What is the value in adding an image?
Images have impact. They invite your listener to engage more fully. A well-chosen photograph adds to the verbal point being made. It literally adds colour to the spoken word. For those who are more visual learners it makes the talk more accessible.
I showed the photo on the right when I was recounting the story about the rescue of the hostages held at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976. My hope was that the picture would help the audience emotionally connect with the illustration and think more deeply about the notion of being ‘rescued’.
What is ‘fair use’?
I found the above picture in the course of my research. It was included in a Wikipedia article. Clicking on the photo revealed that it was public domain, meaning I could use it without being concerned about copyright infringement. I still needed to give attribution and we will get to that in the next section.
Not all the images I find on-line are public domain, but that doesn’t mean I cannot use them as an illustration. However, I do need to give some thought to whether my inclusion would be considered ‘fair use’. This concept is not black and white so take care here. If I am using the image to enhance a commercial presentation, then I am on thin ice. I would probably be wiser to purchase a suitable image. However, if I use an image to assist in an educational presentation or presenting research or a critical review then I am on firmer ground. For a fuller explanation of ‘fair use’ check out Sara Hawkins’ excellent article here.
How to Give Attribution
Whether the image I use is public domain or governed by some license I should give attribution. TASL is an acronym to recall the ideal format:
- T – title of image
- A – author of image
- S – source of the image
- L – license governing the image
I find it a challenge to work that full format into a talk or onto an image slide. Often I mention the title of the image or a shortened version of it and include on the slide attribution to the author with an imbedded hyperlink to fuller information.
I would love to hear how others are navigating this issue. How do you incorporate image attribution into your presentations?
Where to find on-line images
My go-to site for finding images is the Creative Commons portal. There I set the filter to “modify, adapt, or build upon”, choose Flickr as my image source and type a search term into the query box. The search results can be used in presentations with appropriate attribution. I have found if I am looking for historical images, like the one I used above, then choosing Google Images as the image source will return better results.