I’ve long been the guy yelling into the wind about keywords. I hate it when I’m looking for a photo and find myself scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through my library trying to find a specific shot. The answer is to apply keywords, preferably shortly after you import the photos, and then be able to locate anything with a text search. Heck, my book Take Control of Your Digital Photos largely focuses on making photos searchable using keywords and other strategies.
But keywording is…hard. And boring. And time-consuming. And I’m also much more interesting in reviewing and editing photos than in adding metadata about them.
Computational photography is helping out in a big way. In many photo apps, such as Lightroom desktop and Apple Photos, AI automatically identifies objects and scenes in your photos, no keywording needed. Type “sunflowers” in the search field and see all the images that contain sunflowers (and sometimes other things, like the tater tots that cropped up in the following search).
I tackle keywording and alt text in my latest Smarter Image column at Popular Photography, showing how technology is really helping in this area of photography: How to use artificial intelligence to tag and keyword photos for better organization.
Do you use keywords? Do you trust AI to help you find what you’re looking for? Reply and let me know what you think.
In the article I also talk about how AI is assisting with alt text, which is the descriptive text that screen readers pick up for people who are blind or have vision difficulties. Thanks to those of you who pointed me toward work that Facebook and others are doing to automatically generate alt text.
Until next time…