Copyright Free Photos, Illustrations, and Other Online Images
"Cat in Bird Feeder" Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Finding images on the web can be confusing but you really simply need to discover a few reputable sources for copyright free or public domain pictures to satisfy all your illustration needs.
There are thousands of online images including clip art, works of art, illustrations, and high quality photos that are available for public use. Individuals and corporations donate thousands of images free for use, while other images fall into the public domain and therefore belong to virtually anyone who wishes to use them.
Pictures wind up in the public domain because the person who created the image has given up their right to it, died, or have not laid claim to the image. Some are there because the copyright that once existed on the image has expired and so now these drawings, paintings, and photographs are available for anyone to use.
Never Post a Photo That You do not Know is Free for Your Use
This high quality photograph of a bee on an apple blossom is available in the public domain courtesy of Pixabay.
Don't Presume You Can Use Any Image You Find on the Internet
"Birthday Greeting" courtesy of Karenswhimsy.
You cannot just pick up any image that you find online and use it for your own personal use. You are risking involving yourself in one very costly lawsuit if you do this.
Everything posted on the internet comes with an automatic copyright that falls under DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act and an infringement of this act can be costly.
If you use someone's information or images then you must either obtain their permission and site your source. You don't want your work stolen from you so it is quite easy to understand why no one else does either.
Even when you are using copyright free images or images that are for public use it is best to provide a credit to the site which provided you with these pictures. Giving credit where credit is due will save you a lot of headaches should someone question your image source at a later date.
Even some sites that are reputable and where you may believe that you are getting a royalty free image from may be providing you with a picture that is not yours for the taking.
If you pick up a photo from Google Images then you may be opening yourself up to a copyright lawsuit. The majority of these images are ones that the Google bots have picked up within their network. THEY ARE NOT FOR PUBLIC USE and they may contain a copyright on them which strictly prohibit their use elsewhere.
Not Every Online Photo is a Free Gift for the Taking
"See no Evil" courtesy of Morguefile.
External Computer Flash Drives Make it Easy to Safe Keep Photos
Use assorted USB computer storage flash drives to easily organize and store your photos. Because they are small and portable it makes traveling and sharing your photos easy. Ideal for business or sharing with family.
This is the List of my Favorite Free Picture Web Sites
"Black Bear" courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife.
Within the Public Domain are thousands of free Clip Art Images and free photos that are there for the public's use. The copyright that once existed on them has expired or no one now owns the absolute rights to these pictures so they are at this time available for public use.
Pixabay.com offers free images but also displays affiliate links of purchasable images. Generally the first row of images are ones that are for sale and the remainder of the images on the page are public domain that you are free to use where ever you like. There are high quality photos available here and it is definitely one of my most favorite sites for free images.
Morguefile has a free photo selection which is growing every day. This is an excellent resource site.
I have found thatKaren's Whimsy Public Domain Images is a free illustration site that is a great place to visit for public domain pictures. These are images that no longer hold a copyright so are available for your use where ever you may wish to use them.
There are Many Free Image Sites
New York Public Library Digital Collection has added a wide selection of public domain images into their search. You will notice in their search bar an option to search out only public domain pictures. Be sure to check this image and you will find a rich treasure trove of historical images free for your use.
While most of the images from Wikimedia Commons come without restrictions to their use there are some which do have restrictions. Always read the agreement set out for the image that you are considering using, and always provide a back link to the webpage where you found the image, these two things will generally bring your work a greater credibility.
If you are using a photograph or image from Wikimedia Commons for a Commercial venture then check the commons statement carefully to insure that you have permission to use the picture for commercial purposes. Blogging or writing articles for profit is considered a commercial venture.
If you are looking for clip art or coloring pages then http://www.wpclipart.com offers up a wonderful selection of public domain images.
And don't forget we always have http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/you really do have to be very careful to insure that the images on flickr are ones that have not made it into the commons by accident though. Most are available for your use with only a credit back but check the commons agreement carefully for each image's use.
When Writing Product Reviews or Recipe Articles You Will Look More Professional if You Use Your Own Photos
This is one of my own recipe photos. I take multiple pictures while I cook.
Knowing What to Look for Can Make the Process Easier
"Red Cardinal" courtesy of Morguefile.
Finding free Clip Art and royalty free photos online can seem difficult at first but once you know what to look for it gets a little easier.
Unfortunately there are always more than a few bad apples out there trying to gain access to your private information so you do have to be careful.
Even searching out Royalty Free Images doesn't often bring about a lot of luck on a search engine. It turns out that many of the sites offering these pictures often offer them for a price and you are once again prohibited in their use.
The internet has a tremendous amount of useful information on it but it is also filled with a lot of gobbedly gook as well.
Base the Legitimacy of the Image on the Reputation of the Source
"Public Domain Art Image" courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
There are a couple of things to still be wary of when using any image that you pick up on the internet that isn't your own. Always read the fine print and always be sure to use a reputable source.
You still must watch out for the bad apples that are trying to use any means of acquiring your personal information and you must still be careful of photos or images that contain pictures of brand name products. These brand names themselves may have copyrights on their usage.
Otherwise the Images within the Public Domain Library are free for anyone and everyone's personal or commercial use. Just remember to still cite your sources at the foot of your article and include the library that you obtain your images from.
Blogging has brought about a new era on the Internet and added amazing opportunities to promote and share ones thoughts and ideas, to socialize, and even to earn a living through the writing of articles. This has brought with it an amazing wealth of free websites on which to blog, write, or create photo albums.
Along with this ability to provide written words to anyone who is willing to read them comes the search for photos and other free images to enhance our work.
When you acquire your images legitimately you can write guilt free with the added benefit of beautiful images adding that little extra zip to the information that you are sharing with the rest of the world.