Daily, I scour the web for images that I can use for various blog entries. More often than not, I end up gazing at some photos of amazing landscapes or some other thing totally unrelated to what I need. There’s no denying it – images do tend to enrapture people, especially if a talented person is behind them.
Photos serve a million purposes, but whatever your reason may be for wanting or needing photos that aren’t yours, you are in luck today. I’ve put together a list of photo sites where you can find – or search for – photos and images.
As you can surmise from the title, these photo sites are not part of the usual suspects list. Don’t expect to find Google Image Search, Flickr, and Photobucket here. We all know they work excellently, but if you are looking to expand your photo sites horizon, these five names should be in your radar.
With more than 3 billion pictures indexed, picsearch is obviously set out to impress. (I got the number of zeroes in the home page right, didn’t I?) You can easily search from the home page with whatever keyword you want to use, and you can also set parameters to narrow your search: colors, size, orientation, and type (animations, faces). I’d recommend picsearch highly for school children who use the Internet for homework (which is practically everyone), as there is absolutely no adult content indexed. That should make parents feel better.
Incogna stands out from other photo sites in that it takes advantage of parallel processing. Instead of limiting itself to meta-data, the search engine goes a step further.
“The major image search engines on the web today don’t even look at the content of their images, they’ve made themselves in text processing, so they only look at each image’s text meta-data. At Incogna, we’re trying a different approach. By using highly parallel processors, we process the shape in every image and use this to build a large scale searchable visual index. With typical desktop processors, this scale of processing is not computationally feasible.”
User-generated content has its pros and cons, but I think that there is a lot to be said about photos that people upload on their Twitter accounts – especially if you’re talking about food and travel. This is where Twicsy comes into the picture. I like how it gives you photos related to trending topics on the microblogging platform.
PicFog is another photo site which harnesses the power of Twitter. Its strength lies in the delivery of real-time photos. You can search for images by using keywords, location, or Twitter username. And if you don’t have anything better to do, you can watch “Live flow” and see photos as they are uploaded.
A word of caution about the Twitter-based photo sites…There is less control about the nature of the uploaded photos, so you might run into adult-only content. If you have no qualms about that, then you’ll be alright.