than 10 or 15 keywords. Any more than that and you can probably create some new sub-groups. Too many keywords in one list only makes it more difficult to find them.

Do your keyword archiving correctly and adding those words and phrases will be a snap. You’ll be amazed at how many keywords you would have forgotten if you hadn’t run down your list and started diving into your categories and sub categories.

COPY AND PASTE ACR SETTINGS

As I mentioned in the File Processing article of this series, you can process multiple images inside of ACR to speed things up. Well, we can do the same thing without even bringing the images into ACR or Photoshop. If you have a group of photos with nearly identical lighting conditions and exposure, you can process one file and apply those settings to the other files from Bridge (I also mentioned this as an afterthought in the article).

To review: after you process your file, select the thumbnail inside of Bridge and copy the “Development Settings” via the right click menu, edit menu, or press Ctrl+Alt+C. Then select the images you want to apply the settings to and use the menus or press Ctrl+Alt+V to bring up the dialog that lets you choose which settings to paste over.

Adobe Bridge Spot Removal

One of those settings is for “Spot Removal”. A neat trick you can do if you have a bunch of images with nasty spots on them, is to remove the spots on one image (via ACR’s healing tool) and do a copy & paste to the other images for only the spot removal. Now you don’t have to click every spot in every image.

BATCH WITH PHOTOSHOP

One thing I absolutely love about Bridge is the ability to batch process photos with Photoshop Actions without manually opening those images in Photoshop and running the actions. If I process a photo with ACR and it doesn’t need to be opened in Photoshop, I don’t open it in Photoshop. But if I want to post that photo to Flickr at a smaller size, correct color space, etc., I have to use Photoshop.

But since I created a few actions for resizing my Flickr photos, I can carry out that task as a batch process. Just select one or more photos that you want to batch, go to your “Tools” menu, navigate down to the “Photoshop” menu, and select “Batch…” to bring up a dialog box. In fact, it’s the same dialog box that you can access from Photoshop itself.

The “Batch” dialog gives you options for the photo source, destination, and errors. Explaining every option in this dialog would constitute an article of its own, so I won’t mention everything about it. When I’m working with Bridge, my source will be set to “Bridge” — this just uses your previous selections for the batch. I also suppress open file dialogs and color profile warnings to ensure that the batch can run uninterrupted. These things can be dealt with in your Photoshop preferences. For my destination, I leave it as “none” when I’m just resizing for Flickr since my action saves the downsized file.

USING STACKS

Adobe Bridge Stacks

Do you ever end up with hundreds of photos from a single shoot that end up in a single folder? Are any of those photos basically the same as some others? If you don’t want to get rid of those similar photos, you can at least condense your archive visually. Stacks are kind of like miniature folders, but without the folders.

To create a stack, select the similar images and press Ctrl+G to “Group as Stack” or use your “Stack” menu or right click menu. This brings all the selected photos together and frees up some space on your screen. The stack can be expanded, condensed again, or ungrouped (check the Stack menu for the shortcuts).

I don’t typically use them unless I have a lot of photos in a single folder. They’re handy if you like to go crazy with the rapid fire, because a lot of bulk comes from all those slightly different photos.

WHAT’S NEXT?

That’s pretty much all I’ve got in me at this point. The last article in this series will be a recap, or course outline, for everything we’ve covered. I’ve only been using Bridge for a few months now, so I’m sure there are other features, methods, and tricks that I haven’t touched on. There’s always a possibility for a follow-up article sometime down the road.

If you guys are interested, I could possibly start another series on Adobe Camera RAW. I’ve been using it heavily for a little while now, and I’m getting to the point where I’m comfortable with the basic stuff for working with color and black & white photos. It’s really not that scary! And it uses the same RAW processing tools at Lightroom.

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Here’s a video I found that goes well with the content discussed in this article.

Your Guide to Adobe Bridge: Organizing

Adobe Bridge: Organizing

In the last part of this series, we went over File Processing with Adobe Bridge. So now that the images have been skimmed and processed on a very basic level, it’s now time to start picking out the good ones and organizing.

Before I spend any more time keywording or adding titles and descriptions, I thin out the herd so I’m not wasting time on photos that will never be used for anything. To do this, Adobe Bridge offers several tools such as stars and labels. Bridge also offers tools for finding images, so we’ll cover searching and creating collections.

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STAR SYSTEM

Adobe Bridge Star System

Adobe Bridge offers the ability to star your photos based on a five point scale. This gives you six levels of separation to use however you like. I personally don’t use the stars because my own organizing scheme works fine without them, but you may find a use for them. Once you add stars to a photo you’ll have the option of filtering your files by this rating system.

I say that I don’t use the stars, but I actually utilize them as a temporary means of choosing files. If I have several photos of a very similar scene, I typically want to choose just one of them. So I add stars to photos in the group based on technical and artistic merits. This helps me narrow down my selection to just a few photos that can be compared side by side. After I choose the winner, all the stars are removed.

LABEL SYSTEM

Labels are similar to stars, but they’re not so centered around a ranking scale. I use labels heavily because they can be filtered easily and the colors associated with them make it very convenient to spot labeled photos and folders. In addition, the label system can be customized to match your needs. Labels can be applied via the right-click menu or by pressing “Ctrl+(6-9)” while one or more items are selected.

Adobe Bridge Labels

The default labels offered in CS3 are No Label, Select, Second, Approved, Review, and To Do. These may be fine for your particular workflow, but I’ve customized the text of my labels to make them more recognizable. This can be done through the “Edit >> Preferences… >> Labels” dialog. I use To Do (need to be processed), In Process (started but not finished), Complete (finished processing), Revisit (reprocess later), and For Sale (anything on the market).

