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The Best Flickr Pictures to Spark A Story

Updated on December 3, 2014

Flickr is Great For Finding Creative Commons Images

I'm going to show you the best Flickr pictures that are available under the creative commons license. It is an incredible tool to spark your creativity and a sound asset for adding images to your words.

What is Flickr?

Flickr is a photography website where the license holder can choose several different licenses under which to publish his or her images. Anyone can join and present their photos to the public in almost any way he or she chooses.

The easiest way to navigate the site is to type in whatever image you are looking for, for instance "fox." Then thousands of pictures of foxes will appear. However, each of the images are available under different licenses. Towards the top, there is a white drop down tab titled "License." Then click on "Creative Commons Only," and "Commercial Use Allowed." Some of the images are under full copyright and cannot be shared or used commercially, others can be used but not changed or adapted, so be careful to follow the license rules.

As long as you follow the terms of the license you can use them here on HubPages. However, it is your responsibility to understand the limitations of the license, properly attribute them, and keep up with any of the industry and legal changes to the use of Creative Commons content.

Find your inspiration on Flickr.
Find your inspiration on Flickr. | Source

Let's Spark Your Creativity

Below I have curated some of the best Flickr Creative Commons' images for creative pursuits. My desire is that they spark a song, a story, a poem, an article, or a film.

You have my permission to use any of my interpretations of the images or story prompt ideas as a catalyst for your creations.

If you decide to use the images, please follow the link back to their original owner and give him or her credit for their work. One encouraging thing you can do is leave the photographer a comment that you enjoy their work and have used it in one of your works of art. It is your responsibility to double check the license and use the image appropriately.

You have my permission to use any of my interpretations of the images or story prompt ideas as a catalyst for your own creations.

Old Men


The Greatest Generation

There is so much going on in this picture—so much that is unsaid. It is just aching for a short story writer to do their thing and bring these men to life. The way they are sitting, of similar age and dress, gives the feeling that they've known each other for a lifetime. They know each other's thoughts, each other's histories, and there are no more words to say. They seem content in their silence.

They are men that have seen things maybe you and I haven't. Maybe they lived through the Great Depression, then the horrors of the War to End all Wars, just to watch their only sons get shipped off to Vietnam—to horrors they would have done anything, even die, to not repeat

They've watched gas prices rise and fall, the economy dive multiple times, Presidents get shot, buildings blown up, dictators rise and fall. They probably bought their first black and white TV, then watched as sci-fi fiction became reality. Man landed on the moon, robots took the place of humans, and friendly fireside chats turned to video conferences.

Maybe they lived in an era that prized hard work and strong ethics, that chose simplicity over extravagance, needs over passing pleasures, and true friendships over Facebook likes.

Maybe all they want to say to you is that life was hard for them, but it was good, it was real. They knew right from wrong, they trusted their neighbor, and they sent their kids to school in the morning and didn't worry about them showing up as a school shooting statistic on the 5 o'clock news.

Maybe they entertained themselves not with their heads down in devices, but with their eyes wide open, taking in the wonder of the world and the undefiled beauty of a nature that had not yet been stained by the hands of greedy consumerism.

Maybe they watched the map move a few times too many. They watched the Wall fall, the European Union rise, NATO take over the world's commerce, and the Iron Curtain forever change the European and Asian borders. They watched Hilter, Stalin, and Castro try to convert the world into a bloody Socialist Utopia.

Maybe they themselves hold secrets to the Great War that will never be declassified—stories they will take to their graves. Maybe the reason you are living in a free country today is that these men served their country as spies, as atomic physicists, or snipers to enemy government officials.

Maybe they sat in the same room as Hitler, smiling and nodding at his torturous plans, all the while plotting how they would get close enough to him to cast his soul into the deepest, darkest pits of hell. Maybe they did unspeakable things, things they knew were right in their minds, right in their devotion to their country, but ghosts that linger like the unwashable blood on the hands of Macbeth.


What Walls Might Say

Whose hands once graced these keys? Could Mozart? Beethoven? Chopin? What ears have beheld the beauty of her notes? Could this be the last party Lincoln attended before he was shot? Maybe Humphrey Bogart roamed these halls, sipping gin and mingling with Hollywood royalty.

Why was such a beautiful place abandoned? Was it a home or a palace? Was it open and free, or a jail cell it its occupants.

Maybe it was under construction in 1929, and the owners fled their money pit with barely the shirts on their backs—the gold infused walls defiled by looters and street gangs.

Will the family of the home ever return? Will its kin rebuild from the rubble? Is anything too far gone to be reborn? Will rebuilding this house become an obsession to its new occupant—an outwardly symbol of an inward struggle?

If these walls could talk, what would they say?

Are those new white curtains? Why does the rest of the house look like it's been abandoned for a hundred years, but the top of the piano looks almost freshly dusted?

What noises would you hear if you walked into the house? The sound of wind blowing up the chimney? Birds nesting in the rafters? Rats scurrying across the floor? If you hear a door creak open upstairs, do you investigate, or just say its the wind?

What does the house smell like? Do you liken it to the smell of an original copy of A Tale of Two Cities—the pages stained yellow with the cruel decay of time? Or maybe the smell of mold causes you to cover your nose, from too many winters and too many broken windows. Or does the sharp smell of urine drift through the house from squatters enjoying the fruits of another's labor?

Did you hear the story of the old kin-less widow who died one cold December night and left the house in one hundred years of silence. Listen carefully.

The Setting Sun

The sands of time
The sands of time | Source

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams...”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

One of my favorite books about remaining young at heart

I would Love to Hear From You

Did any of these words or pictures give you creative inspiration?

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Have you particpated in any of the HubPages Writer's Challenges?

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If any of these words or photos inspired a short story, film, article, or poem, I would love to hear from you in the comments section.


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    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thank you, Faith. Flickr is one of my favorite places for pictures and inspiration. Maybe some pictures are worth more than a thousand words.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Iris, I also love the desert picture, there is a very reflective and introspective quality to it.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Thanks Bill. If I ever see a piano in an old decrepit mansion, I will smile to myself.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Country-Sunshine, what a funny coincidence.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      I was aware of Flickr but have not perused it. This article has definitely piqued my interest and I will be off to explore.

      The images you have chose would indeed spark a great story or even a real life experience. The first one really hit home with me.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful photos to inspire! I will have to remember to check Flickr when looking for a great photo. Thank you for this reminder.

      The photos you found and included here certainly provoked our creative juices in our minds to get them flowing.

      Up +++ tweeting and pinning

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 

      4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      This is a great article and the images you chose are stunning. The desert one touches and inspires me in particular. I also found the voting results interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I loved all the pictures, Jen, but especially the piano in the deserted room. That was a keeper. Who knows, there may be a future story in it, or at least a scene in a future novel. Thanks for the spark.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Jennifer, the photos are intriguing. Your prompts certainly spark the imagination! I don't know if I can get to this challenge, but I'll be watching for those who do.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      4 years ago from Texas

      We must have been searching Flickr at the same time yesterday, as I almost used one of your suggestions in a Hub! (The figure with the balloons & birds).

      While I do not plan to use any of these photos here, your article is a reminder of where to get inspiration. Thanks!


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