How to use the search facility 

By default, this search engine uses the All Words method. With this method, the search string: "Oregon river" will result in images which have both words associated with them and you will only see images which are of rivers in Oregon. Only words with four characters or more can be found using this method, shorter words will be ignored. Technically this is a "Boolean AND" search.

To search just the captions, choose the Exact phrase method. This setting searches captions only for exact matches to the word or words you specify. This method is good for looking for short words such as "sea" or "red", or phrases which contain short words such as "sea lion".

To provide a broader search, choose the Any Word method which searches for the specified words and returns images which match ANY of those words (but not necessarily all) found either the caption or a list of appropriate keywords associated with those images. This means that if you search for "house home", all the images which have either the word "house" OR the word "home" will be found and displayed. Technically this is a "Boolean OR" search. As with the All Words search, only words with four characters or more can be found using this method.

A fourth search option is called Advanced search syntax which lets you specify special methods for fine tuning your search. Click here for advanced search examples

You can also choose to search by image ID, if you know it.

The last search option searches only our stock lists. Choosing Stock Lists Only causes all of our stock lists to be searched for matches to the word or words you specify. Unlike the two options above, only exact matches to the words, word order, and punctuation, as specified are found (although character case differences are ignored).


  • To find all images of boats with mountains select the All Words method and search for "boat boats mountain mountains". This should result in only images which include both boats and mountains.

  • To find all images of boats OR fishing, select the Any Word method and search for "boat boats boating fish fishing". This should result in all images with a boat or boats and all images related to fish or fishing.

  • To find all images of sea lions, select the exact phrase method and search for "sea lion". This should result in all images with "sea lion" in the caption or keywords.

  • To search the stock lists, select the Stock Lists Only radio button, specify a word or string of words, such as "fishing boats". This should result in a match in the Subject List since we have photographs of fishing boats in our image library. If you wish to look more closely at that stock list, a link to one or more lists where matches were found will be displayed.

For boolean (AND or OR) word searches, words shorter than four characters are ignored, as are quote marks, parentheses, and all punctuation. Only the whole words you specify are searched for so be sure to include both singular and plural versions of words when appropriate. For instance if you want to view all images with one or more boats, search for "boat boats boating ship ships shipping".

Stock list searches, on the other hand, match the exact words or phrases you specify including any punctuation.

Advanced search method examples:

apple bananaFind image records (captions, keywords, etc.) that contain at least one of the two words.
+apple +juice Find images that contain both words.
+apple macintosh Find images that contain the word “apple”, but rank images higher if they also contain “macintosh”.
+apple -macintosh Find images that contain the word “apple” but not “macintosh”.
+apple ~macintosh Find images that contain the word “apple”, but if the image also contains the word “macintosh”, rate it lower than if image does not. This is “softer” than a search for '+apple -macintosh', for which the presence of “macintosh” causes the image not to be returned at all.
+apple +(>turnover <strudel) Find images that contain the words “apple” and “turnover”, or “apple” and “strudel” (in any order), but rank “apple turnover” higher than “apple strudel”.
apple* Find images that contain words such as “apple”, “apples”, “applesauce”, or “applet”.
"some words" Find images that contain the exact phrase “some words” (for example, images that contain “some words of wisdom” but not “some noise words”). Note that the ‘"’ characters that enclose the phrase are operator characters that delimit the phrase. They are not the quotes that enclose the search string itself.


Copyright © 2002 Larry Ulrich Stock Photography