Saturday, February 6, 2016

Unsplash Free Images Site Review

Review of Free Image Site UnSplash

This is the fifth review of sites with Free Images, in as many days. The image above came from there. Here is a link to the photographer Caitlin Wynne's website.  Today was particularly tough one. The site that I am reviewing is called UnSplash. It's been around for a while. They are held in high regard by everyone in the industry. Their reputation is impeccable. But I have a problem with Unsplash.com, and I want to give you fair warning.

You Can Spend A Lot Of Time On UnSplash

And that's the problem. I never thought I'd leave the site. All of the images are gorgeous. I couldn't find a bad one on the whole site. High definition, great detailed shots of a lot of things. IF there were anything that would improve the site, it would be to categorize them. Not that you couldn't find things without the categories. It would be easier though, if there were categories to choose from. As it stands though, if you use the search feature right above the first image, you'll find something that matches.

How To Browse

There aren't a lot of choices for this. But there isn't that much of a need for it. Up on the top left you will see three links. Those links will take you to exactly what it says. The Featured images are those that they are 'featuring'. The "New" link will take you to the most recent submitted images. Both of those have great images. The one that really caught my attention though was the "Collections" link.

What Are UnSplash Photo Collections

At first I thought they might be photos grouped by categories. I was expecting to find something like "Waterfalls'. In that collection I would find a lot of pictures of waterfalls. But it wasn't like that at all. What I found were "Collections" created by "curators'. It was very similar in concept to Google Collections. There weren't many curators, but the ones that were curating were pretty impressive. Here are a few of the curators along with a link to their collections. If you go to the collection, and want to learn more about the curator, there are links to their personal sites there. 
  • Matt Mullenwag - CEO of Automattic and creator of WordPress, the open source blogging platform used by over 22% of the web.
  • Dustin Senos - Former lead designer for Medium and creator of Wallcat app for the Mac 
  • Zach Klein - Zach Klein is an American Internet entrepreneur and currently the CEO of DIY.org. He is perhaps best known for co-founding and designing Vimeo in 2004.
  • Shopify Partners  - The Shopify Partner Program helps freelancers and agencies grow with client revenue share and access to exclusive resources.
I think collections are a good thing. I think they just need a little more time to grow. If you'd like early access to collections, you can request that here

What Else Can You Do At Unsplash?

If you click on the three little dots, just to the right of "Collections' in the top, you'll see a drop down menu. That drop down menu includes links to "Were Hiring, Events, Developers, and Backstage'. All of those are fun to explore. But what I found interesting was the "Tag Photos" link. Going there will bring up a page that asks you to help tag some photos. You can only tag three at a time, so it won't take you very long. I tagged six, and I think it helped me think more about their 'search' feature. I think it works great. 

What About The Technical Side Of The Site

Well, for starters it's a Ruby On Rails site, running on Fastly. They use Google Apps For Business, and Amazon Cloud. All of those are excellent choices. You can see more of the things they use to run the site at Built With, here.  The "Crew' that built it is a collaborative community, that is 'invite only'. You can find them here

Socially Speaking

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Ello

In Summary

I could go on all day about Unsplash.com. It has a lot of great pictures, it's easy to navigate, and it delivers on it's promise of being 'Free'. Here are there terms of use. I hope you visit it and find it as useful as I do. 
Thanks for reading.  and ps... if you're not following Kittie Walker , you should be.