Sunday, January 25, 2015

Free Photos, Images, and Music for your Projects


Do you write blog posts, create presentations (hopefully with Prezi), or create video clips (hopefully with Camtasia)?

Adding media like music and pictures increases the effectiveness of your communications. Our brains process imagery faster than we process text.

It's also nice when you don't have to add attribution (putting the photo source to comply with copyright) unfortunately that typically means paying $30 at sites like Shutterstock (awesome selection though!). However there are some public domain sites that don't require attribution.

Free Photos

  1. Sometimes I start with a Google Image search to get my creative juices flowing. If I already have an idea in mind I just skip to step 2 though. I return back to Google Images if I can't find what I'm looking for.
  2. Pixabay - I go here first. Images are public domain which means you don't need to post attribution and can modify them at will. They have an OK selection. The Free Media image above was a combination of:
    1. Pixabay blank sign post
    2. Pixabay mountain background
    3. Some Gimp magic (image manipulation)
  3. Flickr - If I can't find a photo on Pixabay I'll go to Flickr. I often go to Flickr if I need a photo of a particular person like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. I check the search option for Creative Commons and use some nice CSS to overlay the attribution on top of the image. (for example I need a pic of the Winklevoss twins on my bitcoin Bulls site. )
  4. If those fail then I recommend trying Google Image Search I click on search tools and then usage rights then 'reuse with modification' however the process doesn't work so well. I'll probably go back to step 1 and try to come up with a different concept.

Free Vector Art
Vector images can be resized without distortion, from being tiny to fitting on pins all the way up to huge banners on the side of skyscrapers. Logos are often vector.

  1. Vecteezy - I haven't used this resource a lot, but I plan on doing more infographics this year and will be leveraging Vecteezy. Unfortunately their search doesn't have by license type and they permit a variety of licenses.


Free Music

  1. Incompetech - lots of great royalty free music! I've used incompetech music for my video projects since 2013. The default license requires attribution. For $30 you can purchase a license to skip attribution.

    Some Projects I've used Incompetech music on:
    1. My son playing with marbles.
    2. My brother playing a dance game. 
    3. This Video showing how to buy bitcoins.
    4. The intro to this btcjam webinar.
  2. YouTube Audio Library - I don't like this selection much, but your mileage may vary.
Free Video Clips
Sorry I don't know of any useful free resources.
  1. I have used Shutterstock in the past to purchase video clips.

What tools do I use to edit media?
  1. Images - Gimp I have Adobe Photoshop but I'm horrible with it. I use Gimp (free) for all my image editing. Gimp works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  2. Vector Images (can be resized with no loss of quality) Inkscape - Again I have Adobe Illustrator but I am horrible at it haven't tried using it. Inkscape (free) works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  3. Screen recording and Video Editing - Camtasia ($299). Fantastic tool from a local company.
  4. Sound editing - Audacity - take out noise, bump up volume, etc. Free tool that works on Windows Mac and Linux. I've never had a problem with the tool and never tried anything else.
  5. Making movies & rendering images - Blender. I'm just learning this tool. I haven't released anything I've done on it yet. Big learning curve!
Let me know in the comments if there is a category, tool, or resource I missed!

4 comments:

Yuga Bharathi said...

Great post. I learned something knowledgeable. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Jonathan Hall said...

Thank for sharing these great sources of images and music. I want to add one good website with a lot of vectors and opportunity to download it for free http://www.cannypic.com/

David Smith said...

Thanks @jonothan Hall! I love vectors!

Jennifer said...

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