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Show HN: Free hi-resolution photos for your website. 10 new photos every 10 days (unsplash.com)
357 points by mikaelcho on May 30, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 137 comments

What the hell's happening to HN? Why so many negative put downs on pet projects? Someone just posted 10 free images for you to photoshop your startup's screenshot onto. Shut up, take it, and say thank you.

Jesus Christ! What? Your poor egos are hurt because you didn't change the world before age 25 and now have to attack everyone's pet project for not being the next flickr?

So what did you guys make? Post links please.

And down-vote them.

Honestly. Nearly every crappy comment I see, while lower on the page, is still black. They're sending a signal that such behavior is acceptable. Kill them off ASAP.

It's amazing how much the title submission can influence comments.

Original title: "Hated expensive, crappy stock photos so I made this."

Current title: "Free hi-resolution photos for your website. 10 new photos every 10 days"

A lot of these comments are really negative and might be confusing to people who didn't know the original title. And frankly, when you have a title like that to start, it warrants some of the criticism.

If you just take this site for what it is, and what the new title says, then it's awesome and no one should really have a problem with someone spending their time taking great quality photos and releasing them for free.

The title is still too general, if I understand the point of these photos: They appear to be intended as splash images for app websites (I guess the first batch of 10 is for desktop apps), with the implication that you will perspective-distort a screenshot and superimpose it on one of these, using it on your home page.

It's not a bad idea. It certainly can lend a more dramatic look to a low-budget brochureware site, although were these to become popular, they'd quickly become recognizable.

Actually - i would have been more pleased if I had clicked on the first title. The new one sounds like its trying to sell me something, the first one sounds like a pet project.

Still - It is too general in both case and i can't seem to understand the use case.

There are millions (billions?) of stock photos in the world, and your plan is to replace all of them with 10 pictures of a MacBook Air?

Even with more pictures it's unlikely you'll beat a Creative Commons search on Flickr:


Why does he need to beat Flickr? Should I not open an e-commerce shop because Amazon exists?

I think this is a great idea. Why go through the hassle of selling your photos and worrying about people stealing them when you can make money on ad revenue instead?

Why go through the hassle of selling your photos and worrying about people stealing them when you can make money on ad revenue instead?

Well, for a lot of reasons... if photography is what you're good at and what you enjoy, the make-money-on-ads model makes no sense unless you're also very good at generating traffic.

It also at least partially removes your income from the quality and quantity of your output. Of course the latter will be one important factor in building and maintaining traffic, but the reality of your business then becomes driving traffic, with photography as an ancillary requirement.

Plus you're now dependent not only on your ability to take good pictures and drive large amounts of traffic, you're also at the mercy of changing revenue. Great, you're making a living wage... but now suddenly your ad service isn't paying as much as it used to, so the same volume of traffic brings you less money. Oops.

There are tradeoffs, but I would not say this is a viable alternative at all unless you're also doing other things and driving traffic is as much your primary skill as photography.

"Should I not open an e-commerce shop because Amazon exists?" - probably not, and definitely not if you're going to only sell 10 things.

I'm sure the many thousands (millions?) of small-business online stores could have benefitted from this advice. Obviously they were mistaken in believing they could make a profit.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't all of the various the creative commons licenses require author attribution if the author requires it? If so, that makes cc images much more difficult to use and find. I've had this issue recently where I could not determine if I had to add attribution or not and, if so, I would have to edit the image or place some text next to it which is a pain in the ass for dynamic images because now you have to store that information somewhere. This page: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ doesn't show any option where attribution is not required, although this page: http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/ which is linked in the OP page, seems to say you don't need attribution. If I use the wizard on http://creativecommons.org/choose/ I don't see a path that gets me to a license that doesn't require attribution. It's easier to just buy photos for a reasonable price than to deal with the uncertainty. Maybe someone can explain to me how it's supposed to work.

For example, here is an image from the link in the parent


and here is the license


which says: "Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). "

Ok, someone tell me what manner is specified by the author.

You're missing the point. They're not trying to beat Flickr. This is great content marketing by ooomf, a startup that's all about helping designers/developers connect with great short term projects.

Anyone who's built side projects that could use a little pizzazz would be well served by this. It's really useful to the community.

Perhaps his plan is to ultimately add an option for a paid model once he builds up a user base? I've found it to be challenging to find professional-quality stock-like photos on Flickr amidst the millions of pictures of vacations.

>> I've found it to be challenging to find professional-quality stock-like photos on Flickr amidst the millions of pictures of vacations.

