Free Photo Bounty

I’ve been accumulating links to sources of copyright free images, so it’s time I collected them in one place. Many thanks to the bloggers and friends who have shared these sources.

For the Big Kahuna of public domain images try our government. My friend Diane found this site that “lists resources for high-quality public domain photographs.” Mind, that doesn’t mean you can use them restriction free. Check the individual images for details. Barbara, the site’s webmaster, covers a lot more than public domain photographs, so you may want to browse some of the other sections of this site.

Blogger Nina-Marie offers a list of websites with free photos.  Some will require you to attribute the photo source(s), but you should do that anyway.  Some will ask you to set up a free account. Here’s an image I found through a search for fire escape on Pixabay.  Yes, I’m making a quilt with a fire escape. “You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.”

town-69701__180 fire escapeA search for bridge on turned up this striking new bridge in Boston. There may be a quilting design in those cables.

Zakim BridgeMelanie over at Catbird Quilt Studio wries weekly posts about creativity resources. Through her I found the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s searchable online collection and old illustrations on Reusable Art.

To use any images from the Met’s online collection you need to look for the symbol OASC (Open Access for Scholarly Content.)  You’ll find it by clicking on the image you’re interested in, and looking under the image. I’ve tried to plow through the verbiage but ended up confused.  Here’s my takeaway regarding personal use, from the website:

“Can I download an image with the OASC designation for personal use, for use in a lecture, or for other educational purposes?
Yes, OASC images and other images on the Museum’s website can still be downloaded according to the authorized uses specified in the Terms and Conditions. In addition, digital images of selected works of art from the Museum’s collection may be licensed by educational institutions for study and presentation purposes from Scholars Resource.”

The bottom line with the Met’s online collection is that anything less than 70 years old is almost certainly not usable legally.

On Reusable Art I found a drawing of a sweet gum leaf and fruit done by Mark Catesby in the 1700s. I think it would be charming printed on silk organza.

Catesby_sweetgum_drawingFinally, if you want to Google for an image, you can limit your search to different levels of usage rights by clicking on search tools once you begin your image search. I limited my bridge search to “labeled for noncommercial reuse” and found the Rock City, Tennessee, swinging bridge from Flickr. Are those people huddled on the bridge planks about halfway across?

Rock City Swinging Bridge Flickr

Happy searching. Let me know your favorite sources of public domain images.


Filed under Commentary, Inspiration, Project Ideas

4 responses to “Free Photo Bounty

  1. Thanks for pulling this together and sharing it!
    Here are a couple more:

  2. Thanks for sharing this information!

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