How often do you come across a nifty picture on the internet, and you want to know more about it, but can't because it is without any sort of useful caption? I often find this on Pinterest and Facebook: someone will post something cool, but when I follow the link to find more information (where was that photo taken? who built that cool house? what movie is that from?) I find that the link goes to someone's Tumblr page with an "isn't this neat?" caption and nothing more, or an aggregator site with similarly slight info. I find it incredibly frustrating.
"But where did they get the photo?" I wonder to myself. Somewhere along the chain of Tumblr and Pinterest re-posts, someone posted it first, and that person might have the information I need. They might even be the original artist.
Well now I know a way to find this, and because it is so simple, I want to share it with you.
Step 1: Open Google Image Search. Click on the little camera icon in the search bar.
Step 2: Paste the URL of the image itself into the search bar. (You can usually get this URL by right-clicking on the image and choosing "Copy Image Location.") Then hit "search."
Step 3: Look at your search results. It may take a bit of looking, if it is a popular image to post. If you have a lot of hits, try site that don't have tumblr, pinterest, etc in the URL. Places like Flickr or DeviantArt are more likely to be original sources. It may take a bit of sifting and clicking to find the right source. You can also limit your results by image size. It is easier to make a big image smaller than a small image bigger, so there is a good chance that a 200 pixel wide image is a copy of the 500 pixel wide image.
For example, I was very excited today to track down the origin of this lovely photo, that had been making the rounds all over Pinterest and Tumblr:
I could read about the location and see the rest of the photos in Pete Blakemore's lovely set. Thanks, Google Image Search!