Free license images

AP photo Sang Tan - free photo downloads

Free photo downloads - uncommon sources - common courtesy

It has been said, "a picture is worth a thousand words." As little children, we were exposed to books filled with pictures which illustrated the words even before we could read. Your mind in all its stages of growth has the ability to configure a complex story with one single image.

In the photo above is a photographer. in a museum, photographing a puppet image of Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of England, which tells you there may be a photo exhibit in a UK museum. And you would be correct:

A camera man films a Splitting Image's puppet of Margaret Thatcher on display in an exhibition 'Rude Britannia : British Comic Art' at Tate Britain in London, Monday, June 7, 2010. The exhibition explores British comic art from the 1600's to the present day and celebrates a rich history of cartooning and visual jokes.(AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Online writers can illustrate their words and entice prospective readers with one photograph.
What power the mind's eye possesses!

To demonstrate this power, annually, there are awards presented to photographers all over the world by National Geographic, Associated Press (AP), and digital camera companies. Our art museums hang masterpieces of life stories in hallowed reverence. Without speaking or writing a single word, volumes of pages can be visualized.

Art imitates life. Hence, copyrights and attribution.

There are many sites which "pitch" free photo downloads, that aren't! When searching for copyright or royalty free photos to download and illustrate your words, there are a few uncommon sources available. But one must be careful to read the fine print on all royalty free and public domain photographs. Attribution is still an issue in many cases. Writers must show the common courtesy to credit the photographer how s/he has stipulated. Just think how infuriating it is to find your own written words copy and pasted to another writer's site.

deviantArt is a great site for fresh, new and descriptive modern photography and graphics. You may download royalty free photos with or without attribution, it depends upon contributor stipulation. 'The Silent Forest' by Alexandru1988 is hardly silent at all and speaks volumes. Photo contains a link to retrieval page at deviantART as stipulated and the photo is noted as Alexandru1988's work.

The Silent Forest photo with attribution

Other contributor works at deviantART may not stipulate as in this wonderful downloaded image. "Don't say a Word' [you don't have to] is by DemiCronos and the artist has not stipulated.

Dont say a Word free photo download (19814)

Wikipedia is a well-known source for public domain photographs AND photos with licenses. Search for topic words, which will illustrate your text. After finding an appropriate photo, click on it, scroll down to the bottom and find copyright or license information. Wikipedia also has a category called "picture of the day," where all pictures submitted must be qualified as copyright free and in the public domain. So many are archived in public domain, others are listed as a part of Creative Commons, a non-profit organized in San Francisco, "devoted to expand the range of creative works". There are several licenses involved you will want to read about, but most creators post their photos in free license categories. Not all Creative Commons listings will require attribution, but some do.

The Library of Congress has wonderfully archived photography, poster, prints, and graphics available to you, just for the searching. Read "rights and restrictions" and attribute appropriately. The LOC is a great resource for teachers and students, writers, and historians.

Clipart Etc., not the Clipart you know so well, offers over 58,000 images in various subjects for students and teachers.

And then there's Bing Clipart with millions upon millions of usable free photo downloads. Search for free downloads for photos to describe your words, always mindful of the attribution appropriate to the creator's stipulations stated when donated.