High Resolution and Exceptional Quality Photos for Free
but is that a good thing...?
This could be a controversial post... Let me explain.
A few weeks ago I randomly ended up scrolling through Twitter and ended up on Sans Francisco which has a "designer toolkit" list of apps and websites. Including a list of photography resources. I'm well aware that creatives and bloggers often struggle to find the right imagery to compliment their work. In the past, this is where image libraries became of use, as did the right click button?
Image libraries have their problems and really, I believe few people actually want to steal copyrighted images. I've written in the past about how successful (or not) my experience with Alamy (a huge stock agency with almost 1million photos) has been...
The list of apps and websites, included Death to Stock Photo, these guys are running a new type of image library and each month they email a selection of approximately ten free photos to newsletter subscribers, some of which I've used within this blog previously. They also offer a subscription model, starting at $15 a month to download a certain number of images for free.
Another site recommended was Unsplash.
"Unsplash is a database of beautiful, high-res, free photos for creative use. No awkward office stock photos. Make sure you give credit to the photographer."
The majority of the images on Unsplash were indeed beautiful and of an exceptional quality and all in high resolution for free downloads with a Creative Commons Zero license.
I'm not sure how to describe my initial thoughts, perhaps slightly frustrated that photographers were giving away such good images for free, I wanted to know what did the photographers got out of the arrangement? Thinking it was a shame that the industry wasn't able to financially reward the photographers for their work.... I spent a little time thinking about this and after a while my initail thoughts seemed quite simplistic, and I wanted to learn more... Perhaps it would be enough for photographers to want to give back to the creative industries. I spoke to a couple of the team at Unsplash and a contributor via Twitter, they all said they loved the community, wanted to give back to the creative industry and that in giving back, they had their work was used increasing their exposure.
That made me think about how many YouTube videos, blogs, vlogs and podcasts I enjoy and have rarely made a financial contribution to the creators...
So, the long and the short of it, I now have a Unsplash account. You can check out my profile and download my images at high resolution here. I've only spent a short amount of time uploading and tagging a few images, but perhaps more will follow over time. So far, in a week of sharing, my images have been viewed by 150 people, that's 145 more than six months on Alamy...
In a few months, I'll write another post with how things are going... There are always images that will be paid for (thankfully or I wouldn't have a job), but are websites like Unsplash helping the creative and photographic industries or causing them harm? Are they enhancing the value of great imagery, or reducing it as free images are so readily availble?
I'm only going to be posting personal images that have little or no commercial value, Unsplash could be new a home for my images rather than simply sitting on my computer hard drive...