How to find great (legal) photos to use in your school website or student blog

Click here to Search Flickr for legal photos (creative commons licensed)

Inside the Riemann Sphere
Creative Commons License photo credit: fdecomite

Chances are, most of your students use Google Images to find photos for their school assignments or student blogs. But did you know there are plenty of great photos that you can use legally from Flickr?

Flickr has over 5 BILLION photos uploaded by professional and amature photographers.

  • Many of these photos are copyright: all rights reserved. In most cases, you can’t use these photos without explicit permission from the author.
  • Many of these photos are “copyleft” and published under a creative commons license: some rights reserved. Depending on the creative-commons license, you can use or modify the image. Here’s a quick video explaining the concept:

How to find the really cool photos

One of the coolest tips to find incredible Flickr images comes from Skelliewag.

  • Search on Flickr for the keyword “yellow” and nothing interesting comes up. (This searches the tags and the title to find a match.)
  • If you click on “most interesting” above the thumbnails in your search results, you get a lot more interesting photos. (Flickr now finds photos based on the buzz around them.)

6 Different Types of Creative Commons Licenses. Make sure you look for the right one.

Flickr photos can be published under many different Creative Commons licenses. Here are some examples:

1. Attribution (CC BY)

2. Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)

  • You can use, remix, tweak this photo for your own personal use or for commercial uses as long as you 1) give credit to the original author and 2) license your new work under the same terms. In other words, other people will be able to use, remix, tweak your creation for their own personal use or for commercial uses as long as they give credit to you and license their work under the same terms.
  • There are over 15 million Flickr photos with this license. You can search for Attribution Share Alike photos here: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-sa-2.0/

3. Attirbution-No Derivs (CC BY-ND)

4. Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

5. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • You can use, remix, tweak this photo for your own personal use as long as you 1) give credit to the original author, 2) you don’t use it to make money, and 3)  you license your new work under the same terms. In other words, other people will be able to use, remix, tweak your creation for their own personal use as long as they give credit to you and license their work under the same terms.
  • There are over 50 million Flickr photos with this license. You can search for Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike photos here: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-nc-sa-2.0/

6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Make it easy for your students to find and paste legal Flickr photos in their student blogs

If you’re running a self-hosted wordpress blog for your students, then you might want to check out the Photo Dropper plugin. Your students don’t have to worry about finding the right search link or copy-and-pasting the photos; everything can be done right from their student blog.

  • This plugin adds a little Flickr search window at the bottom of your post page.
  • Your students type in a keyword and the plugin finds Flickr photos for you to use. (You can set it to find commercial or non-commercial photos.)
  • Your students click on the photo and it gets automatically inserted into their work with a little tag giving credit to the photo author (and the plugin author.)
  • Although the plugin hasn’t been updated since Sep 2008, it seems to work fine on WordPress 3.0.4.

You can download the Photo Dropper plugin here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>