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Photo Mechanic Keyword Format

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I am trying to understand the translation process that will allow me to set my keywords in the IPTC Stationary pad and have them in the right format when I go into Alamy. I have them currenty as keyword, keyword1, keyword2 etc.

 

When they come into Alamy I am finding that the commas seperating the keywords are missing.

 

I am basically trying to get to the point where with Live_News I ftp from photomechanis or using filezilla and the keywords work straight away without editing. 

 

Any help appreciated.

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I don't think you will get this to work.  Alamy always removes the commas anyway.  When a photo is uploaded, the keywords are all just dumped in "Comprehensive keywords" field.  There is no way to populate the essential and main keyword fields (there is a third party Lightroom plugin that some people use which may allow this, but I have never tried it): sorting out your keywords to place them into their intended fields at the point of upload is basically impossible and has to be done afterwards - in my view, one of the real PITAs of the Alamy uploading and keywording systems (look in the forums for many suggestions as to how Alamy might improve it). 

 

The only way in which you might help yourself is to order your keywords in Photomechanic in such a way that the first ones are the ones you want in the essentials field, the next batch those you want to see in the main keywords etc., taking into account the character limits for each field.  At least then when you cut and paste in Manage Images, you will not have to go through the pain of having to edit there (no drag and drop, no ctrl-z if you make a mistake etc.) which can make the process slightly less stressful.

 

Graham

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I use PhotoMechanic for all my metadata work. I work on the basis of using PM and IPTC as it is intended and in a way that most other libraries do so that my copy is generally usable.

 

So:

  • I use keys and keyword phrases separated by commas. Alamy strips the commas, so be it. I can't change that but it does keep words in keyphrases adjacent and in correct order for Alamy search (I believe) even if they get changed for display purposes.
  • I use quotes round place names, and essential keyphrases. Again Alamy may strip them but my archive is correct and standard IPTC
  • I try to put the most important keywords at the start so it is an easy copy and paste into Essential Keywords. All key words do get dumped into comprehensive but I just cut and paste in to Main Keywords (I leave the keywords I used in Essential there as well so they don't get lost if I make changes to EW). I rarely use all the Main Keywords allowance.
  • Captions/ Headline contain what you would expect. Long captions do sometimes get dropped into Alamy description, I copy a summary back into Alamy Caption and leave the full description in the Alamy Description field.. With Live News I don't usually hit the caption length limit.
  • I wish Alamy would pick up the location from the IPTC location data which I will have populated in PM.
  • I always use capture date for dating images (make sure camera is set correctly, I got caught out by that recently after a camera firmware update).

I do use variables in PM to create a dateline at the start of the caption and for the headline. I also use code replacement (prepared in advance) when I am covering a sports event, e.g. based on race category/race number or team/shirt number. It speeds preparation for news submission.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Martin

Edited by Martin P Wilson
  • Upvote 2

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I forgot to add.

 

I used to use a controlled structured vocabulary for keywords to automatically generate parents and similes but I tried to get too comprehensive/clever and it became unwieldy so I dropped it. I am thinking of creating a new slimmed down version for a few specific purposes (for example buildings & locations in my home town that feature frequently) rather than make it too general.

 

If I were a specialist photographer (horticulture, a particular sport or pedigree dogs, say) I would certainly go back to a controlled vocabulary for the common core keywords.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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If I look at an image in "Manage Your Images" the commas (or semicolons) are gone.

 

If I look at the same image in the browser on the Alamy website, the commas are there but the word order has been alphabetized.

 

Could the absence have something to do with Flash?

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I do the same as Martin only in Bridge.  I keep files of common keywords for specific subjects and can call them up in Bridge as well.  I am not a prolific photographer, so I am not hindered by the slight slow down in Manage Images of copying and pasting my keywords from Comprehensive into Essential and Main.  Alamy are working on improving MI, so hopefully it won't be too long before we see the new version.

 

Jill

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If I look at an image in "Manage Your Images" the commas (or semicolons) are gone.

 

If I look at the same image in the browser on the Alamy website, the commas are there but the word order has been alphabetized.

 

Could the absence have something to do with Flash?

