Using iStock files


Photos

Using photos in your projects

When you download a photo on iStock, you're purchasing a royalty-free license that gives you the rights to use that photo in a wide variety of uses, including: advertising, publishing, websites, blogs and presentations.

All of our photos come with our standard license, which means you only have to pay for the initial download of a file and won't have to pay the photographer a royalty each time you use the image in a way that's allowed under that license. Adding extended licenses to your download can let you use the photo in even more ways.

For more information on how you can use iStock photos, please refer to our license comparison page.

Editorial use only photos

Unlike the majority of our collection, editorial photos don't have any model or property releases, which means they can't be used for commercial, promotional, advertorial or endorsement purposes. These images often include news, sports and entertainment images that portray real-world people, places, events and things and are intended to be used only in connection with events that are newsworthy or of general interest (for example, in a blog, textbook, newspaper or magazine article).

Modifying iStock images

You are welcome to modify photos and illustrations downloaded from iStock. Feel free to crop, cut out, flip, rotate, add text, edit colors, or apply any other creative effect you can think up. However, your modifications must not violate the content. View license agreement.

Image resolutions

Our images and illustrations are provided by many different contributors who may set the default resolution on large files lower than 300dpi. Any image file can be saved at varying resolutions without changing the quality or physical size of the image. Changing a 72dpi image to a 300 dpi will not alter the quality or size of the image. To change the dpi, open the image in your image editing tool and change the resolution.

Illustrations and vectors

Using illustrations and vectors in your projects

From basic sets of icons to digital masterpieces, photo-realistic raster images to infinitely scalable vectors, you can use iStock illustrations and vectors for a wide variety of commercial and editorial purposes, including advertising, publishing, websites, blogs and presentations.

All of our illustrations come with our standard license, which means you only have to pay for the initial download of a file and won't have to pay the artist a royalty each time you use the image in a way that's allowed under that license. Adding extended licenses to your download can let you use the illustration in even more ways.

For more information on how you can use iStock illustrations and vectors, please refer to our license comparison page.

Getting your EPS file out of ZIP folder

Our vector illustrations are saved as EPS files, which we provide inside a ZIP folder for easy downloads. If you can't find the EPS file, it's probably still inside of a ZIP folder on your computer.

Some web browsers will automatically open downloaded ZIP files for you, but others will save the ZIP file directly to your computer. To access the EPS, double click on the ZIP file.

If you have problems opening the ZIP folder, try the following steps:

  1. Check your browser's Download Manager to ensure the ZIP file has finished downloading to your computer.
  2. If the folder won't open when you double click the ZIP file, try shortening the ZIP folder name to 8 characters or less.
  3. If the ZIP folder has downloaded but won't open even after you've shortened the file name, you can always re-download the file at any time by returning to the file's detailed information page.

How to open and edit EPS files

Our vector files are saved as EPS files which are compatible with most vector programs.

Vector illustrations will also open into many photo-editing programs and can be saved as JPEGs, TIFFs, PDFs, or other raster file formats. They can also be imported into page layout programs like InDesign and Quark. If you are unable to open the file into a vector or raster program, please contact us and let us know which file format you require.

Please note: if your vector editing software is older than 8 years, you may be unable to open EPS files. If this is the case, we will be happy to provide you your file in another format.

Making shapes editable

If you've opened up your EPS in your vector program but are unable to edit the shapes in the file, try the following:

  1. Ensure you've opened the file labeled 'EPS'
  2. Open the EPS file into your editing software and open your 'Layer' palette. If you see a lock icon next to the layer, click on it to unlock the layer so that you can edit the shapes.

Hiding thin blue lines (guides)

Some illustrators use what are called 'guide' lines to help them align objects within their artwork. These lines will not show when you print the artwork, though if you find them distracting you can turn them off.

You can turn off the guide lines in Adobe Illustrator under 'View > Guides > Hide Guides'.

Modifying iStock images

You are welcome to modify photos and illustrations downloaded from iStock. Feel free to crop, cut out, flip, rotate, add text, edit colors, or apply any other creative effect you can think up. However, your modifications must not violate the content. View license agreement.