If you need professional quality stuff, you should be paying for it from one of the many stock agencies around. The agencies have lots of rules and safeguards that are designed to save you the headache of worrying about whether model releases were signed, etc.

I've spend hundreds of hours searching through Creative Commons photos on Flickr for a wall mural business and know how much flickr search results suck. No matter what I search for I always end up eventually getting asian children at a temple in my results or other nonsense.

Also, photographers with GOOD images don't sell them for $0.05 on Fotolia, Dreamstime, etc... Getty Images sucks because of it's restrictions and $3,000 / price tag and prehistoric policies. If you check the stock photo site's payout rates you'll realize why they have so many generic images and so little amazing photography. The good photographers keep their stuff off those stock sites.

Going on 3 hours at the top of HN, soon to be the #1 stock photo site. Nothing but MacBook Air pictures.

Interesting, but a slight critique. There's some lens chromatic aberration in the bokeh/blur... a better lens that performs with little chroma wide open would solve it, or failing that stopping down just a couple notches down from wide open.

Yet another reasons people pay for hi-resolution high-quality photographs, or take their own. Photographs cost money because they provide value, and some random photos taken by a non-professional don't always cut it. Great of you to give it a shot and put it out there though.

I love this advice. While most commenters are addressing potential legal issues, you addressed a technical issue - the art of taking the photographs themselves. That's awesome of you. I hope to see more of this kind of advice on HN.

Technical issues are irrelevant if there are prohibitive legal issues at hand.

Some of the blur appears to have been added in post-processing.

Agreed, also contributing to the low-quality feel of it.

I think the developer took MVP to the extreme.

For legal reasons it's critical to fully explain the license on the photos available for download, and the terms for anybody submitting the photos. Unfortunately it's really not enough to just say: "Free hi-resolution photos for your website."

> I think the developer took MVP to the extreme.

Sorry to go off-topic, but MVPs are meant to be extreme! That's the whole point. Maybe OP has no idea about licenses or the necessity of them. Had they not posted this, all these lovely comments on the matter would have never been written!

Please make that legally solid by going to (https://creativecommons.org/choose/) and making them the correct licence. Or state a legal licence under which they are distributed on your site as.

Unfortunately we live in a legal environment where the author stating "free for commercial and personal use" is not a licence strong enough to hold up under law.

Hey, thanks for the comment. Looking to add something now. Apparently this is the most 'open' and least restrictive of the CC licenses: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US but it still says we would need to attribute the author which we don't require.

There's also CC0 which puts the work into the public domain http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/

Awesome. Thanks. Added this text "do whatever you want" and linked to that license: http://cl.ly/image/3J0C3L1R301B

Thanks for putting the works into the public domain Mikael! You should link to the actual license though: http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Thank you again and good luck with the effort!

This may be dumb question, but can you use an open source license like the MIT license for something like this?

Comedy option: WTFPL.

(Use the CC stuff if you can.)

> I think the developer took MVP to the extreme.

I don't know why. But I laughed so hard on this.

Those looking for stock images: google image has a creative commons filter. Trying to find free "stock images" is a road to hell. The key word is "creative commons".

how do I even find that setting in a normal images search?

I don't see it under search tools...

"Usage Rights" at the bottom of this page: http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search

You get there by clicking the gear icon on the right side of the image search results page; 'Advanced search' is under that. Yay for Google making one more tool more difficult interact with.

As does flickr.

You tread dangerous ground offering free images with logos and brands in them. Be careful in choosing a license.

I can't upvote this enough. The first thing that jumped out at me when I was browsing the photos is the prominent "Macbook Air" branding on the laptop. Unless you have Apple's permission to use their trademark in your work, you could be on shaky legal ground should they choose to pursue legal action against you.

There's a reason why advertisers will edit out branding of products that they happen to use in their ads. The most prominent examples I can think of are tire companies. They use recognizable luxury and sports cars to show off their tires, but, if you look closely, they've edited out the logos and nameplates of those cars. Presumably this is to legally shield themselves from those car manufacturers accusing the tire company of misusing their trademarks, or implying an endorsement where none exists. In this case, it might be wise to edit out the Macbook Air and Apple branding, so that it doesn't look like you're being endorsed or supported by Apple.

