SEO keywords for photographers – my learning curve

I normally put in quite a bit of effort in the SEO keywording of my images, but submitting a recent photo to Getty Images, I realized I still have much to learn about professional keywording.

Using keywords helps my clients find the images they are looking for on my website, and also helps  my own searching for images on my network.

Adding keywords to my images is an integral part of processing my images in Adobe Lightroom.

Starting out a few years ago, I tried to populate my keywords off the top of head, but soon realized I was missing a lot of possible words.

KeyWord Lists

After reading about controlled vocabulary software in 2008 from David Rieick’s website , I purchased a copy of his CVKC keyword list with 11,000 keywords. (See my previous posts Lightroom2 keywording and CVKC for Bridge and Lightroom.

This has been a big help as the keyword list was designed in a nested hierarchical structure.

adobe lightroom keyword structureKeywords structure in Adobe Lightroom

When I search for a keyword, it also displays all the keywords further up the hieracy that are associated with my search entry.

In my underwater photography, I have been entering the fish species manually and populating my own list of marine life keywords. This has had limited success, having to spend signifcant time searching books and the internet to find the correct name and any associated keywords.

I recently come across the Marine Keywords list developed by Marty Snyderman, Barry Guimbellot and Eric Cheng.  It contains keywords for over 12,000 species of marine life and includes not only common names, but also genus and species names, and full taxonomic structure.

Continue reading SEO keywords for photographers – my learning curve

Which Canon Powershot to buy for underwater photography – G10, G11 or G12?

An email received today asked for my advice on choosing a Canon Powershot G10 or G11 for underwater photography. There are a number of things to take into account, so I thought I would cover a few in a post.

I received the following email enquiry today:-

“Carl, Please counsel with me on a camera purchase. I am putting together an underwater system and wish to use the Canon G10 or G11. I will get the Canon underwater case. Should I get a near new G10 (ie. from Craigslist – approx. $450 US) or get the G11. Please advise. Thanks! Darrell”

Thanks to Darrell for the question.

I am a keen user of the Canon Powershot G Series cameras for underwater photography, and have owned a G10 and G11 camera.

The G10 vs G11

The G10 and G11 are both good cameras and popular with many professional photographers. There are a few new functions in the G11, but the fundamental differences are:-

  • G10 has 15MP sensor, G11 has 10 MP sensor.
  • G10 has a flat screen back, G11 has a flip screen back.

The smaller sensor on the G11 provides better in-camera noise performance (see my previous post Noise Comparison – Canon Powershot G11 vs G10). I find noise can become an issue underwater, particularly when you are going deeper where there is less natural light.

Using an external flash or video light helps to keep the shutter speeds fast at those deeper depths, reducing noise.

Noise is also becoming less of a problem in post processing. Particularly if you are using Adobe Lightroom 3 with its new software engine, which is doing incredible things with noise reduction. (I have to regularly stop myself going back to old images and improving the noise, as I would never get anything else done.)

I also like the G11 flip screen for taking pictures from different angles, but in the underwater housing it does not make any difference.
Continue reading Which Canon Powershot to buy for underwater photography – G10, G11 or G12?

Lightroom RGB Percentage vs Photoshop RGB numbers

Trying to get my Lightroom refined images as close as possible to Photoshop optimized versions, I discovered that the Lightroom RGB percentages do not match Photoshop RGB numbers.

Lately I have been finishing my underwater images in Photoshop, as Lightroom does not offer the amount of color correction control I waned.

However, reimporting my corrected images into Lightroom, the black point RGB numbers were not  consistent with my Photoshop RGB numbers.

Continue reading Lightroom RGB Percentage vs Photoshop RGB numbers

Lightroom2 Keywording

I have updated my Adobe Lightroom2 keywords recently using the CKVC controlled vocabulary list.

After updating the lists, I went through and tidied my keyword structure, and have now set about reviewing the keywords used for each image. During this review I noticed that extra keywords from further up the keyword structure (parent keywords) were being exported in the images, even though they not selected in the Keyword List section.

Image 1 – The Keyword Tags box displays keywords (e.g fishing) and parent keywords (e.g 10013000) selected for the image.

Continue reading Lightroom2 Keywording

CVKC Keywords Software for Bridge and Lightroom

I recently purchased a version of the controlled vocabulary keywords software from David Rieick’s website (

The CVKC software for Lightroom is slightly different to the version for Bridge, due to Lightroom allowing synonym designations, which are displayed in the CVKC file in {} brackets.

e.g Bridge format:

>arm wrestling

Lightroom format:-

>arm wrestling

Davids website licenses the software to a single user, so you could download a version of CVKC for both Bridge and Lightroom.

After some experimenting, I would advise just using the Bridge version, which is also compatible with Lightroom. Provided you do not use the Lightroom synonym designation, you will be able to easily transfer the keyword list back and forth between the 2 two programs.