Visually Similar - Volume 5 of 5

Reverse image search as serendipity machine.

For an explanation of how this works, see "Visually Similar" - Volume 1.

This is my last "Visually Similar" and I would say this is my favorite collection of random images ever. The images really did just select themselves. I have really loved doing these and you can get my reasons why I'm ending this series at the end of the post. 

I was searching for the source of this photograph that I found over at Shameless Ocean:

And I found these:

Horses in my dreams:

The end.

"Visually Similar", in its current form, is an exercise in diminishing returns for a number of reasons:

  • It requires that Google doesn't definitively identify the image otherwise their algorithm switches to prioritizing the images of that photographer or model and is no longer weighted toward the inherent image qualities.
  • There is a lot of duplication when the images I've searched for are themselves visually similar to the images that I've previously searched for.
  • Colour works, but not so well - I might find four or five images in a set, if I'm lucky.
  • It only really works on images that aren't perfectly balanced, a professional studio shot, for example, is going to give you hundreds more really inane studio shots.

These are all reasons that I could use to justify the end of this series but the truth is that I really love finding images like this. I am pretty methodical in following good sources and tracking down artists that have moved me but there is something compelling in this randomness -  this isn't about my tastes at all, these images have this strange way of asserting themselves out of the thousands of images that surround them.

"Visually Similar" is only ending as a separate set of posts. While I'm still going to find things in the traditional way, I want the serendipitous nature of how these images are found to be folded into The Quiet Front. I can generally see what is coming but sometimes I think it's good not to know.