If you follow me on Facebook (LLeeM Digital Collage Art), you would have read my introduction about the three different types of background art I will be doing for my new book, Keywords from Heaven Words That Will Transform Your Life.
The first type of background is: A photo. This is about the easiest form of background to do. The art that I do to illustrate words is way less complex than my surrealism fantasy art. I am looking for a photo that I feel connects with the words or illustrates the content the best. I do very little alteration to the photo, maybe changing the brightness/contrast or the hue and saturation.
There are two problems in using photos. One: I am not a professional photographer! If I see something I like, I point my camera at it and snap a shot. Not that they are all bad photos, but that my purpose in creating a photo library is to use them in my art. That means they will usually be significantly altered in some way. Unless I am doing some backgrounds for words!
Two: I am not able to travel the world taking photos, yet I need a variety of landscapes, animals, buildings and other objects in my art. There are two options: 1) pay for stock photos. There are wonderful sites that sell photos on almost every subject you can think of. However, if you use multiple photos or you only want part of the photo, like when doing collage, that can get expensive. 2) There is another option and that is public domain photos. I have used many wonderful photos over the years in my art and have several sites that are my “go to” sites. A word of caution. If you are looking for a public domain photo of something and do a search, you will get hundreds of photos as a result. Not all of them are really public domain. Be careful of using sites like Pinterest, because the user license is not always listed or correct. Using somebody else's work without there permission is a violation of copyright laws.
I am going to share with you some of the sites I use in my visual art, I have several more that I visit, but this will give you a good idea of what is out there.
This is an example of needing a photo not in my library. I found this public domain photo to use. This is called "One to One" and is available for download in the Gallery Store in Inspirational Faith Art Gallery.
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