It is often said and believed that a picture says a thousand words. But in this age where you cannot just pick any image from any source and call your own because of copyright infringement, we should be careful in using images in our write-ups, projects, eLearning projects or any content for that matter.

When you are working on an eLearning project, or when you are writing an article, it is often required to back it up with an apt image. The most important point is to use copyright free image be it vector image, info graphics or any kind of diagrams. In addition, the illustration that you use should be apt and appropriate for the subject and should help you to elaborate the content and explanation of your written piece. The infamous quotation that says “a picture is worth a thousand words” is indeed true in certain cases. There are several websites that use limited words and maximum illustrations to convey the article. In such sites the article can have minimal words and the rest can be done through images or illustrations. 

Nevertheless, when you begin to look for images, all you can think of is the famous search engine Google. But this is not true there are numerous sites that offer images for free that can be used per your requirement. Although MS-Office can come to your rescue in case you wish to recreate the image that you download from various sources but there are certain site that offer images for free. I was working on a project where I was not given access to any image library and hence I had to doubly check that the images I use were copyright free. Hence, in my pursuit of free images that would cater to my need, I came across certain websites that offer a variety of images and that too complimentary. Isn’t that good news? Also, if you have the resources, you can create a paid account and gain access to many vector images that you can make use of in your articles, projects and so on.

But you need to use such sites only if your client has not given you access to any valid and legal image source or image library. While looking for images it is good to use specific keywords. Also, you have to be very carefully in choosing your words in order to stumble upon the right kind of images.  For example if you intend to look for an image for say word rank, you can either use the word “rank”, or use the synonym “hierarchy” in order to get a suitable image. Tools such as Adobe Photoshop can be readily used to edit the images. There are other image editor tools that can be used to edit images that can be used in your written document. 

As mentioned in this post earlier, in my attempt to look for websites that offer free images, I stumbled upon many sites that offer images for free. Here is a compilation of few such sites that can come to your rescue while looking for images, pictures, illustrations or graphics.

The list given below is an exhaustive list of websites that offer vector images or illustrations for different topics.

http://www.corbis.com – This website proffers high quality images for marketable and editorial photography.

http://www.gettyimages.com – This website provides complimentary images, illustrations, and has a good collection of images that provides images suitable for sports, entertainment, and creative category topics.

http://www.istock.com – Similarly, this website offer royalty free images and illustrations. However, you can create an account and subscribe to an account to avail a wider and better collection of images and illustrations by paying a nominal fee.

http://www.scx.com – Like the websites given above, this too offers free images.

http://www.shutterstock.com – This is one of the most used website that provides free and paid images and illustrations. This site also allows you to sell image and videos too.

http://office.microsoft.com – This website is readily available and comes in with MS-Office suit. All you need to do is to have access to internet and then you can download as many images as you want.

Besides these websites, if your assignment necessitates you to be more imaginative, inventive, and arty, you can use various shapes in MS-PowerPoint to produce few basic images of your own. In my next post I will show you how to get creative with MS-PowerPoint. 


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