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DHD Multimedia Gallery
This isn't a fancy site, but its photos are free for personal and commercial use. However, be sure to read its terms and conditions. You can browse collections by category, new entries and best photos. Each photo includes information on the date added to the collection, size, image type and rating. Also, the photo details page has the photo's copyright information.
The site also has a forum for discussing the photos. Most photos are taken by amateurs, but a little cropping and editing could lead to interesting results. DHD Multimedia Gallery is available in Great Britain English, U.S. English, Spanish, German and French. It also has site mirrors in the U.S., Australia and United Kingdom.
The photo archive at Gimp-Savvy.com contains over 27,000 free photos and images. The images come from three sources: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Though the photos are copyright free, be aware some restrictions apply.
You can search for images by any of the three sources plus AILS (Ames Imaging Library Server) from NASA, using the keyword search box or selecting from a list of master keywords by clicking on the "Master Keys" link. The Master Keys search results bring up thumbnail-sized images so you can quickly look for what you want. When using the search box, the results show thumbnail-sized images as well as information on the image's actual size. Those looking for pictures related to space, land, water, animals and plants will be delighted with this collection.
You can help out by indexing the unindexed images. Click on "Index Me!" to see a list of images that haven't been index. Select the one you want to do, enter keywords and click "Submit." You don't have to worry about spelling those big scientific-related words as there is a link to a dictionary and thesaurus on the page.
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia available in ten languages. When looking up any entry, you might find photos or images that you'd like to use. Some are public domain and available for re-use. To find out, click on the image of interest and read its description to read its copyright rules.
While the search tool's main purpose is to find entries containing the entered keywords, most pages have an image. So if you're looking for a picture of a beagle, enter "beagle" into the search box and click on the image you'd like. Read its description to find out its rules for re-use.
The Creative Commons Search engine specializes in finding different content on the Web, which have been published with a Creative Commons license allowing re-use, and in some cases even modifying the work.
The CC Search is in beta and doesn't yet have image thumbnails of the photos it finds. Its abilities to support effective visual searches is low; however, as soon as more visual data is displayed, this will become a popular destination for finding a rich selection and using images without restrictions.
Apparently the brainchild of a busy traveling English photographer, Ian Britton, FreeFoto is an online resource providing showcase for a many photographic images for which, in spite of the site name, there are strong usage restrictions.
The sites states:
At the same time we allow anyone to download our web size images to use on the internet (link back and attribution required).
Also non-commercial users may download our web size images to use off-line in school projects, church services, leaflets, etc. Basically if your off-line use is not commercial you can download our web size images for free. All we ask is that you follow these simple rules.
You must credit the FreeFoto.com web site on your website or alongside any non commercial printed use. If you use one of the full screen images you must place a hypertext link with the line Supplied by FreeFoto.com in a conspicuous place.
We also ask that you add a (c) FreeFoto.com to the image alt tag. You may also use our images on blogs, forums, social networking sites and video sharing sites like YouTube. You MAY NOT use the images to create your own photo gallery web site.
So, while there is an assortment of high quality photos available on the site, I don't consider this resource similar or equal to the others listed on this page. The key difference between this and the others is that — while FreeFoto is clearly marketing "paid for" pictures through ambiguous calls to free offerings — all other resources focus their efforts in helping people share, access and re-use visual images mostly without commercial motivation.
An interesting aspect of FreeFoto is Ian Britton's world travels and great shots. To follow his travels, go to http://freefoto.blogspot.com/ to see the places he is visiting. All of the photos in the blog are all available inside the main FreeFoto catalog, too.
FreeFoto covers many categories including: 911 Emergency,
Alphabet, Food and Drink, General, Japan, Nepal, Number, Recreation, Transport, Business, Europe, Nature, United Kingdom, USA and more.
The site has existed since 2002 and doesn't require registration to access it. You may want to be conservative about using the pictures found on the site unless they offer unique alternatives for which the $30 fee (web publication) might be acceptable to you.
Ourmedia is a (still in alpha) non-commercial free clearinghouse for all rich-media content for sharing, re-use and enjoyed by as many people as possible.
In partnership with the Internet Archive, Ourmedia has unlimited storage space for hosting user submitted images, video and audio clips. There are no costs and the only requirement is that the material is not protected by copyright. This allows some re-use and republication as every image clearly indicates.
Ourmedia also provides a cross-platform software tool called Ourmedia Publisher, which facilitates the direct uploading and licensing of individual imagery and clips of any size under any preferred non-traditional copyright license (e.g. Creative Commons and public domain.).
Ourmedia is a grassroots initiative allowing individuals to post and share their personal rich-media recordings and it provides access to a fast-growing archive of interesting materials.
The available search and limited image display features in Ourmedia do not make the service interesting enough to be used as an alternative free image resource... yet. But if things proceed according to plans along with the great ideas that the team behind Ourmedia has shown so far, you should expect Ourmedia to become a worthy player in this field soon.
Flickr.com, bought by Yahoo, is one of the best ways to store, search, sort and share your photos. This online software application and image resource has super features and a community of world contributors, plus it's s easy to use.
Not your typical photo archive, Flickr is more of a repository of personal shots and individual home photo collections as opposed to a public repository for images to be shared and re-used. But with the large amount of content available, it is difficult not to find something that could fit your visual needs.
Flickr is free, and only requires registration if you want to start uploading, editing and tagging your own digital images.
Note: Each person publishing images on Flickr can select and specify the type of licensing to be applied to those pictures &mdash from fully reserved copyright to any of the Creative Commons licenses. So look carefully for the explicit author permissions specified on each individual photo page. The Attribution License page lists the 100 most recently licensed photos.
If you haven't yet tried a very useful tool that's complementary to Flickr, check out the Related Tag Browser search interface by AirtightInteractive. This is an effective way to search for visual resources. A must use. Also available is a single and multi-keyword Flickr search interface.
Flickr lets you search for only Creative Commons-licensed images in the advanced search tool, so you don't have to go delving through thousands of images to find the ones free for re-use.
One. Don't discount the design and layout forcing the final image selected to never display in a straight position, but at an angle. It's done by design. The purpose is to have you click through to Flickr to see the selected image in its correct orientation.
Two. Don't get discouraged when you right-click on images in Flickr, you can't find the familiar selection to save them to your local hard disk. The reason is because they have been converted to Flash format. Rather look for a small lens icon with a plus sign inside, look on top of the image displayed inside Flickr — It should say "All sizes." Click it and you get choices in the size and resolution for downloading the image to your hard drive. If the lens icon doesn't show up and "All sizes" is not in view, then register and log in Flickr. That should do it.