So many people responded to my last post about fair use of images on the internet that a follow-up post is in order.
Many readers didn’t know anything at all about copyrights, and many of you reblogged the post. Thank you; this is information we all need to know. As I learned, ignorance is not a defensible excuse, so keep spreading the word and be sure you have permission to use the images you find. This permission comes in three basic categories:
- Out of copyright and free to anyone to use.
- Free to use with permission and credit.
- Available with permission for a fee.
Since most bloggers don’t earn money from their blogs, few of us can afford either to pay for images or pay fines for using images without permission. But there are a wealth of sources for available photos as I learned from readers who included links to their favorites in their comments. Crowd sourcing information is one of the great benefits of the blogosphere. In return for my readers’ collective kindness and generosity, I’ve compiled their links below.
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/ “hi resolution photos with royalty free license”
http://freerangestock.com/ “high resolution and high quality free stock photos”
http://www.picmonkey.com/ photo editing
https://www.canva.com/ “amazingly simple graphic design for blogs”
http://pixabay.com/en/ “free high quality images you can use anywhere”
https://unsplash.com/ ten free photos sent to your email every ten days
I recommend checking out each site to see which has images you like and reading the fine print before signing up.
Another source of potentially terrific photographs are those taken by people you know. I have several friends who are accomplished photographers. The one friend I’ve asked so far is happy for the free publicity of having her photos appear on my blog with credit and a link to her website. I’ll ask others as opportunity permits.
Finally, I’ve relearned how to use the camera we bought for a trip to Utah in 2011 and haven’t used since. I’m now creating my own file of images for my personal use.
I have a long, personal, history with photography, going back to the days of developing black and white film and photos in a basement darkroom. But after I bore three children in four years, I resorted to snapshots that I still haven’t sorted. My digital files are even more of a mess – until now.
One of the unintended consequences of my own lesson in fair use is a resurgent interest in documenting what I see in a format other than words. It feels good to flex my visual muscles and to relearn the physics of light. Since I started following The Artist’s Way again, I’ve been taking my camera out on my weekly Artist Date and seeing the world around me in an entirely new way. This post is illustrated with a few of the images I’ve captured in the past few weeks.
Thanks to all the readers who replied to my last post and inspired this one.
Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this post contains no explicit legal advice, just this admonition: learn the rules and follow them.
Deborah Lee Luskin lives, writes, and takes photos in southern Vermont.