My thanks to Pinky for showing me how to do this! Now for the why. The answer is the big C. No, not cancer, copyright.
If you are just downloading pictures off the internet for your own enjoyment, and no, I’m not going to go there, then copyright is not an issue. The instant you use one of those images in anything vaguely commercial, even a simple blog post, you have to be sure you’re not infringing on someone’s copyright.
But how do you do that when you have no idea where the picture originally came from?
This is where Google Images comes in. Google has long been the king of word searches, but now it also lets you search by picture [and voice], and it all starts in the familiar Google search box…sort of.
How to find Google Images
If you are using Google Chrome then it’s easy. Simply click on the ‘Images’ option in the top, right hand corner of the screen:
That will lead to this:
If you’re using some other browser [I use Firefox], type http://images.google.com into the address box of your browser and hit Enter :
[Note: as soon as the page is displayed, the URL changes to ‘https‘. As I’m a purist I always type the plain ‘http’.]
You should now be looking at this:
[Note: in Firefox, the Google search box does not include the ability to search by voice. This is only available in Chrome.]
How to actually do an image search
Whatever route you took to get here, you should now click on the small icon of a camera as shown above. That will lead to this:
The ‘Search by image’ dialogue box contains two tabs – Paste image URL, and Upload an image.
Click the tab to Upload an image. This is what you will see:
Click the ‘Browse’ button as shown. This will allow you to browse your own computer in order to find the image to be searched:
The next bit assumes that you know how to find your way around the Windows files and folders. If you don’t, you can find a step-by-step how-to here.
Find the folder that contains the image you’re interested in. Click on that image and then click on ‘Open’ [as shown in the screenshot above].
And now the magic happens. Google search will think for a moment or two and then it will present you with the closest match it can find on the internet. This is the result for my image:
As the image I chose is from a game, I did not expect to get a perfect match, and I didn’t. That’s because game avatars, even when customised, are based on a preset image. So they’re not unique. Photos of people and/or drawings etc., are unique, so they’re easier to find.This also means that if you use a copyrighted image in your blog, it can be found. So be careful!