PICTURE POST: How to source Creative Commons images (in pictures)

There’s nothing that ruins a piece of text as the lack of a decent image.

A picture can tell a thousand words.

So, thank the Lord for creative commons.

It’s a place to go when there’s no photography budget and you need an image in a hurry.

Creative commons licences allow for images to be re-used so long as certain conditions are met.

One of the best places to look for them is Flickr.

Here’s what you do looking for a picture:

1. Go to Flickr.com.

2. Let’s say we’re looking for a picture of a computer. Search everyone’s uploads for the terms ‘creative commons + computer.’

3. You’ll have a stack of thumbnails to look through.

4. Make a selection. Click on the image you want. This is what it will look like:

5. Double check the creative commons licence. That’s on the right hand side of the image. Half way down.

6. Click actions. That’s just above the image.

7. Choose a size. Download it.

8. Use the picture creatively.

9. If you can’t find it using the general search have a look at opting for searching for The Commons…

10. Now sit back and have a slice of cake.

Creative commons credits:

Cake http://www.flickr.com/photos/danieldslee/5646762765/

Computer http://www.flickr.com/photos/lselibrary/4028604399/

PIC PICKY: If a picture tells 1,000 words why are bloggers so rubbish at using them?

Striking pictures leap from a page and grab the reader by the throat.

They demand attention, illustrate a point and reel a reader in.

So why the ruddy heck are so many blogs laid out pictureless like telephone directories?

Am I being unrealistic? Maybe. I’ve worked in the media for more than a decade and I’m used to thinking text plus pictures. Not everyone is wired that way. Fair enough.

But I’m a reader too and you know yourself something that looks rubbish has a stronger chance of getting overlooked.

Yes, through blogging you swiftly publish content.  Being able to chuck stuff up is a strength.

But please, remember that a dowdy looking page may not ever get read.

Look at Linda Jones, or Jayne Howarth or Lee Jordan.

They’re  a good marriage of words and pictures. You’re drawn into them.

FIVE things to do to add pictures…

1. Use your own pictures. It’s surprising what good images you have. Particularly if you are David Bailey.

2. Use Creative Commons pictures Flickr.com  is a brilliant resource but it’s also a community so remember to be polite. If you are looking for a shot of a farm gate search ‘Farm + gate + creative commons.’ You’ll get some interesting results. Creative commons gives you permission to use a pic so long as you observe certain conventions.

3. Free to use stock image websites. Help yourself so long as you sign in. You’ll have to pay for the best ones. Not so best are usually free.

4. Use the ‘blog this’ button on Flickr. Many pictures you can add straight to your blog by following a set of instructions but be careful. The pic comes at the same size everytime and appears in the top right hand corner. It also publishes straight away which means you could have some surprised people scratching their head at their RSS feed of an empty page with a  picture floating there unless you add pre-written content pronto.

5. Don’t steal. Yes, it’s tempting just to save to desktop but it’s better not to.

Picture credits:

Elephant in the room – David Blackwell

Field – Dan Slee

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