Images for Free How to legally obtain great images for various content projects
Introduction Nearly every publication, whether it is a website, advertisement or a magazine, uses images to capture the attention of their audience. Finding images for free on the internet can be a fun and rewarding experience if done properly and with respect to laws and the rights of the publisher.
Why should I use images? Images which relate to the topic at hand help the reader to visualize the essence of a presentation or article.
Why should I use images? Interesting images build upon the visual senses of someone who may otherwise not even pay attention to a well written story. Aesthetics contribute an important part in keeping a prospective browsers attention and possibly turning them into a repeat reader or customer.
Why should I use images? If considering the use of pictures on a blog or website, images named in relation to the written content, help a website to be found by potential visitors. Engaging website content certainly provides an enhanced experience for the visitor.
Why should I use images? Statistics show that a visually appealing website which is well organized and a pleasure to view, is more successful than a website that is cluttered with useless and meaningless images or even none at all.
Where to find free images Many sources exist to obtain images for free of charge. One of the easiest solutions that many often overlook is simply using a digital camera to take pictures to generate images. When capturing images it is important that trademarked symbols and logos are not in the photo or are not easily recognizable.
Where to find free images Another great source and probably one of the best, is Wikimedia commons. This media resource can be used to find images for free, according to creative commons licensing. Image content is categorized into many sections such as topic, location, type, author, license, and source.
Where to find free images Flickr is another source to find images for free, which is literally inexhaustible. Millions of people share images on this social network every day and many are often personal images which have no commercial royalty implications. Flickrhas recently implemented a licensing option for images.
Where to find free images The licensure is clearly stated by creative commons in order to avoid any confusion. If there is a question regarding the license of an image, a messaging tool allows users to send messages; and most photographers will allow their images to be used at no cost if credit is given for their work.
Where to find free images A powerful image search tool exists under the advanced search features, allowing the creative commons license criteria to be utilized in the query for royalty free images.
Where to find free images Although it may be a common practice by some to browse Google images for free pictures, this is not a recommended method.
Where to find free images The search engine robot indexes these images without regard to licensing or royalties, and the search display relies upon the website owner to protect or allow the images to be indexed. Images which appear in the search results are subject to copyright, which is stated in the search query.
Copy images to a website Once a source has been selected for free images, the next step is to determine how the images can be transferred to a publication. The method of transfer depends upon how and where the images will be used.
Copy images to a website The same method for posting an image to a social blog may not apply to saving an image for printing in a magazine or postcard.
Copy images to a website To view a step by step video of these procedures you should watch the "images for free" video which provides a comprehensive demonstration.
Copy images to a website Hotlinking is a method used when an image is displayed on a website, blog or bulletin board post, but actually is hosted elsewhere. This is very common for website developers who host their images on content delivery networks.
Copy images to a website However, some website administrators consider hotlinking to be bandwidth theft, especially if their website cost is determined by the amount of bandwidth used each month.
Copy images to a website Copying images to a social blog or bulletin board post is very simple for websites that have implemented a hotlink code method. These websites will often display a share or post feature. HTML and/or BBcode are two of the typical options that allow for easy hotlinking of freely shared images.
Copy images to a website To use this method simply copy the appropriate code and paste it into a blog post as HTML and the hotlinked image will automatically generate.
Copy images to a computer Most of the time images must be downloaded to a PC first before they can be used in a presentation, blog, website or other document. This does take more time, but allows for more detailed customization of the image.
Copy images to a computer Once an image is downloaded the characteristics may be edited to fit the needs (if this is permitted by the creative commons license). The first step to take is to consider how to store images. Organization is efficient, and allows for focus on creativity, instead of searching for images.
Copy images to a computer If some preliminary care is taken to create a file and folder structure, then subsequent searches will be much more efficient and without the use of slow software that attempt to help organize.
Copy images to a computer Right clicking on most images from a website browser will produce a “Save as” option in the dialog box. It is a professional courtesy to make certain permission is granted to download and use an image first. Even if a website is providing images for free, policies may protect individual works.
Copy images to a computer True webmasters will ask a photographer or graphic designer about licensing first, rather than to build a website or publish a work and then receive a DMCA take down notice. Most photographers are proud of their work and will provide a higher resolution image at no charge, as long as they are credited.
Image copyright laws DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States law which heightens the penalty for copyright violations on the internet. If a DMCA take down notice is issued, it is in the best interest of the webmaster to comply with the take down request, even if the violation is unclear.
Image copyright laws Intellectual property owners reserve the right to protect their works even if it seems that they provide their images for free of charge.
Image copyright laws Creative commons licensing outlines specific guidelines for attribution to the original creator, as well as criteria for derivative works.
Image copyright laws It is highly recommended to visit the creative commons website and become familiar with the various licensing models prior to copying or hotlinking to images even if they seem to be free of charge.
Image copyright laws With a little time and research, artists, webmasters, developers and graphics designers can find many sources of images for free on the internet.
Conclusion All image content needs can be fulfilled while complying with copyright laws, which will help to build relationships with content providers for months and years to come. Have Fun!