"Presumably this is to legally shield themselves from those car manufacturers accusing the tire company of misusing their trademarks"

I wouldn't assume that. It could also be simply because they don't want to give publicity to another brand. For example it's hard to believe that if Coach decided to put an ad with an Apple Macbook in it they would have an issue with that. [1]

In any case here are the Apple guidelines:


I see nothing on this page which prohibits someone from using an Apple product in a photograph and it's almost impossible to believe that Apple could claim trademark (or even if they could would expend energy to stamp this out) over someone taking a photo of their laptop. In other words a picture of someone sitting in a coffee shop using a Macbook, iphone whatever.

[1] That said Coach is a large company and they would almost certainly be ritually correct in their approach. Done on a smaller scale the amount of care does not have to be the same.

Our local credit union was sued by the city for using a picture of a local bridge on their debit cards. The credit union owned the rights to the photograph that was provided by a local photographer. The city owned the right to pictures of the local bridge. Vicious cycle.

How does a city "own the right to pictures of the local bridge"?

This is just insane...

"However, a French court ruled, in June 1990, that a special lighting display on the tower in 1989, for the tower's 100th anniversary, was an "original visual creation" protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation, France's judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March 1992.[54] The Société d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE) now considers any illumination of the tower to be under copyright.[55] As a result, it is no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in France and some other countries."


From what I understand, they won't go after a tourist posting to Flickr, but they will go after anyone trying to sell images or use those images in a commercial way.

Must be some special circumstance on that more to that story than meets the eye.

This info pertains to NYC, I believe it to be correct:


More info:


In the same way that you can't sell images of the Eiffel Tower at night without clearance. Someone owns those rights also.

The official Apple take on use of their products in custom photography and video for promotional purposes is covered on page 12 of the App Store Marketing Guidelines: "Custom still photography and video of Apple products are allowed only with express written consent and approval from Apple." [1]

That said, there are plenty of examples in the wild, even in app store screenshots, of violations of this policy. So Apple's enforcement doesn't seem to be particularly strict.

[1] https://developer.apple.com/appstore/AppStoreMarketingGuidel...

What I surprise; HN crapping all over a show submission. Not even in a constructive form, hate for the sake of hate. Love it. Though to be fair, I'm glad you all seem to see no value in this. I'll use these and won't in turn have to replace them as they take on the ubiquity of Bootstrap

Well this is great if you are looking for apple products displayed in a cafe environment with that natural wood feel. If not, I guess I'm out of luck.

Thanks for the comment! Will add more (and different photos in the future). This was just the first batch.

Why do all of the photo's have Apple products in them?

I would recommend displaying the license in which these high resolution photos can be used, because "free" isn't a license.

> Why do all of the photo's have Apple products in them?

Some people believe they become better humans for using Apple products. By showing it to the world they think that other people will agree.

It's exactly like the cross.

And color me unsurprised - of course there's a Moleskine notebook.

I presume that each batch of photos will have a specific theme or a use case in mind. If I were looking for sharp photos for my web design consulting website, and I think Apple products are the standard for the industry, I might use these images. Conversely, if I were doing a basketball design, I might incorporate urban images (asphalt, chain link fence, generic graffiti) to invoke a particular mindset or attitude.

>> Why do all of the photo's have Apple products in them?

It's funny that this seems to be a big deal.

The answer's simple -- many people just photograph the stuff they happen to own.

Nice shots, but why not just submit them to Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/etc under Creative Commons license? Much better chance of people actually finding and using them, IMO.

why the hate guys? he made some good looking pictures and is offering them for free. And the top 3 comments here are people hating. Creative Commons is difficult in most stock photo use cases - there is often the requirement to display an attribution close to the picture, which would look odd in most designs. So please calm down and try to appreciate the effort.

Quality + Scarcity = You get what you pay for.

If you don't want to pay the big bucks and don't use a lot of media, hire a photographer. In any large city a LF photographer post on craiglists will net you more emails then you know what to do with. If you only need a handful of shots just use one of the many "Fiver" type sites.

I don't know why this post is upvoted so high, unless your website sells macbooks, watches, or glasses of water, the premise is ridiculous.

http://sxc.hu has a ton of free stock photos of varying licenses/quality. Also searching on flickr for cc'd images often will net you some good photos.

Oddly, the first thing that I noticed is that the image of him typing at the keyboard has really bad chroma aberration (notice the purple around all the keys).

The photo quality would be rejected at some stock sites not just thanks to this severe chromatic aberration (try a better lens?) but also the excessive post processing causing contrast fringing, etc.

These cannot be used in commercial print for discerning customers.

I've found great results on Flickr with a Creative Commons search, and buying stock photos for commercial work is a tiny part of a print piece budget.

>> These cannot be used in commercial print for discerning customers.

