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Help with our captions.

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It seems to me that rules for Captions and keywording are easier said than done, however it's nice to have Alamy's input all the same.

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Thank you, Alamy, thank you, James Allsworth, for helping us review these caption tips.

 

Location can be very important, but I see so many examples of subjects like a closeup of a simple cup of coffee on a table with London or Paris or New York City in the caption. That's not helpful to buyers, and it will hurt your ranking. 

 

Synonyms, particularly those that involve British and USA English can be tricky: are those deep-fried potatoes called chips, fries, French fries, pommes frites, and what are they called in rural Australia, Northern Canada, or on Maui? 

 

Something I avoid, which some contributors are given to include, is the use of subjective terms like "beautiful" "sexy" "breathtaking" in captions. 

 

Edo

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There is some very useful advice on the blog to help with our captions.   http://www.alamy.com/blog/tips-for-your-captions-from-the-sales-team

 

Paulette

 

Interesting.. I thought most of this was relevant to keywords rather than the caption itself.

 

 

 

I think what happens is that when someone is just going through with the mouseover zooms it's good to have all the most basic information they might need. They might have searched for a lion but want to know where the image was shot.

 

Paulette

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Thank you, Alamy, thank you, James Allsworth, for helping us review these caption tips.

 

Location can be very important, but I see so many examples of subjects like a closeup of a simple cup of coffee on a table with London or Paris or New York City in the caption. That's not helpful to buyers, and it will hurt your ranking. 

 

Synonyms, particularly those that involve British and USA English can be tricky: are those deep-fried potatoes called chips, fries, French fries, pommes frites, and what are they called in rural Australia, Northern Canada, or on Maui? 

 

Something I avoid, which some contributors are given to include, is the use of subjective terms like "beautiful" "sexy" "breathtaking" in captions

 

Edo

Take a look at some of the Live News (weather) captions for excessive subjective descriptions!

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Thanks for posting about the article Paulette.

 

It's interesting to hear that clients want so much information, including variations in spelling, in the caption.  I would be glad to always provide all of that but there usually isn't enough room to do so.

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It definitely seems we have to make choices about what is most important and then include the rest in our keywords.

 

Paulette

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It definitely seems we have to make choices about what is most important and then include the rest in our keywords.

 

Paulette

My reading was that you have to include key words from you captions in your keywords - it's not an either/or thing.  Sorry if I misunderstood your comment Paulette.

 

5. Don’t forget keywords

If your caption contains important keywords, make sure you add them to the keyword fields too in order for the search engine to find the increased relevancy.

Mike

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It definitely seems we have to make choices about what is most important and then include the rest in our keywords.

 

Paulette

My reading was that you have to include key words from you captions in your keywords - it's not an either/or thing.  Sorry if I misunderstood your comment Paulette.

 

5. Don’t forget keywords

If your caption contains important keywords, make sure you add them to the keyword fields too in order for the search engine to find the increased relevancy.

Mike

 

 

 

I was just referring to running out of space in the caption. I also think that variations in spelling are more appropriate for the keyword section rather than the caption though the blog seems to suggest that they should also go in the caption. It kind of depends on what kind of photos you are taking. My wildlife needs scientific name and place and that takes up most of the caption space. I will try in future to include as much as possible since I can understand that the buyer might want to look quickly through captions without zooming to see the keywords.

 

Paulette

 

Paulette

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I find the caption allowance rather limiting and often have to omit certain details that I would prefer to include.  About 200 characters would be much better for a lot of the images I take where location is very important but I also want to explain what is going on.

 

Pearl

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I find the caption allowance rather limiting and often have to omit certain details that I would prefer to include.  About 200 characters would be much better for a lot of the images I take where location is very important but I also want to explain what is going on.

 

Pearl

I understand the difficulty but you can add the additional information into the Description field. The big snag is you lose the searchability and visibility of the Caption.

 

The only reason I can see for having the two fields with a limited Caption length is to keep the searchable index size down. Seems a bit pointless when it is already 600 chars for news images which carries through when they go to stock. I thought I recalled statements that stock was going to the longer caption length as well, or is that just a senior moment?

