Creating this journal in the hopes of providing artists with extra leads for high quality resources that might otherwise be ignored. More specifically from government websites that many people shy away from because the last thing you want is government knocking on your door for copyright infringement.
A list I hope you may help me to expand, with the understanding that government sources should always be credited if only as a matter of common courtesy to give credit where credit is due. And that everyone should read the fine print on any government website because there are certain exceptions like obtaining additional permission for things like official logos or any photos with identifiable people that may require model releases.
That said, here are some my favourites:
- Hubble / spacetelescope.org
(where they also ask you to notify them of image use; something I've done in "batches" which they have not responded to, but I imagine it's because they have much greater priorities
- NASA Landsat Image Gallery
- Yellowstone National Park
(via Flickr): A great number of images from a public profile that states: "Images in the public domain mean that there are no licensing restrictions on them and that you can use them for free. All we ask is that you credit the photographer and the National Park Service (NPS) like this: photographer name, NPS. So, go ahead and download images you might need for a school project, PowerPoint presentation, cool advertisement, magazine article, or your next viral video"
- Grand Canyon National Park
(via Flickr): Another amazing well of inspirational images. From a profile that states the same thing as Yellowstone: "Images in public domain mean that there are no licensing restrictions on them and that you can use them for free. All we ask is that you credit the photographer and the National Park Service (NPS) like this: NPS photo by "photographer name" So, go ahead and download images you might need for a school project, PowerPoint presentation, advertisement, magazine article, or your next viral video."
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Pacific Southwest Region
Hope to provide more sources as time permits, although it is a slow process since I try my best to ensure these sources are safe and useful especially within an artistic context. Please feel free to offer any other government resources that you think might complement the ones above, even outside the US provided they allow for commercial use