Practical Resources

Albumen Printing 
Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources hosts this site devoted to the art and science of albumen printing, one of the 19th century’s most successful photo processes. If this site can sometimes have the feel of a specialist’s niche – a sort of “Albumen Print Fancier’s” haunt - that is in part because it packed with links to scholarly articles and literature, videos demonstrating the process, technical information and specifications by and for art conservators, as well a useful overview and many references for the history of this form of photography. All of which makes this site a must for anyone working with or studying this technology. The galleries of albumen process photos from around the world are just plain fascinating.

B&H Photo Video 
A well-established retail center that caters to photo, video and audio professionals. B&H offers high-end new and used gear, as well as books and tutorials. 

For the alert shopper, a site that specializes in a wide variety of electronics reviews, including digital cameras. New offerings are reviewed, rated, ranked and compared. They take the business of reviewing seriously: prices at various online stores for reviewed items are helpfully displayed, followed by customer satisfaction reviews for the stores.

Consumer Reports 
This page offers a run-down of camera ratings and reviews—for film and digital, as well as camcorders—from Consumer Reports. This well-respected publication, run by the Consumers Union, tests all products in its rigorous in-house testing laboratory and also surveys subscribers to arrive at its ratings. It gives each product an overall rating within its category, as well as side-by-side ratings for various features and pricing info. Online access to reviews is via paid subscription only. 

Daguerreian Society 
These “Daguerreians,” fascinated with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre’s early photographic process, have built a gorgeous site that celebrates the history, science and artistry of the Daguerreotype. For those seeking reliable scholarship on the subject, the Society has a serious and comprehensive archive of reviews, commentaries, scientific analysis and, most fascinating, contemporary accounts of how this new invention was received as word of it spread around the world. The site’s image galleries contain a carefully curated ensemble of historical and modern Daguerreotypes from museums and private collections. The Society’s excellent work on this site shows us the continuity and vitality of these images. 

Digital Camera Resource Page 
A comprehensive resource for digital photographers, this site offers honest, straightforward camera reviews. Clear, side-by-side comparisons of various cameras lay it all out, detailing maximum resolution, zoom, LCD type, price range, and such. Next, check out the FAQs for great tips on shopping for a digital camera. This much-hit site also has active forums, with users sharing tips on everything from how to take a great picture to where to get deals on cameras and equipment. Users can also post their work in the photo gallery (also located in forums). Keep in mind that this site is targeted toward the general consumer rather than the higher-end buyer.

Digital Photography Review- buying guide 
Digital Photography offers an amazing helpful system for efficient camera shopping. The “Buying Guide” invites shoppers to choose their preferred camera features, and provides comparison results that clearly display the each camera’s attributes. The results include links to gear discussion forums, owner opinions and comparative pricing for online shopping.

Digital Photography Review- side by side 
Another useful feature of DPR’s “Buying Guide” is the side-by-side comparison: Select the cameras you are considering and the system compares their characteristics, prices and owner satisfaction reports.

The Golden Hour
This is a tool for identifying that specific time of day when the light can transform any subject as if by magic, but it is also invitation for photographers to explore the Golden Hour in different locations, climates and seasons. The tool features longitude and latitude, sunrise and sunset readings, universal and local times for locations users can choose from a drop-down menu. This site offers a kind of armchair magic: watching the sun transit through the sky on the other side of the world.

Junk Store Camera
Home of the vintage camera nerds! The founders of this site delight in unearthing and reviewing the performance of hard to find analog cameras. The chatty and informative reviews are backed-up by samples of the camera’s images. The vintage camera community is an enthusiastic one, if you judge by the “JunkStore Camera Shot Glasses” available at the “merch table.”

Lets Go Digitial 
A shiny online magazine, Lets Go Digital acts as a resource center for all things related to digital imaging. The site is nothing if not searchable; reviews, tests and ratings for cameras, lenses, flash cards and cell phones are presented by category and by maker, and there are “top ten” lists and recommended articles. Amid all the technical talk, there is also room for news of creative endeavors in articles posted on the home page.

Library of Congress, Searchable Photograph Collections 
The Library is a treasure house of remarkable and varied photographic collections that document the history, society and culture of the United States. Their comprehensive site is intelligently designed to help researchers access the 12 million photographs in the collections. Anyone can look through and download images online or at the LoC’s reading room in Washington D.C.

Light Impressions Direct 
A recognized source for fine archival storage, display and presentation materials for negatives, transparencies, CDs, photographs, artwork and documents, Light Impressions counts the Getty Museum, the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum among its customers.

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.

Mary Virginia Swanson 
A simple and elegant website that effectively communicates this experienced marketing consultant, author and educator’s skills and accomplishments in helping to build careers in photography. A former Magnum Photo project manager, Swanson has made a career of advising photographers on professional opportunities for those who wish to make a living from photography, best business practices for those who are and most of all, the ins and outs of marketing pictures. The site lists Swanson’s busy schedule of lectures, workshops, portfolio reviews and private consultation sessions and, as the proof is in the pudding, the pages are illustrated with images and endorsements from her clients. MVS also offers very useful current information on events, funding and calls for submissions on her personal blog, Marketing Photos. 

Newspaper Photo Departments on Twitter
Photo Column has assembled a preliminary list of international newspapers whose photo departments post a twitter feed. A very useful reference for those who want to see images of current events as they happen.

Photo District News Online - Classifieds
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.

Photo.Net Camera Reviews 
A community site for photographers that offers critiques, discussion forums, an online gallery, educational essays and camera reviews. The reviews, written by working photographers, are often fairly lengthy and entertaining meditations on gear, illustrated with demonstration shots by the authors.

Photograph Magazine 
Formerly, Photograph maintains its useful and well-constructed compendium of listings for photographers and photo lovers with scrupulously up to date information tracks a very wide range of people, events and resources. Their resource page, for example, offers rare and valuable listings for such things as appraisal and conservation services, while their calendar lists current local, national and international photo events. Be sure to investigate their rich Links page and the 'Eye On The Scene' announcements.

A free directory and portal service committed to making photographers as visible as possible. The site includes comprehensive national and international photography directories, articles and tips, and a “find-a-photographer” search engine.

This German database of literature pertaining to photography is expanding steadily from its modest 8000 title beginnings to over 32 000 entries at last count. While the site’s creator humbly admits to PhotoLit’s shortcomings in scope (titles are so far mainly in English and German), it is a hugely ambitious and absolutely laudable task to identify and organize an ever-expanding collection of writing on photography. In its present state, PhotoLit is already a useful search tool.

Short Courses 
Dennis Curtin, longtime publisher and author of many computer and photography books, made the switch to on-line publishing in 1997, and has since built a solid repertoire of “short courses” on various aspects of digital photography. Curtin’s explanations of the basics of digital photography, such as selecting a camera and how best to use it, displaying and sharing pictures, digital work flow, even pixels and image size, are clear and concise. Curtin refers to Short Courses as an “experiment,” but one gets the sense that many view this site as a valuable resource for getting started in digital photography.

Unique Photo 
Produced by the Unique Photo Superstore in New Jersey, the Unique Photo blog presents new products, photo tech, product reviews and the occasional personal profile from Superstore staff. The blog includes a searchable index of topics.