Photographer Makes All of His Stunning Photos Available for Free

Landscape photos
Now available for free in high-resolution.

A photographer who has traveled the world taking beautiful photographs for the last 20 years has taken the unusual step of making all of his photos freely available to download.

Aurel Manea has released copyright on 4,700 high-resolution photos of mostly landscapes. The highlights include dazzling photos of the Northern Lights, the Tuscan hills of Italy, and Monument Valley in Arizona.

“They were gathering dust, so I thought why not make them available for free,” Manea tells PetaPixel. “That way a lot more people get to use them and print them. I never made any money with them and chances were I never will.”

Atlantic puffin
The high-quality photos include wildlife like this Atlantic puffin.
The Dolomites.
The Dolomites.
Monument Valley, Arizona.
Monument Valley, Arizona.

Manea, from Bucharest, Romania, says that it is “too much work” to try and upload them all to a stock photo website one by one and tag each individual image.

However, he has included a “Donate” button on his website because “you never know who wants to donate.”

“If you upload them to sell them on a stock photo website, I don’t think there is a chance to make any money from that,” he adds.





Manea explains that he has traveled the world in the last two decades specifically to take photos, but that has lessened in the last two years.

“I enjoy the process more than anything. I never made any money and never expected any money,” he says.

“I made available all photos that I selected for export from Lightroom (except some early ones that I think had no value for someone else).”

Tuscan hills.
Tuscan hills.


“I have considered putting them on Wikipedia Commons or other photo websites with Creative Commons license but there is too much effort involved in that and I prefer just sharing a single archive,” he says.

Manea says that he is unconcerned about what happens to the images and if someone puts them all on Wikimedia Commons he is okay with that.

“I am not worried someone does that, like I said, everyone is free to use them as they see fit as long as they don’t sell them or participate in photo competitions,” he adds.

Celebrated nature photographer John Fielder from Colorado donated his life’s work to the public domain before he died in August.

More of Manea’s work can be found on his website and Facebook. The photo archive can be found here.

Image credits: Photographs by Aurel Manea