An image can make a blog post. To tell the truth, an image can be your blog post, full stop. I know that I have been tempted to read a blog post simply due to an alluring image - bright or intriguing enough to catch my eye.
Images add dimension to your blog and help to illustrate your point or story. An image can almost be a small advert to entice readers to your text. Advertising is pricey though, and if you can find a great image for free which doesn’t enfringe copyright, then all the better.
If you are looking for a great image and do a quick search, you might find the perfect image. You could be disappointed though if you are unable to use your image for free.
Happily, there are numerous images available for free use (as in copyright free and money free) under the “Creative Commons” license.
There are several different Creative Commons licences which allow you to use material in non-commercial work, as long as you attribute the creator. You can view the details of the Creative Commons license here.
Here are 7 sites for you to start your image search:
1. Clip Art Images
This is similar to the clip art you find in your Microsoft image collection. It is an especially good resource if you are looking for a good and simple image. Type in "orange" for example, and you will find enough orange images and pictures to make yourself a cyber smoothy.
2. Google Images
(your Google document in your Google drive)
If you are using a Google document, it’s very easy to use the Google image function. In your document, go to "insert," select "image", and then "search" and Google will find a variety of different pictures for you to use. The images are available for non-commercial reuse. Do check the CC license to verify that use of the image is permitted. You will have to add the attribution info manually too.
3. Creative Commons
This website holds a number of different search directories. It is essentially a ‘front page’ linking to smaller directories that you can search through one directory at a time. Highlight the directories you would like to include in your search which includes image, music and video directories.
You can search under the two licenses "use for creative purposes" and to "modify, adapt and build on". However, it does state that the site gives you only "convenient access to other search services" - this means that is best to check that the image is available under the Creative Commons license, rather than just assume it is.
Flickr is one of the images directories that is included in the Creative Commons search above. However, you can use Flickr directly to search for images too. Once you have typed in your search term, go to "advanced search" and then tick ‘only search within Creative Commons’ licenses.
You can use the Flickr attribution bookmarklet to attribute to the author which you can add to your toolbar. This will give you the details that you need to attribute the creator easily.
5. Comp Fight
Comp Fight allows you to search Flickr images, yet it is a much more powerful search tool to use than the one on Flickr. After using the search engine, look to the left hand side toolbar and you can see that it has found “safe” images that you can happily use without infringing upon copyright. Watch out - the first two layers of images that are shown are ones you have to pay for.
6. Creative Commons: Wiki images
A vast source of images. To get access to those that you can use freely under the "Creative Commons" select "Creative Commons" under the license type. Type in what you are looking for and once you have done the search, scroll down for the results. They can be missed as the first page seems quite texty and you have to scroll down to see the fruits of your labours!
7. Icon Finder
Use this to find an icon. A really useful resource for presentation slides and blogs. You can search here on the left hand side menu under "free" in terms of cost, and also filter according to the type of license that the image is available under.
Happy image finding! Remember to double check that you are able to use the image under the Creative Commons license and to say thanks and attribute the creator, and you should be fine. If you are still not completely confident about using images under the Creative Commons license, have a look at this short video. It will tell you everything you need to know - YouTube video illustrating Creative Commons in Cartoon.
If you know of any other good places to find a free image, please be a sharebear and add them here.