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.

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Photoshop CS4 bug – Color Sampler to Curves shortcut in Windows

I was doing some color correction recently and noticed there is a bug in the Windows version of Photoshop CS4 when using the color sampler tool shortcut that places a point on the Curves Adjustment layer.

Using the colour sampler tool in Photoshop CS4 you can select a point on an image, which places a marker and allows you to read the RGB relevant numbers on the info palette. If the curves tool is open and you CTRL -SHIFT select the marker again, the point is placed on the individual Red, Green, and Blue curves that relate to the colors of the marker.


This should also work when you are using the Curves Adjustment layer, and I have watched people use this shortcut on Mac machines without problem.

However it does not appear to work for the Windows version of Photoshop CS4. Nothing seems to happen when you use the CTRL-SHIFT select function when the Curves Adjustment layer is selected.

Adobe CS4 Install Disk Failure

I recently purchased a copy of Adobe Creative Suite CS4 Design Premium to upgrade my CS3 system, but an installation disk causing “Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)” failures was very trying on my patience.

For some reason software problems always seem to occur when you have other important things to do.

The Problem

When I tried to install the CS4 software, Disk 1 loaded OK, but Disk 2 caused a BSOD failure with the message “**STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005,…. )” whenever it tried to install the Photoshop module.


I ran the install again, this time the install finished, but a message was displayed that Photoshop had not been installed.

I then ran an uninstall to cleanup out the programs……. This is a very time consuming  process. Creative Suite software packages have become quite large over the years and it can take well over an hour to uninstall a package.

Hint:- Run Norton’s and Windows cleanups once you have done the uninstall. The Adobe uninstaller leaves the Windows registry in a mess, and fails to delete a lot of temporary files.

Running the installation package a third time, I got the BSOD again in the same place.

I then ran an uninstall and cleanups again.

I  had purchased a copy of the Adobe  eLearning Suite (which also contains a copy of Photoshop) at the same time as the CS4 Design suite. The eLearning package installed correctly so the problem was not my system, and I suspected either a faulty disk or an installer issue.

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Canoscan FS4000US ICC Profile

I decided to get serious about profiling my Canoscan FS4000US slider scanner, due to having several years of slides from the period before my switch to digital.

My Canoscan FS4000US scanner is a couple of years old now (costing around $1500AUD when new), but provides high resolution images from slides and negatives.

For years I have wondered about what profiles to apply to my scanned slides. I tried hunting around on the web to see if there was some kind of boxed ICC profile available, but could not find anything.

For a while now my standard procedure has been to import the images from the scanner into Photoshop, assign the sRGB profile, and then convert to my default workspace profile of AdobeRGB. I have tried assigning AdobeRGB profiles directly to the scanned images, but it resulted in over saturated images.

Noticing my images were slightly washed out after conversion, I began to question how much color information has been distorted in the workflow process.

Producing the scanner ICC profile

The first step was to purchase a couple of IT-8 slide targets from Wolf Faust ( They were well priced, supplied very promptly, and good quality. Wolf has lots of interesting stuff on his main site about color management.

To produce the profile, I then downloaded and purchased the Profile Mechanic software from Digital Light and Color, which made the process of generating a profile very easy, and gave me the ICC profile required.

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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.

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