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The keywords themselves I don't have an issue with, but I find I'm wasting too much time with redundancy. I put all the effort into keywording in Lightroom, yet when brought into Alamy, I have to redo it. :(  I downloaded the Lr plug in for Alamy in the hopes to alleviate some of the wasted time and monotony. But before using it I have some questions to be sure I do it correctly and don't mess up anything I've already done or have in Lr catalogs.

 

At present I have both Lr 3.5 and 4.4, with 4 different catalogs; 1 exclusively for Alamy. I use Collections to keep track of those I've used in Almay and other sites by using their Name and label color. I have a separate folder for each of the stock sites I use with a copy of the JPEG sent within them. All my original/sent images are on 4 external hard drives (use 1, 3 as backups of which 1 is offsite) and have backups of catalogs on 3 different external drives (1 flash drive to transfer to offsite external). Yes I'm paranoid, but if anything goes wrong, I will lose very little. If needed to know: I use a 27" iMac with 12GB RAM, 3.3GHz duo core CPU, calibrated with Spyder Elite 4 and have only necessary things on the internal drive; 930GB free of 1TB.

 

So the questions:

 

1. When using the plug in, I first should just upload the images w/o keywords. Correct?

 

2. After images are accepted, then use it to put in the keywords in the perspective places and shoot it back to Alamy. Yes? When I do this they will be where they should and all I need to do is license, etc. if I choose to do that within Alamy.

 

3. Using this plug in will not effect the images that are used on other sites. Right? Meaning if either I use a Virtual Copy for Alamy and original on another or visa versa, the plug in won't affect the other. Or if I use different catalogs for stock sites it won't interfere with any of them.

 

4. I've always preferred not using plug ins; i.e. for Flickr, etc., but hope I can get detailed info on how to use this the best way w/o any chance of corruptions, etc.

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

 

Charly

 

 

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Here is my workflow with the Alamy / LR plugin:
 

  1. Import into Lightroom (I only use one catalog, never felt the need to complicate things with multiple ones)
  2. Sort, process and develop; delete the trash; select those to be uploaded
  3. In Library Module add title and headline, location info if not in GPS data; generally this is all the same for all images in a batch so only needs typed once for all images
  4. Enter captions for each image individually
  5. Enter keywords using Lightroom keywording database.  These will end up in comprehensive in Alamy.  These will also be used as the keywords if the image is submitted anywhere else
  6. Using Lightroom / Alamy Plugin upload to Alamy.  Plugin also makes local copies of the jpegs for achiving, and upsizes anything that needs it. 
  7. After QC. Go into manage images and set the license type; I do this because you cannot set the license from within LR so I find it more reliable to set it in manage images first
  8. Use the plugin to do a fetch command to retrieve the Alamy image ID's into the Lightroom database
  9. In Lightroom type in essential and main keywords using Lightroom keywords already entered as a guide;  I believe the plugin will remove from comprehensive any keywords used in essential and main
  10. Check captions and titles; set image type, release information and characteristics, # people etc (this can be done in batches in the library module)
  11. Using plugin do a set command to upload the information to Alamy
  12. Wait a day or so for the Alamy search engine update then do another Fetch command, this puts the image in the correct collection in LR so you can see the status and progress of all images correctly

The Alamy information is kept in the LR database in fields not used elsewhere so it is fine to use and submit the same files to other agencies.  Only the plugin accesses the Alamy fields.  I asked the author this question and his reply was that there should be no problem with using the same image elsewhere as the ALamy specific info is not in the jpg, it is uploaded directly to Alamy via the plugin.  That is why you have to do an initial fetch to retrieve the Alamy reference ID's.

 

I have no experience with multiple catalogs so I cannot help there, but since the Alamy info is only in the LR database then it should not have any impact on the image file if it is in another catalog, only the Alamy catalog will have the Alamy info.

 

I also am not sure whether you can install plugins for individual catalogs or if those are global.

 

If you have specific questions just ask, or send an email to the author through the plugin site trouble ticket system, he has been very prompt responding to my questions.

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Thanks for your time and reply! It seems your workflow doesn't alleviate the redundancy though, which is what I was hoping for. I'll contact the developer of the plug in with questions and play around with it. There just has to be some way to eliminate doing the keywords twice, otherwise it will take me forever to get images up. Once I do them, which I don't like at all, I hate having to redo keywords again thus they sit there in the "not ready" section. 

