If you’ve come across the perfect image for your project — but don’t know how to find it or if you can use it — you might wish to utilize a reverse image search engine.
You’re probably thinking: What? Where? How? Why?
Luckily for you, NOISE is here to walk you through this simple and helpful platform. There are many from which to choose — and some have features that others don’t. It really depends on what you want to know about your image.
Here are our three favorites and how to use them:
GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH. A reverse image search takes an image and processes it through various algorithms based on colors, size, pixels and special features (palm trees, beach, paint on walls for example). Usually it’s able to find the original source while also suggesting other images that are similar.
Like most things we need to find on the Internet, we’ll go to Google. Google’s reverse image search is probably one of the easiest tools you’ll find and it looks just like regular old Google. To use Google’s reverse image search, go to:
- Google’s homepage
- In the top right corner of the screen click Images
- From there, Google Images will load and you can upload a picture from your computer or paste the URL of an image
Once you upload the image URL or image itself, Google will generate results on where the image is, what different sizes the image comes in, what other websites have used the image and who originally posted it for licensing purposes.
TINEYE. TinEye is a unique and powerful tool that can produce results other sites sometimes can’t. Much like Google and other search engines, simply upload the image URL or image file itself in the search box and click the search button.
What TinEye does so well is cleanly break down the results for you according to when the image was first posted online, size of image, file name and website on which it was posted. Bonus: it also gives you social media results as well if the image was posted on Reddit, Twitter, tumblr and others. This is incredibly helpful if you’re trying to find how frequently the graphic has been used and on what sites it most appears.
GETTY IMAGES. If you work images and graphics, you’ve probably used Getty Images more than a few times. Getty Images is the gold standard of quality photographs while knowing where the image is coming from and who posted it.
But did you know you can run a reverse image search on Getty? In the search bar:
- Click on the Images button in the search bar
- From the dropdown box, click Creative under the Images category
- Upon doing that, click on the Search by Image button that appeared
- An upload pop up window will populate allowing you to upload your desired image
Or, instead of uploading an image, you can search the image’s keywords as well. Just fill in the search box with your image’s appropriate keywords. However, there are a few downsides with Getty’s search tool. Two major ones are the fact that you cannot search by submitting an image’s URL and the results Getty produces are only within Getty’s image library.
It’s important to see how our pictures are used and where they originally come from — because unlicensed use of an image could cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why at NOISE, we make sure to use the best images possible while also making sure it’s fresh and legal to use.