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Finding Images and Videos: Tips

Images, videos, and audio resources at Otis College and on the web


No matter where you search--Google Images, Flickr, TinEye, OtisDID, BePress, etc.--ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you filter by size, type, copyright status, or other criteria?
  • How many images do you evaluate before making a choice?
  • Do you care about watermarks?
  • Do you care  about who made the image?
  • Do you care about who posted the image?
  • Do they have any vested interest in the image/object/topic?
  • Do they have any expertise in the image/object/topic?
  • Is there any descriptive information?
  • Do you verify the image? Does it depict the person/object it claims to?
  • Does your process change depending on the purpose of your search?

Credible (with a vested interest): Museums, galleries, artists’ websites, Artsy
Mixed bag: Wikipedia, artist appreciation sites, news outlets
Be wary: Stock photo agencies, Pinterest, Amazon, blogs

Image Quality

The Art of Reproduction recreates famous images by splicing together images found on online. You can see differences in: 21 Tears, Man Ray.

  • Contrast
  • Sharpness
  • Color correction
  • Image source
  • Lighting
  • Pixelation

TinEye is a reverse image search that allows you to sort and filter results in a variety of ways. It is especially good at matching stock images.

Sorting in TinEye

It also has a comparison tool to show you how different or alike the result matches your image.

TinEye Comparison Tool

Leveraging Google Image Search

  • Filter by Tools > Size
  • Evaluate the URL
  • Exclude specific domains from your search results by adding
    • Avoid all Pinterest sites: -site:pinterest.*
    • Avoid CafePress, Zazzle, and other souvenir vendors (e.g. poster, mug)
    • Avoid stock photos (e.g., Alamy, Shuttershock)
  • Right-click the image to save it
    • Image may no longer be available on webpage
    • Large version may no longer be linked on webpage
    • Do not drag image from search results to desktop! You may be saving only a small or thumbnail image
  • Open and review the downloaded image
    • Check size
    • Check quality

Keep Track of Where You Find the Images

Track where you find your images!

  • Cite them in your essays: MLA Guide
    • Use the URL for the image file, e.g.
    • General format for Works of Art
      Creator's Last Name, First Name. Title of Work. Date of Composition or Publication, Medium, Repository, City.
  • Copyright and Fair Use: Guide for Images
    • Give credit when required
    • Good practiceL Give credit even when it's not required

Types of URLs:

  • URL for the image file, e.g.
  • URL where the image was found/posted, e.g.
  • Do not save the Google Search Results URL, e.g.
  • Results will change over time (sometimes very quickly)

How to Download Images

  • Look for Download icon or button
  • If you drag and drop from webpage to desktop, check the file size
  • Zoomable images can be difficult (or impossible) to download
  • Find the URL for the larger image in the HTML code

Firefox: How to find URL

  1. Right click on the page, but NOT on the image
  2. Choose View Page Info
  3. Go to the Media tab and scroll
  4. until you find the image
  5. Click the Save As... button

View media details on View Page Info

Chrome: How to find URL:

  1. Right click on the page
  2. Choose Inspect
  3. Go to Network and select Img
  4. Scroll until you find the correct image
  5. Right click on the image preview
  6. Choose Copy image URL or
  7. Open image in new tab

    chrome, saving images, screenshot, tips

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