If you are going to write articles on the web or take the time and effort to maintain a blog, adding images is one important step that cannot be ignored.  Assuming that you do not want to be bothered with having to take your own digital pictures of the subject matter that you are writing about or otherwise creating such images yourself, where should you go to find images on the internet?  Additionally, after finding an image that you want to use, what do you need to do to make sure that you give proper attribution to the creator of the image? 

There are many places to find images on the internet.  We highlight 3 great websites in this article.  The first website is www.morguefile.com.

MorgueFile Logo(112808)

The beauty of morguefile.com is that every single image on the site is free and available for use in any commercial project without attribution.

The second website is www.compfight.com. 

Compfight searches Flickr photos that have been uploaded by its members.  Compfight includes several filters to locate images that can be used for commercial purposes with proper attribution.  Depending on the image, you may have to cite to the creator’s name or other user identification or you may have to cite the specific Creative Commons license the work is under. 

The third website is www.commons.wikimedia.org. 

Wikimedia Commons Logo(112809)Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia commons is the media file repository of the Wikimedia Foundation.  In searching for images and comparing the number of results per search, Wikimedia generally has more images than morguefile.com.  At the time of the writing of this article, Wikimedia commons had 13,776,775 files available.  Note that unlike morguefile.com where you do not have to be concerned about attribution, some of the images found at the Wikimedia commons require that the original creator be attributed or that the specific license be identified when reusing the image.  In this respect, Wikimedia commons has a useful tool to help users reuse images outside of Wikimedia commons.  Assuming you are using a browser other than Internet Explorer (such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera) and you are Javascript enabled, when you click on a search result of an image that you want to reuse, a menu will appear to the right of the image.  Click on “Use this File on the Web” and a window will open that will provide specific instructions regarding attribution. 

In short, in a web article or blog, images are the very first thing that people encounter.  If the images are attractive and interesting, chances are that the text of the article or blog will be looked at more closely.  If there are no images, it is quite likely that the visitor will leave and go elsewhere.