If you’ve ever tried to design a website or blog, you’ve probably felt the need to add images to your creation. It can be easy to see the Internet as a free-for-all, but images belong to the people who created them. Staying legal means you’ll have to either create your own images or buy them from stock sites. Fortunately, there are a number of sources for free images, and we’ve collected them here. So read on for 100 sources where you can find free stock images: and don’t worry — they’re all legal!
These resources are some of the most popular free stock image sites on the Web and with good reason. If you’re looking for some mainstream images, these are the first place to try.
In addition to being a great source of images, these sites host forums, file sharing and other features designed to nurture community spirit.
It’s probably pretty safe to say that every stock image site on the Web needs the help of photographers to keep it running. The following sites, however, really cater to the needs of photographers, designers, and other artists even though they’re donating their photos for free.
Less is Sometimes More
Just because the sites listed in this section aren’t as expansive as some of the others on our list doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking out. Sometimes less can really means more, especially when it comes to narrowing down your search or coming across hard-to-find treasures.
Stock Images Plus
There is a lot more to legal stock images than just a bank of free photos. The sites in this section all go beyond being a basic stock photography resource by offering more services that will help improve your search for and use of stock images.
These image sites don’t necessarily fit into one particular category, but they’ve still got a lot to offer.
These stock image sites offer a wide range of photo subjects, perfect for casual browsing or a way to get ideas before you plan out your site.
Need a free stock photo? Free … meaning you don’t have to pay anyone cold, hard cash for its use? Look no further.
Make sure you read any terms of usage, however, as you may need to attribute its source via a link or mention.
Yotophoto - This is the first place I usually turn to because Yotophoto is the ultimate search engine for finding free use photos across the entire web. It searches some sites that I don’t include in this list, simply because you’ll find them via Yotophoto. (Yotophoto appears to be no longer in service).
Image*After - Has a nice collection of photos and textures, with good search functionality.
Photogen - Nice collection of good quality photos.
Free Digital Photos - Good quality photos for free, although their best quality pics come with a charge.
NOAA Photo Library - This is just one example of the many photos you can use for free from the US Government sites. You’ll find more listed at the directory at the bottom of this list. This batch contains some amazing oceanic and atmospheric photos.
BurningWell - Not the prettiest site in the bunch, but so what? It’s got what you need - free use photos.
Backgrounds Archive - Pretty photos. Big photos. Pretty and big photos. What more can I say?
PD Photo - Lots of travel and country-specific photos, along with some more general categories too.
Public Domain Photos - Claims to be the largest collection of public domain photos. It also has clip art.
WP Clipart - Speaking of clip art this site has lots of clip art to choose from, with some photos as well.
Uncle Sam’s Photos - As promised up above, this is a nice directory listing more of the U.S. Government’s repositories of free to use photos.
If you can’t find the image you need from one of the above places, it just might not exist! Good luck, and happy photo hunting!
Are you looking for more ways to add some kick to your images? There are quite a number of plugins and filters available but looking for good free Photoshop plugins can take some time browsing through all the free sites.
The Works - 146 plugins and filters in 8 plugin packs. The plugin packs include edge and contour effects, transparency effects, color editing, emboss variations, swap colors, and mezzo and grain effects.
Deep Paint 2.0 - The publisher’s description states &ldquoeep Paint integrates stroke-by-stroke artistic photo-cloning, fully editable brush and canvas settings, and paint functionality for realistic and stunning paint effects.”
Richard Rosenman Filters plugins - 8 free plugins and filters including 3D Sphere Generator, Color Bar Generator, Scanlines Generator, Pinch, Tiler, Superformula, Smart De-Interlacer, and Pinocchio.
Virtual Photographer - Over 50 presets for automatically applying combinations of film grain, color modification, B/W, soft focus, high contrast and many artistic effects.
Mehdi Plugins - 26 free plugins including Blots 2, Curves, Edges Fix, Fur 2, Gradient Smithy, Melt 1.1, Seamless Border 2, Absolute Color, and more.
Harry’s Filters - 69 free image effects.
Xero Plugins - 41 free plugins for Photoshop for Windows including Alien Mist, Seasoner, Bad Dream, Softener, Iridium, LineArt, Pulsar, Porcelain, Nostalgia, Serious Fog, and more.
Filter Factory - 380 free filters in 19 galleries.
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