Last year, we introduced you to five great places to find Creative Commons images, with the list including heavyweights like Flickr and Google Image Search, along with a few more services you might not have heard of. Today we’re updating that list, and adding 5 more services that take the hard work out of finding Creative Commons images.
There are lots of reasons you might need to find Creative Commons images – whether it’s for your blog or website, or for creating a poster, an ad, or more. No matter what reason you’re looking for Creative Commons images, make sure you’re familiar with the different Creative Commons licenses so you don’t misuse the images that have been shared with website visitors. If you need an introduction to Creative Commons, be sure to check out this post we had published quite a few years back on Creative Commons usage.
The obvious place to start when searching for Creative Commons images is to go straight to the source. The official Creative Commons website has a search function that lets users search some pretty impressive websites for free-to-use images. Not only does this search function let you search specific websites for images, it also gives you access to Creative Commons music, media and video. For images, the search plugs into image websites like Flickr, Fotopedia, Open Clip Art Library, Wikimedia Commons (more on that later), Pixabay, Europeana, and SpinXPress.
When searching through the CC search, you can also search for images that can be used for commercial purposes, or that you can adapt, modify and build upon.
Yahoo Image Search recently introduced a functionality similar to how Google makes it easy to find Creative Commons content. To find CC images, just perform a search on Yahoo Image Search, and then pull up the menu on the left side of the screen. (If it’s collapsed, just hit the arrow button to expand the menu.
Click ‘Show Filters’ and select ‘Labeled for Reuse.’
Stock.Xchng (or SXC) is a user-powered site where photographers upload images allowing visitors to use them, under various licenses. With SXC, you should always be sure to take a close look at ‘Usage Options’ for each image as different photographers may very well have different restrictions or requirements that allow you to use their images. For example, some photographers request that they are notified before or when the image is used. Out of respect for the photographers who are sharing their work for free, be sure to adhere to their requests.
SXC has a very impressive collection of photos, some of which differ little from a professional stock website, so it’s definitely a good place to start when looking for solid photos.
While you can search for Creative Commons images on Wikimedia Commons through the official CC site, it’s a site that certainly deserves a special mention. The site gives users access to a variety of free-to-use images, maps and more. If you’re looking for historical images that are free-to-use, this is the site to go to. In addition to images, you can also search the site for video and audio files that you can use.
A lot of the images on Wikimedia have either been shared by photographers, while you’ll also find a lot of public domain images that are free to use because their copyright has expired.
While we already know we can find great Creative Commons images on Flickr, an even better way to do that is by using the website Compfight. The site offers users a slick alternative on finding images you can re-use on your website or blog. While Compfight lets you search Flickr images with any license, you can narrow down your search results by two main licenses: a basic Creative Commons license or a commercial license. If your website has ads, or you plan on using the photo for any sort of monetary gain, be sure to select the commercial license, otherwise you can stick with the Creative Commons license.
Compfight is great, not only because it displays the images beautifully, it is also able to present users with search results that are made up of pretty impressive photos. The quality of the images you’ll find on Compfight is simply impressive.
What sites would you add to this list? Do you contribute to the wealth of Creative Commons yourself? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit:Photo Credit