The name refers to the area of the retina where our vision is most clear, a poetic title for a site that showcases humanitarian and social issues seen through the lens of photojournalism. Fovea’s website highlights exhibitions, photo-based outreach projects, and supports photo events dealing with social and environmental topics. Fovea’s real world work centers around education and community outreach; the organization offers photo classes to children and adults, artist talks, panel discussions, film series, as well as extra readings and photo-based events for students.
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center — University of Texas at Austin
Unique among photo–collecting institutions, the Ransom Center takes a broad view of photography, with holdings in diverse areas of photography, including fine arts, photojournalism, documentary photography, contemporary art, and literary imagery. In addition to 5 million photographic prints and negatives, you’ll find 400 pieces of original photographic apparatus and more than 35,000 (and counting) books about photographic history, theory, and technique. The Center founded its photography department with the acquisition of the Gernsheim Collection in 1963, at the time the largest privately–owned photohistorical archive in the United States, and has recently taken custodianship the crown jewel of photojournalism archives, the Magnum Agency collection. The comprehensive nature of their collections has made the Ransom Center a major hub for photo research and scholarship. Both the photo collection and the photo library have excellent searchable online databases, making these rich and diverse holdings accessible. The Center makes photographic copies of its materials available to scholars, and offers reproductions of some photographs for personal use.
John Kobal Foundation (Portrait Galleries)
John Kobal was a passionate collector who ultimately became the archivist of Hollywood’s golden era of portrait photography. The Kobal Foundation manages an impressive archive of glamorous screen star portraits and movie memorabilia. Their somewhat awkward site offers galleries of classic actor shots, as well as the winning entries in the Foundation’s annual portrait and book contests.
Cinematographer György László explores the concept and craft of making images through conversations with an intriguing variety of photographers and film-makers. Examining one image or scene with its creator, L1GHTB1TES goes digs into the creative process and reveals the very personal experience of each contributor. Laszlo had dedicated this compelling archive to his photo students, as a gift of inspiration.
Very much a community oriented site, Lens Culture comes across as an open invitation to experience and consider the impact of photography from as many angles and cultures as possible. The site not only features galleries of submitted work, but also includes photographers’ commentaries and discussions of influences and artistic process. Some interviews are available as audio clips. Moreover, there is news and events, interviews with established and up and coming photographers, calls for submissions, a blog, and some frankly unusual projects.
Look at Me
Building on the current interest in “vernacular" photography, Look at Me is a communal collection of found photographs: images found on the street, in flea markets and other random places. Their lack of identity makes them fascinating, they are literally “stories with only an introduction.” Submissions to the collection are welcome.
Luminous-Lint is the result of one man’s laudable mission to get us all involved in the creation of “the world’s leading collaborative knowledge-base for the history of photography.” Although complex, the site is very user-friendly. Information is organized by searchable sections that include themes, photographers, techniques, galleries and dealers, as well as times lines. Luminous-Lint makes very good use of the web’s elastic nature: each link in these sections unfolds into an amazingly rich page of historical and practical information, closely connected with other pages - including eclectic photo galleries - in order to give the most complete picture possible. The most original feature of Luminous-Lint is its very personal and direct requests for input; the site is dotted with areas for feedback and ways to get involved in building the content. The interactive nature of the site, somewhat like a Wikipedia for the history of photography, opens the door to an original and more comprehensive way of researching and displaying photographic history.
Founded by legendary photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David “Chim” Seymour in the wake of World War II, Magnum Photos is a powerhouse of a photographic co-operative. With a network of fifteen sub-agents and editorial offices in New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo, Magnum provides photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries, and museums across the world. Magnum photographers have covered the great events, people, and places of this era, evidenced in the approximately one million photographs in their physical archive and 250,000 images online. Despite the fact that some of the most iconic images of this century and the last are part of Magnum’s ever-evolving archive, the site is remarkably un-intimidating and informative.
Minneapolis Institute for the Arts
The MIA has organized its collection in a compact and easy to use format for the web. Most of the legendary names of photographic history are included. Possibly the neatest cluster of great photographs available under one URL.
As the grand old man of photojournalism and travel photography publications, National Geographic is a treasure house of images and photo-knowledge. The Geographic’s online site offers thematic photo galleries that link to feature stories, stunning “wallpaper” images, milestones in the history of Geographic photography, and a wide range of photo tips from the professionals. This boldly designed site makes for absolutely enthralling viewing.
Photo District News Online - Features
An indispensable resource, PDN Online’s comprehensive site literally covers the “waterfront” of information relevant to photographers. Its front page is dedicated to extensive photo news coverage, product reviews and features, but there are also links of several PDN initiatives and alliances- each a distinct and valuable source in its own right. PDNedu is a support system for emerging photographers, offering news, photo critique forums, features, contests, portfolios galleries and examples of photo-essays from students around the country. PhotoServe is a “visual database of the world’s best photographers,” a sort of society page that keeps track of assignments, exhibitions and awards of establish photographers. The site includes a monthly portfolio gallery that comes complete with a search engine for its archives. PhotoSource is PDN’s all-in-one professional photography directory, full of national and international industry resources. There is also a link to IPN, the Independent Photography Network, an organization that provides stock photography from independent photographers and small agency reps. PDN shows its support of photographers of all types through its generous gallery space. Here you find all levels of photographers and photojournalists- established, emerging, or even “legendary”. Online only features as well as in-depth reporting for subscribers.