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Essential Tips: Searching the Web for DDG images

If you search the web for new resources for Deep Dream (and who doesn’t?) there are a number of things that I wish I had known when I first started doing the same. Save yourself some confusion, avoid images that are too low-resolution for optimal dreaming, and learn new ways to find images with these tips.

For source images, you want the image to be at least as large as the output (and bigger is definitely better, within reason). Pinterest can be a compelling source of images, but be careful that the images you download are large enough to work well for dreams. I prefer to use image search with Google or Bing because you can easily filter out the small images. On Google, you’ll find this option under Search Tools, as pictured to the right. (Note: some users report that JPGs over 2MB have been rejected by Deep Dream; others have few problems with files as large as 20MB. Your results may vary.)

I like to search Google and Bing for images that are extra large or bigger (or 2MP minimum) However, if like me in this example, you’re on mobile or a tablet, you’ll only see the three options pictured, none of which is large enough.

There’s a fix for that. On Chrome for iOS and Android, tap the menu button on the right of the toolbar, and choose “Request Desktop Site”.

On Safari for iOS, you’ll find this ability under the “Share” menu.

After requesting the desktop site, you’ll see you have more size options.

Bing allows mobile devices to search for extra large images without using this trick— and I actually find it to be better for some image searches.

Searching by Image

If you use Chrome, you should be aware that you can right click (or tap and hold on mobile) and choose “Search Google for this image” (or your other preferred search engine if you customize it). This can be very useful for finding the artist behind your favorite style image you discover on Deep Dream (or elsewhere), and help you find higher resolution versions of the image, and other images like it (especially under the “Similar Images” section of the search results on Google).

Suggested Search phrases

Other deep dreamers have found lots of great results with these search phrases, and recommend them. The list below is not exhaustive, it simply offers a few pointers. If you have suggestions, post them to the #ddgtutorial discussion of this post.

  • fractals
  • “knife palette painting”
  • “low poly images”
  • maps
  • microphotography
  • mosaics
  • “neon lights”
  • paper art: cutouts, ebru, “gift wrap”, marbling, origami, quilling
  • “psychedelic illustration”
  • “space imagery”
  • “spirograph drawings”
  • “body paint” portrait, “neon portrait”
  • backgrounds
  • calligraphy
  • “child art”
  • “crayon scratch art”
  • “databent art”
  • fabric-related terms such as batik, beading, embroidery, felting, “Kaffe Fassett designs”, lace, “Marimekko fabrics”, online fabric stores, quilts, “silk scarves”, tapestries
  • glass: “glass art”, “murano glass”, “shattered glass”, “stained glass”
  • “glitch art”
  • graffiti
  • “HD wallpaper”
  • “impasto painting”
  • “thin section”
  • “trippy art”
  • woodcuts