Using images from the public domain

Started Feb 16, 2013 | Questions thread
MOD imqqmi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,630
Re: Using images from the public domain

I rarely use any image from the internet and try to create them myself or use photos from others that I know personally and ask their permission to use them. I often use them as inspiration to find out what direction I want to take a certain image. Flickr is a good site for finding reasonable quality reference material.

If the shot is used in a composition and only a small part is used or is made unrecognizable from the original it's pretty safe to do so for non commercial purposes unless it's an image that is very well known, like pieces of modern art and press photos. I've used photos to base a logo on (loosely) or trace the contours for an illustration. It's then an interpretation of that image which is your own creation.

If you want to use shots from others to practice on, try the retouching forum, people often post their images to be played with by others:

There are also websites that attempt to search for creative commons content, but always verify if it really is under CC:

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