You need pictures

Photo by The Pack

I’m a very visual person, and I love plastering photos over anything I can. Jud mentioned he got a kick out of some of them on here, so I’d better confess and acknowledge my sources. Thanks to the internet and a wonderful community of artists, you can spice up your own documents, presentations and blog posts with some stunning pictures, all for no money down and zero monthly payments.

Flickr users have made a lot of beautiful photos available through the Creative Commons license. If you do a search like this:
you’ll get around 3 million CC attribution/non-derivative/non-commercial licensed pictures that contain "the" in their description, sorted most-interesting first. Alter the search term if you want to explore something more specific. Make sure that you include proper attribution for the photo if you do use it, and respect the licensing. Be careful though, sometimes I end up spending more time browsing for photos than actually writing the post!

Once you’ve got one you like, my preferred way of getting them for a blog post is to screen-grab from the thumbnail shown on the main page for the photo. This is about the right size, has been downsampled well, and lets me do any cropping I want to do, all very quickly without ever having to load up a photo editing program. On the Mac you press Command-Shift-4 to bring up the cross-hairs, and then the result is saved as Picture X.png on your desktop. On Vista, load up the "Snipping Tool" from accessories and choose "New" to do pretty much the same thing.

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