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May 16, 2013 / carlispina

Find Public Domain Images with Pixabay

PixabayFinding images that can be used for presentations, websites or other projects can be difficult. There are a lot of options for Creative Commons images, but these images typically have restrictions on them, such as attribution requirements. For some projects, you may prefer images that can be freely used without concerns about attribution. In these cases, Pixabay is a great resource. It collects public domain images that can be used without the need to provide attribution.

When you sign up for the service, you will be prompted to share your own images as well. Uploaded images can be JPG, PNG, or SVG files of up to 12 MB. They must have a minimum width of 1920 pixels and their width can be up to twice their height. The fairly detailed guidelines are intended to improve the quality of the items shared on the site and based on the images I found on Pixabay, they seem to be working. Users can earn an ad-free experience by uploading ten of their own images to the service, but even if you choose to never upload a single image, you have full access to all of the public domain images that Pixabay has collected. If you’re a photographer, you may also want to check out the photo contest that Pixabay is running between now and June 1st for a chance to win money for your photographs.

For those who are simply looking for images that they can use, Pixabay is a great option. I conducted a number of searches on Pixabay using different terms and found numerous relevant and aesthetically pleasing images for each search term. Results included a mix of pictures and graphics in most cases, which makes it a good tool regardless of the type of image you would like. Search results include pictures from Shutterstock that are not free, but they are clearly marked and each of the searches I tried also came up with public domain images, so I found this to be a minor complaint. Results can be sorted by image orientation, image type (photo, clipart, or vector), popularity or by most recent additions. You can also identify the most popular images (by number of downloads) or photographers on the leaderboard or find the editor’s picks on a separate page. One interesting feature that the service also offers is the ability to sort images by the type of camera used to take the pictures. This is a nice option both for serious photographers and for those who are simply interested in seeing some examples to help them choose a camera. This service is well worth a try by both photographers and those who need images for use in their own projects.


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