geogphotos

Caption length - why so short?

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I was just cruising looking at some pics of an Alamy photographer and noticed that many of his excellent captions are truncated on Alamy. It may be that he submits to other sites. 

 

But it ends up just looking ugly having the captions truncated half way through a word or sentence. What does a buyer make of that?

 

I realise that the limit has risen to 150 now but even so that is often not really enough for some images.

 

I simply wonder what the reasoning is behind this. For starters anything submitted as News has no limit and transfers over to Stock intact. Surely, very many images deserve just as much explanation as something in recent news.

 

And what about the suggestion that short captions are beneficial for us - how is that? How does brevity improve visibility, and then simultaneously a large number of tags/keywords is also supposed to improve visibility? That seems like a contradiction.

 

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Edited by geogphotos
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I can see one benefit of having truncated captions - it might make the buyers zoom the image to read the rest of the caption in the description.  That would improve CTR.  Not suggesting that anyone does this on purpose though nor that it is deliberate on Alamy's side.

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl

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On 20/09/2017 at 18:58, geogphotos said:

. For starters anything submitted as News has no limit and transfers over to Stock intact. Surely, very many images deserve just as much explanation as something in recent news.

 

There is a limit for news (and Reportage/Archive)

600 characters

 

km

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I often find the 150 characters maximum frustrating at times. Increasing caption lengths makes sense to me, say to 300 characters or so.

 

It seems to me that as images from various sources continue to flow into Alamy, complete captions are becoming increasingly important.

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11 hours ago, RedSnapper said:

 

There is a limit for news (and Reportage/Archive)

600 characters

 

km

 

Okay but still quite a contrast. Why 600 for today's news and 150 for a secondary editorial image that still needs the what, where, when, why information.

 

Being forced to truncate important information - and like John I find it a frequent problem - is a real pain.

 

And what is the gain from this pain - for anybody?

 

It is a particular problem for art and architecture.

 

Name of piece, artist, media, exhibition title, gallery name/location, city, county/region/state, country

Edited by geogphotos

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Could you not use the "additional info" box for that? Somehow, I doubt that any buyer will really read all that.  I'd imagine that longer caption options might lead to abuse where certain bulk uploaders will just dunk a host of keywords into them, like that agency (can't remember the name) that was discussed on here a while ago, which then started coming up in all searches because the captions had this mass of disconnected keywords in them (must have been at a time earlier this year when alamy experimented with giving the captions more importance in searches).

 

I quite like the limitations, the make me a bit more disciplined. I hope.

 

I'm still going through lots of news uploads to shorted the 600 word captions to something more meaningful once the news element is gone from them. Takes ages and never seems to finish. A lot of sports images I uploaded from the European Aquatics Championships last year, for example, have loads of detail about the swimmers/divers in each race/jump, who won which medal etc eventually, because I thought them relevant for any potential buyer at the time, but they really need cutting down afterwards for stock, when I'm sure people will just search for either the event in general, or the person in the picture. 10 days @ 8-10hrs each day of races and competitions  worth of images = many hours of caption shortening. Cannot face it at the mo, the returns don't warrant it. :-)

Edited by imageplotter

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19 minutes ago, imageplotter said:

Could you not use the "additional info" box for that? Somehow, I doubt that any buyer will really read all that.  I'd imagine that longer caption options might lead to abuse where certain bulk uploaders will just dunk a host of keywords into them, like that agency (can't remember the name) that was discussed on here a while ago, which then started coming up in all searches because the captions had this mass of disconnected keywords in them (must have been at a time earlier this year when alamy experimented with giving the captions more importance in searches).

 

I quite like the limitations, the make me a bit more disciplined. I hope.

 

I'm still going through lots of news uploads to shorted the 600 word captions to something more meaningful once the news element is gone from them. Takes ages and never seems to finish. A lot of sports images I uploaded from the European Aquatics Championships last year, for example, have loads of detail about the swimmers/divers in each race/jump, who won which medal etc eventually, because I thought them relevant for any potential buyer at the time, but they really need cutting down afterwards for stock, when I'm sure people will just search for either the event in general, or the person in the picture. 10 days @ 8-10hrs each day of races and competitions  worth of images = many hours of caption shortening. Cannot face it at the mo, the returns don't warrant it. :-)

 

 True, probably no one buyer would need ALL that information, but I'd think that many buyers could need one or two parts of it. That additional info box is where the entire caption ends up when it is too long - but it is not searchable.

 

I agree with the discipline point but sometimes it means leaving information out that I'd prefer to include.

 

A 200 limit would cover everything. Even 175...

 

And back to my opening comment, the work of photographer I was browsing was clearly not captioned for Alamy -  when it gets sent to Alamy it gets curtailed and it looks terrible breaking off half way through a word. 

 

As to having a system based around the possible abuse.  I'd say that its better to deal with any abuse rather than limit everybody.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

As to having a system based around the possible abuse.  I'd say that its better to deal with any abuse rather than limit everybody.

 

 

 yes, that's a fair point!  

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I just exceeded the 600 character limit with several Live News photos this week, so my captions spilled over into the More Information field. Only problem was, my photo credit was truncated once Alamy added the "CREDIT in "CREDIT xxxx/Alamy Live News"

 

Fortunately I double checked this in the Live News feed and was able to eliminate enough characters to include the credit.

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