On Rights Licensing and Visibility

Good read by Jim Pickerell over at Black Star Rising on how images get selected from online databases.

I really want a much deeper conversation on this, though. Perhaps some case studies on how images were chosen when things went wrong or went really right. This section is where I want more from:

Algorithms Have Replaced Editing

Twenty years ago customers would call a picture agency for research, describe what they were looking for and the agency’s researchers would go through the files and pick a selection of images that they thought would fit the customer’s needs. The researchers got to know the best images in their collections and developed a sense of what their customers wanted. New images weren’t sent out just because they were new.

Now, all that personal visual judgment is gone. At the rights-managed and traditional royalty-free agencies the personal judgment of image quality and appropriateness of the subject matter has been replaced by computer algorithms that are heavily dependent on words.

Mark E. Johnson

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