Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Sources For Images

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Jeez, there are sure a ton of ways to find images on the Web, as well as many places where you can find lengthy link lists to image collections.

I’d lay odds that most people, including myself, just use Google Image Search when they need to find an image. However, there might be instances when you want to use another tool — perhaps you’re a language teacher searching for just the right clip art or photography to illustrate a verb, maybe you have very young students and are concerned about what they might find on Google,  possibly you’re particularly teaching about copyright issues, or you want your students to easily connect an image to a writing exercise and have them send an E-Card. (Google has recently added an option in their advanced image search feature — go to the bottom left under “license” and choose “labeled for reuse”)

I thought a “The Best…” list might be helpful in one of those, or other particular, instances.

You can also find the links to sites on this list, as well as links to many other image sites, on my website under Images.

So here are my picks for The Best Online Sources For Images (not in order of preference):

Search by Creative Commons provides excellent explanations about what Creative Commons licenses are, and offers a way to search throughout the web for images that have them.

Flickr Creative Commons is another way to find Flickr images offered for use with a Creative Commons license. Flickr Storm is search tool for the same photos (be sure to click “Advanced Search” to make sure your results include only those with a CC license) — just perhaps in slightly more engaging way.

Nations Illustrated has 8,000 images from around the world, and also provides an E-Card feature.

The University of Victoria Teaching Clipart Gallery has three thousand images specifically designed for language-teaching.

The Royalty Free Clip Art Collection For Foreign/Second Language Instruction from Purdue University is another place to find images useful for teaching English Language Learners.

The Japanese Language Course Support Site is a smaller, but useful, source of language-learning images.

Pics 4 Learning is specifically designed for teachers and students, and has thousands of images that can be used freely.

Clip Art ETC from Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse offers over 38,000 pieces of clip art for students and teachers.

Edupics is one more source of clip art for use in schools.

Photl.com
has 160,000 copyright-free images available.

(Mathew Needleman also suggests Morgue File because “it has quite a few images and it’s not blocked in school”)

I’m also adding a direct link to Darren Draper’s excellent post (including additional resources) called The Educator’s Guide To The Creative Commons.

Here are two more simple ways to search for Creative Commons images:

Behold

Simple CC Flickr Search

PicFindr lets you search many photo sites simultaneously and, in addition to defining the image you want, you can define the restrictions for use. For example, I typed in that I was looking for a picture of a lion for educational use, checked the “none” box for licensing requirements (which means anybody can use it — even without crediting the photographer) and got several hundred images to choose from.

I’m adding Wikimedia Commons to this list.  It has four million images, and their reuse agreement states:

almost all may be freely reused without individual permission according to the terms of the particular license under which it was contributed to the project. Depending on what you want to do with it, you probably do not need to obtain a specific statement of permission from the Licensor.

Seems about as broad as you can make it…

I learned about 25 Places To Find Awesome Stock Photos from Lucy Gray, and decided to add some of the sites on that list to The Best Online Sources For Images.  The “25 Places” post has concise and accurate descriptions of the sites, so I’m just going to quote from them.  I’d also encourage you to check-out their entire list:

Free Foto: “Freefoto is made up of 117,600 images with over 150+ sections organized into 3,285 categories. There’s a search function, and usage is completely unrestricted. All you have to do is include an attribution link back to Freefoto.com.”

Free Digital Photos: “Free Digital Photos has a good search function, which is very important when you’ve got this many images under one resource. Photos are nicely grouped into categories for easy and quick browsing.”

Public Domain Photos: “Public Domain Photos is exactly that: a photographer’s domain for public display, all arranged by corresponding categories. There’s a really good search function available, as well.”

Free Historical Stock Photos: “Free Historical Stock Photos contains various historical images, including many by Matthew Brady (Civil War) and Dorothea Lange (Great Depression). This site also includes paintings and vintage posters. The images are gracefully categorized and easily findable with the use of a search function.”

Big Foto is the newest addition to The Best Online Sources For Images list.  It has a large selection of royalty-free images.

