The Catalogue workspace is where the majority of keywording and captioning
On entry to this workspace the photos that were tagged in the Workbench
are presented as thumbnail images on a "film strip" along
the bottom of the screen. The photo that was selected on the Workbench
will be the current photo in this workspace as well.
There are two methods to move the location of the current photo.
Click on either the "Prev" or "Next" buttons to
move the current location. The film strip will reflect the change and
the new photo's details and image will be displayed. If you reach either
end of the film strip the display will "wrap around" to the
start or end of the list.
The film strip shows as many thumbnails as will fit on the screen (18
in my case). The current photo's thumbnail is highlighted by being slightly
higher than the others and also it has the "This photo" label
To move another photo to the current location just click on its thumbnail.
Note that the current location is shown somewhat to the left of centre,
this is because it's assumed that photos are mostly catalogued from
left to right and it's better to see further ahead than behind.
I may make this location adjustable.
There are six areas on the screen to enter text. All
non-noisewords words entered into these fields are standardised and
indexed for searching.
Caption, locality, AKA, and latin have been described in the Workbench
section, these fields are entered manually or can be copied form another
If any changes are made to these field's their background colour will
change to yellow to indicate that the photo's information should be
saved. If "Auto update record" is checked the data will be
saved anyway, but if it's not checked you need to click the "Save"
button before moving to another photo.
Blurb is an area for free text to further describe the photo, say an
anecdote that details the making of the shot.
Clicking on the "Blurb" heading will enlarge the text area
by dropping it down to cover the other fields. This makes entering large
amounts of text easier.
Note that this text is automatically included on the photo's web page
verbatim so HTML tags can be inserted as has been done here to bold
two words (God's Portal) and also to provide a link to another photo.
This field holds words entered from three sources. You can manually
type words in, they can come from the keywords clipboard area (see below)
or from the categories selector (also below).
A "search word" is one that can be used to search the database
for photos. All words entered in all fields are potentially
used by the indexing system as search words. The words that will be
used for the current photo (and their standardised versions) are displayed
in the "Search words" panel.
This example is from a large-format black and white photo of mine called
"Five Phantoms" (photo #00180). This is the same photo used
in the "Blurb" example above, note that despite what must
be 100s of words in the blurb and other fields there are only 18 search
words here (and a couple of them could be removed as well).
This is because all the "noisewords" have been removed. Noisewords
are words that don't add any value to a search, some obvious examples
are "the", "and", "if" and most verbs.
However there may be other words that you want to define as noisewords,
either for the entire system (global noisewords) or just for this photo
These can be defined by clicking on the word in the list and then either
clicking on the "Make selected word a GLOBAL noiseword" or
"Make selected word a LOCAL noiseword" buttons.
Global noisewords are those words that you are happy to ban for every
photo in the system. In this example,
|This is quite a popular place and, with an exposure
of three minutes, it's almost impossible to get a photo with nobody
in the shot. However I waited and waited until I was fairly sure
there were no tourists on their way (even sent my wife up the track
to check), tripped the shutter and started timing.
Probably every word could be made a global noiseword (an exception
may be the word "tourist", it really depends on the nature
of your typical subject matter).
Local noisewords are those that don't really add to the search for
this photo but may do so with other photos. In the following text from
|Just before making what must be my all time most popular image,
<b><i>God's Portal</b></i>, I exposed another
sheet of film in the more standard
horizontal format that every Australian landscape photographer seems
to do when standing inside the cave that is Natural Arch.
With the exception of "God" and "Portal" all of
these words can probably be made global noisewords.
However what about the word "standard", this adds no value
to searching for this photo but it may be useful when looking for photos
of flags or people acting as "standard bearers".
This then is a good candidate for a local noiseword for this photo.
Thus when you are looking for standard bearers at a later date you won't
find the "Five Phantoms" image.
|Blow me down if some people
didn't turn up within seconds of me opening the shutter. No problems,
I thought, with an exposure this long they won't
show up on the negative.
As above most of these are just words that will get in the way of a
search and they can be made global noise words.
But what about the word "blow". It's of no use for this image,
but how about when searching for "blow hole", "blowing
up a bus", "wind blowing" etc.
