General Question

PacificToast's avatar

Where to Find Good Stock Photos?

Asked by PacificToast (1605points) April 20th, 2010

What I want to do is edit them and make them look cross processed. But I’ve not found a good resource for such photos. Any suggestions have to be free sites that don’t require membership, hard but required. Quite frankly, I never want to join another site in my life. Any how, good stock photos, links please?

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34 Answers

squidcake's avatar


You just have to dig around. And, usually, credit the artist.

PacificToast's avatar

@squidcake I only wish I had the time.

Vunessuh's avatar

Here are 417 pages for you to browse through.

Seek's avatar

So… you want free photos, that you don’t have to spend any time looking for, and you don’t want to have any responsibility toward the site or the artist?

Good luck.

anartist's avatar

The first place I ever look is Wikimedia commons to see what is copyright free. Shorpy also has historic photos. Library of congress and many museums—check on flickr. With a creative commons license such as Wikimedia, just credit the artist/photog.

@PacificToast what are you looking for?

DarkScribe's avatar

Images on commons are free to use, but NOT to modify. I would be very careful if I was you with regard to using another person’s work in that manner. Why don’t you simply take your own?

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe some have no restrictions at all, like government photos, and photos where all copyright restrictions are released totally.

DeanV's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Actually, DeviantArt is surprisingly good for that type of thing.

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist _some have no restrictions at all, like government photos, _

I really think that you should look into it a little more closely. I have hundreds of images that I allow to be used royalty free – as do thousands of others – but if I was to find one of mine used in a derivative work without my permission I would sue. I don’t want an image of mine turned into rubbish. Unauthorised derivative works are often before the courts.

I have no idea why you feel that government owned images don’t have copyright protection. They certainly do.

anartist's avatar

robert rauschenberg, james rosenquist and others always won those suits

anartist's avatar

they belong to the citizens of the united states which supports those agencies. if I want to put an army platoon [army.mi] on the milky way[]—i can. you just check those laws!

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist they belong to the citizens of the united states which supports those agencies. if I want to put an army

So does the White House. Would you like to try moving in.

Silence04's avatar

you have to join, but most images are free for personal use and advertising.

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe Virtually, why sure. I could put an image of myself lounging on the Lincoln bedstead or attending a state dinner if it was a white house photo not a news photo.

anartist's avatar

I also use the cia maps. they are free and public domain.
and the pdf ones are editable in photoshop

anartist's avatar

Jilly’s dream uses NASA imagery.

niks1112's avatar

like some people said, its sometimes hard to find good stock photos when you do not wish to recognize the hard work of an artist, because sometimes by looking through these websites you may fall upon and image that you like (which happens to me often) and then you realize that it is not free. my best guess that i have is to use a website called….. you do have to sign up, but it is free, unless you wish to pay for an imagine that has copyrights. but other then that it is a very good, and useful website that will do what you are looking for. I go to an art school and they pay for the rights for the students to use those images, so im pretty familiar with that website, so there is good chances you will find what you are looking for.

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist Eat your shorts!

I don’t think so. Why don’t you read, carefully, the links that you give? It is apparent that you haven’t as they do not support your claim.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I use for royalty free images for presentations. The cost is minimal, and the selection is pretty good.

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe as long as I do not show nasa logos or people I am free to do with them what I want except to imply that nasa endorses anything i am doing. It is appropriate to mention them in things that are not used as advertising.
As for CIA, you are right, last time I used them was 2006—I didn’t realize policies had changed.
Actually Naval Historical Center used to give free printed photos to anyone who asked but later had small charges through their Foundation but offered online sources free. Online sources are still free and larger image may be obtained by going to NHC and scanning photo.
NHC photo policy

anartist's avatar

Lots of government things that were free cost money. Boaters are often charged for their rescues. No pay no renewal of pilot’s license. It’s a leaner meaner world out there.

anartist's avatar

cemetary 1945.jpg
identifies the source as a U.S. government employee performing duties for the U.S. government. ... U.S. government photos are public domain documents.
800×623 (60,333 bytes) – 05:33, 22 August 2009


DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist I am free to do with them what I want except to imply that nasa endorses anything i am doing

What is it that you cannot understand about this opening sentence in the link that you gave?

NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted.

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe “and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models ”
what don’t YOU understand????
The text you emphasized is just one of the several offerings—still images, audio files . . .and computer files . . .

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist what don’t YOU understand????

I have a good understanding of the issues. A part of my job is the purchase of images – I don’t pay for anything that I don’t have to. Nothing those links supports your contention that Government owned images are not copyrighted. Those links allow for specific use as long as it is for private or educational purposes.

Did you read this bit?

“Strict legal regulations govern NASA policy regarding advertising requests. Companies interested in producing NASA-related advertisements must notify NASA’s Multimedia Division in writing by sending e-mail to Bert Ulrich ( Requests should describe the intended use of NASA imagery in the ads. If possible, layouts or storyboards of the advertisement should be included. When all legal requirements have been met, NASA will send the advertiser an approval letter. A general overview of NASA policy follows:

NOTHING there allows using an image for a derivative work. Even so, this is just NASA, not whole of government. You clearly have no idea about copyright law.

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe I agree to disagree

What do you purchase images for?

And what are these images you have? Are you a professional photographer?

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist DarkScribe I agree to disagree

You disagree with a clear statement regarding acceptable usage from the people who you claim have no copyright. Maybe you should tell NASA – there is little point in telling me.

And what are these images you have? Are you a professional photographer?

I am a journalist and editor – as well as long time photographer.

anartist's avatar

@DarkScribe Dammit, you can’t even read that sentence! That is not what it says!

“NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.”

DarkScribe's avatar

@anartist Dammit, you can’t even read that sentence

What it says, quite plainly, is that the images are NOT without copyright. They are controlled – strictly they state. Your contention was that government images were not copyright protected. If they were, as you claim – unprotected and open to any use by anyone, then they could hardly enforce any form compliance related to their use – could they?

anartist's avatar

“generally are not copyrighted”

DarkScribe's avatar


Yes, generally, for private or educational use, and “generally not” means that means that sometimes they are. And if used commercially you require permission in writing.

You really don’t want to see it do you. They are NOT copyright free, but they are in many cases royalty free and not copyright enforced. Learn what the difference is.

This is clearly stated on that link.

NASA does not indemnify nor hold harmless users of NASA material, nor release such users from copyright infringement, nor grant exclusive use rights with respect to NASA material.

Seek's avatar

I think @DarkScribe just won.

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