Finding Photos to Use For Workshop Activities

Anyone can poke around on the web or use Google to find images, but the re-use of them is highly questionable as a practice. For this workshop, you are asked to use only images that have been Creative Commons licensed with permission for reuse and.or for modification. This page is provided with suggestions on how to find images and will be references from several of the workshops as a reference.

For any image you use, keep a record (in a text file or even on paper) of information for each image:
  • The URL where the image was found
  • The name of the photographer (in flickr this might be the account name)
  • The file name (if you download it-- flickr creates cryptic names)
  • optional- the title of the image

This info will/should be used when giving credit in your re-use of an image.

flickr Creative Commons Search
Keyword search on all photos in flickr that are creative commons licensed. Click the "more..." link in each license category to seatch. You have to know which kind of license to pursue- for any exercise, where we might need to download a copy and make changes to it, use either Attribution, Attribution-Non-Commercial, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, or Attribution-ShareAlike License. If you are just going to use an image or post a blog entry directly form flickr, any category will do- i tend to use the one with the most images -- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

Let's say I was looking for an image to represent joy or being happy- I might try the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike search on the word happiness.Not bad, some images of smiling kids, etc.

flickr cc licenced photo by Stuck in Customs
Initial search results are ordered by "relevance" meaning closest match to your keywords (it searches titles of photos, the text of captions, and any tags associated with images).

It is sometimes worth clicking the link for "more interesting" which weights the results by how many comments a photo has and how many times it has been favorited. Now compare the results on my search for happiness by re-ordering results by interesting.

This image on the right, is very powerful! Credit goes to flickr user Stuck in Customs

Powerful and fast way to search creative commons license- with options to search on tags or text.

This tool provides a flickr search "with some magic" - the results produce an array of icons previews each linked to see a larger version of the photo. Results can be saved to a "tray" and your search history is preseved as well. Be sure to use the menu to select a Creative Commons license to search under!


This site is best used when you plan to make a copy or even edit a creative licensed flickr image. By checking the "for editing" box, it enables you to search for images you can modify. the flickrCC site has a number of tools you can use on the site to edit/modify the photo, and then optionally save it back to your own flickr account.

My search for happiness here provides results:
Clicking any of the icons provides the information about the image. Use the links below the image to select a size that you will use in the next screen to when you click "Edit Image". Editing tools allow you to crop and image, add text, draw lines and borders. The nice feature of this tool is that it automatically embeds the credit line into the image if you click the "Add Attribution" button.

The tools are not the easiest to use, but when you are done, or if you just want to save it, be sure to right/apple click the image, and select "save image as" from the contextual menu. Here is what I did for one images: