Categories! Let's update the image categories! Your chance to help...

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by joshroot, Aug 2, 2010.

    Currently all image organization on is done via image tagging or simple image captioning. In order to look at "nature" photos you need to use the image tag system to search for images tagged with the word "nature" or use the caption search for all images with "nature" in the title. No category system exists for all gallery images. currently has one place that we use "categories" for images and that is within the critique/ratings system. You can look at all "nature" images in the results of the ratings rankings, but that is not a particularly efficient way as it misses a lot of images from photographers who don't want to use the ratings system.
    My plan is to require users to choose a category for their images upon uploading them. This will allow viewers to say "I'd like to see all 'nature' images on the site" or "I'd like to see all 'pet' photos on the site" and so on.
    Here is what I would like suggestions on: What should the categories be?
    We currently have 27 categories. I would like to avoid running that number up too high, 20-30 is probably a good goal. We do not need 60 categories that end up being something like "Pets that aren't cats or dogs but aren't farm animals either". This needs to be kept as broad as possible while still allowing some amount of separation between stuff like "Nature: scenics" and "Nature: animals". The image tagging system can be integrated into any category browsing system so that users could look for images in a specific category that were also tagged with the word "goat" or "hedgehog" or whatever.
    For the record, here are the current categories:
    • Architecture
    • Astrophotography
    • Cars and Vehicles
    • Children
    • Concerts
    • Digital Alterations
    • Documentary
    • Events
    • Fashion
    • Fine Art
    • Flowers
    • Humor
    • Landscape
    • Macro
    • Nature
    • News/Journalism
    • Nudes
    • Pets
    • Portraits
    • Sports
    • Still Life/Studio
    • Street
    • Travel
    • Underwater
    • Wedding and Social
    • Birds
    • Insects
    We do not need to keep every one of these current categories. Some are much MUCH less used than others and could reasonably be replaced by a new category in conjunction with the image tag search system in order to help someone find the images that would have previously appeared in the old category. However, any removal of an old category needs to be accompanied by a suggestion for a new category where those images would now appear. For example, if you think that the "astrophotography" category should be eliminated, you would need to have some sort of category in your suggested list for the "astro" category to be folded into.
    Also keep in mind that the categories should be accessible to as many types of photographers as possible. We want to keep the site friendly to beginners as well as advanced shooters. "Fashion" and "documentary" can be tough for someone starting out, but "pets" and "children" might be passe for those who have been shooting for a long time and have honed in on what their specialty is. We need to have versions of all four examples to serve the needs of different photographers with different subject opportunities and different skill levels. Please do your best to think broadly and not just base your suggestions around what you personally like as a photographer. It doesn't do any good for me to hear suggestions that break street photography down into 4 different genres and then has all animal photos lumped into one catch-all category.
    Finally, there HAS to be a place for nudes to live, and ideally it needs to be a single category. People typically either want to see all the nudes or don't want to see ANY of them. I'd like to make both easier.
    Here's a chance to help improve I don't know exactly how it is going to go, and I am sometimes hesitant to get into large discussions like this because of the fact that the chances of reaching a consensus on a forum thread topic such as this are very slim. But I truly am interested in hearing what the community has to say. I doubt that everyone is going to be perfectly pleased with whatever I end up deciding to do. But I hope that suggestions here can help me make the decision that will allow a large majority of our members to say "okay, this works well enough and is an improvement from what we had before".
    I thank you in advance for your suggestions.

