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Finding photos by visual similarity

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 01 Importing and Organizing Photos

Video: Finding photos by visual similarity

When you're looking for visually similar photos in your catalog, there are three commands that you can use. Those are located under the Find menu in the By Visual Searches category. So you can search for visually similar photos on the basis of colors and shapes in the photos. You can search for particular objects in photos, and for sets of duplicate photos. I'm going to click off this menu to show you how these work. Here in Media View, I'm looking at my entire catalog and I see a photo near the top of a woman with a pumpkin.

Finding photos by visual similarity

When you're looking for visually similar photos in your catalog, there are three commands that you can use. Those are located under the Find menu in the By Visual Searches category. So you can search for visually similar photos on the basis of colors and shapes in the photos. You can search for particular objects in photos, and for sets of duplicate photos. I'm going to click off this menu to show you how these work. Here in Media View, I'm looking at my entire catalog and I see a photo near the top of a woman with a pumpkin.

I know that I have other Halloween-like photos in this catalog. To try to find those photos, I'm going to use a visual similarity search. I can do that from the Find menus I just showed you, or I can go up to the Search Box and click the arrow to the right of the magnifying glass and choose Visual Similarity Search. The first time you do this, you may see a warning asking if you want to index your photos. It's okay to click okay there and wait while the organizer analyzes your photos. In this case, I think the Visual Similarity Search did a pretty good job of finding similar photos to the one that I'd selected.

Here you can see an actual duplicate of that photo, and here's a very similar photo but in landscape view rather than portrait view. And here's a duplicate of that one. So what this search does is display the photos that it thinks are the closest match to my selected photo, up here at the top of the grid. And it adds a little label at the bottom of the photos. That's a numerical measure of the image similarity. There are couple of ways that I can fine-tune this search to see if I can get even better results. For one thing, I can go over to the slider on the right of the search results that's labeled Color and Shapes. Dragging this slider back and forth between Color and Shape will change my search results.

Now in this case, I think I have got more relevant photos and I can just do this to taste, emphasizing shape or emphasizing color in the search results. Another way to fine-tune is to add more photos to the search query by dragging more photos from the grid up to the find bar at the top of the search results. So here's a photo of a little fella with pumpkins; I can click on that thumbnail and drag it up to the Find bar and drop it on top of that box. And that changes my search results again. And I think I got better search results this way.

Now, I have this photo of the jack-o -lantern, which I haven't even seen before; and I recognize all these photos as my most Halloween-like photos in this catalog. I'm going to cancel these search results by clicking the X at the top right of the search results, and that takes me back to my catalog. Now let's see how we can search for particular objects in photos in the catalog. Again, I'll select that photo of a woman holding a pumpkin. I'll go up to the Search Box and click the arrow there, and this time I'll choose Object Search. That opens that photo as a single image with a white box that I'm going to use to surround the pumpkin.

I'll click inside the box and drag it just over the pumpkin. And then to fine-tune, I'll move my cursor over the corners and drag in so that I don't have too much of the background inside that white box. I just want the pumpkin, and then I'll click Search Object. And that returns photos that the Organizer thinks contain similar objects. You can see it did an okay job, but not a perfect job. These trees don't contain any pumpkins, and down here is a photo of an orange-- which does look a lot like a pumpkin, but is an orange.

I can try to fine-tune the results the same way that I did with the Visual Similarity Search. Over here, I can use the color and shape slider. And in this case, dragging towards shape doesn't get me better results. It actually gets me worse results because now I'm seeing photos of apples up here, rather than photos of pumpkins. So I'm going to drag that back toward Color, and I'll try another way of fine tuning, which is to add more photos to the find bar. So down here I have another photo of pumpkins. I'm going to drag that photo up to the Find bar and drop it on the box.

And that brings a couple more photos of pumpkins to the top of the match results. Let's take a look at the last kind of Visual Similarity Search, Duplicate Search. I'll cancel these results by clicking the X on the right side of the screen, and I'm back to my catalog. Now this is the not the search to use if you want to find an absolute duplicate of a particular photo. In that case, select the photo in your catalog and then use the visual similarity search. But if you want to find sets of photos that are similar, then go to Duplicate Photo Search.