"Long", no use here but if searching for "long vehicle"
or a place called "long point".
"Show", also no use here but if searching for "show
and tell", "circus", "broadway show".
As with "standard" these could be made a local noisewords
and therefore left for use with other photos.
Copying fields to other photos
All the text fields can be copied to another photo by dragging the
current photo's thumbnail on the film strip to another thumbnail.
As the mouse moves over a potential destination thumbnail
that thumbnail will pop up indicating that it has the focus and can
accept the data.
Releasing the mouse at this point will copy all the text fields to
the destination photo.
To make it obvious what's happening and also which fields are being
copied all those that are being copied will have the drop icon displayed
at their right hand side, as follows.
Note that the categories are copied as well as it is considered reasonable
that a photo with all the same details should also be a member of the
Naturally if some details are different the destination photo can still
If you change your mind just release the mouse over a clear area of
the screen or on the current photo's thumbnail.
Categories are a way of grouping photos of similar
subjects. A photo can belong to as many categories as makes sense, for
example a shot of people standing near a waterfall might be "People",
"Bushwalking", "Waterfalls", "Middle aged",
"Family", "Outdoors" and maybe several other categories.
The photo's categories are shown in the "Categories"
This field contains a comma-delimited list of machine-friendly category
codes and it cannot be manually edited. The list is automatically updated
when categories are selected with the category selector.
The category selector makes the job of selecting a photo's categories
easier. It also shows the current categories a photo belongs to.
As this function uses a lot of screen real estate and it's not always
required the selector pops out and in by clicking the "Show categories"
button (which changes to a "Hide categories" button when the
selector is visible).
In this example we see that the photo has been added to four categories.
Clicking on a non-selected category will add the photo to that
category, clicking on a selected category will remove the photo from
Each category has keywords assigned to it (these words are user-editable),
as you add or remove a photo from a category so to are the category's
keywords added or removed from the photo's keywords field.
The Catalogue workspace has an area for storing common keywords. This
area is called the "keyword clipboard".
The clipboard has 99 small cells for short words and 9 cells for long
or multiple words. The cell a word belongs to is remembered by SiiMAN
so next time you open the workspace they will all be in the same place.
Moving keywords around
Keywords can be dragged from one cell to another (small to small, large
to large, but not large to small or vice versa) by shift-dragging the
word. This allows them to be easily grouped.
Adding keywords to the photo
To add keywords to the photo simply double click on it/them and the
word or words will be added to the photo's keyword list. Any duplicates
will be removed regardless of where they came from (manualy typed, the
category selector or this clipboard).
There are five other controls.
This both indicates the current rating of the photo and can be used
to change the rating. In the above example the photo has a rating of
Click on a star to change the rating.
Indicators show something about the photo and they are covered on the
Workbench section. In this case because the photo has been recently
imported the "i" indicator is active meaning that the photo
was not included when the last search word indexing was performed.
Auto update record
This checkbox is used to cause SiiMAN to write all the changed information
to the database automatically when you move to the next photo or close
the workspace. This should normally be checked but if you make changes
you don't want saved then uncheck it before moving to the next photo
or closing the workspace.
Sync workbench on exit
When you close the Catalogue workspace and return to the Workbench
the display will normally be as you left it. However sometimes it's
useful to have the Workbench realign itself to display the photo you
where just cataloging.
This checkbox will cause the Workbench to do just that, the current
photo in the Catalogue workspace will become the first photo in the
Tag this photo
Photos have to be tagged to be displayed in the Catalogue workspace,
but while here you may decide to untag an image. That's what this button
is for. Having been untagged the image can be retagged with the same
Depicting of photos that can be indexed
A photo cannot have it's search words indexed until there are some,
and in fact SiiMAN enforces that the caption, location, keywords and
categories fields have at least some data before it will include the
photo in the search word indexing.
This Catalogue workspace shows when a photo qualifies for indexing
by giving it a white key line both when displayed as the current photo
and also on the film strip. All photos that don't have enough data to
be indexed have a black key line.
Note in the above that the current photo and the one before it have
white key lines, these two photos will be indexed when next the indexing
function is performed. At this point the others won't.
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