Astrid Bovell on September 14th, 2012
Searching for an image?
There’s a number of ways you can search for legitimate images online – Google, Flickr, Creative Commons, FreeDigitalPhotos.net, but the principles for checking if something is legitimate are largely the same – you should be able to find out everything you need to know to correctly acknowledge the material and the image should appear to have been uploaded by someone that has the right to upload it – like the owner, broadcaster or magazine or newspaper.
Google is usually the first place we look for something these days and it’s the search that will give you the most amount of results and is probably the hardest to sift through to find legitimate material– so let’s talk about how to find them. Go to Google Images and put in your search term. From the results pick an image you like and then explore the site it’s on to establish if it’s legitimate.
If it’s legitimate, you should be able to find out the title of the image and the photographer – if that information is not available – it’s probably not a legitimate copy. If that information is available – does it look like that material has the right to be there? Is the photographer/artist also the owner of the site like http://www.leunig.com.au/ ? Is there a note to say the image was made available with courtesy from the artist? Is it on a site that’s likely to have permission to make someone’s image available like The Age? If there’s a “courtesy of” or it appears on a site where it’s likely that permission has been sought – it’s likely that the image is legitimate.
BUT, if you have any doubts and you find that the image is credited to a well known group or company like National Geographic; well if that’s the case, try searching the title of the work and National Geographic. If you can find the same image on National Geographic’s site, use their copy instead as you KNOW that it will be legitimate.
So what do you do if you really like the image but there’s no information on where it originally came from? Save a temporary copy of the image and then in the Google Image Search toolbar, click on the little camera icon
And then select “Upload an image” and use “browse my computer” and upload your temporary file.
Google will then provide you with a set of results for similar or matched images. Hopefully, one of the results you get will lead you to a reputable site that indicates that the material has been legitimately used on that site – as per my hints above.
Good luck with your image finding – and if you get stuck – get in touch with us and we’ll see if we can help you find what you’re looking for!