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Have you read the previous threads discussing workflow and this plug in?

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I´ve almost the same workflow as Zigzagmtart. The plugin solves the Alamy keywording issue n0t 100%, but it comes close.

 

One issue is, that it doesn´t count the number of characters. For this, I created a simple document file, used "X" to indicate the number of characters of the different Alamy fields, and write my keywords underneath. Than I copy and paste it into the dedicated plugin-fields.

 

This has also the advantage, if you have images, which require slightly different keywords, it is easier to edit in a document file, than in Lightroom.

 

The smart-collections alone, justify the rather moderate fee for the plugin.

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Thanks Colin! Could you please elaborate a bit further? How do you use "X" to dictate the number of characters? And how does the plug in work with smart collections? Thanks!

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@ Charly

 

The plugin creates smart collections,where you can see the status of your images, f,e a collection for images that are ready, images on sale, sold images, ... This smart collections update automatically, when you fetch the metadata from Alamy,

 

I made a document that looks like this:

 

Caption

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX ... XXXXXXXXXX (128 characters)

Now I write the caption here ...

 

Essential keywords

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (50 characters)

 

The same for main and comprehensive. Now I can write underneath, and do not have to count.

Edited by Colin Utz
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I do my keywording in Manage Images v2.4 in the batch section. I enter as much information as I can on the premise that it is quicker to delete than enter individual information. This accommodates more than the 96 images per page as you can move onto the next page for the batch selection.

 

My batches are often large - my last batch was for 434 images and it works for me.

 

dov

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I thought about doing that or something similar, but thought that too would be wasting precious time. Unfortunately, I had my first fail so the batch I uploaded w/o keywords are in QC waiting again. Once they're accepted I'm going to try the plug in and if that doesn't prove quicker/less redundant, I'll give your way a try. Thanks Dov!

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Does the plugin work on lightroom 5 please ?

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@ Southpole

 

Yes, it does.

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Finally found the time to get the plug in installed and enabled in Lr 4.4, but while setting up the Fetch Metadata from Almany I'm unclear about one thing. The instructions do not cover what to set the Keywords to; default is Ignore keywords and can't see why that is. Do those that use the plug in leave is as Ignore or change it to Merge/Replace? And if left on Ignore will it wipe out the keywords already in place on Alamy that I painstakingly worked on? Thanks!

 

Oops and do you check the box for Preserve Lr Keywords? What does that do or not do depending if it's ticked?

Edited by Imagery by Charly

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Does no one out there use the latest Lr plug in that has the Keyword drop down box under the Fetch Metadata from Alamy, that could help me out with previous questions?

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Hi Charly, sorry have not visited here in a bit, too busy taking pictures.

 

Here is how I understand it, YMMV.  And you could also ask the plugin author he has answered a number of questions for me though sometimes it takes a few days.

 

The "replace,ignore,merge" depends on what you want to do.  If you want the keywords on Alamy to replace those on your computer then use replace.  I have mine on replace but FOR ME it does not really matter.  I send the keywords up with the SET command so unless I add some in Manage Images they will not have changed, so any of those settings should act the same for me.  If you have different keywords on Alamy than on your computer then perhaps the 'merge' command would be better if you want to keep both sets.  Remember you are FETCHING so nothing you do here will affect what is on Alamy, just what happens on your computer.  The SET command is what changes the data on Alamy.

 

I leave the "preserve lightroom keywords" checked.  It seems to mean to not touch the Lightroom keywords on your computer so if checked the FETCH command will only work with the essential and main keyword fields which belong to the plugin.  This preserves the LR keywords as is, so if you send the file elsewhere your keywords are as they should be.  The author provides an extensive explanation of how he treats keywords in the manual for the plugin.  I suggest you read through that section as keywords are tricky and the different options can result in different outcomes.

 

This assumes you are following my workflow as posted above.  If you are doing something different then it is possible something different will happen.

Edited by Zigzagmtart

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No apologies necessary and I appreciate you answering! :)

 

Well I haven't done anything with the plug in at the moment. Am thinking of just uploading as I have w/o the plug in, then Fetch to apply keywords in the proper places. Still haven't decided if I will do the ready, licensing, etc. with the plug in just yet either. First need to give it a try and figure out from there I reckon. At the moment I have some images accepted that I haven't done anything to that I'm going to use to see what work flow is like. Also haven't uploaded any images in awhile cuz I was waiting to see what will be the best way to do things.

