Monday, October 17, 2011

Using Pictures - 1000 Words, Free

Blogging Tips and Tricks at Ordinary Lives

Using pictures in my blog posts is something I loooove doing, and something I've requested insisted on for other sites I own or manage.

Why?
  • Because pictures draw people into the post
  • Add interest to the post
  • Everyone loves pictures
  • And pictures are often worth about 1000 words
Besides, even grown ups like picture books! ;-)

Often I'm asked if I take all the pictures I post, and the answer is no,  I don't. Many of the pictures I use for devotionals are from sxc.hu, a great, free photo service for people like us who blog and want pictures to go with our posts. The pictures on the rest of my posts usually are mine--simply because I love taking pictures and using them here is a great way to use them. Before I started snapping so much, though, I used even more pictures from the free photo services.

SXC is a great site that I use a lot. You need to set up a free account and once you do that, then you can download and use. (Click any of the pictures to see them larger.)

Here's how to go about finding and downloading:
  • In the search box, type in a key word you want to search for.
  • Notice in the pink box--those pictures are NOT free. They're advertising for premium pictures on their sister site, iStockphotos. Unless you want to pay for pictures, ignore those.
  • Below the premium pix are the free ones.
  • To see an individual picture, click on it to go to that page. TIP: right click and open that page in it's own tab so you can still have your search page open.

When you find a picture you want to use or download:
  • Click the orange download button. A page will come up with a jumbo picture on it. 
  • Let it come up all the way then right click and Save As.
  • To give credit where credit is due and to make it so the photographers can easily find their pictures with a Google Alert, I save the files on my computer by using the photographer's file name for the picture and the photographer's sxc user name. So, on this example, the file name I use would be "Dahlia beauty by Gronvik".
Some pictures require photographer notification...

When an image says “Standard restrictions apply and ___ (photographer) must be notified when using the photo for any public work.” it means that you may use the photo on your blog, but that you need to use the sxc in-house email/pm system and let the photographer know you’re using it. Be sure to include your url. Usually it’s so they can visit and possibly add it to their portfolio but also to monitor that it’s not being claimed or abused.

Tip: Many times when there’s a photo I see that I want, even if I don’t know what
I’ll use it for, I’ll download the picture right then and tuck it into a folder just
for pictures I’m saving to use later. If I need to notify the photographer when
I use it, I’ll include “Notify” in the file name, followed by the picture name the
photographer gave it and the photographer’s sxc user name which will allow me to
find the picture and photographer easily in sxc when I use the photo.

You do NOT want to upload a picture that size to your blog.
  • It will take f.o.r.e.v.e.r to load on your page
  • It will gobble up the storage room on your site
Before using the picture on your blog, you need to resize it, which will be another post. BUT, if you want that info now, subscribers to my blog can email me at patterly {at}gmail{dot}com and I'll send you a pdf tutorial on how to resize pictures for your blog. I'll send it today so you don't have to wait a few weeks for the rest of this post. ;-)

So, that's where I find pictures to use on my blogs, when I don't use my own, and how I download them. This is only part 1 of this post with a couple more posts on pictures still to come.  

Have a How To post request? Leave a comment or email me!

So tell me, why do you like using (or seeing) pictures on blog posts?

Have you left a caption for this month's caption contest?

3 comments:

  1. I love seeing your photos as they are colorful and right to the point!

    I feel pictures are as important as punctuation to emphasize the point being made.

    I'm learning photography and enjoy showcasing my photos! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yanno, Barb, I think you nailed it on the head. "...pictures are as important as punctuation to emphasize the point being made." Yes!! So do I. =]

    I love seeing you at Cheryl's SeaLevel320 and talking photography with her. =] Love it!! =] And I love seeing your pictures and hearing the stories that go with them. =] Really enjoy that! =]

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've found so many great pictures on SXC since you passed out the link to the JoEers. I only just recently noticed that some of them ask you to notify the photographer. I hope I didn't used some in the past that asked for that!

    ReplyDelete

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