So how do you get an image that you can use for your Web page? There are several ways. You can buy or download ready-made images, digitize photographs or hand drawn images with a scanner, use a digital camera, or draw images from scratch in an image editing program like Photoshop. Once you've got them in your computer, you can adapt them to the Web, as necessary.
To get images:
You can use Google to find images on the Web by clicking the Images link above the Search box and entering criteria as usual. See sidebar at right for more information on copyrights for those images.
Generally, even free images found on the Web are restricted in one form or another (again, see sidebar). Images you buy can usually be used for any purpose (except for reselling the images themselves). Read any disclaimers or licenses carefully.
Many companies sell stock photography and images on CD. Such disks often have several versions of each image for different purposes. For Web sites, use the Web or Multimedia version.
Many photo processing outfits will develop a roll of film directly onto a CD.
Scanners and digital cameras have grown in quality as they've plummeted in price. They are an ideal way to convert print photographs into digital ones, or to create digital ones from scratch.
If you create your own images, save them as GIF, JPEG, or PNG. Don't save them as BMPonly Explorer for Windows users will be able to see them.
Creative Commons (http://www.creativecommons.org) is a non-profit organization that has developed a system of copyrights that let artists share their work in specified ways without giving up all their rights over their works. Web site designers, musicians, and photographers are some of the many artists who are using Creative Commons licenses to get their work out in the marketplace without fear that it will be used in a way they don't agree with.
Flickr, the popular photo-sharing Web application (http://www.flickr.com/), asks its users to designate a Creative Commons license for each of the photos that they upload. Flickr then lets visitors search for photos according to the licenses assigned to them. It can be a great place to find photos for your Web site.
You can also use Google to restrict searches based on usage rights. (Click Advanced Search and then choose the desired option next to Usage Rights.)