    I'm a knucklehead sometimes. I posted the wrong list of categories in the original post. My apologies.
  2. Josh,you surely brought up a hot topic. I reckon that whichever will be the categories some of them need a little explanation, especially for members who may not be comfortable with some english terms. If "nudes" or "birds" (no pun meant) may be pretty simple to undestand "documentary" may be a little trickier. Many amateurs, like myself, do shoot mainly while on vacation, more often during a trip. So, will my Mexico pictures filed as "documentary", along with those amazing North Pole photos taken by a pro? To many of us it will sound a bit boastful, unless it is clearly said that "documentary" means "travels" as well. By the way, I'm not sure whether I want a "travel" category, since what may be travel for others could be home to me. Same goes for the "street" category, definitely one of my favourite, but then we must first decide what "street photos"are. Billions of pictures are taken on the street, but then which are real "street"? All in all, I fear I haven't contributed many proposals, but just shared a few confused thoughts. So, summing it up, I would add "portrait" and "street", and maybe merge "concerts" and "events".
    Cheers, Marco
  3. Marco brings up one of the largest issues with this sort of thing, do people categorize by subject matter, technique or genre?
    There isn't really any good way around it that I have been able to come up with to completely solve the issue.
  4. Josh,
    Thanks for allowing us input. A year or more ago I asked where unposed street portraits fit. Now's my chance!
    1. Children
    2. Landscape
    3. Macro
    4. Nature
    5. Pets
    6. Portrait
      1. Formal
      2. Candid
    7. Sports
    8. Still life
    9. Street
    10. Transportation
    11. Wildlife (includes birds)
    plus most of the original categories
    • Abstract
    • Architecture
    • Astrophotography
    • Concerts
    • Digital Alterations Defined as?
    • Documentary
    • Events - What do they include? concerts, parades, circuses? other?
    • Fashion
    • Fine Art
      • Nudes
    • Underwater
    • Wedding and Social
    This makes 25 unless concerts gets put under events. Hope this helps.
  5. Josh,
    Why does it have to be subject matter or technique or genre? Tagging can include all.
  6. Josh,
    Why does it have to be subject matter or technique or genre? Tagging can include all.​
    I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. I realize that tagging can include any and all of those. But this conversation is more about creating categories than about the tagging system. I have a feeling I am missing something, so perhaps could you rephrase the question?
    In general though, the issue is that someone could have a black and white photo of a dog at a 4th of july parade. Now, one could make a case that this should go in a "black and white" category, a "pets" category, or a "events" category. You could probably even make a case for a "documentary" category or a "street" category. That's the sort of confusion that makes having multiple kinds (subject, technique, & genre) of categories confusing. Personally, I would prefer that any photo of a dog go into a "pets" or "animals" category because that is where I think people who are looking to see photos of dogs will look. Hence, I say that "subject" is my preferred way of categorizing. But I doubt that we will come up with a list that is only subject based. I think it ends up being impossible.
  7. Josh,
    Sorry, I misunderstood. A subject based category system sounds good to me
  8. How does Photosig do this, they seem to allow for a variety of sorting.
  9. * Macro
  10. Forgot to add:
    * Camera Gear
  11. Forgot to add:
    * Camera Gear
    Do you mean for photos OF camera gear? As in, a photo of a Leica camera or a Argus flash unit?
  12. After using Nature as an example, is it me or is there no "nature" category on the list ?
    If birds, why not other wildlife?
    I think Jack means: For Classic Manual Cameras forum, definitely a "Camera Porn" or "Naked Cameras" category.
  13. After using Nature as an example, is it me or is there no "nature" category on the list ?​
    I was just trying to make up some examples. I probably should have chosen something more clear.
  14. JDM
    You are correct. I added Nature to my list and added Wildlife as well. Nature is in the Forums Page list.
  15. I've always struggled a bit with the Wildlife vs. Pets stuff. I think "Wildlife" is fine, but would rather see "domestic animals" or something simlar. "Pets" works for cats, dogs, and hamsters ... but doesn't really feel right for racehorses, oxen, goats, roosters and so on. Yes, I'm splitting hairs.
  16. I would think that both "Astrophotography" and "Underwater" would be better served as sub-sects of a more general category, possibly "Nature," which was left off of the original list. I would also suggest that there be a category for Animals that is further subdivided into "Birds" and "Other Animals" and possibly a separate sub-category for "Pets." The only other thing that I would consider to be missing from that original list is a "Landscape" category and a "Sports" category.
    Additionally, I think that it would be helpful if the page where photographers select a category include an explanation of each category, so that people will better understand which category their photo fits into. Nothing very elaborate, just something like "Abstract: pictures of things that are not immediately recognizable. Architecture: pictures of houses, skyscrapers, bridges, ect." and so on, to help keep things from being classified incorrectly. There are some instances where a photo might fit into event or documentary or concert if someone is not sure what the definition of each category is.
  17. what about classifying as "film" or "digital?" These wouldn't be separate categories, but maybe this could be specified when uploading. If someone searches for photos, all photos would come up, but if they wanted to separate film photos from digital ones, then they could do that.
  18. Over the years I've seen some members request a "film" oriented image category for critiques/ratings, or one for traditional b&w photography. Such a category would probably be welcomed.
    Some photographers may prefer critiques informed by recognition of the process as well as the pure aesthetics of the photograph regardless of process. I will adjust my own critiques of others' photographs if I know the process involved. Saves a lot of aggravation from having to reply to uninformed critiques:
    • "Yes, it is soft. It's a pinhole photograph. Diffraction is unavoidable at f/250"
    • "Yes, it is very blue. It's a cyanotype."
    The tricky part is making it as inclusive as possible. I'm not sure there's enough demand for separate categories for Color Film, B&W Film, Alternative Process, etc. But I could be wrong. Maybe it's a case of "If you build it they will come."
    Might be better to choose a category name that seems inclusive enough to invite submissions from photographers using any media that involves traditional light sensitive materials as a significant part of the process: enlarger produced prints on light sensitive papers from film based negatives; alternative light sensitive contact prints from large format inkjet negatives; pinhole photos directly to paper (no "film" involved); etc.
    I dislike the word "analog" to describe the pre-digital light sensitive processes (seems akin to a backronym - an awkward mutation of the word analog to differentiate these processes from digital). But it may be the least bad compromise in this case.
  19. Storytelling.
  20. Good idea. I would vote for fewer rather than more categories. For example, Nature, Astrophoto, and Underwater could be combined under Nature.
    May I suggest allowing multiple tags? Many photos are not easily categorized, and erring on the side of inclusivity rather than exclusivity is a plus IM[-H]O.
    We could have one set of categories for subject matter and another for technology. The shooter could choose one or more from either or both groups.
    For a category system to work, the potential viewer must anticipate the shooter's interpretation of the content. The more categories, the fewer matches.
    For example, I might put a pic in the Architecture category because that accurately describes the subject, but I took the photo because of the colors and how they interact, so in my mind it's an artistic rendering.
    - Leigh
  21. The "film" and "black/white" and "digital" suggestions are all better served by the tagging system (or some other search system) than by a specific category as far as I am concerned. They just muddy the category waters further if you try to force them in.
    Also keep in mind that, as of now, there are no such things as subcategories. Suggesting subcategories is essentially the same as suggesting two different categories. Which is fine. But it counts as 2 against the over number.
  22. I'm going to cut off any digital-vs-film arguments right here. This is not the place for them. I will delete any further posts of the sort from this thread.
    Please stay on topic or just ignore the thread. thanks.
  23. May I suggest allowing multiple tags? Many photos are not easily categorized, and erring on the side of inclusivity rather than exclusivity is a plus IM[-H]O.​
    I'm a little confused by this, as we already have an image tagging system that allows multiple tags. Can you explain further?
    We could have one set of categories for subject matter and another for technology. The shooter could choose one or more from either or both groups.​
    I had actually thought of that this morning after Marco made his post. I will have to have a conversation with Jin to see what he thinks of the possibility of having a main subject based category and then a secondary (optional) technique or genre category. I'll see what we can come up with.
  24. I'm a little confused by this, as we already have an image tagging system that allows multiple tags. Can you explain further?​
    Hi Josh,
    I understood your original post to mean that you were re-vamping the system, so I had no reason to assume that current policies would carry forward.
    Just a suggestion.
    - Leigh
  25. I understood your original post to mean that you were re-vamping the system, so I had no reason to assume that current policies would carry forward.​
    Nothing will change about the image tagging system other than it may be integrated into the category system to help people find, for example, "elephant" photos within an "animal" category. It really wouldn't be any different than searching the whole gallery for images with the tag "elephant", but it might be a user interface improvement for some people. We also might be able to add such integration to the ratings/critique system to allow people to rate/critique images in their specific area of interest or specialty.
    In general though, there will be no big change to the tagging system. It works quite well as is.
  26. Hi Josh: I think we need 2 categories for what are now "nudes." One for fine art nudes, a separate category for glamor-pinup-boudoir.
  27. Josh, as far as I remember, one of the categories in the past was "other", which enabled to use it when the other categories in the list did not fit.What do you think?
  28. Josh: IN my mind I would think Animals and Birds would go together very nicely:
  29. I recently started a thread that didn't fit anywhere, about using dry ice for special effects in a studio shot.
    I put it in Fashion because that seemed most closely related to studio work as opposed to location.
    - Leigh
  30. I recently started a thread that didn't fit anywhere, about using dry ice for special effects in a studio shot.
    I put it in Fashion because that seemed most closely related to studio work as opposed to location.
    - Leigh​
    Only talking about the gallery here Leigh, not about the forums.
  31. Josh, as far as I remember, one of the categories in the past was "other", which enabled to use it when the other categories in the list did not fit.What do you think?​
    I'm not against the idea. But I'd like to see what we can come up with as far as a comprehensive list first. Then look at adding a "misc" category.
  32. OK. Disregard.
    - Leigh
  33. What about :
    Dance ? I add dance to fine arts, but not every dance is fine arts.
    or: performing arts( on stage), as fine art can be paintings, statues etc.
  34. Josh: I suppose you are referring to the 14 Photo Galleries - Browse Photo Categories. A bit confusing since the drop down list to further browse has 28 or so categories. Those 28 or so categories are the same as those used to request critiques and ratings. The critique and rating categories apparently evolved over time to split by subject. Those 28 work well enough all things considered, although it is sometimes hard to decide the category for a portrait of a child. Be that as it may....
    You wrote: "The image tagging system can be integrated into any category browsing system so that users could look for images in a specific category that were also tagged with the word "goat" or "hedgehog" or whatever."
    I would argue for a meta layer unrelated to your present categories. That layer would represent types of photography, not subjects, and allow a result set that is a broad representation of those photography types. Doing so would add a great teaching tool. For example, I would rather see all macro photographs, not just insects. That would give me a better idea of the universe of macro applications. Here is a quick list that does accomodate some subjects.
    Car & Vehicle
    Digital alterations
    Fine Art
    Portrait photography
    Still Life/Studio
    The list is for the most part types of photography which could integrate with your other slice and dice fields. Pictures of gear are product shots. Street is afterall, candid. Nature is omitted, yet flowers are plants. Wildlife, insects and birds are animals. Weddings and concerts are events, as is a dance. Your 28 browse by category field could be improved, but I think that is a separate issue.
  35. I would realy like to see a macro category - this is because (to me) not all macro shots are nature or abstracts. I also agree with 'subjects' as catagories - so perhaps a mix of 'subjects' to cover common things we all like to shoot and 'type' of photography, eg. abstract, macro, still life, documentary....
    This way, people can search by subject or type depending on their interest.
  36. Hi Josh,
    Only a couple of category recommendations/suggestions;
    • Aviation . . . There appears to be quite a following (myself included).
    • Zoo . . . It really does not fall into the Wildlife or Nature category. It could include animals in capitivity.
    Thanks for offering the opportunity to provide some input.
    Jim j.
  37. "Do you mean for photos OF camera gear? As in, a photo of a Leica camera or a Argus flash unit?"
    Yes, people do post images of there gear, and others do enjoy looking at it! :)
    Also, I saw an entry for *Infrared*, I'd also like to second that as a request.
  38. Josh: I suppose you are referring to the 14 Photo Galleries - Browse Photo Categories. A bit confusing since the drop down list to further browse has 28 or so categories.​
    I'm an idiot sometimes. Holy moses.
    Charles is correct. There are 28 categories. *sigh*. I will update the original post and hope that I haven't confused the matter too much.
  39. dmc


