Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Especially when it free to use

When I started this project, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find 365 tools to blog about over the course of the year!  Fear not, I haven't given up yet. But it really has me analyzing how i use the web.  Plus, I'm wondering how I'm going to categorize these posts.  I have an idea I'm working on, but until then stay tuned to Zenodotus for the daily post.

Today I want to tell you about MorgueFile.  Sounds scary doesn't it?  But it's one of my favorite places to find images I can freely use in presentations and publications without even having to worry about attributions.  I'm all for creative commons, but it can be extremely difficult in certain environments to apply adequate attribution.  Morguefile alleviates  that concern.  Just be sure you use photos from MorgueFile (I believe they are sponsored or are a subsidiary of Dreamstime which provides royalty free stock images as part of a subscription fee)

Morguefile is an active community of photographers who post their images to the web for you to use freely.  As long as you use the sites robust search engine and the result has this icon:

You should feel free to use these images according to their "free use" license.

What I like most about MorgueFile, is the ability to really drill down on my search results using their filters.  Let's say I wanted a picture of a schoolhouse.  But, not just any schoolhouse.  I need one that will fit the theme of my wiki, which ha a light blue background an my host won't allow me to post files larger than 3 Mb.  Well, MorgueFile's robust system of filters will let me get that granular and I'm able to come up with just the image I want:

MorgueFile also let's the photographers create their own online portfolio's, so if you have a budding artist in your class they would be able to share their work with the world.  Once you register for a free account you can add your favorite images to a lightbox so you'll have easy access to them.  They have a "Classroom" with some interesting articles in it about photography in general and also a very active discussion forum.  Morguefile is definately worth adding to your toolbox.

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