Using Images from the Web-how to , sources?

rstallrstall -
edited August 2016 in Off-Topic Discussion
1  Are there any worthwhile sources of pictures on the web for a painting reference photos?

(i assume the overexposure as well as file compression are potential issues)-   I assume they won't be RAW files.

2  IF you do a  flipped photo does that solve copyright issues?         I assume that if they are not RAW files Im not going to be doing photoshop....thanks, just trying to get a clue...eventually i will master my DSLR and photoshop and make my own.

3 If i see something Id like to paint, does one take a screen shots then edit it or is it take what you get.? I assume those won't be RAW files either and can't be edited much?   

@David Carder, would especially love your input as well! Hope you are well. (this is Ryan from Marks last class)


  • rstall


    The issues you identify are real but avoidable.

    Flipped is still a copyright infringement.

    File formats other than 'raw' can still be photoshopped for improvement.


  • Thanks a million Denis!
  • edited August 2016

    Have a look at

    The screen shot below is from the landing page of pixabay's website. You can, if you are feeling generous, make a voluntary donation for use of a picture. I usually do -I reason that  it costs something to set up and maintain a website, and this is a particularly useful website for artists.   You can also contribute your own photos. 

    Be careful, though - occasionally you will encounter something that is watermarked - don't use those.

  • Yeah you need to be careful.  Copying a photo in another medium I think is considered a derivative which is still a copyright infringement.  My wife is a professional photographer and she did some photos of a client's dog.  The client let a painter paint a copy of the photo without asking permission and my wife saw it posted on a website.  Needless to say there were some words exchanged.  My wife would have probably given them permission if they would have asked.  Although the artist who painted the copy was not very good so it based on that she would not have given permission probably.

  • It looks like the two websites mentioned here are free of copyright. Personally, I think if you are inspired to paint a scene because of a photograph you should be able to. If your hiking on a trail or strolling down a street with an interesting view there's no guarantee that it hasn't been photographed a hundred times. A painting is discernable from a photograph after all and the work of the painter not the photographer. That being said I still wouldn't try to duplicate a copyrighted photo.
  • I got this notice in an email after subscribing to Paint My Photo (PMP).

    The purpose of PaintMyPhoto (PMP) is to connect artists with photographers willing to share their photographs for use as art reference.  Respect for copyright is absolutely fundamental to the site.  For this reason, I am writing to you to emphasise two crucial site rules :

    1) Members are NOT allowed to use the reference photos in any way other than as reference for their non-digital art.  The artwork derived from the photos is copyright to the artist, but the photos themselves remain the copyright of the photographer. 
    You may NOT share other members' images (art or photos) off-site, for example on your website, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr etc, even as a small image to show the source for your artwork. 
    You may NOT include other members' images in any course material, video etc..

    If you want to do these things, you MUST first get written permission from the originating artist/photographer.

    2) Reference photos that you share on PMP must have been taken by you, unless you have the expressed permission of the photographer. 
    DON'T share copyrighted images found on the internet. 
    DON'T share images you believe to be copyright-free unless you were the original photographer,. 

    It has recently come to our notice that a member, Christine C, has posted reference photos taken from other sites on the internet. She did not have permission of the copyright owners to share these images.  We recommend members to delete any and all of her images they may have downloaded for later use.  Unfortunately, artwork made from her photos cannot be guaranteed as free of copyright infringement and so we advise you not to sell or exhibit those works from now on. 

    PaintMyPhoto (PMP) relies on its members to adhere to these Terms of Service, which are accepted on joining.  PMP cannot be held responsible for members' behaviour in this regard.  However, we take copyright very seriously and myself and our volunteer administrators will always take swift action to delete images and accounts of members who are shown to be breaking these rules.  If you think you may have inadvertently breached these rules, please take steps now to check, and remove any such material.

    This sort of infringement is thankfully rare on PMP, the vast majority of members respect the site and what it is about. We need to put this behind us, and continue to enjoy and use PMP in the way intended.

    Roy Simmons (March 2017)
  • edited May 2017
    As JeffAllen recommends above, I had a similar experience while rendering chalk art on the street from photographs I borrowed from various magazines and such when I ran out of my own, while not thinking too much about it , until I was approached on the spot on the street and got the permission necessary to do only what I was doing as is, exchange of money was not well permitted and I was strictly quite local with no plans. I believe this is the practice of strict permission.  Fortunately I was lucky and they respected that folks were having a good time and that I wasn't going to make a whole lot of money anyway. Be very careful!
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