    I think some of the current headings could be changed or combined.
    Pets, Birds and Insects could be combined to be Animals & Insects. This would encompass all non-human living creatures.
    Portraits could contain all human photographs, adults, children and studio except nudes. Nudes, I think, should still be in a class of their own.
    The nature heading could encompass flowers, plants, natural landscapes.
    A Transportation heading could combine automobiles, planes, boats, bikes, and motorcycles of all sorts.
    A B&W fine art category would be a nice addition for those that appreciate the fine art of Black & White Photography.
    The Macro category is a must, as I feel, Macro Photographers need to stand out as the art is most challenging. Even though photos in this category could easily fit into other categories, I think it is a nice addition to the site.
    Just some random thoughts but what ever the choice, please alphabetize the list for ease of use and give the user a definition of the category. This might be obvious to some but I think there is some confusion, especially among new users to the site, as where to list their photo. Example, where do you put a photograph of a lion you photographed at a zoo? Pets... No, Wildlife.... not really since it wasn't in the wild. Nature... again, No. You get the idea.
    Thanks for your time. DMc
  40. Fred Goldsmith [​IMG][​IMG], Aug 02, 2010; 10:18 p.m. (report spam)
    I'll second that. But in order to realise this to max effect it would be really nice if we were able to upload pdf files. This would also potentially benefit the Documentary part of the S&D forum which is now for the most part dormant.
    As for categories I think a Urban Landscape categorie would be nice because there is lots of them floating around that get uploaded elsewhere.
  41. I think it would be good to have a categorization system that filters via a series of drop down boxes. An example would be a category of Abstract. If that was chosen, the drop down field next to it would offer sub-categories of Abstract such as Architecture, Nature, Other. The category of Animals would have sub-categories of Wildlife, Pet, Domestic and Zoo. This would keep the initial list short while also fine tuning the categorization if needed. Users could also just stop at the initial category without having to choose a sub-category. Here are 23 categories with their sub-categories that I would like to see in a filtering system.

