Admit it, we all hate it and are usually behind the curve playing catch-up - Key-wording. Most of us do too little of it (2013-pelican) and some of us do way too much (2013-pelican-white-water-wings-splash-action-young-juvenile-landing-summer-june-river-dam) which is what usually pegs our frustration level and actually keeps us from doing it more regularly.
Well, just like Goldilox found, is there a solution that is "just right? Here's a way to help you figure out what "just right" really is for you.
Think of Future Use
The main purpose of key-words is to find something later when you need it. At some point you'll have a particular use for a certain type of image. So let's think about what those potential "use cases" are for your type of photography and then just add the key-words you think you'll need.
For my needs, it usually revolves around a particular subject in a particular location or action. A sample use case for me would be something like this:
I need a young "xxxxxxx" that is in "xxxxxx" splashing around.
So based on the need above, my keywords should identify the type of animal, whether it's a juvy or an adult, what type of environment it's in and is there any unique action going on.
- white pelican
Now this is what works for me, your list could very well be a bit longer depending on what your needs are. If I don't have a need to know that the pelican was actually on a river - I won't keyword it.
But isn't it better to "over do" it on key-words just in case, it can't hurt, right? Well for some of us it could. If the task of extremely detailed key-wording is so overwhelming, we may tend to avoid it and put it off - resulting in a mountain of backlog and the lack of ability to find even the most basic of use cases without sending out a hunting party for your image.
You'll usually think of new needs as time goes on, just update your use cases.
Stay in focus,