More free image sites…

Before we leave the topic of graphics, I wanted to add a few more image sources to your technology toolbelts.

It is an unfortunate truth that there is no one source for the perfect image to add impact to your website or blog page. So I’m going to very briefly take you through a list of additional sites that I have found useful.

Since I’ve used these sites I can vouch for the quality of their graphics. There are, however, many more available on the internet so you may have your own favorites. If you do, please share them.

morgueFile

morgueFile image example 
morgueFile.com is a site where stock photos that are no longer useful for client projects are made available to the public. The images here are all royalty-free, attribution-free and in the public domain.

freerangestock.com

freerangestockexample

Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com and Geoffrey Whiteway

freerangestock.com allows the images on their site to be used attribution free in commercial and non-commercial projects, so long as the projects are not printed. In other words the images can be used on your website but not in the “Welcome to Our Church” brochure.

They do ask as a courtesy that, when and where possible, a credit be given using the words “Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com and” the photographer’s name.

Flickr’s Public Domain Photostream

Flickr example 
Flickr’s Public Domain Photos have been compiled by Emilian Robert Vicol. At the time the images were added to this archive they were available to be used freely.

However, a couple of words of caution with this collection. The actual owners of the photographs can decide not to allow them to be downloaded after initially making them available. So, you run the risk of finding the perfect image only to find you are not able to use it.

The second caution is that these photographs can be on any topic or issue and are collected from many sources. So I would rate some of the sub-collections PG-13 – most of it is fine for family viewing, there are a few instances that are not. Just keep that in mind if you decide to find an image here.

freeimages.com

Old windows, urban decay

Photo Credit: Freeimages.com/Cristina Nichitus

freeimages.com allows you to freely use the images on their site. Their license terms are a little different though.

For commercial projects no attribution is required however you must ensure that the image alone cannot be downloaded from the page on which you use it. This isn’t difficult to do, but you need to be aware of the restriction in order to stay on the right side of the license terms.

The other wrinkle with their license is that for editorial projects (like this blog), you must identify the artist/photographer in a credit using the words “FreeImages.com/Artist’s Member Name.”

openclipart.org

fossasia2016-2016021130-2400px 
As you are adding graphics to your websites, you will at some point need to add some clipart instead of a photograph. Clipart are small drawings or illustrations that add visual interest to a page. I’ve included openclipart.org in this list as it has a wide variety of illustrations and icons that can be used without restrictions or attribution.

Pinterest

pinterest_badge_red
While you can use Pinterest as a source for images, the better use would be as a repository for the images that you find and know are freely reuseable. Having those images in one easily accessible place can save immense amounts of time in the future.

This is especially true when you come across a great Christmas image that you know you’d like to add to the website. The only problem is its still only July and you don’t want to lose track of the image.

Pinterest is a cloud storage service so the images are available wherever and whenever you have an internet connection and the images you “pin” can be put into a private collection that only you have access to.

There are some final things you should be aware of with graphics sites:

  • Most sites require you sign up for a free membership
  • Be patient in your search
  • Some sites have limited search capabilities
  • For profit commercial graphics companies sponsor some free sites and the commercial images appear first in search results
  • Don’t forget to read the license terms and use the image accordingly

Please let me know in the comments below if you’ve found this post useful (or not) and if you have any follow up questions.

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About Wayne Sankarlal

Web, Tech & Worship will continue to be published on the it4worship.com site on a monthly basis. I do hope that you will come by and see what's in store next. Wayne's interest is exploring that place where the web, technology and worship meet. He is the founder of IT4Worship where he advises and serves churches with the ultimate goal of making technology use comfortable, effective and stress-free. He is married to quite possibly the most patient woman on earth and privileged to be the father of two incredible sons. Subscribe to this blog.