Shutterstock has introduced their new search tool, which helps you narrow down the search results even further. Composition Aware Search lets you search the images by the position of the objects in them. The tool features a canvas on which you place the keywords. Then you can move them around and get the photos that contain specific objects in a specific order.
According to Shutterstock, this new tool will “give you even more control over your search results.” You can rearrange the position of the items on the canvas. As you do it, the search results will change. You can also add copy space to the search, and also move it around. This helps you find the photos with room for the text and with the objects arranged in a specific way. By using this tool, you’ll save time and energy.
Sounds like a neat idea, right? I must say it is, and the search tool is even pretty fast in finding the results. But is it accurate? Well, not that much. I tried the examples with keywords “cheese” and “wine,” which are given in the video. It’s not bad at all:
But, then I searched for other terms to see what I will get. I typed in the keywords of one of my photos, which came to mind first. These are the results for “lavender flowers” and “Eiffel Tower keychain:”
After this, I tried with some spa-related stuff like flowers, towels, soap and candles. Here’s what I got when typing “soap” and “flowers” and arranging them differently:
And here’s when I added one more keyword, “towel:”
As you can see, the results are not quite there yet. With the Eiffel Tower keychain and lavender flowers, I got a bunch of other flowers and the real Eiffel Tower. But okay, I get that probably more people photographed the actual landmark than the keychain. But as for the spa-themed keywords, I know there are tons of photos with these elements. Still, the search tool didn’t really do a stellar job finding the photos with the arrangement I was looking for.
Despite the limitations, it’s not my idea to trash the Composition Aware Search tool. As a matter of fact, I think the idea is fantastic. Neural networks have found their application in photography. Shutterstock’s new tool can improve the search experience and get you closer to the exact type of photos you’re looking for. It may not be there just yet, but it’s a new tool and I’m sure it will improve over time.
[via Shutterstock Blog]