There is still another internet resource I use for finding images. Stock.xchng is a free stock photography site. Although the photos are generally of lower quality than Shutterstock or iStockPhoto, you can still find some very useful images. I use this website when I need images for a mock-up or for a school or personal project. A little Photoshop re-touching can often transform these photos into almost professional quality for the ones that aren’t there yet. Since these images are free, there is obviously no watermark, you just need to sign up for a membership (also free).

Stock.xchng Results

Images from Stock.xchng for "butterfly"

Be aware the some of the images on the page are actually listed from iStockPhoto and will take you to their website for you to pay for the image. This section is usually at the top of each results page. The only other downfalls to this site are that images are only available in one size, so hopefully it will be large enough for what you need, and the images vary in DPI. Always be sure to bring these photos into Photoshop for resizing first, even if you don’t need to do any other work on them. Below is an example of a butterfly image from stock.xchng. At 300 DPI is was nearly 10 inches high, definitely large enough for most purposes.



Butterfly image from stock.xchng.




Another reason I may use the internet to search for images is for composition. I may need to draw a picture or take a photograph but I’m not quite sure how I would like it to look. What angle, what will be included and so forth. For this I will usually go to Shutterstock which is a stock photography site with high quality photos taken by professional photographers. This site also includes Flash, vectors and illustration, but I almost always use it for the photography alone. I’m usually able to find very dynamic and interesting images on virtually any subject. 

Shutterstock Results

Screenshot of Shutterstock's results for "placing a bet".

Of course you must pay to use any of these photos, but I generally just use them for inspiration and to get a better idea of what I’m trying to do in my own image. When you click on any thumbnail you’re able to see a slightly larger version of the photo but it of course contains a watermark, like the one shown below. Sometimes these photos are good to use as placeholders in a document you’re creating until you have your original image to insert.

Shutterstock Image

Larger version of an image from Shutterstock.


One reason I search for images on the internet is for inspiration. For this I will most likely turn to Google images. I’m able to type in words or ideas and see related images. Sometimes I end up getting images that don’t relate but overall I’ve always been quite satisfied. They are usually of low quality and don’t forget they belong to someone else, but I keep images I like or find interesting in a file to look through from time to time.
Google Image Search

Screenshot of Googles image results for "Typography".

Above is a screenshot of Google’s image results for “Typography”. Very good results! Great for inspiration and you’re able to quickly see many works by many other people. The other good thing about this method is that when you first click on the thumbnail of the image, you’re brought to the website that contains that image and sometimes contains other useful images. Below is one example of an image found using this method that I’ll be adding to my collection.

Image taken from Google images.