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Keyword List Categories

  • [7 - SPECIALIST]
  • [Copyright 2012-2016 Tim Makins/ 3.01]


Instructions & Explanations
The expandable menu above shows the 7 main categories of the '' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog. Click the Plus or Minus signs to expand or contract the 100 sub-categories too.

Categories are words that are used to order the list of keywords and help you quickly locate the terms that you need, via a logical pathway of helpful category-signposts. Category words are not normally exported to your images. For more information, see the Keyword Category Tutorial.

The current keyword total is approximately 33900, which doesn't include any local Geographical entities - those are added to the total when you decide which of 119 versions of the keyword catalog you wish to download.

In addition to the 100 sub categories, there are a further 819 sub-sub and deeper level categories as well, that are not shown here. Some examples might be:

[2 - WHAT] > [2-15 NATURAL WORLD] > [MAMMAL] > [HOUSEHOLD PETS] > Dog > Fox Terrier

[2 - WHAT] > [2-09 FOOD & BEVERAGE] > [BEVERAGE] > Alcoholic Beverage > Beer > Guinness

[3 - WHERE] > [3-01 GEOGRAPHIC] > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire

Note that the GEOGRAPHIC category contains entries for all countries of the world as standard, plus states and/or towns and cities, depending on which of the 119 versions you choose to purchase. All the US states, commonwealths, and territories are there, with the populated places for each one. There are also different versions for Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, listing those states, provinces, or counties with their own populated places. If you are a world traveler you can choose a version with every country and state in the world. If you are after a minimalist list, you can choose just the countries of the world, or the countries of the world + the US states. You choose - they all cost the same price.

The current total number of all categories is 926 . If you look on my Resources page, you will find links to the categories used by other commercial keyword lists, and I encourage you to compare for yourself how their structures and costs differ from mine.

Design Considerations
When designing the '' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog, the primary objective was to help the photographer or image cataloger to keyword in a consistent manner. The current thinking is that it is better to generate a smaller list of select descriptive words and include concept, emotion and technique rather than line after line of synonyms, hyponyms, and lexically similar words. It is therefore important to ensure that each of the keywords chosen plays a significant part in identifying and summarising the image.

Equally important is the requirement that the keywords you tag your photos with are the same keywords that buyers will be entering when trying to locate needed images. Most photographs need keywords from each of the main WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW sections, so my list guides the photographer to choose the essential words that will help ensure it returns a top search-ranking when submitted to a stock image library.

By choosing keywords from each of the main sections, your photograph will be fully described in an industry-recognized manner, thus helping the buyer to locate it, and the seller to profit from it. Lets never forget the mantra of keywording: 'Your photo is only saleable once a buyer has located it' !!

What the Keyword List looks like in practise..

You might be concerned that the sheer number of keywords and categories available to you will be overwhelm your workflow. Nothing could be further from the truth at all, as you can see in these screenshots from Lightroom...

Hierarchical keyword categories viewed in Lightroom Opening the Lightroom Keyword List Lightroom Keyword List open at the What - Fashion and Clothing - Clothing Man - Headwear category

When you open your Keyword List panel in Lightroom, Bridge, Photo Mechanic, or other photo-management programs, you will see the panel on the left, showing the 7 main categories. It is only when you start to expand the categories by clicking on the left triangles that you 'drill-down' through the different levels to quickly locate the exact keyword that you are looking for, and see the many alternatives that might also be appropriate for the photograph that you are keywording.

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