    - Architecture
    - Color
    - Nature
    - Objects
    - Other
    Altered States
    - Graphic Design
    - HDR
    - Infrared
    - Other
    - Birds
    - Domestic
    - Pets
    - Wildlife
    - Zoo
    - Food
    - Other
    - Journalism
    - News
    - Indoor
    - Outdoor
    Fine Art
    - Desert
    - Farm
    - Forest
    - Mountain
    - Plains
    - Urban
    - Valley
    - Water
    - Winter
    Low Light
    - Low Key
    - Night
    - Astrophotography
    - Flowers
    - Insects
    - Macro
    - Underwater
    Puppies (just kidding)
    Still Life
    - Air
    - Road
    - Train
    - Water
  42. I second Lupo L's suggestion of *Food* category, purely for selfish reason to learn & see others' work.

    *Astrophotography* should be its own category, certainly not go under *Nature* (as in life, land, water, climate, ecosystem, etc, on planet Earth).

    Please don't have a broad category like Nature, then exclude *Birds*, *Pets*, *Insects*, *scapes (other than urbanscape), *Underwater*, etc. from it as they all belong to Nature. In other words, if a photo is of, say a bird, then it is certainly not out of place in Nature.

    It would also be less frustrating not to find a sub category (Nature::macro) also being a super (*Macro*).

