A quick overview of our picture searcher:

  1. To search for the picture you require, choose the appropriate keywords, the search option, press enter or start search  and matching pictures will be displayed.
  2. The picture searcher will display all the pictures that match the keywords and search options. These are displayed in groups, the size of which depends on the width of the browser window.
  3. The captions for each picture can be obtained by holding the mouse over the picture.
  4. If you have selected the search option to search the full picture list, some of the pictures may not have thumbnails. When this happens the caption is shown instead.
  5. For all of the pictures that have thumbnails there is a larger image, called a preview, available. Click on the thumbnail to see the preview.
  6. Select any pictures that might be of interest as a preliminary choice.
  7. Selected pictures are held in "lightboxes". You start with a lightbox called Main. You can add additional lightboxes at any time. Pictures can be moved between lightboxes. This can be useful when making the final selection as you can sort the pictures into groups before making the final decision.
  8. Additional keyword searches can be performed at any time. It is more efficient to work with the lightboxes closed, but this is only a matter of speed, If you are on a fast connection you may prefer to keep them open.
  9. The lightboxes are shown in separate windows which can be displayed simultaneously.
  10. Pictures can be discarded into a special light box called "Rejects". The Rejects box can be viewed at any time and pictures recovered back to one of your lightboxes
  11. Having selected the pictures you want you can send an e-mail request to Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography ordering them.
  12. All the information about your current search such as the number and names of your lightboxes and the pictures they hold are stored in an internet "cookie". This continues to exist after you end the session. Unless you delete it this cookie it is available when you return to the picture searcher. This means you start the session with the same lightboxes you finished the previous one with. You are given the option of continuing the search or starting afresh.



All images on display are protected by European copyright law. Rights to reproduce these images may only be acquired from Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography. They may not be used, copied, transmitted or reproduced in whole or in part in any form nor may they or any part of them be stored in a retrieval system of any nature without written permission from Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography. Photographs may not be linked to or used on any other web page.

Each of our images is protected by copyright of the individual photographer, (who have allowed us to use the blanket copyright of as a watermark) and cannot be used in any way without permission. Pictures on this site represent only a tiny fraction of our image collection. Please read our terms of use before downloading any image(s). Or you can simply contact us and we can do the research for you.



The keyword search criteria is NOT case sensitive, so you can use or not use capital letters as you wish. Type in keyword(s)  to describe the type of image you are seeking. If you type in two or more keywords you can choose whether your search will return images with all the words (the default) or any of the keywords. In addition it is possible to group words using double quotes ("). Some keywords come in groups of two or more words (e.g., "reindeer herder" will return images that are only reindeer herders). If you use just one keyword, such as reindeer, you are likely to get many images. Using more than one keyword will help to narrow your search.

Using the search option of 'all the words' will only offer you pictures that contain all the keywords, so inuk building igloo will give you just that, an inuk building an igloo, using the search option of any of the words will offer you all the pictures with the word, inuk, building or igloo in them, so could include birds building their nests and an inuk in his kayak!

If you clear the check box "Only show pictures for which there is a thumbnail" it will search  ALL our pictures. As there may well be pictures for which we currently have no scans you will see the caption rather than the thumbnail. However, it is a good way to check if we have more obscure subjects such as plankton on the underside of sea ice or pictures of reindeer feet.

We have designed the search order to always display the scans most recently loaded, this ensures that you will always see the most recent additions first.



At any moment one of the lightboxes is "active". By this we mean that it is the target for any activity you are carrying out on the other lightboxes. For example, when looking at the results of a search the "Add to Lightbox" button will add the picture to the active lightbox. The first active lightbox is called Main but you may choose any of your other lightboxes instead. You can open, name and add to as many lightboxes as you wish whilst using the main Polar Search window or the Lightbox Manager window. You can only add to the lightbox you have designated as active, the name of the active lightbox is displayed at the bottom of each window.

Pictures may be moved from any lightbox into the active lightbox, you will find your own way of working with them. Separate lightboxes can be used to select pictures for different projects or chapters in a book. Pictures can be removed from a lightbox into a special Rejects Lightbox. This gives you the opportunity to change your mind and retrieve them back to the currently active lightbox. You can also empty lightboxes and even throw them (except Main and Rejects) away.

When you have finished work for the day you can close down our site knowing that providing you do not delete the cookie to our site from your computer, the pictures you have stored on the lightboxes will still be there next time you visit us. When the job is complete you can email your picture selection to us.

Because the contents of the lightboxes are stored in a cookie there is a limited amount of space, when this space is almost filled you will be warned that if you wish to continue adding pictures you will need to forfeit the captions, without captions you can store over 100 pictures in your lightboxes. If you need to see the captions there is a button available to view them but they will only remain with that lightbox until it is next refreshed.



The results of a search are displayed as "thumbnail" pictures. You can see a bigger version of the picture, called a preview, by clicking on the thumbnail. You can do this in any of the light boxes and on the main search window. You do not have to register to see the previews or use lightboxes. When viewing Previews you can navigate to the next picture by "swiping" the picture with your mouse or finger (depending on your device).

Picture Request

If you would prefer that we searched our files for the pictures you require then please email us or use the contact details below.

Contacting Us

If you have any questions about using this site, if you  have experienced problems with the site or would like more information, please contact us at:


Bryan & Cherry Alexander Photography
Burn Song
Sutherland IV24 3DJ
Scotland, UK