Trialing an Unique & Quick Keywording Method

Keywording is getting easier for me since there’s lots of software out there to help me, including In addition, Clemency Wright Consulting has been extremely helpful.

A new method

I’ve been trialing a new and apparently effective method to make my keywording life easier.

Yesterday, I was at the creepy crypt full of skeletons. Usually, I look for similar images and take the best/most relevant words from those, but in this case there were not many similar images. This is great since it’s a fantastic & unique place with not much competition.

Not so great that I had to keyword myself without any shortcuts, which helps when there’s a huge list of images to keyword. I’ll take the following example as one of the images I was tagging:

The evocative crypt of San Bernardino alle Ossa, Milan, Italy

First Step – Search on Google for “San Bernardino alle Ossa”

First step was searching on Google. I purposely avoided Wikipedia and went straight to the primary sources, including the official Turismo Milano website featuring the history of this church.

Second Step – Copy a full paragraph of the summary

Then, I copied and pasted the paragraph containing the summary of the history behind the crypt. I’ll paste it here:

The origins of the church and the ossuary date back to the thirteenth century and are linked to the history of the Brolo hospital that now no longer exists.
In 1642 both edifices were severely damaged by the collapse of the bell tower of the nearby church of Santo Stefano. The ossuary was rapidly repaired and the church was rebuilt in 1750 in Baroque and Rococo style by architects Andrea Biffi and Carlo Giuseppe Merlo, the latter of which worked on the project for the main spire of the Duomo.
Due to the regular alignment of the windows on the exterior the façade is more reminiscent of a stately eighteenth-century palazzo than a baroque church. The interior of the church has an octagonal plan with two side chapels and baroque marble altars.
A narrow corridor to the right of the entrance gives access to the chapel ossuary. It is a small square room adorned with an altar and a niche with the statue of Madonna Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) kneeling before the body of Jesus.

The walls are almost entirely covered with skulls and bones, arranged in niches and on cornices, pillars and doors. They are believed to be the remains of the deceased from the Brolo hospital, from the corpses taken from the defunct seventeenth-century cemeteries. The skulls enclosed in cases above the door are those of executed prisoners.

The ossuary chapel was once decorated with frescoes by Sebastiano Ricci, a precursor of Tiepolo who introduced Venetian Baroque painting to Milan. They represented a “Triumph of souls in a flight of angels” and the glory of the four patron saints: Santa Maria Vergine, S.Ambrogio, S.Sebastiano and S.Bernardino da Siena.

Third Step – Delete irrelevant words / phrases

From the above very long paragraph I took verbatim the following relevant 30 keywords – a great start!

church, ossuary, thirteenth century, Brolo hospital, Santo Stefano, Baroque, Rococo, Andrea Biffi, Carlo Giuseppe Merlo, Duomo, façade, interior, octagonal, chapel, marble, altar, walls, skulls, bones, arranged, cornices, pillars, deceased, corpses, executed prisoners, decorated, frescoes, Sebastiano Ricci, Milan

Fourth Step – Add words not included in the summary

I went on to add a few more such as: bones, catacomb, christianity, creepy, death, evocative, catholic, Lombardy, Italy, cross, vault vertical…small finishing touches only.

Caption: The evocative ossuary crypt of San Bernardino alle Ossa, Milan, Italy

Remember to write captions: Specific features (architectural, stylistic etc), What (name of building / object / location), Where (specific town / region / country).

Voila! Hope that’s helpful. I’ve started doing this type of workflow with more pictures, as I find it creates more accurate keywords.

Tomorrow I’ll be publishing a longish article I’ve been working on for the past week about how obsession (often) leads to excellence. Stay tuned!


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