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MW3.0: Using the Archive and Purchasing Photos

This is the second–and possibly final–tutorial showing you how to navigate and use the new  If you missed my first article discussing the general elements of the site, click here.

Using the Photo Archive

It’s time to tackle another tutorial on how to use the most important part of the website: the photo archive.  This is a huge departure from my old website’s archive, and contains some of the best improvements to the user experience.

First, please note that the archive is incomplete.  As I’ve stated in the past, it will take me some time to get my full photo archive transferred over to the new site.  All of the images need to be keyworded, and many need to be reprocessed.  So this will be an ongoing endeavor that is likely to last the next couple years!  But when it’s done, the site will house thousands of images covering all of my adventures from the past 10-15 years.

Okay, let’s look at the “archive home page.”

Photo archive: collections

What you see here are the various photo collections that house all of my images.  These are broken down into general categories, typically by geography, but also by type.  As you can see, I will be segregating some of the collections by nature and travel subject matter.  For example, there will eventually be an Asia and Oceania Nature & Wildlife collection once I’ve uploaded my photos from Borneo, India, New Zealand and so forth.

I have so many photos of certain subjects that they sometimes demand their own collection.  Yellowstone & Grand Tetons and Pacific Northwest Nature & Wildlife subjects are segregated from the general North American collection, for example.  Eventually, there will be a collection focusing on University of Washington athletics, which I’ve photographed for many years.

You’ll notice the collection titled New Images.  This is for my most recent photos (which can also be found in their respective “regional” collections).  I will not be adding old photos that I’ve just uploaded to the archive to the New Images collection.  It’s reserved for new, unpublished photos from my most recent trips.

To view the various photo galleries, click on a collection.  That brings you to…

Photo Galleries

Photo galleries

The photo galleries in each collection contain photos from specific trips or events, or of specific subjects.  Here you can see galleries featuring photos from various trips I’ve taken around the Pacific Northwest.  Click on the gallery to view all of the images from that particular trip.  Here’s what a gallery looks like:

Gallery detail

A couple of important features to note:

  • Slideshow: Click this link to start a slideshow and view all of the images in the gallery.  It’s a nice way to browse.
  • Hover and Enlarge: If you see a particular thumbnail that looks interesting, hover your mouse over it to bring up a larger version of the image.
  • View More Than 25 Photos: At the bottom of the page, you’ll sometimes see viewing options for larger galleries.  You may have to click through to subsequent pages to see Images 26-50, 51-75, etc.  Or you can simply opt to view All to see all the thumbs on a single page.
  • Back to Collection: This small link in the upper left corner will take you back to the list of galleries in the collection.  In order to go back to the master list of collections, click on the main Archive link in the top navigation menu.

Finally… Image Search!

This is the most powerful new tool on the website, and the main reason I’ve been longing for a redesign all these years.  After only a few years of travel, my photo archive swelled to a point where a visitor would have to click through umpteen galleries to see all of my images of a particular subject.  For example, if you had wanted to view all of my Yellowstone black bear images, there would have been over a dozen galleries to peruse.  Now is armed with powerful keyword search capabilities.

Use the Search Archive field at the top of each page in the archive or click on the Magnifying Glass icon in the main navigation to perform a keyword search anywhere on the site.

Some search tips:

  • Use the Singular: Searching for photos of bears?  Search for “bear” rather than “bears.”  Most of the keywording for particular subjects was done in the singular (e.g., bird vs. birds), though I would include group terms such as “flock” or “herd” sometimes, and also certain numeric terms when more than one subject are together (e.g., “two,” “pair,” “trio,” etc.).
  • Use “&” to Get Specific: “Yellowstone & owl” will bring up only photos of owls taken in Yellowstone.
  • Use Advanced Search: The advanced search link under the Search Archive button will take you to a page with more search criteria.

So what do search results look like?

Search Results

As you can see, they’re not too different from a gallery page.  One main difference, however, that the search results aren’t organized in any particular way.  This search page shows the results for “owls.”  There are many different owls from various locations and trips scattered across the page in random order.  I highly suggest adding more keywords and search terms, or narrowing the down the species or behavior if you’re looking for something more specific.

Viewing a Photo

Click on any of the thumbnails in a gallery or search results page to open the image detail page.

Image detail

There are all sorts of cool and important features on this page.  Starting at the top:

  • Add to Lightbox: This allows you to file the image away in a lightbox for later viewing.  This is particularly handy if you’re having trouble deciding which photo to order for print or licensing purposes.  The lightbox allows you to compare them side by side.
  • Add to Cart: This is how to initiate the purchase or licensing process!  More on this below.
  • Image ID: Found above the left corner of the photo, this references the file name in the archive.  It’s handy to know in case you need to contact me directly regarding a specific photo.
  • The Watermark: Sorry, but all of the images in the archive feature this large watermark.  I know this hampers viewing, but it is also designed to prevent unauthorized use and theft of my photos.
  • Image Title and Description: Found under the photo, this contains more information about the subject.
  • Related Searches: A very cool tool, which lists all the keywords for the image.  Click on any of these keywords to search for related subjects!

 Licensing Images

Image licensing is an important part of my business.  This is how you purchase usage rights for a particular photo or group of photos.  Licenses cover anything from commercial to non-profit to educational use across a variety of media.  Web, TV, Print… it doesn’t matter.  If you want to use one of my photos for your project or venture, you must license the image and receive my permission to use it.  Please respect my copyright and contact me if you have any questions about using one of my photos.  Chances are you’ll need to formally license the image to use it.

So how do you go about licensing a photo?  First, click the big blue Add to Cart button on the image detail page.  This will generate a pop-up window, in which you can make your selections.

Image licensing

Click on the Downloads tab to bring up your rights-managed licensing options.  You will have to select various criteria in order to generate your quote, including regional and usage options, as well as the license duration.  If you are ready to proceed, click the green Add to Cart button.

Please Note: I do NOT offer instant downloads on this site.

I review every licensing request that comes in before providing the processed image(s) to my clients.  Despite what PhotoShelter (the platform on which this archive runs) may send you, you will need to wait for me to provide the final licensed image.  The delivery time will depend on receipt of payment, as well as my travel schedule.  Barring any travel delays, final images are usually processed within a few business days.

Buying Prints

What if you just want to purchase photo prints?  It’s easy, and the great thing about this new site is that you can now order prints of nearly any photo in the archive (some exceptions may be made for images of human subjects, or images that I feel don’t meet print standards).

Please note that some images you see on the site may be cropped, and won’t be appropriate for larger prints.  In such cases, I will notify you if we need to limit a particular print order to a smaller size.

And no, that watermark does not appear on the final print image!

Okay, so how do you order prints?  Once again, Add to Cart will bring up a pop-up window.

Buying Prints

Click on the Prints or Products tab for a list of available prints and sizes.  The Products tab features specialized print finishes, such as metal or canvas.  Once you have made your print selection, click Add to Cart.

There’s one final step prior to check-out, which is pretty cool.

Photo crop

In the Shopping Cart, you have the option to select your crop for the photo.  Images on the site are presented as “best crop.”  They’re not cropped to standard frame sizes.  So you can recrop the image to try and make it fit the standard print dimensions you desire (this allows you to save on framing by purchasing less expensive, pre-manufactured frames).

Those are the basics of the photo archive!  If you have any questions about ordering prints or licensing images, don’t hesitate to get in touch using the Contact page.

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