Yeah, I'm not sure that's his target market. Most of the people who would use his images probably don't even know what CA is or how to spot it -- they just care about "free".

I imagine that more serious image hunters would stick with the big stock agencies.

Maybe you could try turning on your screens, perhaps using a white or light blue fullscreen image so there is some kind of light reflected into the hands and objects surrounding the devices. Otherwise it will look odd when somebody photoshops a screenshot on top of the black screen.

Some of the other feedback is spot on, but I, for one, thank you for your intentions. Being thankful and polite is so underrated.

The photos look amazing. May I ask what the license is on these photos?

Thanks. Everything is free for commercial and personal use.

Would you mind throwing that up on the top of the page?

EDIT: Rather, making explicit that they are royalty-free images for both non-commercial and commercial use.

Yup! Working on it now. Thanks for the comment.

As others have said here, you should consider hosting these with great keywords with a Creative Commons license on Flickr, and/or contribute them to a few free stock photo sites, and link back to your new site consistently featuring new work. You'll get found more easily at the places most people are searching, and start to make a name for yourself through bringing them back here.

At the same time, you should look into your technique if you'd like these to be usable for commercial print work.

These likely cannot be used in print work as is; the photo quality is borderline. They likely wouldn't be chosen by art directors to use large (eg., background images) or on today's retina screens, for the same reason. If someone is reviewing the work, too many clients' eyes will jump to the problems.

You may want to consider a better lens that doesn't exhibit the strong purple color fringing. You also need to reduce (or change methods of) the post processing that's causing severe fringing between the various subjects in the pictures, ringing on the out of focus elements, etc. These look and feel a lot like high end camera phone pics run through too much filter.

In considering composition, watch out for elements like the errant finger on the left hand writing. Any element that's too unusual draws excess attention, detracting from stock photo value, unless of course that element is the featured element.

Check out the quality standards guidelines at iStockPhotos:


For example, they would have likely rejected these for chromatic aberration and maybe for over filtering:



Finally, as noted in other comments, generally company logos are not acceptable in stock photography:


This is cool, good work. My startup is in the photography industry–don't worry about competing with Flickr's CC images or even microstock sites. Just focus on "Splash images for your software/mobile startup." ... if anything, you're competing with the free PSDs you find on Dribbble

I have a full studio with Profoto strobes. If you need some more contributors, let me know.

Some other thoughts:

- I think you'll grow out of Tumblr and Dropbox real quick (I'm already seeing Dropbox errors)

- Give people an option to "buy out" an image from the set. For, say, $100 someone can license exclusively an image and it's no longer available.

- Include some Photoshop files that place a screen shot on the image and apply the proper perspective/warping. People can then just drop in their screen shots.

Good MVP.

EDIT: Here's a quick-and-dirty example of a PSD with a "placed" screenshot that is adjusted properly to fit the screen:


It's... just a bunch of photos of Apple products.

Not even close to a full stock photo replacement.

And the phone's not even an iPhone 5. What is this, 2011?

10 CC photos of an Apple laptop at the top of hacker news...

This is someone winning a bet that they could get anything to the top of hacker news somehow, right?

Common, this is pure Apple dope... And how cliché! The neat and clean hacker standing straight in front of an espresso and his shiny Macbook lying a sweet wooden table...

Hacking is sooooooo cool and clean!

Stock photography is way more than Apple overpriced products and shot-at-f1.4 bokeh-powered pictures.

Also, Flickr has lots and lots of good quality CC and other free to use licensed photos.


I love stuff like this - super simple solution to a common pain point.

http://placeit.breezi.com/ is a very similar service with CC images.

This site is great. Does the image placement, and blending correclty

Why all the hate? You guys are always telling people to launch early and at the end of the day the OP is sharing something that he created to help out his peers, for free and with the promise of more to come.. I certainly appreciate it!

edit: I see a lot of you took issue with the original title:

> "Hated expensive, crappy stock photos so I made this"

Granted, it wasn't a great title but I kind of get where he's coming from - I used to spend hours trawling through istockphoto and shutterstock for decent photographs and a lot of it matched that description.

This is awesome, I've also felt the same about finding photos. I hope this changes that. Keep it up! I'll contribute when I learn some post processing so you can have more awesome photos.

Awesome. We're looking for photos to add so when you're ready, you can submit them here: http://unsplash.com/submit

All of the comments here hating on the "only 10 photos on Apple" seem pretty ridiculous to me. Clearly, the author chose a theme for today and will add more non-Apple photos later.

