It’s almost retro — there’s tons of discussion about videos on the Web, but now I’m getting a lot of e-mail about different ways to search static images. Microsoft Live Search (as opposed to half-asleep-I-just-hit-the-snooze-button-search) has announced three new ways to search Live Search Images.
Live Search Images is available at http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q= . The three new ways to search are special syntax and are the following:
filter:face — Finds only results with faces in them, similar to a feature on Google I mentioned last month. (except that was an URL switch.) Like Google Images, if you do a search for something not face related and apply the filter, like lightning filter:face you will get a lot of mixed results. In this case I got plenty of faces (including David Bowie, Tony Blair, and Black Lightning) but I also got pictures of binoculars, motorcycles, and for some reason a stick of deodorant. A search for Ruth Buzzi filter:face worked better (though I also got picture of Jerry Lewis and for some reason Jodie Foster.)
filter:portrait — Does not find face-oriented results, instead finds full-length portrait-type things. Ruth Buzzi filter:portrait found only nine results. Note you can also do Ruth Buzzi (filter:portrait OR filter:face) to find all possible results. Searching lightning filter:portrait did appear to provide more people-oriented results (though there were still some non-people matches.) If you’re looking for humans in your results, I’d try the portrait search first.
filter:bw — Finds pictures only in black and white. Why this should be a syntax instead of an option or a pulldown menu (as it is with other search engines) is beyond me. Filter:color , as you might expect, seems to only find pictures in color.
Despite my irresistible urge to poke fun at its name, I liked several aspects of Live Image Search. You can, for example, search for images the size of your desktop. And though I would like more information available on an initial page of search results, I like how mousing over an image provides plenty of information. Worth an explore.
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