I’ve got a thang for giving credit where it is due and use a lot of different image sites and sources to find images for my blog posts and programs. (Note: I use Windows 7, so specifics for your system may be a bit different). Unfortunately, I didn’t do this early on, so lots of images are hanging out in mid air without this information. NOT smart. Start as early as you can AND don’t make it a project to go find everything you might have had prior to when you started doing this.)
I’ve played with a bunch of different ways to do that, including
- Not remembering to do anything, then feeling bad
- Putting the details in the properties, then not being able to find the image anyway
- Writing things down on a tablet (the old fashioned kind mind you)
- Taking screenshots (using free software) of the image and including a screenshot of where I found the image, along with the copyright stuff in effect at the time
- Creating the Image Tracking Spreadsheet and including as many details as possible in one place.
The Image Tracking Spreadsheet has been the best thing for me (once I disciplined myself to use it on a regular basis).
(Right click Image Tracking Spreadsheet to download the Excel spreadsheet to your local drive…be sure to put it some place you can find it again).
What goes in each column
- Source: This is where I found the image (Flickr is a big one for me personally)
- Date Downloaded: Not sure if it is important and sometimes I like to sort things by date
- Source URL: I cut/paste the link to the original source here
- Sample: This is a recent addition and it came because I couldn’t tell by looking at the link or source what the heck I had downloaded!
- Link to local folder: this is where I stored the original file on my hard drive so I can click the link and get right to it (Note: moving the source folder caused all sorts of grief. Yup, decided to reorganize my image folders AFTER I started this spreadsheet. NOT smart)
- Link to Screen Shot of Source Page: Rules can change, you can count on that, so taking a picture (screen shot) of what was shared at the time you downloaded the image is a great idea. It may keep you out of hot water AND could save you $40K. Yup, a guy got sued by Getty Images for that amount. You don’t want to spend your money there!
- Photographer/Owner: This information is on the image page of many sites. I record it in case I want to write to them or make sure I’ve given credit where credit is due.
- Notes: This is that old miscellaneous type column. If I had a specific use in mind, wrote to the image owner or just had some ideas, I’ll pop them in here.
Here is a partial sample of my Image Tracking Worksheet in case you want to see what it looks like.
Play it safe
If you’re not sure if what you want to do with the image is legal, either write to the owner or find something else to use. There’s lots of stuff out there AND just because it is on the Internet does NOT mean it is free to use.