Then again, the OP did release it right at the start, before it'll be useful to anyone, so I'm surprised it's hit the #1 spot.

Even if you do keep this pace, you'll have a grand total of 365 pictures after a year, covering something like 36 topics. Not exactly ground-breaking. It would be great if you could crowd-source and curate the best pictures.

Stock photography sites are about being able to search with any keyword and come up with a photo that you can instantly use. The value is in convenience, not the photos themselves

Some really good shots here, they will come in handy at some point in my current projects release span. Thanks for the free images. I don't get why everyone here is being so negative? You are getting free high quality images to use for your startups, be grateful you are getting anything at all. I know for a fact you could get money for these images on a paid stock site.

The HN community has really deteriorated in the last year or two.

I think these photos are meant for designers to superimpose their designs on top of the screens? Not sure if the focus is on the objects in the images.

What incentive do photographers have to submit to your site? At least on the 'majors' (istockphoto, dreamstrime, shutterstock et al) they earn something. And if you are the only one doing submissions, you can't possibly cover all categories so if I'm in search of a particular shot I am unlikely to come to your site. Not trying to be negative, just trying to understand what your plan is.

Maybe a license-enforced watermark of the photographer's name.

but then it's crappy

My problem with stock photos is, people in them look like robots. Understandable, since they are usually not actors. Many times when they are talking, they don't look at each other but some crap object. When taking 20 variants of a scene, at least one should involve people talking with each other. That's what people usually do when they pose for a stock photo set for an hour.

I like the idea but this project badly needs all legalities fixed (license is missing, there is a person but no model release, maybe more).

Another site with high quality public domain photography is http://www.pixabay.com

10 free photos, and it's all Apple fanboy photos? Thanks anyway I guess, don't look a gift horse in the mouth :)

Absolutely, definitely not, hipsters!

Funny you mention. Our first idea for the domain was hipsterphotos.com

Looks great, and it's an awesome idea. I'm not sure what your incentive to continue doing this will be, but please do. Also, I would much prefer quality over quantity. So, if one week you don't have time to create something great, just skip it. (My opinion of course)

I initially thought it was a service to embed your app's screenshot onto any device.

Which, btw, would be awesome.

PlaceIt does just that and is awesome http://placeit.breezi.com/

I see. Cool idea, but would work nicer if done client-side so it could update all those images at once.

Nice idea, but without a search/tagging system, how is someone supposed to find relevant images?

Thank you so much for this. The pictures are beautiful, and I've used them to spiffy-up my medium profile. Just published a post with one of them as the header in "IMHO".

Again, really great work, and thank you again.

Nice idea (even similar to http://picturesdeal.com) and very good photos kudos mikaelcho.

You can still obtain some decent free stock photos on sxc.hu, although many of the searches are filled with links to premium photos.

Awesome, really excited about this.

Just a thought: You should have a "tip jar" so people can show their appreciation where it counts.

Good idea. Thanks for the "tip."

Since Dropbox is 509'ing, can someone who's downloaded the photos mirror them somewhere like imgur instead?

Thanks for these; iStockphoto has gotten really nasty lately (higher prices, and restrictive licenses).

Why is this the top post on HN?

Why not one photo a day?

Because 10 photos in 10 days sounds like more? I dunno.

Thank you for your generosity. Good luck with this project.


some1 snaps a few pics of his macbook air!

and boom is one top of the HN front page

He created something that apparently a lot of people on HN find interesting (it wouldn't be on the front page otherwise). Personally, I make iOS apps so it could be useful in the future. On top of that, anyone who gives stuff away for free that took them a measure of effort gets my attention.

Also, he had an idea and executed it and released it, so he gets points for that as well.

So you took a couple of pictures (that appear to be Apple ads more than anything, as an aside)? I'm sorry if this sounds negative, but I find it completely disingenuous that you denigrate an entire industry and portray a pittance of images as the salvation.

When you pay for a stock image, as an aside, a part of the value of paying is economic scarcity: That the images that you choose aren't blanketing every Wordpress site, etc.

" I find it completely disingenuous that you denigrate an entire industry and portray a pittance of images as the salvation."

Isn't this a bit much? There's hardly any text on the site at all, much less enough to 'denigrate an entire industry'.

This is just a web page with 10 photos on it with a cc license. Don't know where you're getting the rest of that.

Isn't this a bit much?

Apparently you're new here.

"I find it completely disingenuous that you denigrate an entire industry and portray a pittance of images as the salvation."

Huh, where did he denigrate an entire industry?

