Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Free Photo Websites: Part I

As you may recall I did a post a while ago about using photos on your blog. I linked to the original blog that I read and redirected you to read it. If not, go there now. I also have joined a group blog with a few other members of my local critique group called, Writers By The Shore. One of the things we wanted to do was make sure that we all use photos that are relevant to our posts in each and every post. This got me thinking. And of course I turned to that wonderful post looking for the sites I could get free photos to use for my blog posts. Times are tough and money is tight around my house. In the process of looking at these sites I thought it would be a great idea to do a series on each of the sites to help you decide which is best for you.

Today that site is Flickr.

I've seen a lot of other bloggers use photos from Flickr and wondered about it. I know my dad, a photographer, uses the site to showcase some of his work. His work, however, is copyrighted. It can't be used without his expressed permission.
One of my dad's photos:
 I also use Flickr to showcase some of my dabbling in photography and have mine copyrighted as well. 
One of my photos from Flickr:
Of course, because of the type of copyright we have both chosen neither of these pictures can be used without our permission.

However, there are photos on Flickr you CAN use. Click explore in the tabs at the top of the page and then chose Creative Commons. It will take you here. This will explain what you can use and for what uses.

WARNING: not all creative commons licenses are good for blogs. Blogs can be considered as commercial and some of these creative commons licenses are not for use in commercial outlets.

The best to use for blogging are: (1) Attribution License, (2) Attribution-NoDerivs License, and (3) Attribbution-ShareAlike License. The others can get you into trouble. Think of it this way, if the license says "Non-Commerical" it's best NOT to use that photo.

(1) Attribution License
This is a picture I found with the attribution license. It is free to use on my blog without consequence as long as I credit the photographer, which I did in the caption. You can follow that link right to the original picture and look at other photos in this photographer's photo albums. Just click on the link under "License" to the right. The link that says "some rights reserved." That will tell you what you can do with it. I can share, remix, and use this picture for commercial use as long as I credit the photographer.

(2) Attribution-NoDerivs License
The only difference between this picture and the previous picture is that I cannot edit it. I can still use it for sharing and commercial use as long as I credit the photographer. Again, make sure you check the license.

(3) Attribution-ShareAlike License
This photo is similar to the first creative commons license photo above. I can share it, edit it, and use it commercially on my site. As with the rest I have to credit the photographer. If I alter it, I have to share it under the same license. Which means that others will be able to alter my altered photo.

Wow, that was a lot of information. But, you are wiser for the information! Good luck and happy blogging. Next time I'll take a look at one of the free stock photo sites where you can download free or purchase photos to use on your blog.

Your Turn -> Do you use photos from Flickr? If so, did you know the difference between the different licenses?

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