    What is stopping people to put head shots or portraits in *Fashion* as currently it is the fashion here? Or, please define what constitutes a fashion photograph if there is no emphasis on clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.

    It should be obvious now about the need of having clear description of a category available while uploading a image and all the descriptions listed on one page for reference.

    Is there going to enforcement of categorization, say when a photo does not meet a category at all, or when a photo might belong strongly in another category than the one it was placed in? If not, then what would be the point of this exercise?
  43. My proposal would be the following
    Basically no new categorisation, but just a re-grouping of the existing ones.
    The categories in the left hand column are those who I suggest to keep, those in the right hand column are the old categories which would be incorporated. No subcategories.
    The fine-tuning would be done through the tagging. Cars and vehicles is a bit selfstanding, I see it as if we had a category "doors and windows" or "trees": no real need to consider them separately.
    My two cents: the smallest number of categories as possible. Most posts fall into a few categories anyway.
    • Architecture
    • Astrophotography
    • Digital Alterations
    • Documentary

    • Humor
    • News/Journalism
    • Travel
    • Cars and Vehicles
    • Events

    • Sports
    • Wedding and Social
    • Concerts
    • Fine Art

    • Still Life/Studio
    • Nature & Beings

    • Macro
    • Landscape
    • Flowers
    • Pets
    • Birds
    • Insects
    • Nudes
    • Fashion
    • Portraits

