3 free photo search tools that make finding images easy

03. FindA.Photo (opens in new tab)

You can search FindA.Photo by saturation and aspect ratio

You can search FindA.Photo by saturation and aspect ratio

Of these three tools, FindA.Photo, created by David Barker (opens in new tab), has the most unique features. It has an index of over 3,700 images at the time of writing, but it's not its extensive index that makes it so powerful. It's the ability to search by color (by entering any hex code), saturation, size, and aspect ratio.

Of course, users of FindA.Photo can still search in traditional ways by typing tags or keywords, but this tool really comes into its own when you start looking for specific images with their filters. Here's how they work:

  • Color. Each image on FindA.Photo contains a list of its predominant colors and these are searchable as hex codes. Alternatively, you can simply type in color names like blue, green or pink to get results.
  • Saturation. The tool finds an average saturation for every photo between 0 and 100. Images that are purely black and white have a saturation of 0 percent and can therefore be found with a search of "--saturation 0".
  • Size. Very often, a project will call for an image with a minimum height and/or width of a certain size. To find images whose height and width exceed 3000 pixels, you would search "--height > 3000 --width > 3000".
  • Aspect Ratio. No more having to deal with images that crop awkwardly. Use aspect ratio search to find landscape ("--aspectratio > 1"), portrait ("--aspectratio < 1"), or square photos ("--aspectratio 1").

Once you understand the language of their search, you can combine attributes to find exactly what you need.

If you would like to add your own images or edit the data of existing photos within the site, the image repository is hosted on GitHub (opens in new tab), so anyone can contribute.

So which is best?

As you can see, there's a growing number of CC0 resources available on the web, and these tools make them much easier to find. Now, instead of scrolling aimlessly through Unsplash, you can find exactly what you are looking for.

You might be tempted to look at Stock Up’s large index or FindA.Photo's search capabilities and declare it "best." The thing about these tools is that they all have separate indexes, so you will not always find the same photos between all the sites. Plus, they are always getting better by adding new images; Stock Up and FindA.Photo both add about 100 new photos per week, and Pexels adds 5 fresh photos per day.

I have all three bookmarked and tend to go through them all if I am looking for something specific. I don't mind – three quick searches still beats that endless scroll through Unsplash.

Words: Adrienne Erin (opens in new tab)

Adrienne Erin is a writer and designer based in Pennsylvania. You can see more of her work on her blog Design Roast (opens in new tab).

Like this? Read these!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.