Less is more, but sometimes more is so much more

Footprint on the Moon from the Apollo 11 mission, 1969.

I remember buying a clip art collection of a whopping 250,000 images, sometime back in the 90s. It seemed like a monstrous amount of stuff and came with a huge book with every piece of clip art printed in it. I was in business at the time, and we used it quite a bit, although 99% was totally unusable.

This wasn’t pre-web, but it was certainly before there were any remotely useful and affordable (never mind free) media resources on the web. Nowadays there is so much media it’s hard to keep up with it.

I decided to add a page of links (see “Commons” above) to free-to-use and public domain resources. You have to be choosy but some of the resources are unbelievably good.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1502 – Heironymous Bosch

One amazing example is the Museo Del Prado’s super-hi-res scans of certain classical paintings. Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” single file version comes in at and eye-watering 30,000 × 17,078 pixels at 223 Mb and is public domain. A merely high-resolution version is viewable online here and the monstrous full version is downloadable here. They say less is more, but not when it’s Heironymous Bosch.

The US Government famously publishes without copyright and this includes NASA. As a result, the famous minimalist 1969 photograph of Neil Armstrong’s one small footprint in the dust of the moon (above) is free to use, details here.

In this case less is definitely more.

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