    • Children
    • Street
    • Underwater
  44. [Josh R]: "... My plan is to require users to choose a category for their images upon uploading them. ..."
    I hesitate to jump into a discussion like this knowing how difficult it is to set up categories or a keywording system even for one individual, let alone a whole community of us. In addition, there are quite a few very knowledgeable and thoughtful folks who have already discussed this problem in general terms for any large collection of images or documents, e.g.,
    My fundamental thesis is that a (the?) major problem with categories is that most images will almost certainly fall into several different categories, and if the user is allowed to select only one category, there will be problems when others try to retrieve that image or similar ones. If you allow multiple categories to be selected, then the distinction between categories and keywords/tags gets blurred and we might as well be talking about an improved keywording / querry system. My impression is that very few large image archives use categories, and instead, rely on keywords, whether for browsing or retrieval of individual images.
    That being said, let me suggest a somewhat different approach to the one you are considering. I suggest that you set up a system that acknowledges the above problem and allows multiple keywords using a hierarchical, limited vocabulary system. Specifically, a user would not be allowed to upload an image until he/she has selected at least one keyword. If the keyword he selects is not at the top level of the hierarchy, all keywords above it in the hierarchy would also be automatically applied to the image. The system could also automatically add the user ID number to every image as another keyword, so retrieval by user name / number is also possible.
    For example, using the 2 level hierarchical system suggested immediately above by Luca, if a user selects "Humor" as a keyword when submitting an image, the keyword, "Documentary" is also applied to the image. The user might then select another keyword, "Wedding", so the keyword "Events" would also be automatically added to his image. Such a system would allow anyone searching for certain types of images to be as general or specific as they want. If they want to find all nature photos, they will find them. If they want to find humorous photos, they will find them; if they want to find all photos of humorous events at weddings, they can find them just as easily, so long as the facility for Boolean operators is provided, (ie, like Google provides, eg, {wedding AND humor}).
    The requirement that every image have at least one user specified keyword/tag plus a user ID keyword ensures that every image can be found.
    Obviously, it's important to make the keywording process as painless as possible. A keyword entry page similar to the column structure shown by Luca (above) plus check boxes would be easy to understand and fast to use. Keeping the number of choices low is obviously highly beneficial in ease of use. The image search facility could look like Google's or could be essentially identical to the keywording page, and like it, use check boxes.
    The desire that images of nudes shouldn't accidentally pop up in searches for other images is reasonable and can be dealt with equally easily. When a user is submitting an image, not only are they required to select at least one keyword from the hierarchy, they must also select either NSFW (eg, nudes) or Suitable_for_work (SFW) before their image can be uploaded. When searching, the default option would be, like Google's image search, SFW-only. Implementation of this would be trivial. Every user search would simply have the Boolean criterion "AND SFW" appended.
    My proposal may sound a bit abstract, but I believe something along these lines is the most efficient at tagging and retrieving images, would be very, very fast and easy to use, and could be easily modified in the future as needs change.
    Anyway, that's my $0.02 on the subject.
    Tom M
  45. I like the ideas suggested that include subcategories, and the more the better. I can imagine the number of images resulting from requesting all "Nature" photographs. It would probably take days to view all of them. And I would also suggest that the results from any category request be randomly displayed for each request. I applaud Josh for taking this on. We should all keep in mind that the final category list will not please everyone, but this added functionality will still make this site more useful.
  46. Why not put Astro, some mico and other science related photos into a Scientific category.
  47. Some few comments and suggestions concerning the present list.
    The TRAVEL category is confusing for a place like PN that is supposed to be international. What is travel for some, is "own backyard" for others . Could be deleted as category. Street photography from the city of Taipei is street photography whether the photographer happens to be on travel or not.
    The FINE ART category is as far as I can see confusing because of lack of clear and shared understanding of what it is. Could be deleted in my eyes
    No joke, but I have never understood what to do with the category of HUMOUR. In most cases it would be an "event", "children","portrait", "documentary" or any other but "humor" alone is difficult to imagine. Could be deleted I would think.
    I agree with Howard that what he describes a CANDID PORTRAITS is a need (I call them "stolen" portraits)
    STILL LIFE / STUDIO is surely a category that makes sense but we see many still life shots that are shot outside studio conditions and often described as ABSTRACT. I would not argue for an "abstract" category because of difficulties of defining it clearly but CANDID STILL LIFE could be a category that is not covered for the moment.
    There is a confusion as far as I can see between the STREET and ARCHITECTURE categories. Architecture in streets, which I personally love shooting can be found in both categories for the moment. Maybe the STREET (PEOPLE) category would be clearer and ARCHITECTURE (TOWNS/COUNTRY SIDE) would be clarifying.
    And two small question: can we imagine a CAR that is not also a VEHICLES. What is SOCIAL if it is not a WEDDING?
    Hope this is useful.
  48. I always thought there should be a "Seascape" category. Maybe because I do way too many of them!
  49. Maybe a beginner category? Kind of like the forum, but for photos :)
  50. Especially if we will have to categorize our photos, I think its essential that there be a BW category and a COLOR category.
    If I put a dog in BW and someone looking for dogs misses my photo because it's not in the ANIMALS or whatever category, that seems fine. I would put it there because the subject matter might not be important to me. Categorizing by subject (in many cases) devalues the essence of the photo. Some BW dog photos are not about DOG at all, but about contrast and texture. That's how many photographers think, and I'd love the categorization mechanism to acknowledge if not encourage such thinking.
    I do a lot of photos that contain people that I don't consider portraits, candid portraits, street, or documentary. My most recent photo that has two people in it (at least parts of two people) seems uncategorizeable, and I'd want to put it in a COLOR queue.
  51. Josh, I would like to see a night photography category. It would be a good place for images taken at night that do not fit into the astrophotography category.
