Looking for photos to spice up your space, whether online or in your office or home? I’m a huge flickr fan, but sometimes I’m more interested in how the picture looks than what keywords were used to tag it. Thanks to several online search tools/web apps, you can search flickr photos... by color! I’ve given a brief review of 4 popular sites, below. Try them out and comment to let me know what you think!

Multicolr Search Lab - Idée Labs
(+) Lets you put in up to 10 colors, even choosing which colors to receive more weight. You can even tweak it so as to choose any colors you want.
(-) Only 120 colors show up to choose from (but see tweak above). Search results included “all rights reserved” photos.
My finds: Using this site, I entered Simple Makes' theme colors and found Graduation(angle), top, and Graduation(fan), left, both by tanakawho

Color Fields Colr Pickr
(+) Neat groups you can click on (scroll down on page) to search photos of just that set: the “Macro” and “Doors and Windows” Colr Pickrs are especially fun. Lots of colors to choose from.
(-) Only based on one color, brought up “all rights reserved” as well as private photos you can’t actually click on.
I found: In my 5 minutes of play, none of the photos I liked were Creative Commons Licensed.

Flickr Color Selector
(+) Color code options (so you can literally pick any color).
(-) Only allows you to select one color, brought up “all rights reserved” and “photo not available” photos.
I found: Nothing Creative Commons Licensed.

(+) Definitely the most fun app I found. You get to sketch a drawing, and it matches it with flickr photos!
(-) Sometimes (not always) I couldn’t tell what the results had in common with my sketch. Brings up a set number of images, with no apparent option to see more. Doesn’t allow for very precise color selection. Results included “all rights reserved” and “private” images.
I found: soloist, left, by emdot

What I’d still like to see:
Idée Labs’ Multicolr Search Lab is my definite favorite. Building on its functionality that allows me to enter in my color scheme (i.e. multiple colors) and find photos with those colors, I would add:
* a checkbox to limit my search to only Creative Commons Licensed work
* a searchbox to search only within my terms (for this post, I might want a picture of a computer with flickr on the screen... so I’d like to type in “flickr computer” and just find relevant photos
* a searchbox where I can enter my username and only search MY photos

Lastly, an unimportant note for flickr tool designers:
* it’s really unnecessary to leave out vowels in the name of your webapp just because Flickr does so... just my opinion... :-)

...and you?
Are these tools practical, or just for fun? How can or do you use them to simplify home, or blog, design?