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Free photo downloads - uncommon sources

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 12

Free license images

Free photo downloads - uncommon sources - common courtesy

AP photo Sang Tan - free photo downloads

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.





Jun 22, 2010 9:24pm
Great resources from a generous writer!
Jun 25, 2010 2:29pm
I use these often but had not heard of using the Library of Congress for photos! thanks for the great giveaways! Ilove freebies :) 5*****!
Jun 25, 2010 6:49pm
thank you for this valuable info.
Jun 26, 2010 6:34pm
Great info on finding photos from uncommon sources and free is a good thing.
Jun 29, 2010 4:17pm
Hi Sharon, very nice article on places to find photos. You should post a note in the Forum, a lot of new IB writers are looking for such places.
Jun 30, 2010 12:51am
I was certainly looking for photos. It takes longer to find one PD pic than to write 1000 word article. Hopefully these will help. I have bookmarked the article. Found it in forum, so thanks for doingthat
Jun 30, 2010 2:49pm
I am very glad to have read this article. I'll save lots of time trying to find pictures now! Thanks!
Nov 6, 2010 11:37am
I share this opinion also. Thanks!
Aug 30, 2010 7:38pm
Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness is sharing your sources for downloadable photos! I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from you!
Mar 17, 2012 4:51pm
Ooohhh, I so love deviantArt - it's just a bit of a hassle sometimes to correctly give attribution. Sometimes it's just not possible due to technical reasons. In such cases, I like Pixabay.com as a resource for great public domain images. Take a look; you could list it as another advice in your article :) clkr.com is awesome for cliparts!
Mar 22, 2012 9:58am
Thanks so much, Nasmon, added Pixabay.com to my bookmarks as a resource for license free images. :)
May 4, 2012 2:27pm
Great source of information for people looking for royalty free photos.
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