Lots of hate in this thread, which I don't get. Granted, you can find a lot of free stock photos on the internet, but I find the idea of curated list of photos targeted for product landing pages valuable. This was clearly an MVP and for some reason HN audience found it valuable and voted it to the front page, but I don't see how it deserves all the negativity that is shown in many comments.

The original title said something negative about stock photos (but I can't recall exactly what).

I'm not sure how it got changed but this was the original title, "Hated expensive, crappy stock photos so I made this."

The guidelines ask submissions to use the page's title. Moderators often change them to conform. http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

yeah, I think the vitriol was all about the original title which was something like "I hated crappy stock photo sites, so I ..."

As others have said, the original title said "Hated expensive, crappy stock photos so I made this." So yeah, that's where he denigrated an entire industry.

and for some reason HN audience found it valuable and voted it to the front page

This a recurring retort. It's nonsense. A very small percentage of HNers can get something to the top of the front page (especially if it uses a title that panders to a bias, given that many people never actually click on the link). That they do in no world inoculates the target against any criticism.

Also having brand names in your stock photos have certain legal landmines, you should talk to your lawyer before using these photos.

I don't think apple will be upset in this case though...

Apple will most certainly be upset. The have a ton of brand guidelines on how you can display their products in your own marketing. For instance you are not allowed to show an iphone in any direction other than straight on, and you are not allowed to have anything partially occluding the iphone.

You are allowed to use the iPhone in any manner you want, as long as you use your own photography (not from apple.com, or their PR images).

If you are talking about Apple's marketing partners' rules for using photography, then those do not apply to the rest of the world.

But the value of stock images is to use them somewhere else.

Lets say I write an article negatively portraying the electronics manufacturing industry and use these images along with the article. I'm pretty sure Apple wouldn't like it if they found out...

You are extending Apple way more rights than they actually have. Trademark and copyright don't exist to keep people from saying negative things about you.

No, but libel and slander laws do exist to keep people from saying untrue negative things about you, so it still pays to be careful if that's what you intend to do.

Libelous and/or slanderous content wouldn't be made any more or less illegal by having or not having identifiable brands in stock photography.

Despite the reactionary comments in this thread, we're not in a corporatist dystopia where it's against the law to publish a photograph of a ubiquitous consumer device.

The number of times I've seen someone say, "Apple sucks", "The iPhone sucks", "Apple are tax evaders" without recourse I seriously doubt Apple can or would do anything when someone is expressing their opinion. Free speech buddy.

Libel and slander laws are more directed at individuals... large corporate companies are free game in my opinion.

Are you a lawyer? I hope this is not legal advice you're giving, because the general best practices I've always learned using pictures in marketing material: "Never show brands or products names"

"because the general best practices"

It's important to know and understand the reasons behind advice like that. It totally depends on the circumstances, who is doing it and a host of other factors. Best practice? Get a government job with a pension and you won't have to worry about anything. Work for a corporation where they have departments that tell you what you can and should do and worry about all sorts of minutia.

I've used Apple logos in the past frequently as well as other things similar. Large companies don't expend energy and legal time doing anything nasty to small companies without a compelling reason (of course you could show me outliers obviously but you can't make money in business worrying about those outliers). Worse case scenario is normally a nasty letter asking you to stop, if that. The chance of an actual legal claim and money damages (once again in most cases) is minute. You might have to pay a lawyer to write something in reply. So what?

(And yes I've gone up against the NCAA and AMX with nasty letters and made them go away so I've pushed the envelope at least that far..I've also gotten approval in advance from the IRS as well for a project using their logo.)

Perhaps you're conflating - the reality is that it's much more akin to "in a manner that implies a relationship, endorsement by the manufacturer that doesn't exist", and similar.

"that you denigrate an entire industry"

I'm no fan of stock photos but I have to say that the few images look pretty much like stock photos. Which is what I don't like about them. The fact that you don't have to pay is really not the issue it's that particular look (with the blur etc.) that bothers me.

Finding great stock photos is HARD and if there's a place that can show a few that are free and beautiful looking, that's value add. Have you seen google images? anything free out there with regards to images is totally useless minus 2.

As somebody who did pro photography for a few years, these photos are a good example of why you should never shoot JPG, but RAW instead, and process everything in 16 bit per channel until you actually save the end result.

Your process resulted in absolutely horrible posterization, can be clearly seen on this one (display of the laptop):



Error (509)

This account's public links are generating too much traffic and have been temporarily disabled!

10 pictures of a macbook air gets you front-page top placement on HN.

Now that I know...

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