I'll show you what I mean by running Duplicate Photo Search on all the photos in this catalog. The results are reported here in a separate window, the Visual Similarity Photo Search window. What you see here are suggested groups of photos, photos that the Organizer thinks are similar in some way-- either in terms of color, or shape. If I don't like any of these suggestion, I can just click the Done button. But I do see that down here, the Organizer found a couple of photos that are duplicates. So I might like to stack these together so they're in one place in my catalog, and I can easily access both of them.

If I want to stack a suggested group of photos, I'll click its Stack button; and that creates a stack, and then I'll click Done. And now out of my catalog, you can see those two photos stacked together. I covered stacks in an earlier movie in this course, and you can go there to learn all the details about stacking. But basically, the idea is that this is an organizational tool to group photos together so that they're not both showing on the surface of the catalog. If I want to see the photos in this stack, I'll click the arrow to the right of the stack, and that expands the stack so I can see its contents.

And if I want to collapse the stack again to make more room in the catalog, I'll click the arrow on the right of this group and that collapses my stack. So that's a look at the three kinds of visual similarity searches that you'll find here in the Organizer. Visual Similarity Search, Object Search, and Duplicate Photo Search.

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This video is part of

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  1. 18m 57s
    1. Welcome
      46s
    2. What is the Organizer?
      3m 1s
    3. Touring the Organizer
      4m 29s
    4. Moving between Organizer and Editor
      4m 55s
    5. Working with catalogs
      5m 46s
  2. 21m 4s
    1. Importing the exercise files
      2m 50s
    2. Importing photos from your computer
      4m 37s
    3. Importing photos from your camera
      7m 56s
    4. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 25s
    1. Viewing photos
      3m 37s
    2. Displaying photo names and dates
      1m 0s
    3. Adjusting photo dates and times
      3m 33s
    4. Sorting photos
      2m 41s
    5. Rating photos
      5m 6s
    6. Viewing metadata in the Information panel
      3m 13s
    7. Adding photo captions
      1m 45s
    8. Hiding and showing photos
      2m 54s
    9. Stacking related photos
      5m 8s
    10. Applying instant photo fixes
      4m 28s
  4. 19m 43s
    1. Viewing a simple slideshow
      4m 51s
    2. Comparing photos side by side
      4m 30s
    3. Applying Quick Edit options
      5m 36s
    4. Applying Quick Organize options
      4m 46s
  5. 27m 30s
    1. Using the Folders panel
      7m 19s
    2. Moving and renaming files
      3m 38s
    3. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 14s
    4. Moving and renaming folders
      3m 48s
    5. Deleting files and folders
      4m 2s
    6. Using a watch folder to import new files (Windows only)
      4m 29s
  6. 10m 14s
    1. Creating albums
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing albums
      2m 38s
    3. Making instant albums from folders
      1m 43s
  7. 14m 56s
    1. Creating and organizing keyword tags
      6m 38s
    2. Applying keyword tags
      4m 59s
    3. Finding photos by keyword and Advanced Search
      3m 19s
  8. 23m 3s
    1. Identifying people automatically
      5m 55s
    2. Identifying people manually
      3m 1s
    3. Viewing people
      3m 47s
    4. Grouping people
      3m 10s
    5. Working with people tags
      7m 10s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Creating events manually
      6m 48s
    2. Creating Smart Events
      2m 25s
  10. 9m 52s
    1. Viewing mapped photos by location
      5m 47s
    2. Adding location data to photos
      4m 5s
  11. 22m 2s
    1. Using the Find menu
      3m 36s
    2. Finding photos by metadata
      5m 31s
    3. Saving smart searches
      5m 3s
    4. Finding photos by visual similarity
      5m 56s
    5. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 56s
  12. 3m 22s
    1. Don't forget to back up
      2m 16s
    2. Next steps
      1m 6s

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