High Quality, High Resolution Images – Dirt Free

This may not be news for hardcore self-publishers out there, but the rest of you might be interested in this.

Since I’m designing my own covers, I’ve been looking for free photos online. There are plenty of free stock image places online, but where the resolution was good enough, the image often wasn’t, and where I liked the image, either I couldn’t get a high enough resolution, or the image was shaped incorrectly (mostly landscape where I need portrait).

But when I was designing this cover:

I hit upon the brilliant (if I don’t say so myself) idea of going to the Center for Disease Control and looking for images there. The above photo of the smirking doctor putting on the glove was perfect. He even looks like a model. And it is totally and utterly free, in the public domain, and available at a high resolution.

So now, I’m designing the cover of the third book, and I’m having another problem:

The image is too freakin’ perfect. This beautiful photo of an idyllic farm is all wrong for my dystopian setting. So I need to find a picture of an ugly farm–to contrast with the title–but the photographers for the US government has too much of an eye for beauty.

But trust me: it’s a good problem to have. If pinch comes to shove, I can uglify a photo. It just seems like such a crime.

Anyway, the actual treasure trove is here:

US Government Images and Photos

Not every photo is in the public domain, but most are. Be sure to check.

Happy hunting!

8 Thoughts to “High Quality, High Resolution Images – Dirt Free”

  1. Tia, thanks!
    I also use Morgue File: http://www.morguefile.com/

    1. Tia Nevitt

      I’ll add it to my list. Thanks!

  2. I hadn’t thought of checking with the U.S. goverment for photos. It’s neat that they’re a good source. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    1. I probably should have thought of it. I learned in library school that they publish bound books surprisingly cheap. I just never thought beyond that. {Smile}


    2. Tia Nevitt

      If I hadn’t wanted medical images, I never would have thought of it. I am also finding wonderful images at the Bureau of Land Management.

      1. {thoughtful look} The Bureau of Land Management could have some interesting photos now that you mention it. Thanks for pointing it out. {Smile}

        Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  3. Raven

    That’s a great resource, Tia.

    I took a look at Morgue File as well, and it looks like another great one. Thanks for sharing, Kat!

  4. Sebastian Clouth


    I am the Books editor at Before It’s News (beforeitsnews.com). Our site is a rapidly growing people-powered news platform currently serving over 3 million visits a month. We like to call ourselves the “YouTube of news.”

    We would love to republish your blog’s RSS Feed in our new Books section. Every post would have a description of your site and a link back to it. Our visitors would love to read your content and find out more about you!

    You could also publish excerpts of your books if you’d like :), along with links back to pages where they are for sale.

    It’s a great opportunity to spread the word about your work and reach new readers. We don’t censor or edit work.

    We will be featuring and promoting content and book excerpts across the web.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


    Sebastian Clouth
    Books Editor, Before It’s News

Comments are closed.