The Creative Commons license system has been a real boon for publishers on a budget. If you need images but can't pay for them or create then yourself, CCFinder is a Windows app that lets you find them easily.
- Install CCFinder.
- Launch the program and register with Abelssoft. It wants your e-mail address and name only.
- There are a few different varieties of CC licensing, so you'll need to choose whether you want pics that are freely usable without limitation, those requiring attribution, or those that require permission. You can also decide to search for pictures that may not be used for commercial purposes and those that can't be changed in any way. Of course, the more you limit your search, the fewer pics you'll see in the results.
- From the results page, you can select any image to zoom in on it, then download it, visit the creator's Web site, or set it as your wallpaper.
- From the image view page, you can see the terms of the CC license and attribution information (if any). You can also apply a couple of different filters, though you are likely better off using your image-editing software of choice if the license permits modification.
That's it! You may find that images that permit commercial use are considerably more limited, but if you're just prettying up your blog or invitation, you should be fine.