 

 

The word order is only alphabetized in the display.  For search purposes, your keywords are in the order in which you placed them.

 

Jill

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I wonder how the partner agencies who contribute 1000,s of images at one time to Alamy manage their keywords, surely they don't have somebody reworking keywords like us photographers.

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I wonder how the partner agencies who contribute 1000,s of images at one time to Alamy manage their keywords, surely they don't have somebody reworking keywords like us photographers.

 

 

I think you are right and that gives us an advantage that helps us to compete with the agencies. I fear that attempts to make things easier for us might ruin the advantage we have now.

 

Paulette

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HELP WITH PHOTOMECANIC I configured FileZilla with the required parameters according to your guidelines, FileZilla is running smoothly, the same parameters I tried them to enter the specific program PHOTOMECANIC but it does not work, there are additional parameters to be set?

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+1 Martin

 
I do the same thing but I use Bridge including a controlled vocabulary system that I have built up in Bridge.
 
I also use a word processing program that comes with the Mac called TextEdit. I have the default setting for new documents in TextEdit set so that two lines of text are the Alamy caption limit. Type two lines in the textedit document using an equidistant font and you are at the Alamy length limit for the caption.
 
When keywording use the controlled vocabulary in Bridge to do a preliminary keywording. Then cut keywords from Bridge and paste into Textedit document. Type in some extra keywords not in your Bridge vocabulary. Then cut and paste in textedit so keywords are arranged in order of importance. Copy and paste back into the metadata template in Bridge.
 
Save your textedit keyword documents if you think you may be keywording a similar shot in the future. This way you will have a starting point for new keywording.
 
I usually have 10 or 15 keyword documents saved at any one time. When I start keywording I open all of them. I delete keyword documents that may no longer be relevant, due to season etc.
 
I do not worry about what Alamy does to commas etc or the keyword structure, because I am doing general keywording for all image libraries, and not specific keywording for Alamy.

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I wonder how the partner agencies who contribute 1000,s of images at one time to Alamy manage their keywords, surely they don't have somebody reworking keywords like us photographers.

 

A lot of the captions and keywords of partner images are pretty skimpy -- i.e. they don't appear to put as much effort into them as individual contributors.

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Any image you keyword in Bridge that uses common keywords you use over and over, make a template.

First keyword the image in Bridge. Apply.

While that image is still highlighted,

Go to the top of the Bridge screen, click on "Tools"

Choose "Create metadata Template"

 

A screen comes up with a lot of fields. First, title your template. For instance, I have one titled "Northern Cardinal". All of the keywords You just typed in your image shows up here. Here's where you remove specific ones, like rain,summer,tree. You can add specific keyword to an image after you apply a template. But you have all the usual, Northern Cardinal, scientific name,bird,bird,songbird,songbird, and so on.

Be sure you check the boxes or that field won't be saved.

When you are happy with it, save at bottom.

The next time you have a similar image, while your new image is highlighted in Bridge, go to tools>Append Metadata. A list of your saved templates come up, listed by that ever important title you created.

Pick out the title that applies to your new image, click on it and the keywords transfer to the metadata of your image. I usually click on another image which gives me the "save" prompt, then click save.

I have a basic template titled "Basic contact info" that has my name, address, whatever I want included. So if I'm creating a brand new template, I choose this basic one and apply it to the new image. Then I go ahead and keyword in Bridge. Once done, I choose the Create a Metadata template. Title it, save, and now I have a template with everything I want on it. All of my info and my keywords.

 

This saves a lot of time for me. I have all my birds, flowers, plants and trees with a template.

And yes, I'm aware Alamy strips out the personal stuff.

Edited by Betty LaRue
  • Upvote 1

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I wonder how the partner agencies who contribute 1000,s of images at one time to Alamy manage their keywords, surely they don't have somebody reworking keywords like us photographers.

 

 

 

I think you are right and that gives us an advantage that helps us to compete with the agencies. I fear that attempts to make things easier for us might ruin the advantage we have now.

 

Paulette

+ 1 I am not looking forward to the changes to MI and this is one of the reasons. I would rather put a bit of effort in and get an advantage.

 

Pearl

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