When it comes to teaching creatively we use both the heart and the mind in equal measure. ..
If your students want to find free images for whatever awesome projects they're working on, there are plenty of choices. That said, we've taken at least some of the guesswork out of that search with this post. Today we're sharing 15 of the open source image resources that caught our eye recently.
These resources are fairly diverse in their content and have a lot to offer. Some are category-specific, and others are downright unique. No matter what, they can all bring creative visual enhancements to many a student project. If you have any open source image resources you think are interesting, let us know in the comments.
15 Fresh & Fun Open Source Image Resources
- StockSnap.io: Browse through hundreds of high resolution images that are added weekly. The images are free from copyright restrictions, so you are free to use and modify them as you like.
- Burst: This is a photo bank powered by Shopify, and features dozens of categories to choose from. If you're looking for cover photo tips for Facebook, Burst has a whole page devoted to them.
- Pexels: Pexels has top-quality free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. They are all very nicely tagged for searching, and are easy to find through their Discover feature.
- DeviantArt: DeviantArt has been around for a long time, and seems to get better with age. A free sign-up process allows you to browse and access over 350 million unique works of digital art.
- Free Nature Stock: This is a database of free nature photography created by designer and photographer Adrian Pelletier.
- SpaceX: This is an offshoot of Flickr containing space and astronomy-themed photos of all kinds. It is updated with new images every few weeks.
- Gratisography: Open source image resources by solo photographers are becoming more and more common on the Web. This one was created by Ryan McGuire, a creative visual artist.
- The British Library: Here we have another Flickr sidekick, and this one has an array of vintage photos of all sorts.
- Foodies Feed: Pictures of food may adorn some of our social media feeds, but often such images do have their purpose. Food-related visual projects can benefit from this colourful and interesting range of pictures.
- Negative Space: NegativeSpace is a community of photographers sharing their work with visitors who want to use "beautiful, free high-resolution images without any restrictions."
- SkitterPhoto: SkitterPhoto was launched in 2014 by two amateur photographers from the Netherlands. There are some terrific and very unique images here that are free to use even commercially.
- Kaboom Pics: Kaboom Pics offers both free and premium images of superior quality.
- Old Book Illustrations: This is a charming site offering many scanned images focusing on Victorian and French Romantic book illustrations. Resources are searchable by artist, language, or birth date. Although they make every effort to source strictly public domain images, copyright laws vary from region to region. Visit their terms of service for more information.
- Public Domain Vectors: Open source image resources offering vectors are always useful for school projects. The vectors you can find here are royalty-free and can be downloaded as EPS and AI files for maximum customization.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jan 5, 2018, updated Dec 10, 2021