Image resolutions

Our images and illustrations are provided by many different contributors who may set the default resolution on large files lower than 300dpi. Any image file can be saved at varying resolutions without changing the quality or physical size of the image. Changing a 72dpi image to a 300 dpi will not alter the quality or size of the image. To change the dpi, open the image in your image editing tool and change the resolution.

Video clips

Using video clips in your projects

iStock's collection of stock video can help you tell powerful stories with clips you can crop, manipulate and combine for a wide variety of commercial and editorial purposes, including advertising, websites, video productions and more.

All of our video files come with our standard license, which means you only have to pay for the initial download of a file and won't have to pay the artist a royalty each time you use the clip in a way that's allowed under that license. Adding extended licenses to your download can let you use the video clip in even more ways.

For more information on how you can use iStock video files, please refer to our license comparison page.

Finding video clips

The easiest way to search for video clips on iStock is by typing keywords into the search bar at the top of the site and selecting "Video" as your file type.

After you've entered a keyword, you can use our video filters to further refine your search by aspect ratio and resolution.

Once you've begun your search, hover over the thumbnail on the search results page or click through to the file's detailed information page to preview the file.

File formats (MOV, MP4)

iStock video clips are available in MOV and MP4 formats.

MOV files are ideal if you need to edit video clips and combine them with other elements such as text, music or graphics. You can also use them as a source file for other formats. When dealing with compositing, keying, or any post special effects, it is usually easier to work with progressive footage. The same holds true when working with video that will be displayed on a computer monitor.

MP4 files are better for smaller multimedia projects, presentations or web-based projects that don't require extensive modifications. These files do not scale up well, so it's important to get the right size file for your purpose.

Standards (HD and SD)

By default, most iStock video files are only available in High Definition.

iStock offers four sizes of HD videos. 4K files can either feature a frame size of 4096x2160 or a frame size of 3840x2160. HD 720 files feature a frame size of 1280x720 with the picture is displayed as a progressive scan, not interlaced. HD 1080 files feature a frame size of 1920x1080 and the picture can be either be interlaced (Motion JPEG) or progressive (Photo JPEG). Computer-generated HD footage should not be interlaced.

Where possible, we offer our HD clips in their original uploaded form - this means they may be compressed with an HDV or DVCPro HD codec, both of which are non-square pixel formats and are a legacy formats no longer accepted. Most contemporary video editing software will interpret these codecs correctly and display them in their proper size and proportions. Video files may also be compressed with Motion JPEG or Photo JPEG, which are very large files, and are displayed as square pixels. Animations generated by computers should mostly be progressive Photo JPEGS.

For video files where HD video is not available, they will only be available in Standard definition in either NTSC or PAL formats.

NTSC is the standard for Standard Definition (SD) television monitors in North America, Japan, South Korea, and parts of South America as well. It features a frame size of 720x480 or 720x486, and a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second. The pixels are non-square, since the format was designed before the advent of the personal computer.

PAL is the standard for SD television monitors in Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, and much of Asia. For simplicity, we have lumped another standard called SECAM in with PAL - they are pretty compatible, at least as far as digital video is concerned. It features a frame size of 720x576 pixels, and a frame rate of 25 frames per second. The pixels are also non-square, but in a different orientation than NTSC.

Original version

The largest size available is always the original file as supplied by the contributor. As such, it is also the best quality technically, and can be used as source footage in editing systems while retaining that original quality.

For files that are offered in only PAL and NTSC, it can be a bit harder to tell the difference between them. You can usually tell by the contributor's description. This description is supposed to indicate which clip was the original. If HD is offered along with PAL and NTSC (there are three frame view tabs at the top of the preview), then the largest HD size is the original.

Editorial use only photos

Unlike the majority of our collection, editorial photos don't have any model or property releases, which means they can't be used for commercial, promotional, advertorial or endorsement purposes. These images often include news, sports and entertainment images that portray real-world people, places, events and things and are intended to be used only in connection with events that are newsworthy or of general interest (for example, in a blog, textbook, newspaper or magazine article).

Can't find a file

If your search ends up with 0 results, you're probably being a little too specific (or you're searching for something really unusual). If you've entered multiple keywords, try entering one or two that best describe what you're looking for. If you've applied filters in the refine panel, you may also want to remove them to widen your search.

If you're searching for a specific file using a file number and can no longer find it, it may no longer be available for download. Contact us and we'll see if we can track it down for you.


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