Have we got a surprise for you! If you use Flickr as one of your primary image sources, you’ll want to consider adding Compfight to your list of tools. We love Compfight!
Compfight isn’t affiliated with Flickr, but uses the photo site’s API to deliver images based on your specified search term. Sweet! It’s an image search engine designed to locate images for blogs, inspiration and research. You’re excited already, aren’t you?
How Compfight Works
To use Compfight, simply enter your image search term as pictured above. It’s better to not get too specific when you’re searching Flickr images, as you likely won’t get any results.
Once you hit “enter,” you’ll get a gallery of images that matches your query. And since the results are automatically displayed as thumbnails, you’re able to quickly move through results until you find the image you’re looking for.
When you’re in the results screen, make sure you’ve specified the appropriate tags in the menu that appears on the left side of your screen (pictured below).
You can choose from “Any License,” “Creative Commons” or “Commercial.” If you’re looking for blog post images, be sure to select “Commercial,” which will only generate images that have been marked for commercial creative commons use. Otherwise, you run the risk of picking an image that doesn’t align with your desired use and could land you in hot water with the photographer.
If you’re interested in stock art options, Compfight automatically generates matching iStockphoto results in a separate column on the right side of your screen. And when we last clicked through to an iStockphoto image, a coupon code popped up for an iStockphoto subscription discount. Even better!
Why Use Compfight Over Flickr?
Since Compfight is an image search engine, the primary advantage is the built-in filters. Once your search results are generated, you can click “tags only” to refine the search to images whose tags match your query. Or you can click “all text,” which will deliver images whose descriptions include any of the words you’ve specified as search terms.
Consider Compfight’s standard example. If you search “rubber band ball” and hit “tags only” when the results come up, you’ll see only images that include the term “rubber band ball” as a tag. If you choose “all text,” however, you’ll get images that include rubber, band, ball, rubber band or rubber band ball. Obviously, using “tags only” will give you more specific results and allow you to more efficiently find an image. But if you’re trying to illustrate an intangible concept or are unsure of what you’re looking for, “all text” may help the selection process by giving you a wider array of options.
Compfight will also remember your search settings on subsequent visits. So if you’re always searching images for commercial use, you won’t have to filter through the commercial license each time. That’s not necessarily a groundbreaking feature, but if you often use image search like we do, the added convenience is appreciated.
Plus, you can install a handy Compfight plug-in to your WordPress blog, if you’re so inclined. Once you select an image, it will be added to your blog post with the appropriate attribution. It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?
After trying Compfight for a few days, it’s become our go-to source over Flickr. Even though the site is terribly simplistic, that’s what makes it intuitive and user friendly. And it’s faster, too, since Compfight delivers a higher number of images per results page.
I’m thinking your next stop when writing a blog post is Compfight. You’re welcome! Oh, and let us know what you think!
Image by woodleywonderworks via Creative Commons