by Graphics Ink
Searching for Images
This web site has three primary methods for finding particular images:
- Search by Keywords - for particular image matches via keyword or phrase
- Search By Category - browsing for images via ordered categories
- Subject Indexes - for specific named subjects
Searching For Images Using Keywords
Input your selected keyword in the 'Search' box and click 'Go' to initiate an image search.
Keywords are not case-sensitive (though care should be taken that they are spelt correctly)
but are whole-word (or whole-phrase) only - for example, inputting the keyword 'man' will yield results only with 'man' as a discrete keyword and not with 'man' within other keywords (such as 'woman'!).
Keywords are English-language only but also with some words/phrases from other languages which are in common use; also scientific (latin) names are used for animal and plant species.
Single words (or short commonly-used phrases) are best for keyword search, but if your first keyword search produces no results then check the spelling or try alternative spellings (especially with English-American variations such as 'colour' and 'color', etc.), or try singular/plural variations, or try alternative words with a similar meaning, or check the full list of keywords used in the site (see below).
Do not use quotes (single or double) nor apostrophes. The operator 'and' cannot be used unless it forms part of the search phrase. Commas may be used for searching combinations e.g. 'bird, white' or 'bird, white, vertical' (exclude single quotes, spaces between words are ignored).
Results of a keyword search are displayed in the main window where thumbnails will be viewable. A powerful feature is the search within your search results - input further keywords in the 'Search Within Results' box to further narrow down the selection of image thumbnails displayed.
Below each thumbnail is the image reference number and short description, and price band (see 'Licensing'). Clicking on the thumbnail image produces a page with an enlarged, watermarked preview image together with information about the image including extended caption information and any restrictions as to use. In addition, the keywords that apply to the image appear and each keyword is clickable to produce new search results - a useful reminder of alternative keywords and a powerful way of searching themes and concepts.
A full list of the keywords used in the site (excluding subject names and scientific/latin names) can be found here: Keyword List.
Naturally, it is difficult to be completely comprehensive when assigning keywords to images but we hope that the most common options have been covered. We welcome any suggestions for additional keywords not already covered - e-mail to our web site administrator at:
If you have found no images via keyword-search then searching via Category Search or Subject Indexes may be more likely to yield results.
Searching For Images By Category
Click on the 'Images By Category' link to be taken to the top level of a category 'tree' which has many subdividing (and overlapping) branches within each category. The categories follow logical headings, from the general to the particular, based on the coverage within the main files, and makes it quick and easy to discover which subjects have coverage and which do not (for example, at the moment subject coverage for Places/Travel is only Europe).
Category search also provides a useful way of searching for themes and concepts which may not necessarily appear as keywords associated with images.
Most categories have selections of thumbnails displayed, and following the branches through has the effect of fine-tuning the selection of images and reducing the number of thumbnails to be visually searched for that one image that suits your purpose. As before, below each thumbnail is the image reference number and short description, and price band, and clicking on the thumbnail image produces an enlarged, watermarked preview image together with information, etc.
Searching For Images By Subject Indexes
When looking for specific named subjects (both nature and general, such as "Fallow Deer", or "Big Ben", or "Snowdonia National Park"), searching the Subject Indexes may be your best option, especially if "No images found" results via the keyword Search Box - this does not necessarily mean there are no images at all of that subject but just that there may be no images online yet.
Again, the Subject Indexes follow a logical tree-like category stucture, from the general to the particular, until the final category is reached which then consists of a list of all named subjects which are covered in the main file. Those subjects which have at least one image available to view online are indicated - if the subject you are looking for appears in the list but is not indicated as available to view online then please contact us direct for information of the kinds of images available for that subject.
Please bear in mind that even those subjects marked as online may only have one or two images out of a large selection available in the main file. New on-line images are being added on a continuous basis.
This page last revised: Dec 2005