  52. .....or just combine astrophotography and night photography into one category.
  53. *Low Light* would be better than night photography, else where else would noisy|grainy pictures, say shot in a poorly lit gym even during daytime, go? And, astrophotography is not limited to night in a region, say shooting solar eclipse during the day.
  54. My plan is to require users to . . .​
    We have responded so well to requirements in the past, with such maturity and grace, that we can't possibly anticipate anything going wrong with this plan.
    Category suggestions:
    • You know it's bad
    • Photo of my girlfriend
    • Photo of chicks I tried to get to be my girlfriend, but struck out, and am now stuck with this picture
    • Photo of my girlfriend, wearing jeans, please provide flattering critique or she will never let me live this down
    • Photo of my girlfriend, when she was in college 20 years ago, because I am now paying the price for what she says is a "fat" remark because earlier this week I did not correctly answer a "Does this make me look fat" trick question.
    • Fat people walking slowly in public down a local sidewalk as a substitute for gritty "Street" photo
    • The "Is it a street photo if I use a telephoto lens" picture
    • Henri Cartier Bresson imitation attempts and failures
    • Atget or Trash Filled Alley?
    • Picture of person walking a dog
    • Picture of a dog on a leash, "taking care of business", because I compose and focus slowly, as a substitute for an animal photo, with selective framing and composition to concentrate on the front half of the animal
    • Picture of zoo animals labeled, "Wildlife."
    • Picture of drunk college kids acting like zoo animals
    • Picture of drunk college kids acting like zoo animals, engaged in group vandalism as a substitute for "political protest" photos
    • Feet
    • Feet with toenail fungus
    • Shutter curtain problem, half of the frame is black
    • Lens cap on, entire frame black
    • Exposed to the entire screen white
    • Completely out of focus, or "radical bokeh"?
    • Partially colorized photo
    • Poor color temperature, or are her teeth actually that color?
    • Photo so heavily edited it's actually a job submission for "Avatar" or other James Cameron movie
    • Fake UFO photos
    • Alien Abduction photos
    • Alien Abduction photos made with Leica and Noctilux
    • Alien Abduction photos made with Leica and Noctilux, made by the Aliens, after they told me that Leica was the superior answer on their planet, too.
    • Photo abducted from deep within Apple Developer disc, slightly edited and marked as "Nature."
    • Dutch tilt
    • Dutch tilt with bangers and mash
    • Dutch tilt photos made after drinking Irish beer
    • Picture of public library as substitute for artsy architecture photo
    • Automatic 7/7 required
    • Automatic 3/3 to keep you out of our 7/7 drive for "Top Rated Over-Satu-Rater" Award
    • HDR: Harsh Dang Recoloring
    • Powerpoint slide featuring items not actually photos to "feed the beast" in Philosophy of Photography
    • Powerpoint slide featuring random geometric shapes, but labeled as "Nude."
    • Actual photo worked on. Comment and send no numbers. Thanks.
    Just some suggestions. J.
  55. As this thread progresses, I am beginning to suspect that two different interpretations of the the term, "category" are in play.
    I think of a set of categories as a comprehensive division of some subject, in our case, images. Using the above definition, a tiger will be in the "tiger" category and all categories above that (ie, mammals, animals, etc.), but can only be in that one category and not in other branches of a classification tree. This is consistent with the 1st definition of the word, "category", given in
    A significant amount of the discussion on this thread has been about whether a given type of image can be classified in more than one way. For example, a shot of a couple in a restaurant could be simultaneously classified as people, romance, stock, low light, candid, Nikon, etc. Such subdivisions do not fit the above definition of "category" and are better described as "descriptors", "keywords", "tags", "attributes", etc.
    While many people use the term "category" more loosely, my sense is that Josh is using the stricter definition:
    "... My plan is to require users to choose a category for their images upon uploading them..."
    In other words, he wants one, and exactly one category for each image. This can only make sense if a tree-like classification of every image is possible. I think that from the many semi-contradictory suggestions / requests presented thusfar in this thread, as well as common sense, it is clear this simply cannot be done. For this reason, I think that all of the earlier suggestions in this thread should be regarded as keywords, not categories.
    BTW, some keywords can be part of a hierarchical, tree-like structure, but because they are keywords, not categories, there can be multiple simultaneous keywords for an image, each, perhaps with it's own mini-hierarchy (...think the hierarchical keywording in Bridge...). This concept is fully in line with some of the suggestions already made in this thread.
    So, my strong suggestion would be not to attempt a tree-like classification scheme, but rather, a limited vocabulary, keywording scheme with the possibility of hierarchical keywords.
    The reason I suggest this is that it eliminates the confusion that is bound to be present when using a strict category system when both uploading (eg, should my restaurant image go in the BW, people, stock, or low-light "categories") and when searching for images. In addition, there is a very practical reason for making a clear distinction between tree-like categorization and keywording. The fundamental structure of the underlying database, as well as the user interface is very different in the two cases.
    Just another $0.02 from me on this subject.
    Tom M
  56. We have responded so well to requirements in the past, with such maturity and grace, that we can't possibly anticipate anything going wrong with this plan.​
    Yes, there will always be some number of people who do not like being "made" to do something. But there are a significantly larger number of people who keep asking me for ways to have their images seen/promoted/featured on the site. Giving me options for doing this without resorting to the default ratings/critique system for filtering will be a big help in achieving that goal.
    Sadly, every change on the site is going to come with someone being unhappy about it. But as long as a lot more people ARE happy about the change, then we're doing alright.
  57. Thanks for the suggestions so far folks. I'm reading every one even if I don't have anything specific to say in reply to each.
  58. What about an "opt out" like with many of the other features? Since some of my photos don't seem to fall into a "subject" category or I may not want them to be seen that way, I'd like to have that choice.
  59. What about an "opt out" like with many of the other features? Since some of my photos don't seem to fall into a "subject" category or I may not want them to be seen that way, I'd like to have that choice.​
    Just to be sure I'm understanding this correctly, you are asking if there could be an "opt out" option so that your (theoretical) photo of a dog wouldn't end up in an "animals" category when people were browsing the gallery? Is that correct?