Photos 8 is the newest addition to this list. It has thousands of high quality public domain pictures and is easy to search.

100 (Legal) Sources for Free Stock Images is another incredible list of resources.

Heritage Explorer has hundreds of thousands of British-related images available for free educational use.  You can read more about it at the Kent ICT blog.

World Images, according to its site, is a “database that provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project. It contains almost 75,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. WorldImages is accessible anywhere and its images may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes.”

Mashable has just posted a great piece, 26 Places to Find Free Multimedia for Your Blog.  I’ve already included in this post many of the resources they list.  However, they also listed some sites that are new to me, especially the ones that have freely-available video.  I’m also sure that a ton of additional sources will be accumulating in their comments section.  Because of that, for now, instead of just selectively adding some of their sites to my lists, I’m going to include a link to their post here.

All Our Stock has a bunch royalty-free images, and looks pretty good to me.

The Echo Enduring blog just posted a list of eleven sources of copyright or royalty-free images.I’m adding a few of them to this list:

Stockvault

Dreamstime

Stock.xchng

Free Clip Art by Phillip Martin seems to be a pretty impressive site for clip art that’s free for non-profit use. The art seems a cut above many other clip art sites I’ve seen, and appropriate for many subject areas (that’s how they are categorized).

I’m adding these sites to the list (neither require attribution for their photos though, of course, that would be a nice thing to do):

Unprofound

Burning Well

WP Clip Art has a whole lot of attractive clip art that “…may be used for commercial as well as personal projects without attribution or linking.”


180+ Resources sites to download Royalty Free Stock images

30 Websites To Download Free Stock Photos

The Open Clip Art Library has thousands of examples of clip art that can be downloaded and used for free.

NASA has begun releasing collections of great photos that can be used with no copyright restrictions, and more are on the way. You can read more about it at the Los Angeles Times.

Richard Byrne has posted about a nice site for public domain photos called Image Base. It’s worth reading his post about it.

Kathleen McGeady has written an excellent post on Teaching students about Creative Commons and appropriate use of images.

I’ve just learned about Picapp, a site that has millions of images that can be used on your blog — for free. You can read more about it at Raman Job’s blog

Wylio is a new site for bloggers to find photos for their blogs. In seconds, it finds a Flickr Creative Commons photo, resizes it to exactly what you need, and provides an embed code, which automatically includes an attribution to the photographer..

ookaboo is a new site for free images. Paul Houle, its founder, writes:

Although I started it just last July, Ookaboo already has 510,000 images of 283,000 topics… and it gets better all the time because it adds 8,000 new images each day. Unlike many “free photo” sites, all images in Ookaboo are public domain or creative commons and can be used freely for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. I think it’s perfect for students and teachers to use for schoolwork, handouts, web sites and other creative projects.

Free Images has 6000 original stock photos — all you have to do is credit the site when you use them.

Free Media Goo

Free Stock Photography

Picture Of A is a new site where “all photos are completely free to use and are open source!.

Finding and using public domain photographs comes from Public Domain Sherpa, and contains quite a few sources of good images that are new-to-me. In addition, the site offers helpful advice on using each source.

The Noun Project “collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world’s visual language, so we may them in a fun and meaningful way.” It’s really quite an impressive collection.

PD Photo has many photos, with the vast majority being in the public domain.

Ken Thomas has lots of nature photos in the public domain.

4 Free Photos is another website that offers a good selection of public domain images.

This news seems pretty neat and, instead of re-inventing the wheel, I’m just going to quote from a Read Write Web post (and I’d encourage you to read their entire piece:

Yale University has one of the larger collections of art, objects and documents of any organization in the U.S. Now, digital images and audio files of the collection are free to access by anyone in the world online, according to an announcement by the university’s communications office.

Yale Digital Commons has debuted with just under 260,000 images. The idea is to encompass the whole of the university’s collections in time.

Here’s the main link to Yale Digital Commons.

The real interesting part of this is that the images are being released with what appear to be absolutely no licensing requirements. Yale says:

“In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use….”

This is a nice post about the Flickr Creative Commons Search tool.