 

When I installed and enabled the plug in into Lr, the Smart Collections weren't there automatically. So I've contacted the author to see where to get those, as the only folder with the plug in is for Lr 2 which I've never had.

 

Admittedly I skimmed over the instruction manual, but honestly didn't see a place that defined the Keyword drop down. Will take the time and do that asap! Thanks again!

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The manual does not cover everything, and indeed one question I asked the author was about a feature that was not in the manual.  He explained it and acknowledged that he had added the feature (I forget what it was) but never got around to updating the manual.  That said, the keyword section is rather extensive.

 

When I installed the plugin the Smart collections were installed automatically.  I was not expecting it as in the manual it states they are optional and don't install automatically.  I was not going to install them as I thought it would just clutter things up.  However, after using them I think they are one of the best features, they tell you at a glance the status of your files.  I think they are included in the .zip file but I never looked after they installed.

 

One potential trap to watch for if you don't use the plugin to upload is that if you change the file names during your regular export/upload the plugin will not be able to find them on Alamy.  I decided at some point that changing the names during upload would be a 'good idea'.  When I started using the plugin I discovered about 2,000 images that had to be located by hand.  That took me about 2 days work so that I could finally use the plugin to sync with Alamy.  By using the plugin to upload you avoid that issue.  There is no downside to using the plugin to upload, and it will upsize any images that might have gotten cropped a bit too much.

 

I would suggest you pick a couple of images that are already online and test what happens with a set or fetch command.

 

Also, just in case you missed it the plugin adds two Metadata 'views' in the library tab.  Take a look there for 'Alamy' and 'Alamy Plus', those have the Alamy fields showing so you can see what you can edit.

Edited by Zigzagmtart

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I cannot thank you enough for your help and time!

 

Sat down and read the manual yesterday, think I'll need to print it off to refer back to it. Manual said they would be installed automatically with Lr 3 or higher, but wound up manually installing the smart collections (18 of them), which seem to be ok even though the folder said Lr 2. Reckon I'll find out when I use the plug in for the first time. ;)

 

I rarely will change the filename of my images once I import to Lr, so no worries there. I normally use a date-number sequence referring to how many taken in Lr. Though thanks for the heads up!

 

So when the plugin uploads to Alamy a cropped image it won't over do it to make it soft? Guess that was my main worry. Not that I cropped often now, but have older images where I have quite a few. Yanno the learning curve. ;)

 

I thought when you Fetched, it brought in all the images. Need to reread that section it seems and best go print/read again that manual while I have my morning coffee. And try a few using the upload. I'm anxious to get more images up. Thanks again!!!

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From what I gather most don't have more than 1 catalog and perhaps that is the problem I'm having. I did my first Fetch from my Alamy catalog where I have 23 images sent/accepted in a Collection. Whether I leave the matching box blank or set it for the Alamy Sent Collection, it only brings back 3 of the 23. So I tried another catalog where 22 images were accepted by Alamy and again it only brought back 3 of the 22. Any ideas why that is or what I'm doing wrong? 

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From what I gather most don't have more than 1 catalog and perhaps that is the problem I'm having. I did my first Fetch from my Alamy catalog where I have 23 images sent/accepted in a Collection. Whether I leave the matching box blank or set it for the Alamy Sent Collection, it only brings back 3 of the 23. So I tried another catalog where 22 images were accepted by Alamy and again it only brought back 3 of the 22. Any ideas why that is or what I'm doing wrong? 

 

You've got the trial version.  Buy the full version and this limitation will be removed.

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Oh, well duh! I presumed I could try one or two full uploads/fetches before buying. Thanks Danny! Will go get the license.

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In case anyone is wondering, the plugin is global. Meaning it works with all catalogs and the 2 Lr versions I use (3 and 4). In my catalogs I created a smart collection for Alamy Sent images before acquiring the plugin and for 2 catalogs I Fetched, with the use of In Collection: Alamy Sent in the Matching box, it worked fine. As stated previously, I had 22 in one of them and 23 in the other that I was working on. Just those images for their perspective catalogs came into the Lr catalogs omitting those not found within the marked Smart Collection.

 

Now I'm not sure what to do with those in the Needs Sync collection. I've looked over the manual, but cannot find where it states what to do with these to Sync them. Could use a page number in the manual or an explanation on what to do please? Or doesn't it matter and just leave them alone? Thanks!

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