  60. Yes. I'd be happy to put it in the DOG category if that's where I thought it could or should go. But some of my (very theoretical) DOG photos would better be put in a B/W or COLOR category or some such less subject-oriented category. If there will be at least a couple or a few categories based more on medium (b/w, color, film, digital, large format, etc.) than on subject, I will be fine. But if they will all be subject categories, I'd want to be able NOT to categorize some of my photos. I understand that might limit visibility, but I might make that choice in some instances. Maybe there could be a "Prefer Not To Categorize" category. We could all do with at least that much irony, no? Or just call it the THAT DAMN FRED category! - ;)))
  61. Folks, Fred's complaints are an example of PRECISELY why I have been harping on the difference between "categories" (ie, any given item can go into only one category and its parents) and "keywords" (ie, any given item can have multiple attributes and be entered and searched on in many different ways). A strictly categorical system can't do this.
    A system consisting of multiple parallel categories (eg, separate hierarchies for content, for media, for camera mfgr, for shooting conditions, etc.) can handle this, but then there is essentially no difference between such a system and a straightforward, controlled-vocabulary system based on keywords (...tags, attributes, or whatever else you want to call them).
    Fred's complaints are just the tip of the iceberg. Analogous complaints are guaranteed to arise with great frequency with any strictly categorical system (ie, an image can go into only one category and its parent categories).
    Tom M
  62. Tom, please don't see my posts or ideas as complaints. There's nothing to even complain about yet and nothing in this topic that warrants complaining. Josh is trying to improve aspects of the site and has asked for suggestions. I welcome that. And that's just what most of us are doing. I prefer to keep it constructive. I don't do a lot of complaining . . . anymore. There will be those who will complain when the changes are made. I won't be one of them. If Josh decides it's best to call a DOG a DOG, then by golly I'll call my dogs DOGS.
  63. Sorry, Fred, I didn't mean to brand your comments as complaints when that wasn't your intention.
    However, you effectively stated that the proposed system won't handle certain situations which are important to you and proposed a work-around. I would characterize that as a complaint about the proposed system, or, to use a more euphemistic term, a disagreement.
    I see absolutely nothing wrong with complaints / disagreements / pointing out inadequacies, etc., so long as they are valid, constructive, well-intentioned, etc.. Your comments certainly were, and, I hope, mine are as well.
    Tom M
  64. Fred,
    However, the goal of this sort of thing is to get more images in front of someone who wants to see them. If someone is looking for dog photos, and you have hidden your image in the b/w category, they you have eliminated your image from that "class" of viewers. Of course, if someone is looking for b/w photos and there are only subject based categories, they won't see it either.
    There has to be a way to figure out both without making a mess of things (or over complicating things for newbies). But it is going to take some conversation between Jin and myself to figure it out.
  65. I think it's about time for an HDR category......
  66. I too think that an HDR category would be a good idea and if you are going to make a media or process type category why not a medium/large format category. It depends on what you want to do, if you want to organize based on subject that is one thing but if you want to also break out images based on process or format that is a different thing. I agree with Josh, this is going to be difficult to reconcile.
  67. In light of the recent Scott Heinkel thread, how about a "be nice to me and give me good ratings" category "because I can't take criticism well." Sorry, I couldn't resist, you can delete it if you want and save yourself the time sending me an admin email, I'll go ahead and put myself in the corner for 5 minutes.
  68. I do think there should be a beginner photo category. It could be a confidence booster, if nothing else. Some people are shy, and they might feel better about trying.
    I think maybe some folks could use some help with the critiques. Maybe a beginner's crib notes type form or something to help get them started. I volunteer someone on your staff for that coding job.
  69. ..and NOT thinking about Scott Heinkel. I've just posted some air-show shots. At the moment the best categories available for me for those are (i.) 'Documentary' as in of a record of that and (ii.) 'Event'. Something covering Air/Aircraft would be good for me and others I'm sure.
  70. Here is my 2 cent on this, I kept it simple by putting an 'X' on the ones that need to go IHMO:
    • Architecture X
    • Astrophotography X
    • Cars and Vehicles X
    • Children X
    • Concerts X
    • Digital Alterations X
    • Documentary X
    • Events X
    • Fashion
    • Fine Art
    • Flowers X
    • Humor X
    • Landscape X
    • Macro
    • Nature
    • News/Journalism
    • Nudes
    • Pets XXX
    • Portraits
    • Sports X
    • Still Life/Studio
    • Street
    • Travel
    • Underwater X
    • Wedding and Social
    • Birds X
    • Insects XXX
  71. well, as long as we keep to the categorisation of photos it would be nice to create seperate categories for babies, holidays and family stuff to keep the other ones clean of (most of) those.
    I'm not trying to offend anyone here but there is a notable difference between rather gratuituous snaps (which more often than not would be better kept private) and photography compliant with the sites intention.
  72. Other suggestions :
    web site creation X
    B&W film and film processing X (Should be merged with B&W Film Processing)
    Canon FD & Classic cameras X
  73. I would suggest splitting nude into at least two - Glamour Nude and Artistic Nude.
  74. Josh: "But there are a significantly larger number of people who keep asking me for ways to have their images seen/promoted/featured on the site. Giving me options for doing this without resorting to the default ratings/critique system for filtering will be a big help in achieving that goal."​
    I still believe that the fine-tuned categorisation should be done with the tags.
    That should be increasingly the way to find "dogs", "cars", "planes", "flowers", etc. and the laziness of using the tags should be overcome in time.
    Using a relatively small number of quite broad categories would make the initial classification more simple and usable, leaving the detailed classification to the tagging system.
    Also the specification of the medium and B&W vs colour should be done with the tags. And the sub-classification of nudes.
    It would be useful to combine categories and tags in the same search tool.
  75. My one suggestion would be to make it editable after you have clicked confirm. In a moment of distraction I recently logged a 'nature' shot as a nude. I tried to fix it but couldn't find a way with the current controls. (Although the baby elephant was technically nude, I'm not sure people scanning the 'nude' category appreciated the irony.)

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