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How to Source Licensed Images for The Travel Word

creative commons logo 2As stated in our writers’ guidelines, we prefer that you accompany an article draft with at least two images, although three or more is better (see point 5).

Ideally, you’ve taken your own photos to go with your article. Or you have a photographer friend or colleague who is willing to share their images with you. But in case you don’t have any photo material of your own, it is possible to find usable images online in the Creative Commons. Keep in mind that using anything you find in a general Google image search may infringe on copyrights and could be subject to penalty.

So, how can you find rights-free images that are available to the public to use and share? This is how we do it at The Travel Word:

 


1) Flickr’s Creative Commons

This is an excellent source of free images, governed under a “Creative Commons license” allowing people to freely share their creative work. It’s a photographer’s way of saying, “yes, you can use my photo, but please give me credit for taking them.”

Within the creative commons of Flickr, there are different stipulations. If the photo is licensed as ‘Attribution-NoDerivs’ then don’t crop or edit the photo in any way. NonCommercial licensed photos are usually off-limits for The Travel Word, as we sometimes include commercial links and footers in our articles.

To source an image from the Flickr Creative Commons:
1) Go to Flickr’s Advanced Search, enter your search terms in the box, select the ‘Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content’ box AND the ‘Find content to use commercially’ box (or just use this link)
2) If you find a suitable photo, save it in a ‘medium 640’ size jpg
3) If you can’t find anything, you can widen your search by un-selecting the ‘Find content to use commercially’ box (or just use this link). We’ll gauge each case individually
4) Along with the photo file and your caption, be sure to send us the link to where you found the photo, so that we can give credit to the photographer
5) Extra karma: Once the article is live on The Travel Word, leave a comment on the photo with a link to the article, letting the photographer know where his/her work has been used

 

 

2) Wikimedia Commons

This is a collection of images that can be freely reused without the individual permission of the photographers. The site currently has over 12 million image files. It can be a little tricky to navigate, but it is a great source for maps and many types of travel photos.

To source an image from the Wikimedia Commons:
1) Go to the Wikimedia Commons homepage and enter your search terms in the search box (upper right corner)
2) Find the image you like best, and save it as a medium-sized jpg
3) Along with the photo file and your caption, be sure to send us the link to where you found the photo, so that we can give credit to the photographer


3) YouTube

If you simply cannot find an image in the Creative Commons, one option is to search YouTube for a video instead.

To source a video from YouTube:
1) Go to YouTube and enter your search terms in the search box
2) Find a video, in English, of publishable quality and preferably under 3 minutes in length
3) To make sure the video is able to be embedded in a post on The Travel Word, click the ‘share’ button, and then the ’embed’ button. If a snippet of HTML code appears, then we can use it
4) Send us the link to the video on YouTube