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I find the caption allowance rather limiting and often have to omit certain details that I would prefer to include.  About 200 characters would be much better for a lot of the images I take where location is very important but I also want to explain what is going on.

 

Pearl

I understand the difficulty but you can add the additional information into the Description field. The big snag is you lose the searchability and visibility of the Caption.

 

The only reason I can see for having the two fields with a limited Caption length is to keep the searchable index size down. Seems a bit pointless when it is already 600 chars for news images which carries through when they go to stock. I thought I recalled statements that stock was going to the longer caption length as well, or is that just a senior moment?

 

 

I do put the additional information in the Description but, as you say, it is not searchable so has to be added to the keywords.  Being in the searchable caption AND keywords adds strength to those words which is lost when only in the Description.

 

Pearl

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Just my two cents, but the full DESCRIPTION should appear when one hovers over a thumbnail, NOT the caption which is limited to 128 characters.

 

Anyway, I think it's more useful for a client to see:

WW1 placard with warning announcement in French forbidding to show the Belgian tricolour flag in public during the First World War One German occupation at museum inside the IJzertoren / Yser Tower, West Flanders, Belgium

instead of just

WW1 placard with warning announcement in French forbidding to show the Belgian tricolour flag in public during First World War

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Yes, the description field is hidden below a lot of other information and will have to be looked for. It often contains important information that is not contained in the caption. It should be moved upwards and perhaps displayed in another type. That the description field is not searchable I see as an advantage, the key words can easily be added to the main or comprehensive key words according to the preferred strength in searches. I use the description field quite often.

 

I definitely also prefer your first caption....

 

Niels

Edited by Niels Quist
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Thank you, Alamy, thank you, James Allsworth, for helping us review these caption tips.

 

Location can be very important, but I see so many examples of subjects like a closeup of a simple cup of coffee on a table with London or Paris or New York City in the caption. That's not helpful to buyers, and it will hurt your ranking. 

 

Synonyms, particularly those that involve British and USA English can be tricky: are those deep-fried potatoes called chips, fries, French fries, pommes frites, and what are they called in rural Australia, Northern Canada, or on Maui? 

 

Something I avoid, which some contributors are given to include, is the use of subjective terms like "beautiful" "sexy" "breathtaking" in captions. 

 

Edo

 

Happy New Year Edo, and everyone else who reads this (well, HNY even to those who don't read it too of course  . . . )

 

In rural Australia they're called chips. In Australia, only tossers, merchant-bankers, and our north american cousins call them fries . . .

 

. . . and yes, to my mind it's a strange thought process that leads to descriptions of a head-and-shoulder portrait such as "beautiful, sexy young (man/woman/etc) waiting for a bus to South Widgimooltha that's running a few minutes late" . . . (no Gertrude, that's not an actual example, there is some artistic liberty liberally applied).

 

dd

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Synonyms, particularly those that involve British and USA English can be tricky: are those deep-fried potatoes called chips, fries, French fries, pommes frites, and what are they called in rural Australia, Northern Canada, or on Maui? 

 

 

They're called "patates frites" in Quebec, as you probably know already. Just just plain old "fries" in Vancouver. Not sure what they call them in Nunavut ("frozen fries" perhaps). I'm kinda partial to yam fries myself.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Yes, sweet potato fries!  Love 'em! I have two places on my street who does them. It's not all Italian around here anymore. 

 

My son, who's been living in Quebec for 25 years, speaks French all day long. He was part of a rock band in Paris before he moved there. Me? I must depend on the kindness of English-speakers . . . and in Montreal that's pretty near everyone. 

 

Here you go --the place on the corner. They do British chips and in addition American chips.

 

 

fish-and-chips-EMF2MM.jpg

Edited by Ed Rooney
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As a natural history photographer, I totally agree with Paulette that the 128 character caption field is too small, even worse if there are two organisms in the image, such as a fish being cleaned by a shrimp. When wanting to include a description of behaviour it's hidden in the description field. It certainly would be good if the Description showed immediately under the caption when doing a mouse over.

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