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How to find an eyecatching image to
accompany your story
A great image will attract readers to your story. Here
are some tips for finding a strong image that you can
use online.
Image inspiration
Make a list of ideas and keywords to help you decide
on an image for your story.
Think bold
You might have a few different ideas for photographs
that suit your story. Focus on picking a strong image
that conveys one element of your story simply. Keep
in mind that your photo may appear on our website
in different sizes, as a thumbnail or as a larger image
on our front page, so make sure it will be effective
both small and big.
The image doesn't have to reflect literally what’s in
your story. It might convey the overall feeling, or one
element of the plot. Or it might represent the story in
a metaphorical way.
Colourful photos immediately draw a reader’s
attention and images with close-up details often
work better than wider shots.
Never Listen to Your Mother describes a humorous
side to a car accident. The photo is eye catching and
alludes to an important element of the story.
Giving Feedback Online is a blog post about how
to give constructive feedback on digital media.
The image used to accompany it is colourful and
bright and doesn't reference a computer to get its
point across.
Marc Wathieu -
ABC Open South East NSW
Make sure you come back to after you submit your
story to see it published on the ABC Open website
How to find an eyecatching image to
accompany your story
Finding an image
Flickr is a great place to find Creative
Commons images
Once you’ve got an idea of what image will work
best you can take your own photo, or search online
for one that you can legally republish.
Go to and enter
your search terms, then make sure you check the
box “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed
If you search online for an image, it’s important to
make sure you have permission to use it. You can’t
just search the internet and pick any image to use.
Australian copyright law says that web content - a
photo, a video, an audio file or text in a blog - is
owned by the person or company that made it.
So how can you find an image that you
can use?
A Creative Commons license is one way for
photographers to make their images available to use
under certain conditions. For example, a common
Creative Commons license is 'Attribution-NonCommercial'. This means that you can use the image
as long as you credit the photographer, and don’t use
the image commercially. Find more information about
Creative Commons licenses.
Finding a great image can take time, so be patient
and be prepared to modify your search terms slightly
until you find something you like.
When you've found the image that you want, you're
ready to download it.
Downloading and uploading
In Flickr, click on the image until it appears on a black
background, then click on View All Sizes in the top
right-hand corner. This will show you what sizes
are available to download, and you can also double
check the Creative Commons license. Choose the
largest size, then right-click on the Download link and
select Save Target As (for PC users) or Download
Linked File As (for Mac users).
You can use the Creative Commons search page to
browse a number of different photo sources including
Google Images and Fotopedia for photographs you
already have permission to use. Start typing in your
search terms, uncheck the "Use for commercial
purposes" box and start browsing.
Make sure you come back to after you submit your
story to see it published on the ABC Open website
How to find an eyecatching image to
accompany your story
PC users
Add the photo to your story and credit
the photographer
To add the photo to your 500 Words story, click
on the Browse button beside the 'Upload image'
option on the story contribution page. Navigate to
where you saved the photo on your computer. The
image will be saved as a jpeg. Select your image
and click Upload.
Once your image has uploaded, you'll be able to add
an Image Credit for the photo. Enter the name of the
photographer and the web address for the image.
This means our moderators can double check the
license for the image, and it is also good courtesy to
link to the photographer’s work.
MAC users
Well done!
Save the image to your computer and make a note
of the photographer's name and the URL (website
address) for the image. Now you're ready to upload.
You now know how to find and source an image to
support your story.
Make sure you come back to after you submit your
story to see it published on the ABC Open website
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