Photograph by Dmitry Anisimov
It’s difficult devising a title for these types of posts, so I figured when in doubt, go with linkbait. Essentially I want to highlight fifteen photography destinations on the web I find interesting or think are doing innovative work.
About: The blog of photographer Blake Andrews.
Comment: You never really know what to expect from Blake. He operates in a mental space that very few bloggers can access on a regular basis. He taps into the photography web zeitgeist in a way that adds depth to his irreverent posts. Beyond the hijinks and humor, he’s also a fantastic and insightful writer. When he decides to challenge an idea, he makes sure he’s thought about the argument, and offers counter points worth thinking about.
We were fortunate enough to have him guest post earlier this year, and he delivered one of the more insightful pieces we’ve published this year, ‘The Beautiful Burden.”
Recommended: A brief guide to drugs and photography
About: Unless you will, an online journal founded and curated by Heidi Romano
Comment: Now on its 12th issue, UYW delivers its issues via PDF, which you don’t see that often, and I wonder why. The fullscreen viewing experience allows the design and layout to really play a central roll in the overall presentation of the content, something that’s sorely lacking on the web. The web wants content to conform to certain templates and parameters which really inhibits the way photography can be presented. UYW simply avoids the problem by not partaking. I suspect as their follow grows, they’ll be able to easily transition into a print version of the magazine which will be exciting.
Recommended: Issue #10
About: Wired Magazine’s photography blog.
Comment: Raw File exploded onto my radar when they brought in Pete Brook as an editor. It’s a perfect example of how a mainstream magazine can tap into the talent of someone who knows their way around the blogosphere. The posts aren’t as frequent as I would prefer, but they’re always carefully selected and well written. You can tell Pete is working with good editors who are helping him refine his message. As much as I believe in independent blogs, there’s no getting around the fact that great editing elevates content. I’ll address this in a future post, but I think you’ll see more mainstream publications tapping into the blogosphere to find talented bloggers to run their photography blogs.
Recommended: World’s Fastest-Growing Megalopolis Hides in Fog
About: The New Yorker’s photography blog.
Comment: As blogs go, Photo Booth is pretty straight forward, and tends to gravitate to the big names and stories in the fine art photography world. So why am I highlighting it? Because when it arrived on the scene it was further evidence that established publications are starting to find value in participating in the online conversation about photography. Blogs from established magazines can bring in a wider audience for photography online and that’s good for everyone.
Recommended: FRAMES FROM FICTION: RENAISSANCE EROTICA
About: Photography, video and visual journalism from the New York Times.
Comment: The New York Times just does it right in terms of design and content. I suspect nearly everyone whose interested in documentary photographer and photojournalism follows Lens. It’s the kind of blog that I’ll ignore for a few weeks and then suddenly find myself browsing through post after post.
Recommended: The Turning Point series, which highlights pivotal photographs from young photographers.
About: Photography collective.
Comment: There’s a reason they’ve become a beacon of light for photojournalism. They not only understand the turmoil in the industry, they’ve embraced it and aren’t looking back. They start with a foundation of great photography, but what sticks out for me is their consistency in publishing content and engaging through social media. Kendrick Brinson has become the social media voice of Luceo, and that’s important. I think for collectives to succeed they need to have that type of strong, personal voice people connect with. Earlier in the year I remember they had doubts about jumping on board Tumblr, so they asked what people thought about it on Twitter. A couple days later they were on Tumblr. They’re embracing the future, and that’s refreshing. In a fitting twist, I think Magnum could learn a few things from what they’re doing.
Recommended: My Diving Bell: New Mexico & Arizona
About: Online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography, directed and edited by Daniel Augschoell and Anya Jasbar.
Comment: A perfect marriage of design and content. Each issue is packed with interesting, diverse work and includes interviews and essays that force you to dig in deep. My only complaint is that my internet ADD makes it difficult to digest everything in one sitting, but I take that as a sign that they’re doing something right because I always go back. They don’t tend to do much with social media, but recently launched a blog, so it seems they maybe attempting to jump into the mix a bit more. The question for me, is it really necessary? When you put out a spectacular product that organically attracts an audience, do you need social media?
Recommended: Issue #6
About: Online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography, founded by Tim Clark.
