Your Cute Kid – Everywhere DIYPhotography.net
More and more lately, it’s becoming ever so important to read the fine print when joining new websites or entering contests. It’s especially true with photo contests — you might just be giving away the rights to your photos.
What’s new in Bridge CS4? Julieanne talks Camera Raw, CS4 John Nack on Adobe
Want the scoop on all the new features in Bridge CS4? John Nack presents us with a great video overview and a big list of new and updated features. The second article links to various resources that give an overview of the new stuff in Photoshop CS4 and ACR 5.
An Introduction to Stock Photography Beyond Megapixels
A discussion of stock photography including types of stock photos and earning from microstocks, but many of the points are applicable to all types of stock sites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!