I only apply labels to the photos I’m going to process on a deeper level, so very few of them actually get a label. I also label my folders with red, yellow, or green based on what I have going on inside. Red folders have not been processed at all. Yellow folders have some photos started. Green folders are complete and need no attention at the moment. And Blue folders were complete but need more attention now. So while looking at my folders, it’s easy to see what needs working on and what doesn’t. Once inside of the folder, it’s a simple matter of selecting the “To Do” or “In Process” filter to see what needs work. The filter is also handy for bringing up the completed photos in case I’m looking for new material to sell.

SEARCH FEATURES

Filters are fine if you’re working in a single folder of photos, but sometimes you need to expand your reach to a set of folders encompassing multiple photo shoots, months, or years. Finding what you’re looking for is no problem if you’ve done your job with adding keywords, labels, and other metadata.

Most of us are familiar with search and find functions commonly found in software. Bridge is no exception, but the tool is much more powerful than most. Before you start your search, be sure to navigate to the location you want to search under (this will make your job easier). To open the “Find Dialog” just press Ctrl+F or find the item under the “Edit” menu. Here’s what we see:

Adobe Bridge Find Dialog

Adobe Bridge Search Results

The Source option will be pre-filled with your current location, but you can also choose other common locations or browse for a specific directory. Criteria can be added or removed to suit your needs, and there are a vast number of metadata options that can be used for the search. In my example, I’m searching for a “beach” photo that I need “To Do”. There are several other options for the Results that dictate how the search behaves. When you’re ready to search, hit the “Find” button.

USING COLLECTIONS

If you find yourself conducting the same search over and over again, a collection is what you need. Collections are like saved searches, but can be carried out from any location with the same criteria. The results are similar to albums in other organization software, but it’s not quite a drag-n-drop operation.

For example, I’d like to be able to find all of my “To Do” photos without having to look in each folder and filter things down. By creating a collection with the criteria for the label “To Do”, I can run the collection for a set of photo shoots, an entire year, or the whole archive. You can also create collections to search for specific keywords or other items in the metadata.

To start a collection, follow the instructions for a regular search. But instead of hitting “Find” we’re going to hit “Save As Collection”, which will bring up a save file dialog box. Choose a location for your collection, give it a name, and save it — I store mine in a top level directory called “Collections” within my photo archive. Also in that save dialog, you’ll see a couple of other options down near the bottom. I typically select the “Start Search From Current Folder” option so I can execute the collection from any location.

Adobe Bridge Save Collection

To run a collection search from any directory, you’ll need to also add that collection to your “Favorites” so you can access it while browsing your folders. When you get to the level that you want to search from, just run the collection by double clicking it and the search will begin from your current location. Some collections I’ve put together include one for each of my labels and one for seeking images that I’ve posted on various websites (I keyword them with things like “Flickr” and “ImageKind” after I’ve posted them online).

Features such as searches and collections only work well when you’ve put the effort into your photos up-front. Keywording, labeling, starring, and adding other metadata is a key process that has substantial benefits down the road.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I’m sure we could drag this thing out for many more weeks, but I think we’ve covered a majority of the key points with the software. In the next part of the series, I’ll talk about various tips, tools, and techniques for using Adobe Bridge efficiently and effectively.

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Here’s a video I found that goes well with the content discussed in this article.

Link Roundup 04-05-2008

Awesome stuff floating around on the web this week. Here’s a recap in case you missed it.

  • Is Tagcow the Future of Photo Recognition and Tagging?
    Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection
    Here’s a quick review on a service that claims to be able to tag photos — Thomas Hawk checks it out for us.
  • Big and Tasty Food Photography Tips Roundup
    Photodoto
    Into food photography? Check out this massive collection of articles, posts, blogs, websites, and videos all having to do with food photography.
  • Photography Niches You Never Considered
    Photopreneur
    21 photography niches that may have never crossed your mind.
  • 100 wonderful photo effects Photoshop tutorials
    The Photoshop Roadmap
    Wow, a ton of great Photoshop tutorials for achieving various effects with your photos. Be careful, this could be a real time sink.
  • Can You Trust Autofocus with Your Digital Camera?
    Nature Photographers Online Magazine
    Darwin Wiggett analyzes the success of autofocus versus manual focus on Canon and Nikon cameras. A surprising difference.
  • Philosophy of Photography: To “Shoot” Or To “Photograph”?
    JMG-Galleries
    A lively discussion on the topic of photographers terminology. Some feel that the term “shoot” isn’t appropriate for describing the act of photography. What do you think?
  • Buyer’s guide: How to check a second-hand lens
    Photo-Mentor
    A typical photo amateur has a limited budget and therefore hi-class new lenses are inapproachable because of their price, but second-hand devices may have any condition from “like new” to “awful”. Here are some ways to spot the lemons.
  • Evolution of a Photo
    Jake Garn Photography
    Jake Garn shows some examples of how his photographs change from RAW, after Lightroom, and after Photoshop. Great visuals for what each piece of software is intended to accomplish.
  • The top 15 entry-level digital SLR cameras by Photocritic
    Photocritic
    Looking to get into SLR photography? Check this list of great cameras, compare prices, and read the reviews.
  • Photoshop Express revises terms of service
    John Nack on Adobe
    New terms of service for Photoshop Express after getting lots of great feedback from photographers and publishers around the globe.