Comment: They strike the right balance of features per issues. The quality is always top notch, but what I also appreciate is the business savvy. They’ve attracted sponsors, partnered with Troika Editions to sell prints and are conducting workshops with the likes of Antoine D’Agata and Anders Petersen. By creating these relationships and establishing these programs, they’re building the foundations of a sustainable endeavor.
Recommended: Issue #7
About: Online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography, founded by David Bram.
Comment: Rounding out the trifecta of online photography magazines, Fraction has an adaptability that’s admirable. They launched in March of 2008 and since then have evolved from a flash based presentation to a more minimal and appealing design that’s run on Indexhibit. Over the course of the year they’ve also jumped into the Flickr mix and introduced Fraction J, a venue dedicated to photojournalism and documentary photography. I suspect we’ll continue to see interesting programs and features develop in 2011.
Recommend: Issue #17
About: Pictory is a showcase for people around the world to document their lives and cultures, founded by Laura Brunow Miner.
Comment: The Boston Globe’s Big Picture Blog kicked off the idea that you could showcase large photographs on the web. Pictory has adapted that idea toward more personal photography that’s focussed on specific themes. The simple, elegant design enhances the presentation and allows the story to take center stage. Recently they’ve introduced branded content into the showcases, which creates a seamless blend of editorial and advertising that I think will be adopted by many other publications.
Recommended: Everything is Bigger in Texas
About: Hey, Hot Shot! is the premier international competition for photographers seeking greater exposure and recognition for their work.
Comment: Photography contests can be a contentious topic but that’s not why I’m putting Hey, Hot Shot! on the list. What I find interesting and think they excel at is writing about photographers. During their competitions they highlight the contenders on their blog and through intelligent writing they’re able to describe why you should dig deeper into the work. Mixing business with artistic sensibility is a monumental challenge. Jen Bekman pulls it off without apologies. In fact, she coined one of my favorite quotes of the year: “If everyone likes what you’re doing, then you’re doing something wrong.”
Recommended: Looking Back at the 2010 Contenders
About: Urbanautica is an online magazine dedicated primarily to Contemporary Landscape Photography.
Comment: Rather than remaining vague about their genre, Urbanautica has focussed on contemporary landscape photography and its nuances. They consistently produce new features on the web and this year they were able to produce their first physical show with naturae. What I appreciate about their approach is the quiet dedication. There’s no rush, and that’s reflective of the genre they represent. A good landscape takes time to develop, as does a good magazine or website.
Recommended: PHOTO TALKS: “PHIL UNDERDOWN”
About: Daylight Community Arts Foundation (DCAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing in-depth photographic essays on important issues of the day via Daylight Magazine (print) and Daylight Multimedia (online).
Comment: Starting out with the objective of publishing a high quality print magazine in the age of the internet is rare, and absolutely admirable. I remember arriving at party in Brooklyn and seeing a copy of Daylight laying down on the table, which made an instant impact. Building a following of print subscribers is incredibly challenging but in the long run, you’ll end up with a more dedicated following. In the last few months they’ve gained further exposure with their refined multimedia pieces which are intelligent, engaging and well made.
About: We want to enable new ways of organizing photos and video.
Comment: That second part of their mission statement is important because right now, Flickr is still the best way to really wander into the wilderness of photography on the internet. It’s certainly overwhelming. There’s most definitely a high percentage of work that you don’t want to look at, but if you put some time into networking, and find the right clusters of photographers, you can discover interesting photography.
About: “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything.”
Comment: Tumblr’s still the wildwest and it’s difficult to describe the culture to people who aren’t familiar, but on a daily basis the community generates an enormous amount of content that’s worthy of attention. To really understand it though, you need to participate and dive in.
Recommended: Bremser for a steady steam of interesting photographs, new and old. Caille for a passionate appreciation of black and white photography. The Photon Fantastic for jumping in head first, and laying it out there. Epsteinian for always thinking. Christopher Schreck for constant surprises. Sister Wife, never knew you were a fav until Tumblr told me so. Two for the Road for showing the simple complexity in pairs. Mossless for photographer interviews. Jake Chessum for being famous, on Tumblr and showing interesting photographs. Just Shutty for being the internet.