There’s an endless supply of image libraries out there. Rights managed, royalty free, and free to use. You can find libraries that cover everything from a stunning Mt Everest panoramic, a big cat bringing down an antelope, or even a vector graphic of the Manhattan skyline – it’s all available. However, quality typically comes at a price – and if you want the best, you’re going to have to pay.
Well that’s not the case when you Unsplash.
100% free to use
With in excess of 2 million FREE TO USE high-resolution images Unplash.com is a place you really need to spend some time. There is an abundance of beauty here. All brought to you by some of the world’s most generous, diverse and experienced community of photographers, artists, designers and observers. My opinion? Unsplash is the premiere source for free to use imagery!
Just because everything’s free, you’d expect the quality to suffer – poor resolution, dodgy colour profiles, lack of skill, poor subject matter. Far from it.
The Unsplash crew hand-select every single image and only the best get through their stringent selection criteria. And with a community of over 211,000 photographers and over 2 billion downloads to date, there’s a bountiful choice of styles covering all manner of subjects.
Yes everything is free, but just to be clear about licensing and usage I’ve cut ’n paste the very minimal licensing terms from their website;
- All photos can be downloaded and used for free
- Commercial and non-commercial purposes
- No permission needed (though attribution is appreciated!)
What is not permitted
- Photos cannot be sold without significant modification.
- Compiling photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.
Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.
Make sure to say thanks
As all contributors are effectively giving away their hard work, skill and results, it’s really important that we remember to say thank you. It’s the least we can do. It’s not a requirement – but it’s always best to show your appreciation. When you download an image, a small popup will appear at the bottom of your screen, just copy the link/name/subject line and paste it below your image.
Unsplash for every screen
In addition to the website, there’s an iOS app up for grabs, some very cool wallpapers, Google Chrome browser plugin, plus everything is available for Apple TV. Can’t really ask for anything more!
Last but not least, there’s a month-long celebration to recognise the impact the Unsplash community has made with their generosity and creativity. This is where contributors can submit the best of their best to win (what I would consider) a defining accolade of Photo of the Year Award. With 10 categories for entry – 3D renders, current events, experimental, fashion, film, food and drink, health and wellness, nature, people and street photography – there’s plenty of opportunities to get out there and get noticed. Full details for the Unsplash Awards can be found here unsplash.com/awards
So get out there and start snapping, clicking and shooting!