Get millions of results that take hours (or precious minutes) to filter through?
Want to bash your head against the keyboard when you type in “singer” and get 76,314 results, not all of them vocalists?
Do you want to kick your laptop, like this?
Well then, this journal is for you! And don't worry, you're not alone.
In this article, I will be helping you out. I will use my experience working at a library to show you an effective way to find exactly what you want. Much of it is common sense, but perhaps you'll find something you didn't think about before.
To illustrate my points, I will be using deviations in the Photography > Photojournalism category of deviantART.
THE SEARCH BAR
When you think of searching, this is probably the first thing that pops into your head. And that's good. It can be useful in finding what you want.
It can also take a long time to get to the point. Here are a few ways to bypass some of the process:
A) Type in as specific a term as you can
i.e. "Hayley Williams" (only 1,566 results!)
not "singer" (38,406 results)
B) The concept of the “and” is encouraged!
TAGS AND TAGGING
At first, tags may seem simple. “Oh, I use as many tags as I can; that will work,” you say to yourself.
Not always! Some terms are so widely used that their placement in deviations will lead to thousands of unneeded results.
For example, type in “concert”, and you get (number) of results. Many, many people use this tag when they submit concert shots.
The best thing to do is be specific, and think outside the box. Try to anticipate what exactly people will be looking for.
For example: Say you want to tag a picture of My Chemical Romance on the Honda Civic Tour last year. And, further, you want other deviants to be able to find your shots from Cincinnati, Ohio. AND, the shot is not of the whole band, but just Gerard Way. With red hair.
Most people won't be looking for anything that specific. But better safe than sorry! What else are you going to do with your tags? One day, it may pay off. So use as many specific words as you can, and that in turn will make finding images easier.
While you are thinking outside the box, use the same train of thought for searching. Sometimes, putting in too much leads to few results. Too few. But you don't want to type in a blanket term and get thousands of results either. What do you do?
You take the middle road.
Going back to the My Chemical Romance example, you want Gerard with short red hair. Perhaps you want Mikey in there as well. You could type in “singer MCR”, “singer My chemical romance”, “Gerard Way”, “Mikey Way”, “Way brothers” . . . there are lots of possibilities. Get into other deviants' heads, think the way they do, and use your knowledge to use better, more lucrative terms.
If neither the search bar or specific tags works, there are other effective options.
* Type in the musician or the band's name, and select a certain category from the menu on the left.
For example, say you want concert images of Synester Gates from Avenged Sevenfold.
Type in "Synester Gates" or "Avenged Sevenfold" or both, and click on the "Photography" tab.
This will bring up all photos of Syn, all 2,012 of them.
(Further, you could click the "Photojournalism" tab. This will give you images from concerts (and only be 1,107 results).
There might still be too many results, but you see an image that is close to what you want. How do you find others like that on deviantART?
Click on the image and see if the deviant has more from the same concert.
Limit your search more to include information you can glean from the photo you did find. So if you want Avenged Sevenfold on a certain tour, type those terms in and see what pops up.
If you're a beta tester, try out the "More like this" function!
Now, you might say, that's all and good. But what if the image doesn't show up at all?
This is where it gets interesting.
* Type in "Synyster Gates", and you will get images from Avenged Sevenfold concerts and publicity outings.
You want images of him from a certain tour? Try typing that too.
Say you find quite a few photos. Well, that's no good. You see some of Syn, and some of him in concert, but not the one you want.
Important: Click on any image. Check the deviant's gallery. Sometimes, the deviant has more than one set of images of the same band.
If that doesn't work, CHECK THEIR FAVORITES. Chances are, if they like Avenged Sevenfold, they will have some other works saved.
If none of this works, if you're about to give up. . . don't! There is still a chance!
* Go back to the "Photography" tab, type in the name of the concert tour, and look at the images in general. Some photographers have many images from the same festival, without naming specific band.
Warped Tour especially is good for this, because the band doesn't always announce its name when it comes onstage.
Using the photography tab set on "Most Popular" also gives you the images that the most deviants liked. You can find the best photos this way, and by the most professional photographers.
And professional means more likely to have many images. Not just any images either, great ones. Often, you might not find what you were looking for, but discover something even better.
* You can also just check out up and coming artists!
These images I found just by using deviantART!
B) Finally, a little contest! Pick one of the images above and write as many tags as you can. Whoever thinks of the most/best will get points!