On-Line Sites

Posted on 11/16/1997 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



November 16, 1997

To get an idea of how difficult it is to develop a web site that is an effective

research tool you may want to take a look at the sites listed below. As the design of

most sites seems to change constantly some of the comments I have made may not seem

appropriate when you review the site.

As you review the sites ask yourself:

Is it "hassle free"? Are the directions clear and easy to understand? Do you have to

go through an extensive sign up procedure to get on and will that discourage viewers?

How fast do the images come up? If the search produces several pages do you always

have to move through the pages from beginning to end, or can you jump to a middle page?

Is the search slowed because the thumbnails are unnecessarily large? Are the images

found accurate representations of the keywords used to locate them?

  • Publishers Depot (PNI) - www.publishersdepot.com - This site has been on-line for

    about 2 1/2 years and has almost 400,000 images from 36 stock agencies. Kodak recently

    purchased the company. Only agencies can participate on this site. Heavy on editorial


  • Corbis - www.corbisimages.com. Over 1,000,000 images. Owned by Bill Gates.

    Mostly editorial. General categories are: Historical Views, World Art, Entertainment,

    Contemporary Life, Science & Industry, Animals, Nature, and Travel & Culture.

  • Stock Workbook - www.workbook.com - There is controlled access for "qualified

    buyers." Thus, the site is not tied up by people unwilling to pay to use photography.

    Photographers can get a temporary password to review the site by calling Workbook.

    Keyword search. Only stock agencies can put images on the site. Over 40 agencies now

    on-line. Went on-line in early 1997.

  • Index Stock -www.photostogo.com - Fast and searches bring up many accurate

    selections. It is not artsy, elite or standofish. Users need the Telefocus Browser

    for many searches. Index seems to be asking themselves, "How does this work for the

    buyer," rather than, "How does this rate in the design community."

  • West Stock - www.weststock.com - Keywords by category. When you get multiple

    pages you can jump to a middle page. Much better list than the one used by MIRA

    (below), but doesn't have the flexibility of a keyword list. The thumbnails are easy

    to read. Click on one and it gives you a full page view. The keywording of the images

    often leaves a lot to be desired. Often you get very inappropriate images for the

    subject you are looking for. Sometimes the wrong thumbnail comes up for a particular

    image. For example: under medical one thumbnail is a can of paint, but if you click on

    it a full size medical image comes on the screen. Photographers indicate they are

    receiving increased sales from the site.

  • Stock Market -www.stockmarketphoto.com - This site has 25,000 images currently

    available. Nine thumbnails come up at a time. Searches are fast. Only finds singular


  • MIRA - www.mpca.com - Site developed by ASMP and partners AGT and CCC. Only ASMP

    members can put images on the site. The site has a fixed list of words that can be

    searched. It is difficult to narrow the search. Have to wade through a lot of

    inappropriate images to get to something on target. The editing is weak.

  • Bruce Coleman, Inc. - www.bciusa.com - Simple to use, small thumbnails with 20 to

    a page and quick to review the images available using keyword search. Very effective.

  • The Stock Solution -- www.tssphoto.com/tssphoto - Has "power search" where you

    can enter words and a descriptive hypertext list comes up. You click on one that

    sounds like what you are looking for and a few images load. They have a category

    search that is easy to navigate and comes up with images by category. Users looking

    for more depth in a subject can call and they will scan images from their regular files

    and put them in a private folder for review.

  • The Stock Broker - www.tsbroker.com - Small number of images. Large thumbnails

    are slow to come up. Takes a long time to view many images. Explanations are a little

    confusing. Software developed by Hindsight.

  • Picturebox - www.design.nl/picturebox/frames.htm - Amsterdam stock agency. Seems

    to have a relatively small number of images in the database.

  • Custom Medical Stock - www.cmsp.com - This is a small site. I am told there are

    about 2,000 images, but I had great trouble in finding anywhere near that number.

    There are too many features. I made the mistake of turning on music when I thought I

    was going to see a video. Not only did I not see any video, but I could not turn off

    the music. The music followed me even when I went to a totally different site. I had

    to exit Netscape to get rid of it. In my estimation this feature will chase more

    people away from the site than bring them in.

  • Archive Photos - www.archivephotos.com - lists various resources they have in the

    library, but does not have a searchable database for images yet. Archive also has

    images on PublishersDepot.

  • Global Photographers Search has very few images, mostly from one photographer. -

    www.photographers.com - The site uses larger thumbnails than many of the sites and

    because of this the images are slow in refresh on the screen.

  • Photographic Resources Inc. - www.photographic-resources.com - This St. Louis, MO

    stock agency has a small representation of their mostly fine-art work.

Copyright © 1997 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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