Finding, and correctly attributing, images
Although this may not seem to be directly about digital marketing, indirectly it is. As more and more people start DIY digital marketing, finding neat, free, images…and displaying them with the required attribution becomes important. Digital is all about sharing. Never have there been so many images available for you, at no cost. But they deserve the respect of attribution.
Finding free images
I haven’t had much success in searching for “royalty free images”. My experience is that all you find are the bait of paid image websites. A frustrating trek through bait and switch goodies aimed at getting you to pay for something. Of course, I may be doing it wrong. Your mileage may vary.
What I usually do is search on the Attribution Licensed page in Flickr Creative Commons page. Enter whatever keywords you want.
As I’m in Bangkok with flood waters destined, slowly, to arrive; I searched for “Thailand floods”. Then, here’s the trick, on the Sort line click the button for “interesting”. This will show images that have been used, commented on, saved…and they do tend to be “interesting”. Like this one:
The attribution data with this image is worth quoting:
U.S. Marines comprising the humanitarian assistance survey team, III Marine Expeditionary Force, not shown, conduct an aerial assessment of the flooded areas in and around Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 24, 2011. Kristie Kenney, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, flew with the HAST during the assessment. The HAST is providing information as to any support for humanitarian aid and/or disaster relief III MEF may be able to provide. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Robert J. Maurer) III Marine Expeditionary Force Combat Camera Date Taken:10.24.2011 Location:BANGKOK, TH Related Photos: dvidshub.net/r/fn4lrj
But if I didn’t want to list all that, I could grab the required attribution data using the method below (that’s how I got that little link under the image…which is probably worth more to the image creator than the words in the attribution…and is usually actually required).
Other than Flickr
The US National Parks Service has photos, videos and podcasts. The photos are arranged in useful albums by themes/locations…but the copyright position is not completely clear to me. I had thought that all .gov content was free to use, but this page suggests that might not be true.
Then of course there’s Wikimedia Commons of images, sounds and videos. This categorizes images by quality. Valued images are a good place to start. A valued image is “considered to be the most valued illustration of its kind by the Commons community” . Each file comes with a box of HTML attribution code, making it easy to get things like on a blog or a wiki.
Getting the attribution right
One excellent tool for this is ImageCodr. Given the URL of a Flickr image, ImageCodr will generate the code for the image and the necessary attribution. That’s how I got the code for the image and attribution below:
by paul (dex)
I just flicked myself (in WordPress) into HTML and stuck in the code. I find it helps to put in a line with <nbsp> (a non-breaking space) at the start AND end of the ImageCodr code. Then when you flip back to Visual (my HTML isn’t up to much), it’s easy to restart typing. If you don’t have that <nbsp>, WordPress in visual isn’t always happy
Paste the URL
ImageCodr lets you paste in the Flickr image’s URL here. Or (what I prefer to do) you can drag a link into your toolbar, and when you find an image you want to use, simply click the toolbar link. ImageCodr launches and generates the necessary HTML for you. Just be careful to copy it all: triple click or whatever in the HTML box, and scroll the box up and down to check you grabbed all the code.
Other image attribution solutions
Attribution for saved images
What I would really like to find, is a way to save attribution data with images.
I prefer to scour for images when I’m too tired to do anything else. Then save the images for later use. Often the images make me thing of how I want to use them.
Then I use them in presentations more often than in HTML. Unfortunately by the time I use them, I rarely have the URL where I found them. For a while, I tried keeping the exact filename as on Flickr, then adding some descriptive info, thinking I could search for the filename on Flickr and recover the attribution data when I used the image. Sadly, this yielded very long filename and made everything a bit unmanageable. The closest solution I’ve found is the MIRFLICKR image collection. This claims to have downloadable images with attribution data…can’t check as it’s still downloading, If anyone knows how to download Flickr images AND the attribution data…perhaps two files with the same name: one an image one text, I’d really like to hear it.
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