Image After is a great place to find free stock images (you can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog).

Public Domain Pictures

ELT Pics is a project initiated on Twitter to collect photos helpful to English Language teachers.

Copyright Free and Public Domain Media Sources provides a nice collection of image resources.

Kozzi has thousands of royalty-free images that can be used for anything — at no charge — without even having to give them attribution. You have sign-up for the site, but registration is free.

PhotoPin is new search engine for Creative Commons images. It has a very nice interface, and I especially like it because you not only get the photos, but it also gives you the exact attribution to copy and paste. Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip, and you can read more about the site at their post.

Humanline is:

….a visual library of history, art and science that is free for educational use. You can download images and use them in classroom environment in any way that you want. Currently there are more than two thousand high-quality images and new content is being added every day.

Earlier in this post, I briefly describe how to search for images on Google that are licensed for “reuse.” Google says if you use it, its “results will only include pages that are either labeled as public domain or carry a license that allows you to copy or redistribute its content, as long as the content remains unchanged.”

You can get fuller text description of how to use this option at Google’s site.

In addition, Randy Rodgers send a tweet of screenshots showing how to access this feature, and I thought it would be useful to embed them here and also add them to my Images “The Best…” list.

It’s a simple two-stop process:

Visuals For Foreign Language Instruction is from the University of Pittsburgh. Here is how it describes itself:

This site contains hundreds of visual aids (illustrations) that can be used to support instructional tasks such as describing objects and people (i.e., teaching vocabulary) or describing entire events and situations (i.e., teaching grammar).

They can be freely used with attribution for educational purposes.

How to Identify Mysterious Images Online is from MindShift.

Thanks to a tweet by Eric Sheninger, I learned about Photo Pin. It’s a search engine for Creative Commons images from Flickr, and you’re provided with the code you can copy and paste underneath the photo when you use it that provides the appropriate attribution.

I just learned about Image Code from Wesley Fryer. It lets you search Flickr from Creative Commons’ licensed images, get the url address of the photo you want to use, and then turns it into a code you can copy and paste into your blog or website with all the attribution already in it. For example, I searched for lion, found a photo I wanted to use, and here’s what it came up with:

Pretty simple and easy.

Humanline.com

Image Bank

Pixabay is a good source of public domain images. Here’s a post from Richard Byrne some suggestions on how to use it.

Imgembed is a “crowdsourced” collection of what’s now up to one million images that are free to use as long as you credit the photographer (it automatically appears with the embed code). You can also pay if you don’t want to have a header with an attribution. And you can contribute your own photos, too. You can read more about it here at 10,000 Words, and I’ve embedded a short video about it below.

Every Stock Photo is an impressive search engine for images and, what’s particularly nice about it, is that it provides the embed code with the necessary attribution for any image you pick.

Open Clip Art

Richard Byrne has discovered an easy way to search for public domain images on the Bing search engine, and he’s got a simple screenshot on his blog that shows you how. Personally, my favorite place these days to find images for this blog is Wylio. It’s super simple to use and works very well giving you the appropriate attribution within its embed code. You get five images a month for free, and then have to pay less than $40 per year for using more. I think it’s worth it.

The Getty Museum just made an announcement:

The initial focus of the Open Content Program is to make available all images of public domain artworks in the Getty’s collections. we’ve taken a first step toward this goal by making roughly 4,600 high-resolution images of the Museum’s collection free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose.

Creative Commons Resources for Classroom Teachers is from Bill Ferriter.

Wow! The British Library has just uploaded one million public domain images online. You can read all about it at Boing Boing.


Getty Images Has Just Become The Number One Source For Images In Social Media — Choose From 40 MILLION!

How to get Copyright Free Images is an excellent post by Phil Longwell.

Feel free to contribute your own favorites, too, by leaving a comment.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

55 Comments

  1. Great list! I’ll add morguefile.com to it…it has quite a few images and it’s not blocked in school.

  2. Thanks for all the great sites that I use thanks to your suggestions, Larry. Here is a very small contribution, similar to Flickr Storm, called taggalaxy.de. The way it presents the images from Flickr is amazing!

