While many people choose to have a personal image printed for a custom shower curtain, there are a variety of beautiful, high-quality images available on the Internet that would look excellent hanging in your bathroom.
No matter where you source the photo for your shower curtain, there are two considerations to ensure you get a beautiful product: resolution and shape.
Regarding resolution: To ensure your shower curtain has a clear image on it, the image you send us needs to be a minimum 2000 x 2000 pixels at 72 dpi after cropping.
Shape: The shape of your image after cropping needs to be close to the shape of the curtain you want. Our standard curtain (meant for a bathtub) is square. Custom shower curtains (such as those for shower stalls) are rectangular. We will crop your image to fit the curtain you order, but please keep the shape in mind when selecting images.
Even for those of us who aren’t science buffs, images of space and the planets are cool.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a gorgeous library of searchable, free-to-download images of the magical world of space. There is a wide variety of subject matter, from stark images of celestial bodies (like this gorgeous image of our home planet) to colorful star systems (check out this crazy photo of the Horsehead Nebula).
Some of the photos in the NASA Image Library meet the necessary guidelines for shower curtain resolution. The site’s interface makes it very easy to tell before you download. When you find an image that interests you, click the blue Download button. A drop-down menu will appear that provides a few options for download size with pixel dimensions. Usually, you’ll want to select Original size.
Pro tip: uncheck “Audio” and “Videos” in the filter box on the left side of the search page to ensure you’re only getting images.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) also provides an online library of free-to-download images.
You can rest assured no one else is going to have this colorful digital elevation model hanging in their bathroom. The rainbow reflection of this silicon carbide would make for a dramatic custom shower curtain, too.
The USGS Image Gallery can be filtered by topics of interest like oceans, geology, planetary science, or (especially well-suited to a shower curtain) water. You can also search for photos taken in a specific state or year.
The image dimensions are clearly listed under “Details” on each photo page. Green buttons immediately beneath the image list the sizes for download—always go with Large or Original.
If space and rock images don’t suit your shower curtain fancy, there are other options. The wealthiest art institution in the world, the J. Paul Getty Trust, operates an incredible library of artistic images called the Getty Search Gateway.
NOTE: Not all of the images on this site are downloadable for free. Through Getty’s Open Content Program, more than 100,000 have been made available for download. When you go to the Getty Search Gateway site, scroll down to the “Highlight” section of the filter bar and tick the box next to “Open Content Images.” Now your search results will only reveal downloadable items.
The Getty Search Gateway gives users access to some of the most remarkable art collections in the world. The database includes everything from visual art and sculptures to ancient maps and manuscripts.
The search filter on the site is pretty advanced, too. Users can explore art by type, topic, location, and even the name of the artist. When you hover your cursor over the “Download” button at the bottom of an image, it provides a few resolution sizes with their respective pixel dimensions.
The Library of Congress also provides an extensive online database of free-to-download photos. In the link above, notice how we have selected “Available Online” in the top of the left column. Because the Library of Congress has a system for providing hard copy access to those that request it, it’s important that you search for online material only. A hard copy image won’t do you any good when trying to submit an image for your shower curtain.
Utilize the search filters to the left of the page. Selecting an “Image” under “Online Format” will reduce the clutter of audio and video files. You can also search by era and location.
The images found in the Library of Congress’s database are, naturally, focused on American history. You can find an occasional piece of international material in the database, but most of the material is related to the United States.
Many Library of Congress images only meet our resolution requirements if they are in .tif format. Our upload does not accept tif files but they can be quickly and easily converted to jpg using tiff2jpeg.com.
Wikimedia Commons offers a selection of nearly 41 million images that are completely rights-free, meaning you can download any of them for use on your shower curtain. Choose from a variety of topics, including fossils, earth science, music, and history.
Perhaps the best thing about the Wikimedia Commons gallery is that you don’t have to go digging for a photo with the proper resolution. The list view includes the title, pixelation, and size (in kilobytes or megabytes) of each photo, so you don’t have to open up a photo to know if it meets Photo Shower Curtain requirements.
There are some beautiful landscape photos on the Commons, like this image of a grove of trees in autumn.
Google Images search is perhaps the best option on the web for finding photos because you have so many options for filtering. It operates in much the same way as a regular Google search. Simply type in a description of the image you’re looking for and it provides you with a gallery of results.
Before you get too excited about the abundant photos that appear, go up to “Tools” in the center of the page, above the images. Several drop-down menus will appear—click on the one that is titled “Usage Rights.” Select “Labeled for noncommercial reuse.” Now you have a selection of photos you can legally use on your custom shower curtain.
Not only can you filter photos by license, but you can also filter by size! Select “Larger Than” under the “Size” dropdown menu. Searching for images larger than 6 megapixels (2816 x 2112) will ensure that every photo that appears is large enough for use on your shower curtain (but you still might need to crop it to the correct shape).
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