Lesson 2: Acquiring Images for Web Graphics


In this lesson you will learn about different methods for acquiring digital images to work with in the creation of web graphics. Depending upon the resources available at your location, you will explore the use of scanning, digital cameras, and finding and downloading images from the Web.

In acquiring images, it is important to remember that images are protected by copyright law and cannot be used unless written permission is given by the owner of the copyright, or the image is in the public domain. In this lesson you will be introduced to a number of websites that offer royalty-free or public domain images for educational purposes.

Learner Outcomes

At the completion of this exercise, you will be able to:


In the following activities you will collect images using a variety of methods and sources. Save all images in your images subfolder.

Part 1: Collecting images from Digital Devices

Your instructor will demonstrate how to acquire digital images through scanning and/or uploading pictures from a digital camera, depending upon the resources available at your location. If access to equipment is available, you will acquire one image from each source.

The images will eventually be used to make a mini web photo album where the maximum picture size is 450 x 450 pixels. When scanning images or setting the quality settings on your digital camera, remember to think about the total number of pixels you are capturing and what final size you want the image to appear on the web page. It is a good idea to capture an image that has more pixels than you need, since a graphics program can be used to make the image smaller, but can't make the image larger without lowering the quality.

Part 2: Collecting Images from the Web

The Internet provides a terrific source of images that can be used for your web site, but you need to be careful about following copyright restrictions. Remember what you learned about copyright and images on the Internet though. Images on the web are protected by copyright law and cannot be used unless written permission is given by the owner of the copyright. Fortunately, though, there are conventions that have been established for owners of copyrighted works to allow permission for other people to use the works. As you already learned, images placed in the public domain are free to be used without permission.

Another source for images and other media is Creative Commons.  Creative Commons is a type of copyright license that allows people to share their work and allow it to be reused by others under certain conditions. Below is a list of some commonly used Creative Commons licenses:

Below is a list of some popular sites for obtaining images that can be used on web sites.

Creative Commons

When using Creative Commons images, make sure to look carefully at the type of license being used and what the requirements are. More information can be found on the Creative Commons web site. The following are good sources of Creative Commons images:

Government Web Sites

Many government web sites provide public domain images for reuse, but not all of the images there are in the public domain. Make sure you look at the copyright license for each image.

Stock Photography Sites

Stock photography sites require payment to use their images, but can be a good choice if you are doing work for a commercial client.

After you have looked at these sites, try searching on your own for sites that offer creative commons, stock photography, royalty free images or public domain images. Remember to look at the copyright requirements and use restrictions for using images on these sites. Share any good sites you find with your class. Acquire at least three images. At least one of the three images must be acquired from a digital device (as explained in Part 1) and at least one image must be acquired from the Web (as explained in Part 2). You will use these images in the next lesson. If you were unable to acquire three images because you did not have access to the necessary resources, your instructor may have images to share.

Resources/Online Documents

All done?

Make sure that you have acquired at least three images and have saved the files to your images folder. You will be using these images to complete the following lesson. Once you have three images, proceed to Lesson 3.