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  4. Picfinder is outstanding–thanks, Larry! I will be putting that to extensive use with my teachers/students. Photl is a bit disappointing. 3 basic searches: snake, reptile, house; no results.

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  6. Hey Larry,

    I love the list…thanks for putting it together. It makes it possible for teachers to introduce responsible image use in their lessons—something that I don’t think happens all that often currently.

    One site that social studies teachers will find valuable is Trek Earth (http://www.trekearth.com). It includes AMAZING photography that is sorted by countries, continents—and even regions within countries or continents. Makes studying the world through photography possible.

    While the images on Trek Earth aren’t automatically available under Creative Commons licensing, there is something even better: Users with an account can log in and send email requests for permission to the photographers.

    This is a great lesson for kids because they can actually craft a request for permission—–emphasizing the idea that ownership of images must be respected—and get a response pretty quickly. In the time that I’ve been using Trek Earth, we’ve never waited more than a day for a response and we’ve never been turned down by a photographer.

    Cool stuff—-both the images and the process of requesting permission.

    Rock right on,
    Bill

  7. Thanks for adding us to the list! We’ll be adding tons of new products in the near future, stay tuned!

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  11. I’m so embarrassed. But–in reading the post–I can’t tell for sure which I could without trespassing, use on my blog, and which I can’t.

    YES, I’m total noob!

    Great resource…but could you make it clearer for the stupid amongst us?

    I know, I know. I’m a fool for great photos, want them all–and just don’t get which I can use and which I can’t! DUMB!

    Thank you though for the wonderful resource!

    • Paula,

      You can use all the photos from sites in this post for non-profit purposes for free. For most of them, you aren’t even required to give attribution, but that’s always a nice thing to do, any way.

      Larry

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  17. Thank you! I love this post! – I have RSSed you (or however you say that) onto my blog. I think that having someone else finding interesting websites to check out is much easier than everyone doing it on their own. I particularly enjoy this post because I agree that we need to be more concious of copyright. We should be teaching this to students in younger grades so that it becomes natural to use images properly. In my one month of being a T.O.C. I have seen this happen (students just using google images and then siting google as the source) in a couple of classrooms. Thanks again and happy internet hunting!

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  19. Larry I thought you’d like to know that Sprixi is now finally back online! Thanks for including us in your list.
    Cheers,
    Andrew

  20. One more for the Creative Commons search engine list: Compfight.com I find it’s easier to use than Flickr’s advance search engine for locating different types off CC licensed works.

  21. Hi,
    Great list!
    You can try my site: http://www.picdrome.com, where you will find free stock photos covering travel, cities, nature and more….

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  24. People are also welcome to use the free royalty free images and photos found on http://www.cjophoto.com/.

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  32. I have recently started a website (http:/?freeimagescollection.com) where all the images are mostly 3000×2000 pixels and free for personal and commercial use.

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  37. Thanks for the referral to Kozzi.com. I use images for my tutorials from that site, too!

  38. We also use Kozzi.com great free stock photography

    Using google images is a sure way to get yourself into a lawsuit. If your just taking images from the web without the license to use them you are setting yourself up for a law suit.

    Your readers should only take their images from places that are allowing them to use the images it could cost them greatly in the end for just “searching and finding an image in google images”

    James

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  41. Hi I am a 6th grader and we are following the blogging challenges and my whole class used your site. Thank you so much! It was very helpful!

    • What a nice “thank you”! I’m glad you found it helpful, and good luck with the blogging challenge! Please give my best to your classmates and to your teacher…

      Larry

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  44. Thank you Larry.

    There are so many links and ideas there, we are sure to find what we’re looking for.

    I’m always amazed at the amount of work you put into this material for us all to share.

    Thank you.

    Irene

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  49. As of 4/25, when I checked link, the Smithsonian Images site referred to in your list was no longer an active link. Thought you might want to know. Great list!

  50. i love istock photo but thanks for the list of other sites, I will certainly check it out.

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