Image courtesy Sidereal via Flickr
A few weeks ago in our Blogging Tips post about Creative Commons, our favorite foodie, Lynn, @ Queen of the Castle Recipes left a comment admitting that sometimes it is confusing trying to discern which images on Google are legally reusable and which are not. This is a very good point and an opportunity for a simple tip that can save you the guesswork.
When you go to Google, and then click on the Images link in the top left corner, you can type in the person/place/thing you need an image for and magically a bazillion selections will appear for your perusing. But if you just want a selection of images marked for reuse - or other narrowing parameters for that matter - just click on that tiny "Advanced Image Search" link to the right of the search box.
You will be brought to a new screen with a variety of options to help filter your search. The blue highlighted section at the top is where you type in your search words for what you are looking for. The first line - "related to all words" is the same as the plain search box on the main screen. The subsequent lines make your search more picky.
The bottom section allows you to set the guidelines for your image results. The second to last line entitled Usage Rights is where you can make it easier to find re-usable images. From the drop down menu, the default "not filtered by license" will provide any and every result - just like the main search box. Selecting "labeled for reuse" instead will result in images that have been marked by their owners as available for re-use. Always visit the source site of the image you like to make sure the posted permissions or restrictions haven't changed.
The Advanced Image Search, Labled for Reuse process is how I find the lead images we use here for posts that don't feature our own photos. But remember, just because an image is OK to reuse doesn't mean it shouldn't be credited. In fact, that is often the only condition for legal reuse.
If you want another place to find reusable images, visit Flickr's Creative Commons pages which are sorted by attribution licenses. It is easy to stray away from the safety zones and find yourself a few clicks later on photos that are restricted so be sure to always resume your search from the CC pages, which I have bookmarked in my browser for ease of use.
Hopefully these methods will open up safe and quick image searches for all of your blogging needs!