Public domain images are ideal for a variety of tasks, such as adding the finishing touches to a blog post or website or including graphics in printed materials or mobile applications.
A public domain image is completely free, but that doesn’t mean it’s of lower quality than one that costs money. Without spending money on stock photos or employing a professional photographer, you can still discover a wide variety of high-quality images (which can get really expensive).
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What Exactly Are Public Domain Images?
It’s straightforward: these pictures can be used for both commercial and personal reasons and are freely accessible. You don’t need to be concerned about violating copyrights, giving credit where credit is due, requesting authorization, or paying a fee to use the images.
Those guidelines are often followed by the photos, while some don’t always. Any exceptions are detailed here or on the website where the photos are available.
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What distinguishes royalty-free images from public domain images?
Public domain images are also referred to as “Copyright-Free” images because, as the name implies, they are copyright-free. This indicates that they are free and that there are no usage limitations.
Some photos on websites with the public domain label, however, really demand attribution or have specific usage restrictions.
Simply put, royalty-free indicates that the author won’t be expected to make any more payments (royalties). It may cost money to use these photographs, but it will only be a one-time fee rather than a fee for each time you use the image. There can also be limitations on use. Each royalty-free image is different, however, they may all be free and without restrictions.
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Here are the best websites for public domain images:
Pexels provides hundreds of thousands of photos that are free to use on personal and professional projects, blogs, websites, apps, and other places thanks to the Creative Common Zero license.
Browse using collections, colors, and other options, or conduct a keyword search to find out what people are downloading.
Due to the fact that it displays which people posted the most popular photographs in the last 30 days, the Leaderboard page is another intriguing method to peruse.
Kaboompics offers tens of thousands of additional public domain images. You can look through them using a keyword, color, orientation, or other filters.
These images are divided into several categories, such as interior, lifestyle, technology, people, urban, items, and home décor.
You can instantly download any of these images while you browse them using the download button, or you can visit the image’s download page to acquire the original size, medium size, or width of your choice.
There are additional photoshoots featured here that offer a collection of related pictures that are perfect for a project that requires a recurring topic.
Another excellent resource for finding the best public-domain images is Unsplash. To see what other people are downloading, you can simply find popular searches, search for photographs, or browse categories like nature or travel.
We also enjoy that you may sort the photographs by subject. There are picture sets for texturing, 3D renders, health & wellness, interiors, and a lot more. Current Events is an intriguing image set.
All photos on this page are covered by the Unsplash License, which makes it clear that they can all be used without asking for permission or giving attribution.
More than two million royalty-free images, drawings, vector graphics, movies, music, and sound effects can be found on Pixabay. Beautiful high-resolution photos are available for free use in any private or professional project. No acknowledgment is required.
You can use Explore to locate the most popular photos on the website, as well as to guide you to curated collections and the Editor’s Choice page to spark your imagination (e.g., lifestyle, wild animals, people from around the world, celebrating women).
The filters allow you to focus your searches on images with a particular color, set of pixels, or precise orientation.
5. Public Domain Pictures
Numerous beautiful images and illustrations can be found in Public Domain Pictures. All photographs are available for free download, but if you’d prefer a larger size, there is also a Premium Download option that is very affordably priced.
Even though all of the images are free to use, you may occasionally come across a disclaimer stating that certain uses are restricted. If a person or paid model appears in the image, for instance, the restriction might be that you aren’t allowed to use it in any way that disparages or otherwise offends the person.
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6. Wikimedia Commons
A massive collection of more than 80 million free media assets, including photographs in the public domain and other materials available in a wide range of languages, may be found on Wikimedia Commons.
If there is a drawback to the site, it must be its enormous size. Take their advice and browse Featured Pictures, Quality Images, or Valued Images if you’re not sure where to start.
Almost all of the Commons’ content can be used without charge. Some of it has limitations that are described on the page where the photograph is located. The requirement to credit the original creator is the most typical.
7. NYPL Digital Collections
Amazing public domain images have been compiled and made accessible to the public by the New York Public Library. This almost 1 million-item collection contains illuminated manuscripts, old posters, rare prints, pictures, and historical maps.
Start by entering a search term into the search box and then choosing the option to only search public domain content. You can also go through the featured items on the home page, which include recently digitized objects, fresh collections, and a variety of other categories including fashion, nature, and maps.
Scroll down to the bottom of the download page to view the Rights Statement section before you download any of these public domain images. Since the New York Public Library regards the image as being in the public domain, a link to the library is not necessary for really free photographs.
You can use the public domain photos on Morguefile for both personal and professional use. The website frequently receives high-resolution photo submissions and maintains a database of hundreds of thousands of free stock images.
When utilizing Morguefile, keep in mind the following (per their license):
- Any of the free images may be utilized for business purposes.
- Changes can be made to the pictures.
- You must give the photographer credit even if you don’t change the image.
9. Flickr’s Commons
At the Commons, a collaboration between Flickr and the Library of Congress, you can access thousands of photographs taken by members of the public. The Commons is used by dozens of institutions worldwide.
All of the photographs, many of which are historical, are intriguing. “No known copyright limitations” is the description given for them.
It is possible to filter the search results by color, various orientations, minimum
The search results can be filtered by color, various orientations, minimum size, and date when you search.
The two major goals of this program are:
- To improve accessibility to publicly accessible photographic collections
- To give the public a way to contribute information and knowledge
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10. New Old Stock
For content creators looking for vintage images without copyright constraints, try New Old Stock. Given that the pictures aren’t arranged on the site, a keyword search option is advantageous.
The moment you click on a vintage image, Flickr is opened. There, you can learn the entire history of the image, including its location, timing, and the place it was discovered. Additionally, it includes any copyright information and instructions on how to properly credit the image.
The images on the website purport to be in the public domain, but there is a disclaimer stating that not all images may be used for commercial purposes and asking visitors to report any images that are really covered by copyright.