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English 101 - Hayward: Photo Essay

Resources for ENG101 assignments

Images with Creative Commons Licenses

  • Google Advanced Image Search
    •   Choose "free to use or share" from the "usage rights" filter.  If you plan to use it commercially, choose "free to use or share, even commercially."
  • Flickr Creative Commons provides an easy way to locate shared images based on the type of Creative Commons license that they share
  • Compfight a visual search engine. 
    • Limit to "Creative commons" (under "Any license")
  • Unsplash includes over 300,000 free, high-resolution photos.
  • Wikimedia Commons and Image Usage:
    • Almost all content hosted on Wikimedia Commons may be freely reused subject to certain restrictions in many cases.
      • Content under open content licenses may be reused without any need to contact the licensor.
      • Content in the public domain may not have a strict legal requirement of attribution (depending on the jurisdiction of content reuse), but attribution is recommended to give correct provenance.
    • Verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.

Are You Using That Image Legally?

Sara Hawkins, creator of a Blog Law series, explains "The best ways to be sure that you're legally using online photos" in this Lifehacker article.

Sara Hawkins is the creator of a Blog Law series to help other bloggers, entrepreneurs, and online professionals gain legal confidence. Her goal is to make the law understandable and approachable without being overwhelming.

Go to TheVisualCommunicationGuy's website for a larger view of Can I Use that Picture? infographic.

Evaluating Images

How do you tell if a photo is Photoshopped? 

  • Hilary Grigonis article from Digital Trends has some excellent tips to help you determine if a photo is real or if it's been altered.
  • Do a reverse-image search (see box on the right.)
  • Look at the EXIF data (Exchangeable Image File format.) If you can't find any, be suspicious.
  • Check with Snopes.
  • A general rule of thumb, if the photo looks outrageous, examine it closely and with extreme skepticism.

Images in the Public Domain

There are no copyright restrictions on "public domain" images. The public domain includes images created by government agencies, and works where copyright has expired (those created prior to 1923).

Images posted on the Internet are not necessarily in the the public domain. To find images that you can "reuse":

  • Search sites devoted to public domain works
  • Pixabay offers tens of thousands of images in the public domain — free to use without attribution.

Always look for "Terms of Use," "Legal," or copyright statement links on any website, because institutions providing access may still request attribution.

Reverse Image Searching

A reverse search is helpful to verify the original source for photographs and other online images.

  • TinEye is an image search and recognition company. Upload an image, URL, or drag and drop from your computer or mobile device.
  • Google Reverse Image Search  allows you to upload a picture from your desktop, tablet, or mobile phone to show other web pages on the internet that have similar images.


Citing images

MLA Style

In your Works Cited, you'll want to include as much of the information below as you can:

  • Artist’s name or username, surname first
  • Title of the work, in italics
  • Date of creation
  • Institution or city in in which the work is located
  • Website or database, in italics
  • Date of access (optional)


Lange, Dorothea. The Migrant Mother. 1936, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Library

               of Congress, 6/. Accessed 10

                May 2014.

APA Style

In your Bibliography, you'll want to include as much of the information below as you can:

  • Name or username of owner/author/creator
  • Publication date or n.d. (no date)
  • Title of image in italics
  • Media type in brackets
  • URL of website where the image was originally shown


Emory, A.(2016, August 8). Flamingo [Photograph]. Retrieved from


Creative Commons - Best Practices for Attribution