Weekend Diversion: Where do you get those wonderful pictures?

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.” –Ambrose Bierce


The most common emails I get about this blog are questions about physics, astronomy, and some very speculative theories. But second most common are questions asking where I get my pictures.

Well, except in rare instances, I don’t make them myself. Should you just make like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and,

Keep On Looking?
Let me tell you about a great tool to help you figure out where any image on the site comes from! Let’s pick one at random, from say, this recent post.

So what can you do? You can copy the url or download the photo, and go here: http://www.tineye.com/.

And I can sort the results by “best match”, “most changed”, or — my preferences — “biggest image.” And when I do sort by biggest image, what do I get?

I follow the link to the biggest image, and that’s where it lives!

If I google the url, I get directed to this page, which looks like the following:

And I can even click on that site’s terms of use tab to find all the copyright info I want.

And I can use tineye.com to reverse-image-lookup anything I want, even something fantastic like this:

And after scrolling through just a few results, I get taken here, to NASA’s image of the day page, where I can find out that this was a combination image of Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Telescope data, and there are links to download the image in multiple resolutions, including the full-size version. (Which makes great wallpaper, FYI.)

So take a look at tineye, and have fun finding out all about your favorite web images!