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Searching Flickr for Creative Commons Pictures

Learn how to search Creative Commons pictures on Flickr.com.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created: December 31st 2012
Last Updated: December 31st 2012






There are a number of sites that provide royalty-free pictures that can be used in your PowerPoint presentations -- one such site is Microsoft's Office.com site -- and there are also several other sites that provide free pictures. However, none of these resources can match the amazing breadth and variety of picture content you can find at Flickr, a photo-sharing site from Yahoo! Additionally, Flickr makes it easy for you to find pictures that you can legally use in your presentations since it lets you search for pictures within the Creative Common license.

So what exactly is Creative Commons? When Flickr members upload their own pictures, they are provided with an option to place them within the Creative Commons license -- in broad terms, this means that anyone can use these pictures free of cost. If you use these pictures, you may have to credit the photographer -- in other cases you may or may not be allowed to edit the pictures or use them in a commercial environment. You can understand these varied subsets within the Creative Commons license on the Flickr Creative Commons page.

Here's how you search for Creative Commons pictures within Flickr -- it helps if you are a Flickr member. Basic membership is free and you can sign in with your existing Yahoo! credentials. You then search for these pictures -- follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Launch the Flickr site in your browser, as shown in Figure 1 below. Within the web page, click the Search hyperlink (highlighted in red within Figure 1).

    Search hyperlink within the Flickr home page
    Figure 1: Search hyperlink within the Flickr home page

    Note: Since Flickr.com is a web site and not an application, there might be changes in how the layout is organized -- and also the pictures shown may change.


  2. This brings up the Search page of the Flickr site, as shown in Figure 2. Now, type in the keyword (or keywords) you are looking for within the Search box (highlighted in red within Figure 2). Thereafter, click the Advanced Search hyperlink (highlighted in blue within Figure 2).

    Flickr Search page
    Figure 2: Flickr Search page

  3. This will open the Advanced Search page of Flickr site -- note that the keyword we used in the previous step is still retained within the Search box, highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Flickr Advanced Search page
    Figure 3: Flickr Advanced Search page

  4. Now, scroll down the Advanced Search page to find the Creative Commons section, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4.

    Creative Commons options
    Figure 4: Creative Commons options

    Within this section you'll find three check-boxes:

    • Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content: This restricts your search to all pictures placed within the Creative Commons license.
    • Find content to use commercially: This further restricts your search to only bring up results that include pictures permitted to be used commercially.
    • Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon: This again restricts your search results to pictures that you can edit -- such as crop, work in an image editor like Photoshop, or even using the picture edit options in PowerPoint.

    Make sure to select one or three of these check-boxes based on your use of the pictures (refer to Figure 4). Once done, click the Search button that is highlighted in blue within Figure 4.

  5. Based on the keywords and the license types you searched, you'll see results, as shown in Figure 5. Note the pane at the top of the page (highlighted in red within Figure 5) clearly mentions that all these picture are available as part of the Creative Commons license. Choose any picture you want to download -- for this tutorial we clicked the thumbnail highlighted in blue within Figure 5.

    Search result
    Figure 5: Search result

  6. This opens the picture in the new page, as shown in Figure 6. Here click the Actions option (highlighted in blue within Figure 6) to bring up a drop-down list -- from the drop-down list choose the View all sizes option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

    View all sizes option to be selected
    Figure 6: View all sizes option to be selected

  7. Now, you can see all the available sizes of the selected picture in the next page, as shown in Figure 7.

    All sizes of the selected picture
    Figure 7: All sizes of the selected picture

  8. Choose the size you want to download, and click the download link for that size to start the download process.

See Also: Attributing Creative Commons Pictures in your PowerPoint Slides

 

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